What is Local SEO?

If like most businesses, you offer services to local customers – people in your geographic area – it doesn’t make sense to target internet users who live on the other side of the country. A mechanic in London doesn’t cater to the automotive needs of the people of Glasgow. 

Local SEO, therefore, is the process of trying to boost your website up the rankings for local search terms. It directly targets nearby people who are most likely to buy from you and ignores the rest. 

Let’s take an example. Suppose you’re a London mechanic and you want people living in London to bring their cars to you for servicing and MOT. Local SEO would focus on helping you to rank high for local keywords such as “MOT services in London” or “car servicing near London” and would ignore more generic keywords, like “cheap MOTs.” With local SEO, you’re only trying to rank high for searches made in your local area – you’re not interested in any other search terms. 

How You Appear On Google

If you type in a search like “mechanics near me” into Google, the search engine will return a page feature called the “local pack.” It looks very different from regular search results. Instead of getting a list of hyperlinks for a bunch of websites, you get a map, locations and details of three companies providing mechanic services in the London area. 

The businesses on this list aren’t there by chance. All of them have told Google that they service cars, and have handed over details about their firms, such as prices, reviews, location and opening hours. Google then serves up that information to users whenever it thinks that they type in a relevant search term. The task of local SEO is to make sure that your business shows up on on the local pack so that you can grab a big chunk of nearby organic business. 

To get onto the local pack, you have to use a service called “Google My Business.” Google doesn’t know ahead of time that you’re a real business with a valid address, so you have to tell it. To join Google My Business, you’ll need to log into your account (you can set one up quickly at google.com) and then tell Google that you’d like to register. The search giant will then send you a code in the post to the address that you provide. Once you receive this code, you enter it into your dashboard and Google will accept that your company is legitimate and has a real location. All you then need to do is fill out all of the fields that Google specifies so that when people search using related keywords, relevant information about your business shows up. 

What Are The Main Local SEO Services?

Local SEO services differ from general SEO services. Here are some of the types of services that local SEO agencies offer. 

  • Citation building. A citation is any mention on the internet of information to do with your firm, such as its name, address and phone number (NAP). Google uses this information to rank it and provide information to users. However, if information about your company doesn’t align across websites, it can push you down the rankings. Google doesn’t want to provide its users with incorrect information. Local SEO, therefore, involves tracking down all citations for your company online and ensuring that they agree. 
  • Managing reviews. Local SEO can help you manage your reviews and collect more positive ones to boost your local ranking. 
  • Acquiring natural local backlinks. The more backlinks you have from relevant local sources, the higher you’ll rank in local search. 
  • Managing your Google My Business. Setting up your Google My Business correctly can be a challenge. Local SEO agencies can set this up for you, filling out all necessary fields.

Local SEO What is it? & How Can it Help

How Can Local SEO Benefit Local Businesses?

Take a look at these local SEO benefits for local businesses. 

Build Visibility Online

It can be challenging for small businesses to get noticed online. But with local SEO, you can make it easy for local consumers to find you and begin benefiting from your services. 

Enhance Google Maps Visibility

Many of your customers, especially those on mobile devices, will want to know where they can find you. With Google My Business, you can list your firm on Google Maps. With a single click, customers can then navigate to your location. 

Manage Reputation

It’s vital that you correctly manage your reputation. The more reviews you have, the higher Google and other search engines will rank your firm. 

Generate Local Interest

If you develop the right content marketing strategy, you can create material which sparks local interest and gets people in your area more interested in what your firm has to offer. 

Increase Your Footfall

People rely on their mobile devices. Greater visibility online often leads to higher footfall in-store and more opportunity to make a sale. 

Why Invest In Local SEO? 

Check out the following reasons to invest in SEO. 

Optimise Site Traffic

The last thing you want is to spend money on digital marketing services, only to attract customers to your site who have no intention of buying. With regular SEO, this is a risk, but local SEO for small businesses diverts all your marketing funds only to activities that build local interest. 

Local SEO Has The Highest Conversion Level Of All Local Advertising

If your company has always spent its marketing budget advertising in local papers or on local radio, then it might be time for a change. Online directories like Yelp or Scoot.co.uk are some of the strongest on the web, in terms of adding weight to your website’s local SEO ranking.

Mobile Usage Continues To Grow

Local search engine optimisation is exceptionally potent in the mobile space because of the way that people use their mobile devices. Often, users will grab their phone, type in the service that they want near them, wait for it to pop up on Google maps, and then follow directions. With the right approach, your business could find its way to the top of page one for local search, increasing the likelihood that people will come to you. 

Local SEO Services

Here at Nigel Adams Digital, we provide local SEO services for businesses in Bedford, Hertfordshire & Buckinghamshire. If you’d like to find out more about local SEO and how it can benefit your business, or you’re interested in a free SEO audit of your current website – Get in touch!

1 Killer Local SEO Tip You Need To Start Ranking

local SEO Bedford | SEO Hertfordshire

The objective of local SEO is to get your website seen by people within your business’ service area – and when it comes to getting those first page rankings, every guide you read will tell you that you need to claim your Google Business Listing, submit to a tonne of other business directory sites, and collect those reviews!

Whilst this is absolutely sound advice, and there is no better initial starting place with local SEO, there’s another important tip that you might be missing out on… One that a lot of the other “beginner” guides won’t tell you. This tip is plain and simple, but is the number one “needle moving” piece of advice I could possibly have to give you about getting your website to the top of Google within your area.

So, here it is:

Create Local SEO Pages.

That’s right. It’s so simple… but when you’ve submitted to as many directories as possible, you’ve badgered people for more reviews than you count, and your NAP (name, address, phone number) is more consistent than you can comprehend – it’s easy to forget the fact that you simply haven’t got enough content on your website around your target location. It’s cringy to say, but content really is king with this, so you need to write about the area you want to rank for.

However, this doesn’t mean just keyword stuffing everywhere, remember not to cop out on user experience!

If you let your users know the extent of your service reach, Google will pick up on it too. I can’t stress this enough, though… DO NOT go crazy and start spamming your website full of location content all over the shop! Keep things logical.

How to organise this:

Create a “sub category” on your website to include a list of the areas you cover. This could perhaps be a branch of your about us page/s, or a list in your footer. Internal linking where appropriate will enhance the weight of these pages. But just as is the case with anything SEO wise, be sure you’re mindful of not overdoing it.

Bonus tip: Consider embedding a Google Map of the location you are targeting on this page.

I’m a freelance digital marketing expert and I help lots of local businesses to get more out of their online presence. For more help & advice on Local SEO in Hertfordshire & Bedfordshire, get in touch!

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