This blog post is designed to help business owners attract more local search traffic. Local SEO is a hot topic these days, and it’s important that you know the basics of how it works if you want your business to rank higher in online search results.
We’re going to cover what is local SEO, tips for ranking higher and how crucial google my business (GMB) is for companies of all sizes.
What is local SEO?
Local search engine optimization is the process of getting your website to rank higher in organic search engines results and targeting specific keywords that would result in your company being shown on Google.
The goal is for search engines to show your listing at or near the top of a list of results when people are looking for things like “Chesterfield SEO”.
Local search engine optimization is a process that many businesses have been using for years. Local SEO is different from regular SEO because it doesn’t just rely on the number of links to your website or other factors; it also relies on location-specific keywords, such as “Chesterfield SEO”.
The goal with local SEO would be to show up near or at the top of the list whenever someone searches for things like Chesterfield Search Engine Optimization.
This can require more research into which geographical locations you operate in so that people searching will find you when they are looking within those areas instead of outside where their presence isn’t established yet.
Why is local SEO important?
Local search engine optimisation is a game-changer for small business owners that want to sell their products or services on the web and should be the cornerstone of their marketing strategy.
Unlike regular SEO there is much more emphasis placed on the location of a company in relation to the searches approximation to it.
This provides a unique opportunity for small businesses that are located in the same city or county to compete with bigger corporations. Imagine if you could rank higher than your nationally known competitors solely because of your location?
When people search on Google, they will generally only see results relating to their current geographic area.
The ranking algorithm is designed so that when someone searches “Chesterfield SEO” and then clicks through to one of the first few links, they should always find helpful information about an established business nearby them rather than from across the country that has nothing relevant to offer them.
Previously, larger businesses could target areas where they might not have physical premises, making it difficult for smaller businesses, with less marketing budgets and resources, to rank for locally specific searches.
However now that GMB has been introduced and local search engine optimisation is becoming more prominent in importance, smaller businesses are able to compete with larger corporations by focusing on what’s important for a customer who might be just around the corner: location-specific data.
##What is Google My Business? Google my Business is a free and easy way for small business owners to update their information so that they can show up on Google.
GMB allows local businesses to create a page with details about the physical location of where they are located, contact numbers, pictures of the establishment, operating hours or days open as well as videos depicting what its products or services are.
How important is Google my Business for digital marketing?
Google My Business is a very important piece of digital marketing for small businesses. It has the potential to bring in more customers by showing up on Google and giving people specific details about what you’re looking for.
For example, let’s compare two small companies, one with a GMB account and the other without. When searching for a pizza restaurant in Chesterfield, on Google Maps on the web, the first one with a GMB account shows up first. If both companies are in Chesterfield and have GMB accounts then it comes down to other ranking factors, such as reviews and both our proximity to Chesterfield.
The second one without, doesn’t show up even though it is also located in Chesterfield because they haven’t created their Google My Business page and added all of the information that’s required to rank higher for specific keywords.
When I was looking for an accountant near Chesterfield, there were several different pages with good reviews but only two had claimed and optimised their GMB listing, adding website and contact details, which do you think I chose?
We already mentioned that Google my Business has levelled the playing field and crucially, is a totally free service. Having a chance that your website be top for a search is no longer only available for businesses with deep pockets!
Google my Business or social media marketing?
There are a lot of people who think that social media marketing is the same as Google my Business but it’s not.
Social media marketing has to do with building your business’ brand and constructing relationships with potential customers through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram whereas Google My Business can be used to increase search traffic by explaining what you offer in detail on their website.
Think of social media as the way for people to get to know you, while Google my Business, with contact details like your phone number, web address and company info is a way for customers to find you.
We would always recommend both platforms, and best of all, they are free to set up and claim, unlike expensive pay-per-click (PPC) to set up and reap rewards from.
Are online reviews important for SEO?
One of the best ways to rank higher in search results is by receiving reviews on popular review sites, such as Yelp and Google.
Doing a simple google search for [business name] + “reviews” will give you an idea of how many reviews a business has online.
Many search listings will also display the number of reviews a business has. These ratings are usually related to how many stars you see next to each listing on Google Maps and what they say about that specific business.
The more reviews a company has, the better chance it’ll have at ranking higher in search results for its industry or region.
Let’s be honest, most of us will choose a business that has many reviews over a business that has none, especially if it’s in the same industry.
When you search for a company, make sure to find out how many reviews they have and read their testimonials!
This is one of the first things that I check before ordering services from any business online – something as simple as checking what others are saying about them can be extremely helpful when making a purchasing decision.
Web design and search engine optimization
Creating a new website for your business is a great time to ensure your SEO strategies and website design is on the same page.
You need to ensure each page has a consistent name, address, phone number (NAP), blog articles are written that resonate with your audience and that “keywords” are used throughout the website.
Always spend time on keyword research. Knowing what your potential customers are searching for could be the difference between success and expensive failure.
Use images that people can relate to, perhaps of easily recognised landmarks or your physical premises and staff.
Include all relevant info, like opening hours, ensure they are the same on your GMB listing to ensure a good user experience, nothing harms conversion rates more than conflicting opening times on your website and GMB listing, which one is the correct one?
Don’t give potential customers any reason to choose your competitors.
Web design is more than just a pretty design. On-page search engine optimization is often done AFTER a website is built, but it should be done when you are designing the site as the design should reflect the content you need not the other way around.
Chesterfield SEO services
As SEO experts, with our roots firmly in our home town of Chesterfield, we totally understand the importance of local SEO services
Even though we help companies all over the globe with global SEO strategies, our local SEO marketing still plays a major part in attracting new business for us, not just in Chesterfield!
If you would like to discuss SEO services or have an SEO and or website design project in mind then please fill out this short form to see if we can help you.
Local search engine optimization is vital for any company looking to grow its web traffic and prosper.
An optimised GMB listing, SEO optimised website, social media marketing, web directory submissions and a sprinkling of local advertising will give you a massive advantage over your competitors.