What Is Local SEO
Local SEO refers to optimising your website and online presence to show in Search Engine Results Pages for local terms, such as ‘Near Me’ and ‘In Sheffield’. For instance, a regular Google search could be, ‘SEO agency for small business’ whereas a local Google search would be something along the lines of ‘SEO Agency In Sheffield‘, the key difference being that local specifies an area to search.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
At the moment, roughly 1 in 2 searches are local, meaning they include these geo-specific terms, which means that Local SEO can, essentially, help your business show up more frequently. What’s more, local search converts; with 88% of mobile searches visiting a business within 24 hours, with 18% of phone searches leading to a sale within a day (more than double regular SEO stats) with 78% of location based searches resulting in offline purchase (source: Hubspot).
So, all in all, Local SEO can be vital for businesses that serve a specific town or city, or those looking to connect with local customers. As we’ve discussed, customers prefer it too, with geo-specific searches growing year on year.
What Does A Local SEO Agency Do?
The job of a Local SEO agency is multi-faceted, with the overall goal being to optimise your online presence (including your website), helping your business to appear in as many local searches as possible (and as highly as possible). Essentially, they’ll be looking to get your website placed in Google’s Local Pack, which is usually displayed at the top of any SERP’s that include a local term such as ‘Near Me’ or ‘In Sheffield’.
We can’t give away all the secrets, but there are a few key factors that influence your position in local search results, which your Local SEO agency should be working on, to help improve your overall ranking. These include:
- Local Citations: these are online registries and business listings such as Yell and Scoot which signal to Google that your business is a) where you say it is and b) bona-fide, both of which are important factors in Local Pack rankings.
- On Page Optimising & Content: whilst Local SEO has more off-site factors than traditional SEO, it still pays to optimise relevant pages wherever you can. Your Local SEO agency will work on on page tweaks, or new content for your website that helps improve your ranking for local search.
- Managing Your Online Presence: Google My Business and other online review sites play an integral part of Local SEO ranking, which is why your Local SEO agency will keep on top of your profiles. Updating, maintaining and actively growing your GMB profile will be a key part of any agency’s day to day work.
How Can A Local SEO Agency Help Your Business?
They’ll Save You Time
One of the major benefits of using an agency, for anything is that they save you time (and hard work). Whilst, technically, anyone can rank a website for local terms, it takes dedication and plenty of effort! Considering that the average agency will update GMB, monitor your Google Analytics, work on outreach, make website optimisation changes and create targeted content, they’ll definitely save the average business owner plenty of time, which brings us to our next point…
They Let Focus On The Bits You Do Best
Whether your a Plasterer, Plumber, local restaurant or sell trainers from a local retail park, do you really want to spend your time tweaking your website to improve local rankings? Of course not.
Using a Local SEO Agency will free up your time, letting them work their magic whilst you work yours; focussing on the elements of your business that you’re good at because, let’s face it; you’re probably as good at Local SEO as we are at plastering.
They’ll Perfect Your Online Presence
Sloppy business information can really harm your local presence, whether that’s missing address details or a mismatched post code here and there. With an agency working on your behalf you can rest assured that your online presence is always perfect. Not only is this important for search engines like Google and Bing, it also instils confidence in your potential customer base; ultimately driving sales.
They’ll Connect With A Local Audience
After all, it’s what local SEO is all about. A good agency will help you identify geo-specific keywords (including some niche keywords you probably never even thought of) and create a laser focused strategy to match your business to them.
As we’ve already discussed, the benefits of attracting a local audience is massive, with conversions, or sales, in some cases, performing at double those of regular search terms. If your business services a particular location you’ll want to connect with local customers more than most, which is why a Local SEO Agency can pay dividends.
They’ll Help You Beat The Competition
As Google’s Local Pack is effectively displayed in organic position 1, mastering it can displace your competition. What’s more, with only three businesses ranking for local search at any one time, there are only two other slots up for grabs, which means that, if your agency helps you rank, they’re also helping you push out your rivals.
They’ll Build Your Online Reputation
When it comes to Google, review quality, quantity and regularity play a key role in your overall ranking in local searches, which is why it’s vital that you continue to build reviews throughout the year. With an agency at your side achieving regular (5*) reviews can become second nature.
Let’s face it, how many times have you been to a job, given the customer a first class product or service (which we’re sure you always strive to do) and then been too busy to follow up with later? An agency, seeking to improve your rankings in Google’s Local Pack, won’t miss these opportunities!
Whether it’s via you, your workforce or reaching out to past clients and customers direct, they’ll seek to maintain a steady stream of feedback on your behalf, not only saving you time, but hassle too and improving your online reputation.
They’ll Increase Customers (& Revenue)
Ultimately, all digital marketing should focus on conversions, whether that’s more enquiries, online purchases or calls to your business. With a Local SEO Agency you should see an improvement in conversions, customers and revenue.
Whilst the speed and volume of customer increases can vary, depending upon the market you’re operating in, Local SEO will increase your presence in geo-specific search, drive traffic and improve conversions. Here’s a few ways Local SEO can increase your revenue:
- Showing Up Locally: Drives customers to your physical presence, meaning greater footfall and sales
- Increasing Local Website Visitors: Building customer awareness for your business and strengthening your position when a customer is ready to convert
- Increasing Calls: By finding your website online, local customers can call your business to book a service that you provide
- Direct Sales: If you provide products locally, an agency can help you drive sales by sending new customers to your website, who purchase straight away
Do I Need An SEO Agency To Manage My Local SEO?
We’re clear on this, you don’t need an SEO agency to do anything, there’s no magic bullet or online trickery we perform, just plenty of hard work and dedication is all it takes. With that said, managing and improving your online rankings is definitely labour intensive, which is where companies like us come in.
You can absolutely undertake Search Engine Optimisation yourself, but keep in mind you’ll need to manage local citations (as well as updating them regularly), perform thankless outreach (building links), creating content, updating your website and much more; which is why (obviously a little biased) we think it’s best to leave it to the professionals.
Still not sure? Take a look at the 5 Signs You Need An SEO Agency blog we wrote recently and tell us we’re wrong!
The Wrap Up
Hopefully, we’ve shown you that a Local SEO Agency (like us) can really be an integral part of your team, working on your behalf to connect to customers making those all important, highly converting geo-specific searches.
As mobile search grows, so will the importance of Local SEO, as users seek information from local companies they can trust. What’s more, recent Google algorithm updates have put more emphasis on local search, which signals that it’s here to stay; which is why your business needs to locally optimise as soon as possible.
If you’re thinking of building your business online, speak to us using the Whatsapp chat button, or by contacting us today; we’re always up for a chat and we make a mean brew.
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