The importance of local seo for small businesses

Local businesses have more opportunities to succeed online because they’re closer to their customers. In this blog, I explain what makes local SEO so powerful!


What is Local SEO Search?

A “local search query” is a search question that someone types into Google when they are looking for a service or a shop in their geographic area. Examples of a local search business can be a retail shop, a solicitor, a plumber, or a restaurant.

The proximity of a search is the number one factor in Google’s local search ranking. Google is clever enough to know that the search intent is local, even if the searcher doesn’t include “near me” in their query.

By focusing to improve your rankings in local search results you will become more visible in Google Maps / Local 3 Pack.


Why is local search important for my service business?

Why wouldn’t you want to maximise local search first? Local search is a quicker, easier win because there is less competition than national.

That said if your local competition is good and your competitors have done things correctly then you still have your work cut out.

The more niche your business, the easier local search is.

But attracting customers close by makes a lot of business sense for connecting and building relationships.

And having been starved of this kind of connection for two years now is time to maximise on local customers!

Local search relies on your business having a physical location and serving a geographic area. Even if you work from home, it makes sense to be on the map; Google Maps!


Local Search Benefits

A Local Presence

Because we use our mobiles so much more local search has become increasingly popular. In fact, Google says that nearly half of its searches come from mobile devices (which is why Google ranks your website based on its mobile setup first – but that’s another story). That means as a local business you have more opportunity to reach new audiences and gain new customers.

Build Trust with Customers

Local SEO helps small businesses to build trust with their customers by providing them with relevant results. This includes reviews, ratings, and other customer feedback. It also includes information about nearby competitors and how well those companies perform.

Drive Traffic from Search Engines

Google has made it clear that local search is one of its top priorities. In fact, it’s even called Google Map “Google Places”. If you want to make sure people find your business when they search for it, then you need to optimise your listing for local searches.


Even if you don’t have a website you can promote yourself online without spending any money at all. All you need is an email address and a physical address and a Google Business Profile!


How do I know if I have local search set up?

If you’re not sure where you stand with local SEO, use this free Local Search Ranking Checker Tool to see how well your website ranks for local searches.

Bear in mind this relies on the keyword you put in. So for example “content marketing agency” is a keyword that Engaging Content is optimised for and ranks locally in position 1.

Even just a simple search in Google for Engaging Content Cheltenham will show the business profile has been claimed.


Where do I go to set up local search?

In our blog Get more customers with a Google Business Profile we provide a lot more detail about Google Business Profile, how to get started and how to optimise your listing.

Or click here and get started in Google right now!

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Natalie Alsop is a Content Marketing Strategist and founder of Engaging Content. She teaches, enables and consults small businesses on how to harness search strategies into their daily marketing. A self-confessed lazy marketer, Natalie aims to educate how your website, when set up correctly, can bring the right traffic to your website and convert this into quality clients.

Natalie Alsop