Local search is always evolving. For a business that needs to attract customers to a physical location, ranking well in local search can be a paramount consideration in any credible marketing strategy, and has rapidly become an SEO top-priority.
Local search results are those that are relevant to a user based on their current location, or on the location they type manually into search. Because users who conduct local searches are usually at the purchase stage of their buying journey, ranking well in local search has the potential to lead to a higher than average conversion rate, and therefore to an increase in profits.
How to set up for local search
Refine your website’s overall SEO first
It is crucial that you have already made good progress with your overall SEO campaign. This will essentially be your foundation for your website’s local SEO effort.
Optimise your content with location in mind
It is important that your website has lots of high quality content and inbound links, and is optimising for locally relevant keywords. Your links, both inbound and internal, should lead back either to your services pages, or to pages like blog posts which link back to service pages in turn, thus allowing link juice to flow effectively through your site.
Claim your business address
Google My Business (GMB) is a free business listing which lets you to register information such as your business’ phone number, opening hours and location on Google Maps all in one account. Without a Google My Business account, your website will not be able to feature on Google Maps at all.
Utilise customer reviews
GMB also gives users the ability to leave Google reviews of your product or service. Positive reviews are also positive ranking factors in SEO, as businesses with better reviews than the competition are more likely to rank in Google’s local 3 pack (map results).
Structure your data
Schema.org is a database of code which allows you to structure your site’s data in a way that makes sense to search engines. It was the result of a collaborative effort from several different search engines (including Google) to create an easy way for people and businesses to help search engines understand their content, which in turn helps their sites rank better in search.