In the last edition of Marketing Mondays, we looked quite broadly at Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and what it is. We’ve already established that SEO can help you to appear in searches for your services, in turn generating more visits to your website and ultimately more business.
SEO can seem quite daunting, particularly when you consider who you may be competing against. As a local business, going up against large national chains can seem like an impossible endeavour, particularly when you consider the advertising budgets these companies have. So if you’re a local kitchen company and you want to compete with the likes of Homebase, Wickes, B&Q and Howdens, what can you do? After all, you’re very unlikely to appear above these companies for a search query like “fitted kitchens”. But perhaps there’s a way to reduce competition and give your business an edge.
Creating Your Own Advantage
Large national companies have bigger budgets, well-known brands and dedicated marketing departments, but what do you have? Your location could be the answer. You may be unable to compete on a national level, but perhaps you can compete on a local level. This is where local SEO comes into play. By targetting smaller geographical areas you can cut down on your competition and give yourself a competitive edge for local searches, such as “fitted kitchens Leicester”.
At first, it may seem a little counter-intuitive to target smaller areas as naturally, the number of people searching will be lower. But wouldn’t you rather have a slice of a smaller pie, rather than none of a large pie?
How Does Local SEO Work?
In principle, Local SEO works in much the same way as national SEO. The goal of your website and online presence is to ensure your business is seen as the best result that Google can show to a searcher. After all, Google is happy when searchers are happy. Beyond the given of having an informative, user-friendly website, what can you do to ensure that you’re the best local result?
Make it obvious where you provide your service – The best way to get users to understand where you offer your services is to tell them. Mentioning the areas on your website (without going wild with the amount!) is the most straight forward way of getting both visitors and Google to understand where you offer your services.
Ensure it’s clear where you’re based – Beyond mentioning your areas, another key way to show where you serve is to include your address on your website. Google and users look at your address to validate that you are based near them and that you’re a good company to contact. Unfortunately though, just having your address on your website isn’t enough. Google needs to be able to verify your address against other sources like directories (e.g. Yell and Yelp), social media and Google My Business.
That’s the very simple explanation of how local SEO is performed. Keep your eyes peeled next week for our next Marketing Mondays on local SEO tips.
How Can Local SEO Benefit Your Business?
In this article, we’ve already touched on the fact that Local SEO can limit your potential reach, but does local SEO have any advantages beyond allowing your business to compete? Simply, yes!
Google My Business & “Map Packs” – Map packs is an industry term for the local map results you see in some Google search results. These search features are normally only shown for results that are influenced by local SEO and generally don’t feature in national results unless Google automatically localises the results. The information that populates these results is pulled from Google My Business pages, which is a free tool that Google offers.
“Near Me” Searches – Not everyone wants to deal with a large national chain and instead value the expertise and perceived customer service received from smaller local businesses. There is, therefore, a section of people that will only deal with businesses like yours. In these cases, people are increasingly searching either for their local area or including “near me” in the search query. This relies on Google picking up the searcher’s location and bringing back geographically relevant businesses and gives you an edge over national chains if you’re located closer.
Find Out More About Local SEO
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of local SEO and the reasons for investing time and resource in it. If you want to find out more about local SEO and how it can benefit your business, we will be releasing additional Marketing Monday posts providing useful tips and hints. Make sure you sign up to receive our newsletters so that you don’t miss out on any future updates.