What is local SEO anyway?

Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about improving your website’s ranking for organic local searches. By improving your business’s local search rankings, you can directly influence your business’s visibility in a local area. In fact, research shows that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information, showing just how much of a difference local SEO can have for local businesses.

Some examples of local searches are:

  • Hairdresser near me
  • Hospital in Perth
  • Marketing agency Subiaco

Local SEO differs from traditional SEO in that it is specifically trying to rank for searches that include a location-based intent. These searches are often more valuable to a business because the searcher is further down the purchase journey.

What influences local search results?

There are some key influences on what businesses show up in local searches that are important to keep in mind when doing local SEO.

1. Proximity

The closer a person is to your business the more likely you are to show up in their search results. This is because Google uses proximity heavily to influence its local search results.

You wouldn’t, for example, want to see search results for restaurants in Sydney when looking for dinner in Perth!

Action Point: While it’s not possible to move your business for every search, it’s still important to keep proximity in mind when doing local SEO. You can list your business address in Google My Business and the footer of your website. This will give Google the information it needs to show your business when someone is doing a search for your service nearby.

2. Relevance

Relevance is how closely your website matches the search being performed. Google is always trying to show the most relevant search results to its searchers. It will use the content on your website to determine if you’re page will answer the search. All in less than a tenth of a second!

Action Point: Keep this in mind when creating your services pages. Make sure to clearly articulate the service you are offering in Google-friendly language. That means using your main keywords in the heading tag, body, and title of your content.

3. Prominence

Regardless of how well you do with the other two factors Google still needs to make sure they are showing high-quality businesses to searchers. Prominence is what other people think about your business and what they say about it online.

User reviews and comments across Google’s network will help establish how prominent your website is, the more positive people are the more likely you are to show up in local searches.

Action Point: Try asking your existing customer to leave a positive review on your Google My Business. Or reach out to some local blogs to see if they can post a review on their blog. Every vote of confidence online will increase the likelihood of your business beating out your competitors in search results.

What are the benefits of local SEO and why is it so important for small businesses?

1. Reach more customers

Businesses ranking in the first positions in search results are the most likely to get clicks through to their website. This means more people on your website and more customers.

For local SEO this is of even greater importance because all the visitors getting to your landing page are close to your business and are therefore even more likely to turn into paying customers.

2. Cheaper

Great local SEO can get you onto the front page of Google completely for free. This makes it one of the best forms of free marketing for small businesses.

Compare that to something like Google Ads where you need to spend money every time someone clicks onto your website you can see the power of local SEO.

3. Avoid the big fish

By focusing on local SEO your business will primarily be competing with other local businesses for search rankings. For small businesses that means you avoid big international companies with massive advertising budgets.

Instead, you can focus on beating your local competition in search results while the big companies compete for ultra-competitive global keywords.

4. Long-lasting rankings

The search rankings you worked so hard to gain are likely to stay on the top of search results for a lot longer with local SEO. There just aren’t as many businesses competing against you. Compare this to traditional SEO where a piece of content may only stay on the front page of Google for a few days.

With a local SEO strategy, you can reap the rewards of your hard work for many years to come.

5. Beat competitors who aren’t doing local SEO

Imagine your business showed up every time someone searched “dentist near me” or “property manager Perth” or whatever industry you’re in. Image the difference that would make for your business. Now imagine your competitor was there instead.

With a strong local SEO strategy, you can beat out your competitors and make sure your business is the first one people find when they make local searches.

6. Easier than traditional SEO

The common wisdom with SEO is that the results will only come after 6-12 months. But with a laser-focused local SEO strategy, your business can start to see results well before that.

It’s not to say that local SEO is an easy progress but with the right keywords, you should start to see an increase in organic traffic relatively quickly.

Traditional SEO vs Local SEO: What’s better for your business

Now that we’ve gone over exactly what local SEO is and what the benefits are, you may be wondering. “What SEO strategy is best for my business? Should I pursue local SEO or traditional SEO?”

While there isn’t a clear-cut best option, there are a few key considerations to make when selecting which strategy will work best for your business:

  • Your existing online presence: If you’re website already has a strong online presence you will likely be able to compete for more difficult high-volume searches.
  • Your service area: If you only service a small geographic area a local SEO strategy will be highly effective.
  • Time: Traditional SEO often takes a long time to generate results, whereas local SEO can start to see results in a much shorter time.
  • Resources: Traditional SEO is the better option for companies that have a lot of resources to dedicate to SEO. The results can be excellent, but you need to be prepared to put in the time, money and effort.

In general, we recommend local service-based businesses are best served pursuing a local SEO strategy whereas bigger B2C businesses will be best served with a traditional SEO approach.

If you’re still not sure what strategy to implement with your business get in contact with us and we can come up with a customised marketing strategy with your specific needs in mind.