Why local SEO is important for businesses
From corner shops to city legends: the influence of local SEO
Have you ever wondered how that little café down the lane is always buzzing with customers while the sophisticated bistro remains deserted?
Or why the humble bookshop is thriving when the bigger store is battling with sales?
The secret doesn't lie just in their offerings but in their visibility using local SEO.
You might be a cosy cafe, a neighbourhood bakery, or the local corner shop on the main street. While you may not achieve the broad reach of city legends, it doesn’t mean you can’t make a mighty impact in your area and
become the “go-to” local business that’s easily found.
Just as a new kid in school adapts to a constantly evolving environment, your business should grow in response to rapidly changing industries and markets.
In a world where your customers are looking at their devices before stepping out of their homes, local SEO is a beacon guiding them straight to your doorstep.
What is local search?
Small or medium businesses primarily rely on their community members’ support. Word of mouth recommendations has transformed into scrolling through user-generated reviews, star ratings, and personal testimonials.
Whether your customers are searching for a perfect dining experience, charming boutique, or reliable handyman, they rely on local SEO to make informed choices. Local SEO is all about ensuring that when they start searching, your business is the one they find at the top.
Local search is how devices connect potential customers to your business.
For example, travelers usually turn to local search to find shops, restaurants, and events when visiting a new town.
However, it’s not only about outsiders. It’s about your community members. People love to buy local, and local SEO ensures your business shows in local marketing.
Local SEO begins with your website optimisation using local keywords to ensure the business shows up in local search results.
Additionally, with the adaption of voice search, I recommend that your business should be optimised for the target audience asking Alexa or Siri to find what they want nearby.
Google Business Profile and Google Maps
Along with your website local SEO is Google Business Profile(GBP) and Google Maps.
These tools literally put your business details on the digital map. You can list contact information, operating hours, customer reviews, and other valuable information for your customers for FREE.
As part of the marketing strategy for a new Sydney-based business entering the Australian market,
I suggested and managed GBP for more than a year, which brought the business to the top for targeted key words in their local pack.
Tips for Small Businesses
Follow these tried-and-tested tips to help your small-to-medium business shine:
1. Use local keywords
Think about what people are looking for when needing help; “how to fix my clogged sink”, “car wash service”, “best bait for rats”, and “cleaning my gutters before storm season”.
Create helpful content around those words on your website or do a short “How to” video mentioning local area landmarks or direct names.
2. Become a most reviewed business in your area
People make decisions based on reviews. Not only do they build trust in your brand but also play a crucial role in boosting your online presence.
A simple follow-up email or gentle reminder at the end of a service can prompt customers to leave valuable feedback and move your ranking up in the local pack.
3. Use local directories
Get your business listed in local directories like Yellow Pages and Yelp. Yes, it still works and is an effective way to boost online presence and offer your audience multiple ways to find you.
Ensure that the business name, phone number, and address is consistent across all platforms. Even minor variations confuse the search engines.
4. Voice search readiness
Do you ask Siri to play your favourite music while driving? Tailor your website
content to respond to questions your audience might ask verbally. Voice search optimization is a must for you to be ahead of competitors.
Collaborate with other locals relevant to your business services or products for mutual advertising to help both businesses increase reach and growth. Share your audience with them and theirs will come to you.
6. Classic marketing
Don’t neglect old school classic marketing tools like printing business cards and brochures. Visit and participate in local markets, networking, and simply have a coffee in a local coffee shop once a week to meet your neighbours.
7. Local community Facebook groups
Social media platforms, specifically Facebook groups, are the most efficient way to engage with community members in your area. Genuinely participate and be helpful, add value associated with your industry, and one day you’ll get a client who will say: “I remember you giving tips about how to keep toddlers busy and I’m so glad to have your playdate service nearby. ”
Local SEO is an ultimate opportunity for your business to leave a lasting impression and seize the spotlight within your local community.