How Can Local SEO Services Help Your Local Business
You’d have to have been living on a different planet for the last 5 years to not be familiar with what SEO is. With over half of the global population now being online, it's long been known that you need to have a very clear voice to be heard by your potential customers.
But depending on how you want to show up in that huge online crowd, there is quite a difference between standard SE0 and local SEO practices. We can help you with both of course, but where we particularly excel is local search engine optimisation to ensure you can be found when people are looking for you locally.
A perfect example of this would be when you want to find a plumber in an emergency...
Searching Google for how to turn off the water at the mains will no doubt be a good shout, but that's not going to fix the actual problem you're looking to eliminate pretty sharpish.
If you are looking for a local plumber, you don't want to be searching in a global arena for one that just happens to be near to you. But that is exactly what you are doing.
More importantly, if you are that superhero plumber, poised and ready to shoot off to the rescue, (is it a bit wrong that this conjures up images of Super Mario here??), you will want to know that local people can find you when they're in the throes of that very emergency.
Some people may well have business directories by their phones like we all used to before the arrival of the internet, but here are a few figures to show you just how much times have changed...
According to Hubspot, 97% of people search online to find a local business
Out of all of the searches made on Google, 46% of them are seeking local information.
Out of the local business searches conducted on a mobile device, 88% of the consumers either called or visited the business within 24 hours.
We don’t really need to say much more do we!
If you have a local business, you really cannot afford to overlook the importance of how you show up on the local search engines. It doesn’t even matter whether you have an online business or a bricks and mortar shop front - all business owners should be seeing themselves as at least partially online nowadays.
So That Brings Us On To The How local SEO Works
It’s no secret that Google regularly changes its rules, so you really do need to know the lay of the land if you want to show up in a Google search.
Here at Liverpool SEO we’ll take a higher level look at what you currently have in place. We’ll get to know who you are, what you do, how you do it and use all of this to identify exactly who your target audience is. Once we know all of this pretty intimately, we’ll know exactly how to craft your SEO strategy to position you ahead of the competition.
In terms of local search rankings though, the most effective tool you have by far is your Google My Business Page. This way, every time a local business search is done for your product or service by a potential customer, you’ll show up as one of the top local choices in the business listings.
This is perfect for you, as you appear exactly at the time someone is actually looking for what you do. We’ve covered this in a bit more detail here on our Google Maps page.
Being a little bit canny and using the latest SEO tactics with your GMB listing and some keyword research will reap you far more rewards than 6 months of social media blog posts or any intense (and probably expensive!) advertising campaign.
Whilst keeping up with Google’s latest algorithms can be a mammoth mission, you can’t deny it’s an incredibly effective tool in your marketing arsenal. The fact that Google works out the intent of all of its searches, means that it knows exactly when to display your details, pride of place on Google maps with your business information.
So essentially, any time a search is done for ‘plumbers near me’ or similar wording, on a mobile device in your area, you’ll appear as if by magic in Googles 3-pack.
Just in case you haven’t noticed before, all locally based searches will have 3 businesses featured at the top of the search engine results page. The websites listed in the results below this will have got there because their ranking factors ticked Google’s boxes across the board, not just in terms of their local search ranking.
But this takes a LOT of ongoing effort to get here. This is SEO at it’s best, with ever-tweaked content and keyword trialling, it’s hardcore SEO strategy. This is where the entire global population online compete for that top spot.
Marketing Locally Is Far More Friendly
Local search is far more friendly. Google wants people to keep using it, so it goes out of it’s way to give them exactly what they want, exactly when they want it.
Which makes our job far easier on the basis that it isn’t guesswork. Clarity is key here, so letting Google know exactly what you do so that it can choose who’s the best fit for its searches is as good as walking your perfect customer through your door right now.
You may have heard of this as Google Local, but it’s now known as Google My Business and it’s definitely worth making sure your business profile in this listing is always current and correct. Not just because this keeps Google happier and increases the chances of you making the 3 pack, but also because all of this information is then available to your potential customers
Not only does your GMB listing display your business name, address and phone number, but you can detail exactly what your products and services are too.
You can include information such as your opening times, a business description and even photos as people tend to prefer images these days.
Your profile can also include features such as Google Reviews, GMB attributes and GMB Q&As which are usually completed by your customers to share their experience of your services or products.
Not staying on top of negative reviews or removing irrelevant or unsightly pictures would be hugely damaging to your reputation.
If we are managing your local SEO strategy, we’ll regularly be checking your Google analytics to work out what’s working well and what your customers are enjoying and doing more of that. We’ll also closely monitor your overall profile to always ensure it’s perfectly populated and nothing derogatory is ever present on there.
Your profile needs to be attractive to your prospective customers at all times - screaming ‘trustworthy and appealing’ to them - they’re supposed to want to know more based on what they can see. Google also wants to know it can trust you too, so the more information you provide the better.
This is partly because you increase the odds of being listed if you have more information for Google to choose from. For instance only having your street name listed would mean Google could only use this for searches including your street name. These are called citations and Google wants to be citing businesses fulfilling the search criteria at any given opportunity. And if your information is less complete than your competitors, can you guess whos’ getting cited??
Local Small Businesses
In the case of small businesses where every single sale counts, this is such a valuable opportunity. And whilst it’s a free service, it needs to be done correctly. Just a rogue character or two has been known to make a difference so this is where we come in.
It’s our job to always know how Google wants your GMB listing populating. We can claim your listing for you and verify it, before completing every piece of information Google wants. This is more important than ever as 68% of consumers said they would stop using a business if they later established that their listing information was incorrect.
Even more worryingly, if you get it very wrong, Google can temporarily or permanently suspend your account after giving you a penalty for abusing its services and criteria.
By making sure your website contains all of your local information too, we’ll make sure that the combo of the 3 pack as well as locally optimising your website increases both traffic to your website and footfall through your doors.
If you’d like to learn how to complete your own GMB listing in detail, (and have a LOT of patience!) check out our step by step guide here.
However if you’d like to hand over this time consuming task to your local SEO experts for a multi pronged SEO strategy, simply get in touch here and we’ll happily get cracking on your local visibility.