These days, most business operators understand how important search engine optimisation (SEO) is to the success of their enterprise. Optimising your website so that it shows up in relevant online searches is a powerful way to drive more traffic to your site. And those who fail to take this important consideration into account are not maximising their opportunity. 

For the most part, online business operators are well aware of the benefits of strong SEO. But even bricks and mortar shops have much to gain from a solid SEO strategy. In fact, local SEO is quickly becoming one of the most talked-about phenomena in the word of search. In this post, we are going to take a closer look at what local SEO is – and how you can use it to your business’ bottom-line advantage.

What Is Local SEO?

In a nutshell, local SEO represents a form of online marketing that allows local businesses to market their products to local customers when they’re actively searching for a particular type of service or offering. Whereas standard SEO is all about ranking well for general searches related to your business, local SEO takes it a step further by helping potential customers find your business in their area.

Search engines try to differentiate local searches from more general ones. For example, if you were to search online for ‘the best Thai recipes’, your search results would mainly feature a list of Thai dishes and recipes without a strong localised element.

If, on the other hand, you searched the Web for ‘Thai restaurants in Manchester’, the search results would begin with a list of actual Thai restaurants located in the city of Manchester. These results might even include addresses, phone numbers and – in some cases – customer ratings and reviews. This is local search at its best.

Why Local SEO Matters

When you go to the trouble of optimising for local search, your business is much more likely to come up in those localised results. Your potential customers can easily call you or get directions to your store through an online map application. The potential benefits are substantial.

Optimising for local SEO requires taking a few extra steps to ensure that search engines can place your business in its local context. To accomplish this, it’s important that your company has local citations through Thomson Local and other online directories. Beyond that, here are a few other steps you can take:

  • Claim your ‘My Business’ page through Google and ensure your contact info is correct.
  • Claim listings on online review sites and fill out the relevant information.
  • Be sure that the web copy on your site includes contact information.
  • Optimise the content on your site for local keywords (such as ‘florists on High Street’ or ‘Leeds boiler repair’).

Taking the above steps ensures that your business will enjoy as much online exposure as possible. And you’re likely to enjoy more walk-ins, enquiries and conversions as a result.