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Local positioning (local SEO) aims to increase the visibility of a website in a given region or city. Optimizing a site for this purpose should be done primarily by service companies because phrases with a specific location are among the most popular in search engine queries.
Restaurants, hairdressers, car mechanics, plumbers, and even doctors – the potential customer cares that the service is close, cheap, and on top of that, that it has positive reviews. Local SEO allows you to quickly and easily find the service you are interested in, while companies can reduce the cost of promoting their business online. How to position locally to appear well in search results?
Local Search – How Does it Work?
Nowadays, a smartphone with Internet access is a basic database with info about products and services. It’s what you reach for when you want to find a good restaurant in your area or change your tires from summer to winter. You type the phrase you’re interested in into the search engine and get a compendium of businesses and services. What’s interesting, it also happens when you only search for a phrase such as “hairdresser” without specifying the city. This is due to the geolocation of search results, which allows you to determine the geographical location using GPS or the IP address of the device.
Practically no one uses traditional paper maps anymore because these have been replaced by technologies that not only guide the user to his/her destination but also show interesting places along the way. Geolocalization determines the user’s location and allows them to adjust advertisements, companies and services to it. It’s also helpful for local positioning of the website.
Geolocation affects the search result, but it’s not the only action that should be taken into account by companies or services when positioning pages. It’s still important to optimize the page for phrases with the names of cities or regions in order to improve local SEO.
Local SEO – Where to Start?
Actions aimed at effective local SEO should be a priority especially for small businesses which search for their target group in a given region: gastronomy, construction and repair services, hairdressers and beauticians, florists, car repair shops as well as specialist services. The appearance of a given regional search query high in the search results significantly increases the probability that the customer will use the given service.
On-site local positioning
If you have a company domain, it’s necessary to take care of the local content optimization. Especially companies whose business is oriented towards the local customer must remember about several factors important from the point of view of local SEO, such as:
- using phrases in the “about me” description that will refer to the business and location, such as “beautician Blackpool”,
- giving the exact address of the business along with contact information (it’s worth using special schema tags),
- saturation of texts that will appear on the page with key phrases. They should not lack words with a reference to the city,
- optimization of headings and meta tags,
- Google Maps tag, which will quickly and accurately help the customer find the location of the company.
Off-site Local Positioning
Off-site activities, i.e. those external activities influencing the optimization of the website for SEO, should also be effective in local terms. What’s important here is the so-called acquisition of links, which will lead or refer to the company’s activity. With external positioning you also have to take care of:
- acquiring links leading to the page, preferably of local character, for example from information services, city or commune office or thematic pages relating to a given region,
- adding the business profile to the company directory, which should also include the exact address of the company and its contact details,
- Positive customer feedback on Google and social media,
- participation in local and industry-specific online forums. Published content should contain substantive value, then it will not be considered spam.
Google My Business and local positioning of the website
Google My Business is an online business profile that influences local positioning. It’s another necessary action that an owner of a company who wants to reach users in a given region should focus on. This link, combined with Google Maps, refers to the home page of the company, positively influencing not only local SEO, but also brand credibility.
Starting this service is very simple – and importantly, it works regardless of whether you have a company website or not. All you need to do is set up a profile, following the instructions given. You will need to include your company name, business profile, physical address, contact details, opening hours and optionally your homepage address. Such a business profile increases the chances of your service appearing in SERP searches, and it will make it easier for potential customers to verify it and ultimately – to take advantage of your offer.
Google My Business also influences the interaction with the customer, as he can post his rating and review. This factor will help to raise the level of services provided and verify what is working badly and what you should continue to stick to in your business. However, keep in mind that too many negative reviews can have a very negative impact on the business, which in the eyes of customers will become unreliable and as a result will be overlooked. It’s worth and even necessary to take care of good reviews by encouraging satisfied consumers to leave positive feedback on the company’s online business profile.
Local SEO, or focusing on the local market
Not every product or service is able to dominate the global market, although this does not mean that it cannot be successful in its industry. In many cases, when a company operates typically on a regional basis, there is no point in positioning for generic phrases that will result in a high rejection rate. Who should opt for local SEO? Local SEO is a good activity for all businesses, but it’s most beneficial for small and medium sized businesses and services that have a chance to break through in a competitive market.
Research conducted by Searchengineland.com has shown that as many as 80% of smartphone and tablet users conduct local searches. Considering these statistics, it’s all the more worthwhile to make your website visible regionally.