The internet may well have made the world smaller, but for most businesses – particularly those with a physical shopfront or that service a specific geographical area – the bulk of their revenue continues to come from local sources.
Customers will still use Google to find the products and services that you offer, even if they’re just round the corner. As such, you need a local search strategy.
At Growth Partners we utilise a combination of the most innovative and proven local search engine optimisation (SEO) strategies, in concert with our own proprietary technologies, to help businesses maximise the return on their digital marketing investment.
Go to Google, type in a few keywords or a keyphrase relevant to your business, and hit enter. If a map displaying a handful of business listings appears at the top of the page, a local search strategy will be beneficial to you.
Years ago, Google realised that its users were often looking for things in their immediate geographic area. The search engine began to take the user’s location into account, serving up the results in the ‘map pack’ described above. If you Google something like ‘Italian restaurant’ today, you’ll be delivered results from the area around you in map form.
Local search SEO is the process of optimising your website and online presence in a way that quite literally puts you on the map. Not only does a local search strategy assist with map visibility, it can enhance your Google ranking - if a user Googles relevant keywords while within a stone’s throw of your store, the search engine will take that into account, ranking you higher in the organic search results as a result.
As people increasingly use mobile devices to search, local search has only become more important, particularly to brick and mortar businesses reliant on local customers.
At Growth Partners we bring a deep understanding of both the power of local SEO, and how to capitalise on it.
Google tells us that almost half of all online searches have ‘local intent’, and 88% of consumers who use their smartphone for a local search will visit or call a store within a day. And these statistics are only becoming more meaningful, as searches including ‘near me’ or ‘close by’ have increased more than 900% in two years.
All this is to say that local search is an integral, arguably the most integral, part of your business’s digital marketing strategy. And at Growth Partners, we’re ready to help you make the most of it.
Local search can be thought of as a subset of search engine optimisation (SEO), the process of optimising your website and online presence in a way that pushes you up the organic search results for the relevant keywords and queries.
SEO is a holistic approach, made up of keyword strategy, content, backlinks, metadata and a wealth of other factors. Local search strategy, meanwhile, lasers in on the aspects of SEO that are relevant to your area. It uses similar tactics to the broader discipline of SEO, but in a more targeted way.
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Claiming your Google My Business listing (and Bing Places for Business, the Microsoft equivalent) is the very first step in local search strategy. This can be considered your entry into the modern Yellow Pages, and allows your business to be displayed in local search results and Google Maps. At Growth Partners we’ll help you to secure the entry, and optimise it to ensure the greatest possible visibility.
Google My Business set up, we will then help you to build a number of other citations on appropriate sites and directories. Not only will this help you customers find your business, the address and contact data will help with your local search efforts, and the backlinks generated will assist with your broader SEO strategy.
We localise your site by organically including references to your suburb, city and region throughout. If your business spans several locations, we’ll create separate content for each, ensuring maximum visibility. Website localisation can also involve posting articles with local information, building backlinks with local businesses, and getting involved with local events.
With consumers increasingly looking to the reviews posted on platforms like Google, Facebook and TripAdvisor for advice, genuine reviews are critical for both showcasing the excellence of your business, and boosting your organic search engine ranking. With the number, quality and authority of reviews doing so much to determine the future of your company, we can help to ensure that they are managed appropriately - we will thank happy customers, and engage with any who are disappointed.
Local SEO is most beneficial to businesses who make local sales. These could be brick and mortar stores reliant on foot traffic, or businesses that offer mobile services to a specific geographic area.
To achieve success in local search, it’s important to understand the three core elements that Google and other search engines take into account when deciding your local search relevance:
But the real key to ranking well in local search is to partner with experts in the field. At Growth Partners we bring deep experience and a data-driven approach to enhancing your local search visibility, allowing you to concentrate on delivering the best possible service to the increasing number of customers who come through your door.
Measuring local SEO success is about tracking key metrics. These metrics also allow you to make smarter and more efficient business decisions, by highlighting areas of growth and areas of concern.
At Growth Partners we use Google Analytics to set up a very specific form of tracking that utilises UTM parameter tagging - customisable URL text that allows us to track and optimise local SEO traffic. We can then segment visitors from local search, assessing performance, issues, opportunities and commercial value, using this information to inform and enhance your local SEO strategy.
Success in business can’t be some vague and hazy notion. If it is to be achieved, it needs to be tangible, quantifiable, measurable.
How big is the available pie, and how generous is your current slice?