Local SEO – A Guide To The Planning and Process

When it comes to businesses with both a website and a brick & mortar location, it can be really important for you to command and dominate the local area around your business. After all, if you are physically in a location, your website should also be the one that people around that area find first.

To achieve this, you need to focus on a Local SEO Strategy, carefully planning it out and putting it in place through a defined process. In order to help you, we are going to cover the basic aspects of planning a Local SEO strategy and how to get started with it.

Planning A Local Business SEO Strategy

The first stage you need to carry out when putting together a Local SEO strategy is to carefully and strategically plan out how you intend to tackle it. This includes but is not limited to the following;

  • Who are your physical location competitors in the Local Area?
  • What is your current reputation in the Local Area?
  • Who is the biggest Local competitor online?

There are a whole host of questions that you need to ask yourself before you start to look at how to grow online within a Local SEO framework.

From there, the next step is to get the basics in place. There are a few specific things you will need to be able to set up and have control over in order to grow with Local SEO. The first of these is your Google My Business listing.

In short, you really should have a verified Google My Business page before you get started with a Local SEO strategy. This will help to ensure that all other optimisation work gains an added boost from that page, helping you to grow in terms of performance.

The second is to decide upon a set style for your NAP details (or Name, Address, Post Code). Ensuring that every mention of your NAP details around the internet are the same will help to build consistency and trust between Google and your business. You should make a note of every place on the internet that holds a record of the NAP details, so that you can keep track of them and ensure that they are all uniform.

Once you have a Google My Business page and a list of all places that hold your NAP detail, you can then get started with the initial stages of a Local SEO Strategy!

 

46
%

of Google Searches Look for Local Info

88
%

of Local Searches Lead to Visits in 24 Hrs

78
%

of Local Searches lead to Offline Purchases

Local SEO Keyword Research

When it comes to an actual Local SEO strategy, the very first thing that you need to do is determine you preferred target keywords. These will define the rest of your Local SEO strategy, so getting them right is of the utmost importance. Keyword Research may be a time-consuming task, but without you, you’ll be shooting in the dark.

There is one main type of keyword when it comes to Local SEO; Keywords targeted with Local Modifiers.

The latter of these two are the most commonly known, where the location or a location-focused modifier is added as a prefix or suffix to a keyword. For example;

  • Peterborough Local SEO agency
  • Local SEO services near me

However, this isn’t a comprehensive example. People search for variations of these as well as using other modifiers. So, you need to start brainstorming the type of keywords that you think people will be searching for.

From there, you need to get the data on how many people actually search for those Local SEO keywords. This is called Keyword Research.

Armed with your initial keyword ideas, you can gain data on the average number of searches but also a whole host of related search terms that people really do search for. This will potentially create a huge list of keywords that you can use for the next stage of the process.

Local SEO Landing Page Optimisation

If you want to really start ranking with Local SEO, you’ll need to make sure that your content reflects that. For each service you plan to rank for, you will have to have a landing page that you can optimise.

However, please note that we are not recommending that you use the very outdated technique of multiple pages about the same service targeting different locations. That is really not what you should be doing. Instead, you need to take your existing landing page and optimised that one to target your key locations.

We would also recommend that you start to build out local references throughout your website. By doing this, you can increase the relevance of your website and business for that specific area. There are many ways to do this, but you need to make sure you don’t overdo it. Also, if you are going to be targeting multiple locations, you will have to strategically plan out how you are going to optimise the website as a whole to target each of them.

External Local SEO Factors

When it comes to growing your Local SEO, on-page aspects of the optimisation is just one piece of the puzzle. Whilst standard SEO needs external factors like Backlinks, Local SEO is actually more heavily reliant on external factors to gain success.

Specifically, there are two external things that you need to get sorted as soon as you can; your Google My Business page and Google Reviews.

Google My Business

We already touched on the fact that you need to create a Google My Business page. However, just creating it is not going to do that much for you; you need to optimise it. This includes the way you word the descriptions and which categories you list it in.

Your Google My Business page needs to be carefully and strategically thought out to ensure that it will gain the most prominence.

Google Reviews

Now, this bit is actually rather important to understand. There are a number of review websites out there, but when it comes to Local SEO, they really do not add much weight to your site. If you want to rank better, you need to pander to Google; specifically, you need to use Google Reviews.

These are the reviews that appear on your Google My Business listing and, honestly, can be more difficult to get. That’s because the reviewer needs to have and log into a Google account before they can leave a review.

However, because these reviews are published through Google’s own system, they hold a lot more value in Google’s eyes.

Local SEO Services and Optimisation

Local SEO can really help to boost your website and in-store performance by making sure that you can dominate the local area. You’ll be able to find new customers and clients within your area who may not have known about you beforehand.

As such, it can be a very powerful tool for your business growth.

That said, Local SEO requires a lot of strategic thought and planning, as well as careful implementation. If you feel like you may need some assistance with it, feel free to get in touch with us to see how our Local SEO services can help your business grow!

Written by Gareth Torrance

Hello there. I'm Gareth, the Search Engine Marketing Lead at Brave. With almost a decade of experience in PPC and SEO, I've seen everything from Pandas and Penguins to the horrible time that was Mobilegeddon. As a Google Ads Certified Google Specialist, I have lived through almost every major shift in the industry! And that makes me feel old.

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