Spreading the word about products and services can seem like a monumental task. Many rely on word of mouth to get their name out, but while this is a great way to build trust, it’s by no means a reliable method of gaining attention.

If you’re looking to gain attention in your area while also building trust with consumers, a reliable way to do so is by implementing Local SEO practices. It’s not the fastest way to put your name on the map (it will likely take a few months for your efforts to see results) but it’s a reliable way to build a strong online presence that will bring the right people to your website and storefront.

What is local SEO and why is it important?

If you’re wondering why your business needs local SEO, here’s a quick introduction to it. While a general SEO strategy is about building organic traffic for websites no matter where the business is based, local SEO hones in on your area and how to improve the visibility of localised businesses. This could be as simple as optimising your webpages for location-based keywords - for example, Whitehead Monckton’s careful optimisation for localised keywords like “divorce solicitors in Kent” or “insurance dispute lawyers in Kent” has increased visibility for their offices in Canterbury, Tenterden, Maidstone and Ramsgate. 

If you want to discover how to dominate local search, the answer is right at the source. Google have said themselves that you can improve your local rankings by demonstrating three things: relevance, distance and prominence. And it’s not hard to meet these factors if you set yourself up on strong foundations! This blog will cover our Top 3 tips to help small businesses start ranking with local SEO.


Tip #1: Set Strong Foundations with a Google Business Profile

Have you ever heard of a Google Local Pack? Even if you’re not familiar with the terminology, I’m sure you’ve seen one before. A Google Local Pack is a SERP (Search Engine Results Page) feature that includes everything a user may need to know about a business when they’re searching. The local pack will always feature the business name, address, and contact information, and may also include ratings and reviews, photos, opening times and more. Here is an example: 


Local packs make it easy for users to absorb crucial information about your business - if someone is searching for a product or service local to them, they are immediately presented with a list of the most relevant businesses. As explained in our blog about SEO Tactics for Fintech Companies, this is also a great place to identify your local competitors and see how you rank against them. 

And the way to ensure you are featured in local packs is to ensure you complete a Google My Business profile for your business to the best of your abilities. This is the foundation of local SEO. It is the most surefire way to ensure Google knows everything there is to know about your business, including an accurate grasp on your location, so it can confidently present you to local users in need of your products or services. 

Make a Google My Business account, fill in every field, update any changes as soon as possible, and then you can focus your attention on other areas. 


Tip #2: Create Useful Local Content

Your content strategy can be as simple or complex as you want it to be, but ensure you have the fundamentals in place: about us and team pages, products and services, local case studies, local client testimonials, and clear contact information.

From here, there are many avenues you can explore to produce local content that improves your local SEO:

  • Take pictures, then name them and create alt text with location-specific keywords
  • Make podcasts
  • Embrace TikTok SEO and YouTube SEO, capitalising on “near me” searches across multiple platforms
  • Be active on social media, collecting good inbound links 

Be creative!

You can also approach content marketing the same way we do, by writing long-form blog articles that answer questions around a niche, targeting more specific and niche queries over time as your website’s authority increases. For example, we’ve helped student housing provider Nido Living to write content covering search queries like “best bars in Seville”, “best restaurants in Seville” and “things to do in Seville” to help them improve the local SEO of their accommodation buildings across Europe.

Another example is indoor go-karting company TeamSport - some of the work we have done with them recently involved optimising their location pages for location-specific keywords and adding directions to each venue, delivering more value to the user. You can learn more about writing search-friendly content with our blog on The Role of Content Marketing in SEO



Tip #3: Encourage Customers to Review Your Business

Reviews and ratings on Google are not only beneficial to local SEO, but in general crucial to businesses. From a behavioural perspective, reviews provide social proof - people are more likely to purchase a product or service if there are a lot of authentic and positive reviews. As recently as 2023, Emplifi performed a study which concluded that 90% of consumers say that consumer ratings and reviews have the biggest impact on purchasing decisions. 

To improve your local SEO, encourage your customers to review you, and perhaps more importantly respond to as many as possible. Google recommends responding to both positive and negative reviews. It shows that you run a responsive business that is open to feedback and constructive criticism. Customer reviews not only build trust in the business but also provide an authentic entry point to understanding consumers and improving your services. Everybody wins!


Key Takeaways

So, local SEO rankings are dependent on three factors: relevance, distance and prominence. The local SEO tips we have given you today are simple, straightforward ways to hit each of the criteria.

Establishing a strong Google My Business profile covers distance, making it completely clear to users how close you are to them, and how convenient you are to get to. Creating content to aid local SEO covers relevance, helping you answer specific queries and clarifying your place in the local community. Engaging with customer reviews covers prominence, building your visibility while validating you as a trustworthy business.

If you’re looking for a tailored SEO strategy to help you strengthen your online presence and find new leads, reach out to us today for more information!

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As SEO Copywriter, Ella is primarily responsible with planning and writing engaging blog content, as well as implementing on-page SEO strategies to optimise the copy on clients' websites.

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