What Is Local SEO? Why Do You Need It In 2022?

Nivo Digital

14 March 2022

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Local search engine optimisation (SEO) is a strategy used by marketers to get their business more visible on local Google search results. In this blog, we explain the importance of local SEO and how it can affect you. 

What is local SEO?

Businesses that have a physical location, such as a shop or office, or serve a physical area should work on their local SEO. Local SEO can help grow your business as it directs those looking for businesses in the immediate or specified area to your site and services. 

Google’s local search algorithm contains a proximity component, which means that when you search for a local phrase, Google considers your location (a query with local intent) – even if the searcher does not mention a city name or “near me” in their query. 

With this in mind, it makes sense to ensure that your business is fully optimised to appear and rank in local SERPs. 

How does Google rank local search results?

Localised content is an important part of Google’s algorithm. If you want to get seen by those who are most likely to visit you, use your services, or purchase your products, you need to work to be easily found by them.

Google uses a different set of ranking factors for local SEO. These include the presence of a Google My Business profile (and the keywords used in that profile), online reviews, number and quality of citations, backlink profile, and even the technical SEO of your website.

Google My Business is a vital part of any local SEO strategy. When updating or creating your Google My Business profile, you must ensure that it is both consistent with your business and brand, and consistent in terms of matching its content with other information about your company elsewhere on the web. This may involve checking all of your business’s citations and ensuring all the information matches (in terms of NAP). If it does, you are more likely to rank in SERPs. 

Ensure that you fill in every data point there is on Google My Business to have a complete profile. Google will favour your profile if it is up-to-date and complete. From adding multiple categories to selecting the services you provide or products you sell, it is important to make the most of all the opportunities to add additional information about your business. 

Reviews are becoming increasingly influential in both how your business ranks in SERPs and how likely potential customers are to visit your website or shop. Lots of positive reviews are key to building your business as well as being noticed by Google. Replying to any reviews that come in is also great business practice. Google My Business makes it especially easy by providing each business with a personalised link to send to their customers to encourage them to leave a review.

Why is local SEO important for your business?

Local SEO is important for businesses as it ultimately leads to more local custom. When it comes to shops and services, the majority of in-person customers are local. With increased online visibility, the most relevant customers will be made aware of your business, potentially visit and make a sale. 

46% of searches on Google have ‘local intent’, meaning that you are missing out on a huge bunch of potential customers if you do not focus on your local SEO strategy. Google says that local results are primarily based on relevance, distance and prominence to the user. 

This means that if you are hoping to target people from a specific location, your website must be relevant to it. For example, if you are servicing the area of Bristol, UK, you are more likely to appear in local searches if you have optimised web pages and created new content that targets keywords (both short-tail and long-tail) that include the term Bristol. 

How to improve your local SEO

Having a strong location-based presence online is important in improving your business’s local SEO. As mentioned above, ensuring that you have a business listing in Google My Business, local reviews, and citations in multiple places, will make all the difference in how you rank in local SERPs. 

Focussing on your business’s on-site SEO is also key. Optimise copy with a focus on location-based keywords and consider creating new landing pages that target the most important ones. As well as this, working on adding to and improving your citations that appear online is great local SEO practice. You could even consider local link building and local PR to further your chances of being a successful local business both online and offline. 

If you are looking to improve your business’s local SEO, we can help