If you are a local business and you want to be noticed, not just in person, but in search engines too, then you need to understand Local SEO. Without utilising a Local SEO plan you simply won’t be able to take advantage of local, online demand for your services and product.

What exactly is Local SEO?

It’s a branch of Search Engine Optimization that specifically deals with SEO for local businesses. And, an effective Local SEO campaign will help your business to appear on page 1 of Google searches – in the Map Pack and Organic Listings.

20 years ago SEO was simple – there really wasn’t much difference between general SEO and Local SEO but times have changed. Now, there are all nuances the exactly and exclusively affect your Local SEO.

If you’re not leveraging Local SEO just imagine all the traffic and potential customers you could be missing out on. And this is why Local SEO is so important – you want locals to be able to find you online, in search results, on Google.

Local SEO isn’t a fad – it’s only set to become more important with the expected, continued rise in mobile device usage.

Now while Local SEO might seem a bit techy, a bit overwhelming it is almost always cheaper and more effective than traditional marketing. And in all honesty – it’s really not that techy at all.

Benefits of Local SEO over traditional marketing:

Everything with a Local SEO campaign is trackable – you’ll know exactly what is and isn’t working
It requires a lower level of investment to set up and continues to yield returns
You can track how much traffic, leads and customers are coming from Local SEO and organic searches

So, how do you get started with Local SEO?

Find the keywords you want to target and rank for – local and longtail keywords –
Create a unique landing page for each product or service you offer.
Write original content that answers people’s questions and links back to your core sales pages.
Avoid being spammy and don’t “stuff” your keywords in a repetitive manner all over a page. Google understands synonyms, so vary your language naturally.

Use your keywords for effective onsite optimisation
Use keywords in URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, image alt text, headers and paragraphs (especially the first paragraph).

Proactively work on link building
Take advantage of all free social media listings, even if you don’t plan to use that specific platform. Your business should links from the following at the very least: Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest.
Reach out to other blogs/sites for guest posting.
Have you received any media mentions? Make sure other sites link to yours wherever your brand is mentioned.
Create accurate, up-to-date info on business directing listings, and be sure to include a link to your website.

Get your Google My Business page up to date and ask for Google reviews
Verify your Google My Business page, if you haven’t already.
Make sure your Google My Business page contains accurate information. Your business name, address, phone number, main email, hours and website should be standard across the web.

Create, post, and promote unique, high-quality, original content
Write good quality content and keep publishing it on a fairly regular basis (at least once per month, but ideally more). Don’t bother just writing filler.
All else being equal, a higher word count is better for SEO, so write the most authoritative blog post you can on any topic you’re covering.

Use website analytics to measure your results
Make use of free tools like Google Search Console so you can easily tell where you stand and where you can improve.

Have a snappy and mobile responsive website that loads quickly
Think Mobile First, Not Just Mobile-Friendly – more than half of all daily Google searches are performed on mobile. That means you can’t afford to neglect the mobile version of your site – in fact, it ought to be a priority.