Are customers finding you first?
When local clientele search for your service, do they see you first?
If not, you could be missing out on a lot of business.
That's where we come in. Ranking your business in Google and Bing is not a gamble, it is a data-driven process that can be replicated for anyone, and we do it every day.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is an extension of organic website SEO that focuses on ranking both GBP business profiles and websites in local search results.
It helps increase the exposure of a local business within their chosen clientele.
When local customers search for a service that you provide in search engines like Google or Bing, it increases the chance of your business being found.
Your Google Business Profile (GBP)
To appear in Google's search results as a local business, you must register with Google's free local business directory, GB Profile (GBP). Once registered, your listing can begin the optimisation process to increase its visibility.
The Local Pack.
The Google 'local pack' (also referred to as the 'local search results', 'map pack', 'local 3-pack' and 'local snack pack') will appear on the search results page along with local website organic results.
This is triggered when a user conducts a Google search with a local intent. For example, if someone in Chepstow searches "plumber in Chepstow", "plumbing" or "local plumbing company" a small number of local businesses are going to be displayed in the search results.
Though the list of local businesses can extend to 100's, only the top 3 are initially displayed and these take the lions-share of the clicks.
Our local SEO service.
The local SEO service we provide is a proven process to help businesses increase their visibility in the local search results.
In fact there are over 250 elements that can be optimised to make your business stand out. Many of which your competitors will be unaware of.
If you want to have a chat about how we can help (and receive some free advice) then get in touch. If you'd like to know a little more about some of these elements, then please read on.
Basic GBP setup.
GBP fundamentals are frequently overlooked. In fact, there's nothing basic about setting up your profile with over 30 elements that need to be fine-tuned to reflect your business accurately. Here are some of the key focus points:
- Business name - Sounds simple enough... however you must stick to the guidelines or risk suspension. We see this very often!
- Category selection - Choose the wrong categories and risk not being seen. Comparing your competitors categories can be very insightful.
- Business specifics - From business opening hours, additional/holiday opening times to phone, email and social contact details.
- Optimised Description - Is your GBP description telling the visitor enough about you? Is it also telling Google enough about you?
- Products and services - A great opportunity to tell people what services you offer. Such a powerful factor we have an entire process dedicated to it.
- Imagery and media - Engaging imagery can have a huge impact on conversion rates. If you're using stock imagery or no imagery, it's time to get the camera out.
- Booking options - Can your visitor get in touch with you quickly and easily? There are several options available to both you and them.
Once the basics are complete, it is time delve into further detail about your business, the services you provide and perform a number of audits to ensure Google fully associates you with local search intent:
- Service area - This needs to be tweaked accordingly. Too small and you will miss out on customers, too large and you may get lost in the crowd.
- Review audit - We look through any existing reviews you may have and formulate a plan for both responding and requesting deletion if necessary.
- Map optimisation - Your map listing needs an accurate pin-point and service area. A complete profile should reflect well on a local map.
- Website links - There are a number of links that need to be in place from your GBP to your website to tie them both together, which will in turn help your website to rank in the organic results.
- Category synchronisation - Let Google know exactly the services you provide by synchronising your service categories in both your GBP and website.
- Justifications - Linked to both reviews and posts, Justifications are a sure-fire way to show Google that you provide what local customers are searching for.
Citations are quite simply listings of your business details on external websites. They typically consist of your business name, address and phone number (NAP).
They can be both structured (Trip Advisor, Yelp etc.) and unstructured (social media etc.) and can have a direct impact on SEO.
- Citation audit - Performing an initial citation audit will give us a clear plan to begin the process of listing your business on appropriate directories.
- NAP consistency - Establishing consistency across all directory listings is important to your overall citation strategy.
- Local, niche and industry directories - We can reverse engineer your competitors then go one step further for you, linking your business in local, niche-specific and industry-specific directories.
- Global directories - There are a few key directories that must be utilised as part of this strategy such as Yelp, Bing, Apple and Facebook to name just a few.
- Data Aggregators - Signing up to data aggregators will supply your information to major search engines which can be hugely beneficial in getting your business found online.
Local website SEO.
It is often thought that local GBP rankings and organic website rankings have no correlation, this is false. A well optimised website combined with a properly setup GBP is a combination that will help both rank and put your business in front of more people.
There are well over 100 elements that make for a well-optimised local website, here are just a few:
- On-page - Too many to list... but all on-page elements such as heading structure, titles, meta-descriptions, internal links, alt tags, and image optimisation all need to be perfect.
- Location pages - Individual location-specific pages may be needed if targeting multiple areas with big enough populations. These will need to be formatted perfectly to perform.
- Mobile Friendliness - With most local business searches performed on mobile, your website needs to render perfectly across all handsets. It should be clear and easy for customers to get in touch.
- Site speed - Website speed is crucial. Google rewards fast websites and customers leave slow websites. Let us worry about LCP, FID, CLS, INP and TTFB!
- Technical SEO - From SEO-friendly URLs, canonicals, SSL certificates, redirects, robots.txt, sitemaps and status code errors your website needs to be flawless.
- User Experience - There's no point having a perfect working website that doesn't convert. Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO) will put more people in touch.
- Backlinks - From local directories and business websites to high domain authority sites backlinks will help your website to rank.
The work doesn't stop when your GBP and website are fully optimised for local search intent. There's an ongoing process to keep them fresh and relevant.
This is where many businesses fall short, and where a well-structured plan for future updates can put you ahead.
- Review Generation - It's important to keep a steady supply of reviews coming in from happy customers. There are several ways to help promote this.
- Directions - Posting directions from different locations is a good indication to Google of the area you serve.
- Post schedule - Treating your GPB like a social media profile is highly beneficial. Adding new posts regularly can widen your audience, enhance your listing and keeps your listing fresh.
- Blogging - Keeping your website updated with fresh, relevant content wil not only help your visitors by proving additional information but remind Google that your business is active.
- Frequently asked questions - Answer as many common questions as possible to give your customers (and Google) the complete picture.
- Reporting profiles - It is a perfectly legitimate process to report GBPs that are using shady tactics to rank. We often see people 'gaming the system' but they never last long.
Free SEO advice!
We love SEO... but it can be complicated.
If you're not sure where to start, get in touch and we'll give you some free advice for your GBP, local business or national website to help you along the way. No strings attached!