Hi! I want to chat about local SEO because it is pretty awesome and great for physical businesses; SEO is not only for web-based businesses, who would’ve thunk it!
Local SEO in a Nutshell
Google can figure out your location so when you search for “barber shop” Google will show you which barber shops are closest to you. I’m in Durban so when I did a search the results showed me three barbershops near me, it’s like magic!
The results above are known as the local 3-pack. Getting into the 3-pack for your business’s location is like finding a golden egg!
Why is local search important?
- Studies have shown that the local 3-pack has a high click-through-rate (CTR) – that’s the percentage of peeps clicking on the local 3-pack results to either go to your website or find directions to your location – and the high CTR is expected to continue growing
- there are now more searches on mobile than desktop and Google has made mobile its priority index + more local searches happen on mobile phones… get the picture?
- local search is targeted to the searchers IP address, this means that if your business is optimised for local search then the right people will be finding you, this is full on yay-ness!
Sweet! How do I get my business into that 3-pack thingy?
Ranking in the 3-pack for your business location is a tough cookie to crack and I would recommend getting a professional SEO to help you out on this one. If you want to give it a shot yourself, here’s a strategy that if done correctly should give you the best chance possible.
Google My Business
Setting up your Google My Business (GMB) account is the first and probably the most important step. Google has provided GMB so that business owners can give Google all the information it needs about a business including location + operating hours etc. It’s important to ensure that the business name, address and phone number (NAP) is correct on the busines’s website, GMB and any social profiles and directory/local listing (Yellow Pages etc.)
As mentioned previously it is important to submit your business NAP and website address to as many local directories of good quality as possible. This is known as a citation and helps Google verify that your business name and location is valid.
Google will look at a business’s website for signals that the business operates within the location specified in GMB. For this reason it’s a good idea to include your location in the page title + include the NAP on the page as well. Inserting a Google map of the business location is a solid idea too. If a business serves a location (Durban) then I would suggest adding these local signals to the site footer, if a business serves multiple locations then I reckon create separate pages for each location that have their own unique local signals.
A great way to get a boost into the local 3-pack for a business’s location is to encourage the customers of that business to leave reviews on their Google maps listing. The more real reviews the better!
Links are what makes the Google rankings go round. Without links, there’s a very slim chance of ranking your site anywhere on Google unless your industry has very low competition or you pay to be on Google’s search results. Building good quality links from other local and national sites will ensure that Google considers your business to be an authority in your specific industry and will give you the recognition for that in their search rankings.
So there you go. The above should be enough to get your business ranking locally. Questions? Let me know in the comments.