What is Local SEO and why is it important for your company?
PUBLISHED:January 29, 2021
UPDATED:November 22, 2023
In a post-Brexit world, UK companies can no longer rely on Europe or even the USA for growth. But there are plenty of opportunities within the UK if you can get noticed.
But how do you get your company or brand noticed in an increasingly competitive market? Enter: Local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Most people have at least heard of SEO and site owners are likely to already have some level of involvement in the optimisation of their site, but what is Search Engine Optimisation and specifically what is Local SEO?
SEO is the act of fine-tuning your website so that it appears as high in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) as possible.
There are several key areas to focus on when trying to increase your SEO, including – but not limited to – the following:
- Clean, well-structured code – This results in fast page-load times.
- Schema tags – Special mark-up that helps Google understand what pages are important and how to display their content in SERPs.
- Optimised images – Again, this is about fast page-loading (especially on mobile), but also take care to include alt tags for improved visibility in Google image search results.
- Content – Well-written text with the correct heading tags (H1, H2, etc) enables Google to confidently suggest your site to those who are searching for your products and services.
Local SEO takes the above list and focuses efforts on the local market. Using keywords to target potential customers in the areas nearest your business.
We helped Headmasters hair salon chain to target local customers with well-structured data on all of their salon pages.
Why focus your SEO on the local markets?
There are two very good reasons to focus your business growth in this way:
- In recent years there has been an increased interest in buying local. Supporting local businesses by shunning the bigger online brands and high street chains. It’s time to capitalise on this trend!
- Most sectors already have at least one very big player who is dominating national and international sales. Competing directly with these companies could be a very expensive endeavour.
For example, if you were looking to sell books online, you would have a very hard task competing against Amazon.
Another example may be a family-run bike shop that wants to take advantage of the increase in cycling activities during lockdown. They are unlikely to compete directly with Halfords and Islabikes, BUT they may be able to access the growing market of local families looking to buy new bikes for their children and like the idea of buying locally.
In this instance, our bike shop would need to broaden its SEO strategy.
Our top tips for better local SEO
- Blogging – Well-crafted blog content that targets your customer is a great way to get noticed. ‘What are the best bikes for children?’ would be a great article for our bike shop and should be shared via social media…
- Social Media – Good social signals from platforms such as Facebook and Instagram will improve the SEO of any site. The trick is to drive visitors to your site with great content.
- Quality backlinks – Getting listed with reputable online directories and specialist websites. This informs Google that other websites consider your site to be a reputable source of information.
- Google My Business – Getting listed on GMB (which includes maps) should be at the top of your list. Google loves businesses that use their tools regularly, so keep your listing updated with information about your products, services and other local news.
Having a solid SEO strategy in place for your business is now essential, but trying to take on the biggest players in your market may prove fruitless. Draining your team’s resources and the company finances.
Focussing on your local market with well-written content and a great social presence should gain you some much easier wins.
Once you have cornered your local market, you can invest in growth and target a wider area.
How we can help?
When building websites we focus on writing super-clean code that’s fast to load and loved by Google.
We wrap schema tags around the most important and relevant content to help your goods and services reach local consumers and those throughout the UK.
Combining this process with our clients’ well-written content and strong links to Google My Business results in great SERPs visibility for local markets.
What is Local SEO: Additional Reading
Many thanks for taking the time to read this article. If you already have a website and would like to try improving your SEO by yourself, read our article ‘How to get more website traffic by refreshing old content’.
You may also find it useful to read ‘How to get backlinks for my website’.
If you’re finding it hard to find the right SEO agency for you, then you might want to read How to choose an SEO agency.
Design & build of premium, feature-filled Wordpress site
for one of the largest salon chains in the UK.