Local SEO is an important factor for businesses to consider when it comes to their online presence. It helps them stand out, even without a website, and drives more traffic to their premises through online leads. These leads are likely to provide a high conversion rate since they are specifically looking for the products or services your business offers. To rank well in local searches, you need to focus on a combination of different local SEO ranking factors.
As Google's local algorithm relies on many different signals, it can be difficult to know what to prioritize in order to maximize your chances of ranking well. In short, there are many local SEO ranking factors that influence a company's ranking, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution that will get you to the top of the local search results. Local SEO takes time, knowledge and ongoing effort to achieve; it should never be a case of 'set it and forget it'. Google My Business (GMB) is an essential part of local SEO. Many people will find your business for the first time because of your GMB listing and decide whether to become a customer. You can claim your listing by searching Google My Business.
If you don't see your business listed, you can create your own listing. By creating your GMB listing, you can improve your ranking and reach more local customers. To get the most value from local SEO, you should focus on appearing in standard organic search results as well as working on your GMB listing. Local SEO is slightly different because it also requires the use of GMB. This is a Google search function that displays local businesses on a map, based on a user's search.
Many of these searches include the name of a city or the phrase 'near me'.These users search for businesses near their geographic location. When users perform searches using 'near me' or 'in (location)', this triggers GMB listings. Local mentions are instances where your business name, address and phone number are mentioned online, for example in a local business listing. In addition, with local SEO, businesses can promote their products and services to local customers in a certain area. Writing customised local content with all these factors in mind will help you get the quality content that Google wants to return for certain local results.
You may have noticed that if you search on your phone for certain local things, or on your computer, Google has automatic, targeted local articles. Optimising your local business website for search engines remains an important practice, as this maximises both organic and local performance. Not only is it incredibly important for businesses to set up, claim and verify their GMB listings, but a comprehensive local SEO campaign will also work to optimise the listing for greater visibility. With local SEO, you can ensure that your brand appears in front of the eyes of almost every customer searching for local products specific to your business niche, converting online searches into offline purchases. Search engines serve websites with exceptional value to users, so local content can greatly improve local search rankings. Keywords in the anchor text of links are also very important, while the diversity and number of links from local or industry-specific sites are also among the top 15 local organic factors. These local, industry-related sites often help increase the value of your local link profile significantly, and often help add the authority and uniqueness that Google rewards.
In the table above, experts surveyed by Whitespark said they believed were the most important ranking factors for the local pack and localised organic results. The focus shifts to making sure that all potential local signals in the Google local search landscape are consistent and correct. By investing in your local SEO, you get to elevate yourself and compete with other businesses within your niche. Those in-person interactions and community efforts are valuable, but it's local SEO that brings customers to you in the first place. Local website traffic can optimise your website's visibility, directly boost sales and make your brand name more recognisable to local audiences.