Local SEO is the practice of optimising a website and its online presence to rank highly in search results for local keywords and phrases. This is important because more and more people are using search engines to find local businesses and services, so Local SEO can help to ensure that a business is visible to these potential customers.
The rise of Local SEO
In recent years, it’s become increasingly important to overall marketing efforts because of the proliferation of mobile devices and the growing use of location-based services.
The rise of local SEO can be traced back to the early days of the internet, when businesses first began to create websites to promote their products and services online. As search engines became more sophisticated and people began using the internet to search for local businesses, it became important for businesses to optimise their websites for local search.
One key moment was the development of Google Maps in 2005, which allowed users to search for local businesses and services using map-based search results. This was a significant development because it allowed businesses to create listings on Google Maps and to include important information about their businesses, such as their names, addresses, and phone numbers.
Local SEO Stats
Here are some statistics on the rise of local SEO:
- 99% of consumers use the internet to search for local businesses (BrightLocal)
- 50% of all mobile searches are related to location (Study)
- 28% of local searches result in a purchase (Study)
- 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles. (Study)
- 78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase (Search Engine Land)
These statistics highlight the importance of local SEO for businesses of all sizes, as they demonstrate the growing role of the internet and mobile devices in local search and the high conversion rate of local searches. By focusing on local SEO efforts, businesses can improve their visibility and ranking in local search results and attract more local customers.
Another key moment was the introduction of mobile devices, specifically the iPhone in 2007, which allowed people to access the internet from anywhere. This led to the proliferation of location-based services, such as maps and directories, which made it even more important for businesses to optimise their online presence for local search.
Today, it’s an essential component of any marketing strategy, and businesses of all sizes are focusing on improving their visibility and ranking in local search results. Its rise has been driven by consumers’ increasing use of search engines and mobile devices, and by the development of technologies and platforms that allow businesses to optimise their online presence for local search.
With the ability to access the internet from anywhere and the increasing use of location-based apps and services, it’s more important than ever for businesses to optimise their online presence for local search.
What affects your ranking?
There are several factors that can affect a business’s local ranking, including the presence of accurate and consistent business information (such as the business name, address, and phone number) on the website and other online platforms, the inclusion of relevant local keywords and phrases in the website’s content and meta tags, and the presence of positive reviews and ratings from customers.
A good listing should include the following elements:
- Business name: Make sure to include the full and accurate business name in the listing.
- Address: Include the full and accurate address of the business, including the street name and number, city, state, and zip code.
- Phone number: Include the business’s main phone number in the listing.
- Business hours: Include the business’s regular hours of operation in the listing.
- Website URL: Include the business’s website URL in the listing.
- Categories: Choose relevant categories that describe the products or services offered by the business.
- Photos: Include high-quality photos of the business, its products, or its services.
- Description: Write a concise and compelling description of the business and its products or services.
- Reviews: Include positive reviews and ratings from customers in the listing.
By including these elements in a Local SEO listing, businesses can improve their visibility and ranking in local search results and attract more local customers.
By focusing on these and other local SEO factors, businesses can improve their visibility and ranking in search results for local keywords and phrases, which can help to drive more traffic and leads to their websites. This can be particularly important for small businesses and local service providers, as local SEO can help to level the playing field and allow them to compete with larger, national brands.
Benefits of Local SEO:
- Improved local visibility: Local SEO can help to improve a business’s visibility in local search results, making it easier for local customers to find the business online.
- Increased website traffic: By ranking highly in local search results, a business’s website is more likely to receive traffic from local customers who are searching for the types of products or services the business offers.
- Increased leads and sales: By attracting more local customers to its website, a business is more likely to generate leads and sales from those customers.
- Improved user experience: By providing accurate and relevant information about a business, Local SEO can improve the user experience for local customers by making it easier for them to find the information they need.
- Competitive advantage: By optimizing their online presence for local search, businesses can gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in their area that are not optimizing for local search.
It can provide a variety of benefits to businesses, including improved local visibility, increased website traffic, increased leads and sales, improved user experience, and a competitive advantage.
Key points to understand
- Local SEO is the practice of optimising a website and its online presence to rank highly in search results for relevant local keywords and phrases.
- It has become increasingly important in recent years due to the proliferation of mobile devices and the growing use of location-based services.
- There are several factors that can affect a business’s visibility, including accurate (and consistent) business information, the use of relevant keywords and the presence of positive reviews and ratings.
- Local SEO can be particularly important for small businesses and local service providers, as it can help them to compete with larger, national brands for local business.
- To implement what we’ve shown you effectively, it’s important to focus on these and other factors and to regularly monitor and update the business’s online presence to ensure that it is optimised for local search.
- By implementing Local SEO correctly, businesses can improve their visibility and ranking in local search results and attract more local customers.
Concluding our Local SEO Rough Guide
Overall, local SEO, like other forms of optimisation such as pillar pages that create content clusters on a website, or technical SEO that makes websites more SEO-friendly, is an important component of any marketing strategy, and by focusing on local SEO efforts, businesses can improve their online visibility and attract more local customers.