what is local seo?
Local SEO is a marketing strategy that micro businesses can use to achieve an advantage over bigger brands and larger sized competitors by ranking higher in search engines. The idea of Local SEO is that Google recognise the importance of its users search query intent by matching it with relevant local businesses.
Google identifies search query intent by the following micro-moments:
1. I want to know moments
People searching about information they want to know can be directed to a local business website or blog that answers the question. To do this you will need to be able to have an understanding of who your customers are and create content they will find useful.
- Potential customers are in exploring and research mode
- Not ready to purchase but ready to listen and open to offers
- Provide them with information and inspiration
2. I want to go moments
People searching for information that involves them going somewhere. This can be great for local hospitality and retail businesses. To rank higher than the big brands and national chains, you’ll have to use trust review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor for Google to recognise your local business as reputable and relevant.
- Potential customers are looking for a local business to buy or consider buying from
- Ready to purchase and will look for social proof to validate trust of supplier
- Make sure you have reviews that are positive and social channels are active
3. I want to do moments
People searching on how to do something. This can be a search query that asks for information on how to complete a specific task. This can be a great way to help potential customers by creating a step by step guide that shows exactly how to get around the problem they are having.
- Potential customers are unsure on something and want to learn more
- Weighing up a decision and likely to be influenced at this stage
- Provide bite sized blogs and videos for them to consume, quickly and effortlessly
4. I want to buy moments
People who have the intent to buy and are looking for a supplier of some sort. This type of search is where local businesses can gain advantages as search results can reflect the location of the user to the location of your business.
- Potential customers know what they want and are now actively looking to buy
- Social proof will once again come into play
- Make sure you reinforce why you’re the best option and use customer testimonials
NOTE: The above examples are one of many, depending in the business each of the micro moments will differ. To be able to take advantage of micro moments, it’s best to create a timeline of when these moments will happen and make sure you create content that answers the search query.
where to start with local seo?
Before being able to rise high in the rankings for local searches you’ll need to make sure you have the following:
1. On Page Optimised
Making sure Google knows where you business is located and that it can read your website's information is the first step in Local SEO success.
2. Local Business Listings
There are many niche business listings that you can register for, as well as general listing like Google My Business. Make sure that your business name, address and location is consistent across all local listings and Google will sure to reward you for this.
3. Brand Mentions
Many websites across the internet may mention your business without linking to it. If people mention your business online, Google will see this a trust factor. To improve Local SEO efforts try to reach out to local blogs, press and media publications.
4. Social Media
Most major social media websites will give you option to input details about your business location. Keep the information you use consistent across all channels and make sure to take advantage of this opportunity.
A very important signal that shows Google your website is trustworthy and right for users. Try to add reviews into your customer experience by encouraging people to leave a review on Facebook/TripAdvisor but at the same time make sure it’s easy for them to do it as well. The easiest way to get a review online is by offering great service, do this and the rest will follow!
what makes local seo so important?
Big brands and larger competitors have an unfair advantage compared to micro businesses because of their resource allocation and budget for marketing. Link building is a popular strategy used to rank high in the search engines and involve other people linking to your website. People link to your website because they want to endorse your content, for people to endorse your content it will have to be well crafted which takes time, effort and expense, something bigger brands have at their disposal.
For local micro businesses, Local SEO is a way of competing on a level playing field. If you optimise your website, create purposeful content and user your customers to help you, then Google will rank you favourably, no matter what your size.
where can I find out more about local seo?
To understand more about how Local SEO works and where it’s going, a good place to start is by looking at the Pigeon Update which Google implemented in 2014. This alongside new algorithm changes are shifting the way Google rank local businesses in their search results. Follow bmicro on Twitter as we are regularly updating our feed with updates on Local SEO and micro businesses marketing tactics and strategies.