Local SEO forms part of an overall search engine optimisation strategy, and is an excellent technique for any organisation that operates within a specific city or region. When consumers are searching for products or services, they often look for businesses close to them rather than national or international brands. This is particularly applicable to consumer businesses that have a physical location customers can visit e.g. restaurants, gyms, hairdressers, shops etc. It is also relevant to many companies operating in the business-to-business sector e.g marketing agencies, accountants or law firms. The use of local SEO included within a strategy helps these companies rank higher in the local SERP, making it easier for their customers to find what they are searching for.
How local SEO works
Consumers may search for a particular service and reference the location e.g. hairdressers Manchester. However, even if they don’t, or they just search for ‘hairdressers near me’, Google will try and match searches based on their geolocation if on a mobile or their IP address if on a desktop computer.
Google identifies where businesses are via Google My Business listings together with the information included on business websites and in online directories. Based on this information it will show the top 3 contenders in response to searches on a location map – also known as Google’s local pack or the Google map pack. A longer list of businesses is available via the More Businesses button, but most searchers won’t spend much time scrolling beyond the first page. So you can see why focusing on local SEO is a good idea if you are looking for more sales, especially if your product or service is mainly aimed at the local market.