If you want to target your audience in a specific country, region, city or neighbourhood then you should be looking at local search.
Local SEO is the practice of Search Engine Optimisation for local search results.
Local SEO is about improving your business's visibility and ranking in local search results like Google's Map Pack/Local Pack.
We see it all the time when we search for things online. Using the 'near me' suffix is a great example of showing local SEO at work.
Traditional SEO, or organic SEO, has a bearing on local search engine optimisation. That's because how you rank organically has a positive influence on your Local Pack rankings.
Organic listings represent a great opportunity for your business to be surfaced to audiences with local intent. Yet although local and organic SEO are linked, you should have a strategy for each.
Why does local SEO matter?
Local SEO is important to your business and to potential website visitors. Google addresses local SEO with Map Pack results. These are prominently displayed on the first page of search results - complimented by organic results, about your local business.
Did you know that over 90% of searches have local intent? That's why Map Packs are so important to increasing your business's local SEO and online visibility.
A Map Pack, also called Google 3-Pack or Local Pack is displayed at the top of search engine results pages for local or 'near me' searches.
Based on relevance, distance and prominence, the pack shows three businesses that match the searcher's intent. And because the information is shown at the top of the results page there's a greater chance of clicks. In fact, the top 3 results in search account for over 70% of clicks.
The information shown in Map Packs search results is:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Photos and videos
- Customer reviews / star ratings
Map Packs are not only beneficial to potential visitors to your business website, they're a great local SEO tactic that can outrank your competition, improve visibility and connect you with local customers.
Another benefit is because more searches are performed on mobile devices, local SEO map packs pack a greater punch in mobile search results. Why? Because they take up more screen space - pushing those organic results further down the screen.
How to get the best from local SEO
If you want the get the best from your existing local SEO efforts or are thinking about a local SEO strategy there are a few things you need to consider:
- Do you have a Google ‘My Listing’ account?
- Is your business registered with other directories?
- Is your business information up-to-date?
- Are you responding to reviews?
- Have you included photos?
Do you have a Google 'My Listing' account?
Information about your business is vital to drive traffic. If you don't have a business listing with Google then you should. Creating one is free and it doesn't take long. All you need to do is provide your essential business information like address, contact number, map pin etc. and let Google do the rest.
Is your business registered with other directories?
Think beyond Google. Consider registering your business with other business directories like Bing Places, Yelp and Facebook for instance. The more relevant places you submit your business the greater likelihood it’ll be found by other channels.
Is your business information up-to-date?
Having wrong or outdated information pushes potential visitors away from your website and erodes your credibility. Make sure your business details are correct or suffer the pain of losing potential business.
Are you responding to reviews?
People like to see a star rating or a review about your business, but not all reviews may be positive.
It's how you react to the bad ones that shows potential customers that you care. This will not only reflect well on your overall star ratings but will also show that your duty of care to your customers is what people expect. This ultimately will lead to a better customer experience and more conversions.
Have you included photos?
Photos of your business’s location, premises and the goods and services tell a story. They’re a great showcase of what your business offers. They also add credibility and authoritativeness to your website, improve website health and increase domain authority.
Working with Codehouse
Our digital experience team has SEO experts that can help boost your business’s visibility in your local area. If you want to get more from local search, get in touch.