What do you mean by Local Search?
Local search means being found online when someone is looking for something in the local market you serve. It is perfect for businesses that are geographically focused because local search:
- Builds Loyalty and Develops trust in your customers
- Increases visibility, site traffic, leads, and store footfall
- Uses your home advantage (Amazon can’t do this!)
Why is this important?
- 46% of all Google searchers are after something local
- “Near me” searches have grown by 900% over two years
- Local searches in almost half of cases deliver an in-store visit (physical or online) within one day
Five ways of improving Local Search Results
The areas of the Google local search results page where you can potentially get your business listed include:
- Google My Business (which becomes Google Business Profile in 2022). Even though every business can have a free business profile on Google, far too many businesses have not claimed their listings. 90% of consumers use GMB to find a local company (often without even knowing that’s what they are using).
- Local search engine optimization uses a set of ranking criteria to deliver ranked results – proximity, relevance, and prominence (the quality of your website) – talk about the local markets you serve on your website and on your GMB, so Google returns your business at the top of the page for near me searches.
- PPC – you can target paid search to very small geographical areas – Each time someone clicks on your search result, you pay a fee to Google. You can also advertise super-locally on Facebook, or at the other end of the spectrum, on Sky’s AdSmart.
- Citations – get your business into directory listings like Yell.com – Google loves to see your business mentioned in a cross section of listings and will often show your company multiple times. Pro Tip : Google also likes to see that your listings all match exactly, so check the ones you have for consistency.
- If you invest in becoming Google Guaranteed, your listings have earned a rotation at the top of the page for local searches.
Example of a Google SERPS page with Google My Business listing
Seven steps to get you set up
Get your business listed in one (or more!) of the top prized spots on the first page of Google’s local search results.
1. Create your Google My Business Listing
By far the most important action for local SEO. It’s an easy way to get a first page search result on a local business with these steps:
- Claim your listing – you do this through selecting your business in Google Maps. Click “Add your business” and follow the instructions!
- Complete all your business details. Pro Tip : use the main keywords from your website
- Upload your logo and some images.
- Request reviews from your clients – Google’s bots crawl your GMB page as well as your website, so reviews on GMB are taken into account in your search rankings.
- When reviews come then respond and react to them.
- Enable the additional features, e.g. chat, social
- Then create Google posts on your profile. Pro Tip : repurpose posts from LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram
- Last but not least – take advantage of Google My Business’ reporting and analysis platforms – they will email you about this every month anyway!
2. Think Phone First
Make sure your site (if you have one) is mobile friendly – as most local searches are done on phones. (we can help you check if you are up to speed)
3. Include Your Address on Your Website
If you are a one site business then add it to your contact page and website footer. If you have more than one, use a “Locations” page to list each address, and create a unique page for each. Make sure you include Schema Mark-up to your site tells search engines precisely what your business name is, your logo, address, phone numbers, operating hours, and more – don’t leave it to chance
4. Add Content for your customers
Lots of fresh content that is relevant to the location is a great way to make yourself noticed.
5. Use Business Citations
This is the fancy name for name, address, and phone information – key to boosting your ranking.
6. Optimize for Voice
Because most local searches are done by phone, people are increasingly using voice-activated search (Hey Siri, Alexa and so on). You need to be specific here and conversational
7. Google Guaranteed
This certification that gives prospects additional confidence in your business – this is most relevant in local services and unlike the other points – you have to pay for it.
What to do if you need help with Local Search
If you want assistance in targeting local search to boost your bottom line, or help with any other digital marketing strategies, please contact us for a chat.