What is Local SEO?

Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) means optimising a website and online presence for the local search engine results page (SERP). SEO techniques for local businesses, including targeting specific customer-led keywords, optimising for location-based searches, and ensuring the business’s information is consistent and accurate across all online directories and platforms (known as local citations). Local SEO in the UK is particularly important for businesses that rely on local customers, such as brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants, and service providers. By improving local search rankings, businesses can increase their visibility and attract more local customers to their physical locations. Local SEO strategies may include creating location-specific landing pages, generating reviews and ratings on online directories, and building local backlinks to improve search engine visibility.

Local SEO – a simple plan

Below are shown the steps, in order of how you can build a website, the on-site content and the off-site work needed to get the site ranking locally and then how to monitor and maintain that position going forwards. A lot of your success will come in the first couple of steps, of knowing your competition and understanding the keywords and phrases that your potential customers search for to find your type of business online.

Building your website (on-site SEO):

  • Competitor Analysis – check who your competition is and what they do well or badly
  • Keywords for industry and location – what words or phrases do your customers type into Google and Bing, check how popular those terms are (see free tools below)
  • Domain – get a web domain that is short but meaningful and hopefully memorable for your customers to keep coming back to
  • Website & Hosting – the website can be built in many different ways from Wix, to Squarespace or WordPress for example, but make it clean, user friendly and FAST! Pages need to load in ln less than 2.5 seconds to rank well on Google
  • Website SEO (on page SEO) – learn about title tags, meta descriptions and use the tool listed below to check these, make your headings and content keyword-friendly, and ensure you have plenty of text on each page to make it obvious what each product or service is that you offer
  • Location-specific landing pages – if you operate in a specific town or city, it can be useful to have pages dedicated to both that, but also to the surrounding towns that you service, as someone looking for a local product or service in the next town may not otherwise find you
  • Blog – a regular blog post can show your authority in the area you specialise and also tells the search engines that the site is active, you can also link from social media to your blog posts
  • Internal links – link from relevant words and phrases in your blog posts to your service or product pages or categories, and link from these pages to other products, categories and blogs, as it helps both visitors and the search engines to find more pages on your site, and their relevance

Local SEO (off-site SEO):

  • Social media – get accounts on as many social media channels as you can, unless you know which would work best for your industry, it’s best to try them all and then focus in on the ones that work best for you to drive engagement and sales
  • Local citations – these are listings on local (and some national) business directories such as yell.com, google business, Bing places, and the Scoot network.  There are thousands of these, but choose the more known ones with higher domain authority and a lot of traffic for the best results
  • Local media with an online presence – if you are getting ads published in local magazines or newspapers you can also often get an article published too, both of these can also help your online presence if they have a digital version of the publication online, with a link back to your website
  • Getting Reviews – since you already have a listing on yell.com, google business and Bing places you can request that satisfied customers post reviews on these to help other customers to learn about the marvellous service that your company provides

Monitoring for SEO

  • Google Analytics – this free tool allows you to monitor visits, numbers of users and the pages they visit as well as where they came from, how long they stayed, and a whole lot of other information it’s great to see improving once your website starts getting popular
  • SEO Monitoring tools – there are a lot of these, our personal favourites (and all start FREE) are UberSuggest, SERanking, SEMRush and AHRefs. They can really help you monitor and fix SEO issues on your site, but you can get lost in the data, hence UberSuggest is probably the best one to start with, as it’s fairly intuitive and covers the basics very well

SEO Maintenance

  • Blog regularly – keep the site content active by publishing a regular blog post, don’t just promote products, but mix up the content to keep it interesting
  • Social posts – this can be quick so do this very often, some can link to your blog posts, some to products or services and some can just be fun or useful information to drive brand awareness and potential customer engagement (likes, shares, reposts)
  • Add new content – add new pages and products every so often, as it keeps the site fresh, and gives customers a reason to keep coming back
  • Delete or improve existing content – if the web pages or blog posts are not being read (you can check this with Google analytics), then either delete them or improve them and push again via links from socials

More Free SEO Tools

Aside from the free tools already mentioned above, there are a few more that we use all the time, and these are listed below:

  • Keyword StatsGoogle Adwords is great for this, you don’t have to run ads to get a free account and the in-built keyword tools are often all you will need to get your keyword analysis started
  • Title and Description checker – this free tool on one on totheweb is all you need to get these right. Most WordPress users tend to use Yoast, and we do too for completing these meta fields on site
  • Social Media scheduling – this can be done easily with tools like Buffer or Social Pilot, and you can schedule content weeks in advance if necessary
  • Check your website domain authority (DA) – the free tool at websiteseochecker can check a couple of websites at a time, so you can see how your domain ranks vs your competition
  • Local SERP Checker – since everyone’s search results are blurred by their own previous search history, you may think your site is #1 on Google but it may not be for everyone, so this friendly tool at brightlocal lets you see the results unaffected by your own search history

New SEO tools are being developed all the time, so this is far from a definitive list, and there is a lot of automation and AI coming into it’s own which may make some of these processes obsolete in the future, or just a lot harder to compete, so it’s always good to keep a watchful eye on where the market is moving and the new SEO tools that pop up every so often that transform the SEO industry.

Wiser IT for Local SEO

If you are based in the UK or looking to market a business in the UK then Wiser IT can help.  We are an SEO company based in Thrapston Northamptonshire and already help a number of businesses to gain greater web presence and build their domain authority of their websites to get more and more targetted web visitors through link building and technical SEO, call Wiser IT today on 07941 783434 or fill in the contact form