22 February 2022
Our Local Search Experts Break Down Local SEO
Local SEO can be a huge benefit to businesses of all shapes and sizes, and while people these days are aware of SEO in a general sense, local SEO is still something of an emerging topic for most business owners. Today however, the local search experts at Seek Social want to change that by providing a practical introduction to the discipline. We’ll cover what local SEO is (and what it isn’t), how to tell if you’re looking at a local results page or if your local SEO efforts are succeeding, and more besides. Are you ready? Then let’s get started!
What is local SEO?
As people have realised the opportunities presented by doing business online – which themselves have been particularly highlighted by the Coronavirus pandemic – so too they have realised the power and importance of Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO.
However, as the true SEO professionals that they are, our local search experts know that there are several different types of SEO. The Seek Social team list five different ‘flavours’ of SEO on our service pages, and we know that when people talk about SEO in general terms, what they’re actually talking about is ‘global SEO‘ – optimisation work was undertaken to improve a page’s ranking on ‘regular’ Google, which has a worldwide scope.
In addition to these global pages, Google also maintains ‘local’ rankings and results pages which it will show to you when your search term includes a place name or phrases like ‘near me’ (in which case Google determines where you are – and what is ‘near you’ – using your IP address). Local SEO is therefore work undertaken to improve your pages’ or site’s ranking on these local service pages, and as our local search experts can tell you – global SEO work can not be counted on to improve your local rankings, you need to have a dedicated local SEO strategy if you want to target improvement with this specific flavour of SEO.
How can I tell when I’m looking at a local SEO results page?
In addition to a regular set of ‘organic’ rankings (don’t forget that these will be located under some paid links too – but these paid links will be clearly marked), local search experts know that there are a few little things that will ‘give away’ a Google SERP as being a ‘local’ results page. Chief among these is what’s known as a ‘Google Local 3-Pack’. We’ll explain what one of these is shortly, but suffice it to say that if you see one of these, you’re looking at a local page of some sort.
You could also see the absence of results as a sign that you’re looking at a local results page. What do we mean by this? Well, quite simply if you’re looking at a page and you notice that all of the results are based around a certain area, you may well be looking at a local results page. Finally – and we freely admit that you likely don’t need the help of our local search experts to realise this, but if you’ve included a place name of some sort in your search term, it’s highly likely (if not certain) that you’ll be served with a local SERP in response to that.
What are the key parts of a local SEO page? Where should I aim to be seen?
Local 3-pack & map
In the opinion of our local search experts, when it comes to local SEO this is the best place to be found. A Google local 3-Pack usually consists of a map, with three (or more) popular local businesses marked on said map and listed under it, as a kind of ‘quick access’ section. Local 3-packs appear under the paid advertising links but above the ‘regular’ organic results (one of the reasons why this is a great place to be) – and crucially, they are part of the organic results rather than the paid ones – meaning that the sites you see here are here on merit, not because they’ve paid to occupy that prime real estate.
The top end of the organic search rankings
A local results page is still a results page like any other – and just as with ‘standard’ or ‘global’ SEO, our local search experts know that one of your goals should be to appear at the top of the organic search rankings for the keywords that matter to you.
How can I achieve those results?
Identify the places you want to target
Again, in this case it probably doesn’t take a team of local search experts to realise that one of the first things that needs doing when you want to work on your local SEO, is to decide on the places that you want to target. You might just make a list of nearby towns, cities and so on, or you might even turn to your analytics tools and use the data relating to where your traffic is coming from to inform the locations that you choose to go after.
Identify relevant keywords that target those areas
In previous SEO blogs we’ve mentioned a step in our process called ‘keyword research’, and as local search experts we know that once you have your list of target locations, keyword research is the next task on your to-do list. The key difference between keyword research for global SEO and keyword research for local SEO is that local SEO keywords need to include a place name of some sort alongside the ‘thing’ or topic that your page is about. Including this place name is crucial, as it will tell Google which of it’s local results pages you should be included in. Without a place name, Google can’t make that decision, and so you won’t get any local SEO benefits.
Write well-optimised content around those keywords
So, you’ve identified the places that you want to target, and you’ve picked out some keywords that include those places and which are relevant to your content or business. What next? Well, now you need to write – but you can’t just write whatever we want. In order to rank well and get into the top end of the organic results, or even the local 3-pack, you need to create something that Google is going to love… and as Seek Social’s local search experts know only too well, that means content that is well-optimised for your local SEO keywords.
How can Seek Social help with this?
It’s true that each of three tasks described above can be taken on by yourself or by a member of your team. However, as with most things there is a right way and a wrong way to do each of them, and a number of different considerations, intricacies, and variables that need to be taken into account as you’re working on them.
Sadly, if you do any of the local SEO activities outlined above incorrectly, then you likely won’t see any benefits as a result of your efforts – and that means that you might want to consider handling off the work to a team of SEO professionals, such as the local search experts at Seek Social. These experts not only possess a raft of know-how and experience, but they also have access to an abundance of analytics data that they use to inform their decisions. As a result, support from our local search experts can help ensure that those all-important local SEO tasks are taken care of correctly, and that your local SEO pages are as effective as they can be!
Ready to get started?
You can get the local SEO ball rolling today – all you have to do is click here or call 0161 761 1800 to speak to our team, and book yourself in for an initial meeting with our local search experts. Alternatively, you can also do so via email to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ – and don’t forget to like and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for even more quality SEO and digital marketing tips!