The Ultimate Guide to Localised SEO

Jennifer Betts
2nd April 2024
5 minute read

In today’s competitive digital landscape, businesses have to be able to leverage every available tool to stand out and reach their target audience.

One of those very important tools is localised SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Essentially, Localised SEO is a powerful strategy that allows businesses to optimise their online presence for local searches, ensuring that they are visible to potential customers in their geographical area.

In this ultimate guide, we will explore the key principles and techniques of localised SEO to help businesses enhance their online visibility and attract local customers.

Understanding Local SEO

Local SEO is a specialised branch of SEO that focuses on optimising a business’s online presence to attract local customers.

The goal is to enhance visibility in local search results, making it easier for potential customers in the vicinity to find and engage with your business. If you’re asking ‘why not concentrate on general SEO – surely that’s better?’. Well, you’d be surprised.

Local SEO is crucial for brick-and-mortar stores, service-oriented businesses, and even online businesses that want to target specific geographical locations. For example, if you’re business offers garden landscaping in the North East region, it’s no good spending money on marketing to the South.

So, how do you concentrate on Localised SEO? You follow these steps below:

Google My Business Optimisation

Google My Business (GMB) is a cornerstone of localised SEO. It’s more than likely you already have this set up, however you may not be using it to it’s full potential.

Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to create and manage their online presence, particularly on Google Maps and local search results. To optimise your GMB listing, there are 4 simple steps:

  1. Claim and Verify: First, you need to claim your business on Google My Business and verify your ownership. This ensures that you have control over the information displayed about your business.
  2. Complete Your Profile: Next, fill out every section of your GMB profile, including business name, address, phone number, website, business hours, and categories. Provide accurate and up-to-date information to enhance credibility. Don’t just copy and paste this from your website – write something new and fresh!
  3. Add Photos: Remember, visual content attracts more attention. Add high-quality photos of your business, products, and services to make your profile more appealing.
  4. Gather Reviews: Last but certainly not least, encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your GMB profile. Reviews not only influence potential customers but also contribute to your local search ranking.

Local Keyword Research

Keyword research is fundamental to any SEO strategy, and localised SEO is no exception.

Identify relevant local keywords that potential customers might use to find businesses like yours. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner and other SEO tools to discover keywords specific to your location.

In terms of keywords, there’s three main points you should think about:

  1. Competitor Analysis: Start off with analysing the local SEO strategies of your competitors. After all – they’ve already put the hard work in! Identify keywords they are ranking for and explore opportunities to outrank them in local search results. Everyone likes a bit of friendly competition, right?!
  2. Location-Specific Keywords: You also want to start incorporating the name of your city, area, or region into your target keywords. For example, if you run a bakery in Jesmond, optimise for keywords like ‘Jesmond bakery’ or ‘bakery in the North East’.
  3. Long-Tail Keywords: Also, consider using long-tail keywords that reflect specific services or products you offer in your locality. This helps you attract highly targeted traffic. Using the example above, this would be targeting something like ‘where to buy the best sausage roll in Newcastle’

On-Page SEO Optimisation

Optimising your website’s on-page elements is crucial for local SEO success. Ensure that your website is not only visually appealing but also well-structured for search engines.

The basics of on-page SEO optimisation includes:

  1. Title Tags and Meta Descriptions: This is the first thing users are going to see when your website pops up on a search engine – so make it count! Include keywords that are location based in both your title tags and meta descriptions, but don’t make it spammy! Craft compelling and descriptive snippets that encourage users to click on your link.
  2. Header Tags: Use header tags (H1, H2, etc.) to organise your content and include location-specific keywords where relevant. No one wants to unneccessarily read an essay on a website if they don’t have to.
  3. Local Content: Create content that is relevant to your local audience. This could include blog posts, articles, or guides that address local interests, events, or issues. The more relevant, informative posts you have, the more of a chance you have popping up on those ever important search engines!
  4. NAP Citations: Ensure that your business Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online platforms, including your website, social media profiles, and local directories. Not only is this good for search engines – but it ensures there’ll be no confusion amongst your potential customers.

Local Link Building

Building high-quality, local backlinks is a key aspect of localised SEO. When other reputable local websites link to your site, it signals to search engines that your business is credible and relevant to the community.

There are a few ways to do this:

  1. Local Directories: Submit your business to local directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and TripAdvisor. Make sure that your NAP information is consistent across any and all platforms. Have a look into what further local directories are around you – you’d be surprised how many you can find!
  2. Partner with Local Businesses: Establish partnerships with other local businesses and explore opportunities for cross-promotion and link exchanges. These collaborations can strengthen your local online presence, and bring you customers you might not have thought were interested.
  3. Sponsor Local Events: Sponsorship of local events or charities not only benefits the community but also provides opportunities for gaining backlinks from event websites and news outlets. It’s fun to be kind!

Mobile Optimisation

With the increasing use of smartphones, mobile optimisation is crucial for both user experience and SEO. Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites in its search rankings, making it essential for businesses to ensure that their websites are responsive and accessible on various devices.

In terms of ensuring your website is as mobile friendly as it can be, there are three main steps:

  1. Responsive Design: Arguably the most important, you need to adopt a responsive web design that adjusts to different screen sizes, providing a seamless experience for users on smartphones and tablets.
  2. Page Speed: Optimise your website’s loading speed for mobile users. Slow-loading pages can lead to higher bounce rates and negatively impact your search rankings – and no one wants to wait for an age whilst a website loads!
  3. Local Schema Markup: Implement local schema markup to provide search engines with additional information about your business, such as address, phone number, business hours, and reviews.

In Conclusion

Localised SEO is a dynamic and evolving strategy that requires ongoing efforts and adaptation to stay ahead in the competitive digital landscape. By optimising your online presence for local searches, you can connect with your target audience more effectively and drive foot traffic to your physical location or enhance online sales in specific geographic areas.

Keep abreast of industry trends, monitor your performance regularly, and refine your localised SEO strategy to ensure long-term success in attracting and retaining local customers!

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