What is local SEO and how can it help grow your local business?

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Date: 3 May 2022

A pin in a map

You should use local SEO, a search engine optimisation technique, to appear in local search results on Google. It doesn't matter what products or services you offer; your business can benefit from local SEO. In this article you are going to learn how to do local SEO and how Google My Business works.

Local SEO in a nutshell

Do you want to know how to do local SEO marketing properly? If the answer is yes, let's have a look at local SEO in a nutshell.

To figure out how to do local SEO marketing, we need to look at how Google My Business works. When you enter a keyphrase, for example "a pharmacy open now" in the search engine, the organic content may be shown after local results. Google My Business entries appear at the top of local search results when it detects local search intent. Besides ratings, users can also see the customer reviews, which have a great impact on their decision-making process.

Which businesses should use local SEO?

All businesses that have customers from a particular area who are looking to gain new customers searching for products or services in that area need to implement local SEO. It is technique that is particularly relevant to businesses that serve their local area such as estate agents, pharmacies, gardeners or restaurants owners.

It's really important that the information that is visible in local search results is complete – it should contain the business name, phone number, address, website, photos, videos, star ratings, or customer reviews. Customers who can see all this information are more likely to use your service or buy something from you if they can see what you actually offer.

Lack of a website doesn't mean you can't appear in the Map Pack – the information presented is collected from your Google Business Profile listing. It may be the compilation of information from the web or users' suggestions. 

How to choose the right local SEO agency?

There is a list of characteristics to look for when searching for a local SEO agency. However, the final decision about which local SEO company will meet your requirements may not be easy, with the large number of them on the market.

You can choose an agency with a focus on local SEO, or an agency with a broader focus, able to offer advice on other marketing channels too. If you choose a local SEO specialist, they will provide you with creative strategies in your local search campaigns. That means you're unlikely to get any help with other parts of your online marketing. If you have a limited budget, it might be better to invest in an agency that can offer help with other channels too, like social media, advertising, or email.

It's helpful if you choose a local SEO company with experience of your type of business so they have an in-depth understanding of your business upfront. To check if the SEO company is good at their job, make sure they rank well for a large number of keywords. They can't prove their skills if they're not present in local or organic search themselves.

Check reviews and ratings while looking for a local SEO agency. They can give you important information about their likely performance, strengths and weaknesses. Any local SEO agency should be able to provide you with references and work samples.

Local SEO – pros and cons

Now you know what local SEO is, which businesses it might benefit and how to choose a local SEO business, let's talk about Google My Business. Taking a look at the pros and cons can help you decide whether or not you should invest in local SEO services.

Pros

Creating local content and clearly demonstrating a local intent online can help you gather local interest. Local SEO also generates local traffic that could convert into profits – many people still prefer to support local businesses, rather to paying larger, corporate companies for the same products or services.

Cons

Adding local SEO services to your marketing efforts will swell your marketing budget. Another consideration is that it is not a one-off cost. Local SEO should be done monthly so that you remain visible to your customers. Another big consideration is that local SEO takes time, so don't expect instant results.

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