Google My Business

What is Local SEO or Google My Business Optimsation?

Local SEO is all about location, location, location. It’s a way to get your products and services in front of your target audience in a specific geographic area. It entails all the nuts and bolts of usual SEO – content, on-page optimisation, keyword research, link building – just with a local focus.

Signals in local intent

Search engines look for signals in local content, links, social profile pages and profile listings to provide the most relevant local results to the searcher.

For example, Local SEO typically focuses on city or town names because people add a city or town name to their search request, e.g. “salons in Sydney”. With a good Local SEO strategy, Google starts associating your business with a certain area, bumping you up the rankings and boosting your profile in the community.

Google My Business

Local searches are often highly relevant. Either they focus on a town or city, or things like product availability, opening hours and directions.
That’s why Local SEO puts a big focus on directory listings, Google My Business profiles and social media profiles. Your Google My Business location is the number one factor impacting your local search results. No question about it, it must be part of your Local SEO strategy.

Local search citations

Another factor that’s important for Local SEO is citations. This is your name, address and phone number (known as NAP) on other online listings.

There are lots of places where you might want to claim or add your citations, depending on your business. For example, there might be niche directories for tradespeople, salons or childcare centres. Keeping this information up to date and also consistent across citations is beneficial both for rankings and helping your customers find you!

Customer reviews

Reviews are also essential for Local SEO. Just make sure they’re good reviews! Send people who have a good experience with your brand to your Google My Business listing. Encourage and incentivise reviews where you can. Good reviews will always help you generate leads and conversions.

This is true for companies local and global. Though in particular for Local SEO, reviews will define your success when it comes to ranking with Google.

Why is Local SEO Important?

In 2021, 46% of all searches will feature a local intent. It’s simple, people use Google (and other searches engines) to find businesses in their area. Businesses that don’t have an SEO strategy in place are missing out on the opportunity to capture valuable leads in their area. If you want to drive local consumers to your business, you need to have a localised search marketing plan in place.

At Hunter V Digital, we are an SEO company helping small to medium business to grow with laser-targeted local strategies. We offer complete SEO services for companies of all sizes, but we love to do local SEO for one really good reason – they deliver a ridiculous ROI for our clients. We have tried and tested methods for turning humble small businesses into successful small businesses that dominate their area.

If your business does not have a local SEO strategy in place, you could be missing out on valuable, free traffic from Google.

Who Needs Local SEO?

Local SEO services are suitable for any business that services or sells products at a specific (one or more) location.

Brick and mortar businesses like restaurants, bars, bakeries, shops etc. should all be using localised strategies to promote their businesses. Furthermore, service-area businesses like roofers, electricians, and plumbers should also be using localised services to promote their businesses to local customers.

Here is the best way to think about Google local search engine optimization marketing. Any businesses that has a physical location or is able to service a physical location (or a number of different locations) can benefit from search engine optimisation services. For instance, if you are a service provider or a businesses that services or sells products to customers in a geographical location – location oriented SEO can benefit your business.

Let’s say you are looking for rubbish removal services. The search string that most users are going to type is something along the lines of:

“Rubbish Removal + Their Location”

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Now, the reason that users are likely to include their location in that search string is because they want that junk removed and they want it removed today. Including a local element to the search means they are more likely to see results that are in their desired area.

Now, let’s say you leave the location out of your search, how can Google deliver relevant results? Great question!

Google has analysed billions and billions of search results and user experience metrics. In order to deliver the best experience for users, Google understands that certain businesses require results in their immediate area. Google’s search engine ranking algorithm uses device proximity to show results that re local to the user. That means that even when a user does not include city or “near me” in their search, they will still see relevant, locally optimised results.

That means, if you search for “Rubbish Removal” and you are in the Sydney suburb or Surry Hills, your search results will look completely different to a user that is located in Bondi or Parramatta.

The truth is local search engine results have been around for years.

However, it is only in recent years that Google has been able to fully utilise them. Users are increasingly using mobile devices to conduct searches, which means that google can use device location to deliver precise results. Over the last five years, search results have evolved dramatically. As more users conduct searches from mobile devices, the importance of effective local SEO strategies will only continue to increase