Good Local SEO
Good local SEO is a key component of Search Engine Optimisation. If you are a business, the competition to get to the front page of Google is more intense now than it has ever been. The days of 123SEO.com are well and truly over. If Google knows where your business is based, then it will display your business in answer to any search with the term “local” or “near me”.
Google rates sites these days according to authority and quality. I’ll quickly recap why – Google provides over 90% of the searches made on the internet every day. The remaining 10% is squabbled over by Bing and Yahoo. The way Google has monetised search is by Google Ads. Businesses can bid on the basis of key phrases being matched to particular searches. For example, if I take an ad out for this post, and bid on the phrase “What is Good Local SEO”, when somebody types that query into the search engine, if I’ve bid enough, then my link will come up at the top of the search with an Ad label.
If you’re anything like me, you’re a little wary of the ads. They don’t necessarily guarantee quality of service. I prefer to choose my clicks from the rest of the entries on the first page. The so called organic search results. As you will understand from our earlier article on the merits of PPC against SEO, Google Ads deliver an immediate boost to page visits, but many people believe that SEO delivers a higher quality of click.
Some of the most popular searches begin with the phrase “local” or “end with the phrase “near to me”. These searches indicate intent. If I want to buy a bicycle, I’ll start off by looking for say “Best trail bike”. I’m not bothered about where it is, in fact I want to throw a wide net at this point. After I’ve made a short list, I’ll start comparing models and looking for reviews. Again, I don’t care where these reviews come from. However when I’ve narrowed it down to a couple of models, I’ll look at my savings account and decide I want to buy.
At that point, I’ll type into Google a phrase like “Giant 2020 Pitch Sport near me” thinking that if I walk to the bike shop I’ll be able to ride the bike home.
Local searches usually signify intent, so on the basis of which you would rather have, 5 people with cash in their hand or 50 people with time to spend chatting about bikes, as a bike shop owner, which would you rather have?
So now we come to the nitty gritty. What makes for good local SEO?
Google values authority very highly and authority is hard earned. In part, quality of content will do the job. It needs to be credible, original and dare I say, authoritative. Not everyone can come up with such material and it usually takes a while to create. Quality implies useful. Content needs to deliver some value to the reader. And that’s a win-win because whenever I read an article on a web site that tells me something I don’t know, I bookmark it. And visit again.
Content isn’t the only mark of quality though, longevity helps and crucially, so do links. the logic is that when a site is linked to from another reputable site , that implies that the quality is high. The more the links, the better. Directories count and this is where good local SEO starts to pay its way. There are approximately 25 directories in the UK that are taken seriously by people. Reviews are like gold dust in the respect too.
A Local SEO Audit
We have a local SEO offering that delivers a number of things critical to Google ranking. We start from an audit. This will show you how Google sees your site. It’s not particularly dense, but we can walk you through it if you need any help. The areas we cover include:
- Technical Audit (identifying things in your website that Google hates)
- Citations (Links from directories)
- Google MyBusiness
- Reviews (Help getting them)
- Link Prospecting
- Competition (Who is higher than you in the Google Search and why?)
Addressing these things will contribute heavily to gaining a good local SEO score and therefore a better ranking overall.