Local Search Engine Optimisation – The Small Business Advantage!

Local Search Engine Optimisation – The Small Business Advantage!

local search engine optimisationWith Google opening the doors of its social platform Google+ to small business owners across the world with Google+ local it is now more apparent than ever that targeted local search engine optimisation is the way forward.

Why is Local Search Engine Optimisation so Important?

Firstly because Google says it is. When it comes to the internet Google is still the king and will be for a long time to come. Secondly, 96% of all clicks on the internet come from organic listings and the stats show that in total 68% of all searches result in the user clicking on one of the top 3 organic search results. It is therefore paramount that your online marketing campaign supports local search engine optimisation.

More loyal local customers and solid reputation marketing, will increase the likelihood of word of mouth recommendations – the most powerful form of marketing there is.  SEO is the foundation for your online marketing efforts.

With the latest moves by Google to penalize over optimised sites and the ever increasing reliance on a more social, local experience for the web user, it is quite apparent that targeted, local search engine optimisation is going to play an even bigger part in SEO practices moving forward. As a small business owner a local SEO strategy is perhaps one of the most effective online marketing techniques available to drive brand awareness, increase footfall and improve sales.

Consumers are purchasing more online, however there is still a large portion of the market place that likes to deal with individuals and businesses that are local to them. That’s why nearly 40% of searches; according to Google, have a local modifier included to help narrow down the options and provide only solutions close to the area they are currently in or intend to be in.

The results that are presented include the Google map on the top right hand of the Google Screen and also the names of the businesses that are represented in Google+ Local Business. If Google does not know your business exists then are you are missing out on highly targeted local customers.

To see if your business is recognised by Google click here to get your local ranking report.

Incorporating local search engine optimisation strategies into your online marketing campaign could allow your business to be positioned as the leader for your service or solution in your local market place, giving you a huge advantage over your competition.

As with any marketing technique there is no magic bullet solution. In order to achieve results you need to apply solid and effective search engine optimisation in order to steal the lead on the competition, or on some occasions replace the incumbent business.

There are already lots of businesses which have implemented local SEO strategies in their campaigns. This is because it allows them to focus on a more targeted range of prospects and gain access to those markets which have less competition but are highly responsive.

If you are considering local Search engine optimisation as part of your promotional strategy, then here are some tips to help you increase your prominence in your local area.

Local Search Engine Optimisation Tips

Know what people are searching for.

Keywords are essential to the success of your business online. Without targeted keyword selection, people won’t find you because the search engines won’t list you in the relevant position. Therefore, if you want your business to succeed, you must identify and use the most relevant keywords possible.

How are people searching for your business? If you are a solicitor, an accountant or a doctor, what is it that people are actually searching for? Family law, tax avoidance, or pain relief. You need to know what it is and the best way to do that is by using a tool such as Google Keyword tool to identify exactly what keywords people are using to find your business online.

You can learn more about how to do Keyword Research here!

A slight difference or play on words such as SEO Altrincham or Altrincham SEO can make a big difference. That is why you have to be careful with the keywords you select or you may invest time and money in position for keyword phrases that have little or no traffic and ultimately no results.

Claim your Google+ Local Business Page.

A Google+ Local Business page costs nothing. It is provided for you by Google and all you have to do is claim your page and your business. Once you have claimed and verified your page Google will then start including your business in the search engine result pages and over time and with an effective local search engine optimisation campaign your business page will rank higher and higher in the search engines and you will see the results.

Click here To learn more about Google+ Local for Business

There are many other business directories that allow you to advertise your business online and all add to the validity of your online presence. These sites such as Yell, Thomson Local and Citisearch can all help identify your business and increase your business’s position in the search engine results.

Actively Encourage User Reviews.

It is only natural that people talk about experiences that they have had whether they are good or bad. As a small business owner it is wise to encourage people to talk about your business and more importantly to share those thoughts via online reviews. A review signifies to the search engines that people are using your services and positive reviews mean that the search engines will have more confidence in your service and offerings,rewarding your hard work by sending you more traffic.

User reviews not only bolster the reputation of a local online business, they help improve rankings in local searches as well. It is by reviews that potential clients see how well the services or products the business offers met the expectations of previous clients and as such may sway their opinion in doing business with you or not.

What Does Local Search Engine Optimisation Mean to Local Businesses?

Local search engine optimisation gives the small business owners an opportunity to take on the larger national businesses in their own back yard. Yes a national business can afford to invest in the primary real estate on the high street but local businesses can win the hearts, minds and support of the local community in ways that the national organisations seldom manage. It is this local support along with savvy local search engine optimisation techniques that will allow small business owners to outrank and outperform their larger rivals.

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About James

James Debono is the co-founder of internet company Big Thinking Online that provide SEO consulting, web optimisation strategies and reputation marketing services that help business leverage the internet to find and retain key clients.
James is Welsh, but can't speak it. He like, licorice, rugby, technology and football!

Comments

  1. This is a very good article that any small business would do well to read. Local search is already massively important and, in my opinion, will get more important in the future. Small businesses need to make sure that their website is properly optimised for local and that they have claimed their listings on every possible 3rd party website.

    • Hi Steven,
      Having a strong and well optimised online presence is important for business that are looking to grow and maintain
      their local businesses, employing well structured local search engine optimisation techniques including, claiming
      available business listings will definitely help do that.
      Thanks for stopping by,
      James

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