Local SEO

Local SEO is sometimes an overlooked SEO Strategy which can work really well for many businesses. It's important to do your research and set clear expectations and goals at the start of the this process. For example, optimising in London vs Southampton can be a very different ball game. Similar tactics will undoubtedly be used but the time, level of investment and energy required may be very different. This can apply to whether you operate within a niche or an over-saturated industry sector or highly popular profession.

What is Local SEO? 

Local SEO as you would expect is about optimising your website to appear for location-based keywords. These keywords would include a county, city, town for example or something location focussed such as 'nearby' or 'near me'. People enter searches in Google such as  Taxi near me, lawyer near me, Taxi Southampton, Lawyer in london, SEO Agency Southampton, SEO Consultant in London etc. So Local SEO is about ensuring your website is seen by those customers you can serve. Whether this is with a physical location (Shop, Premises or office location) or you are able to serve them within reasonable distance / catchment area.

What is a Local SEO Strategy?

A local SEO Strategy is a plan and process of aiming to achieve location based rankings and increase online visibility within a particular country, region, city, town or village. There are some key tactics and tools to achieve an improved local presence. Such as Google My Business (Map Locations near top of search results can greatly help your business' presence for those looking for a local business). Local directory listings and NAP (Name, Address, Phone) consistency can promote better local rankings. Your On-page website content is another factor to ensure has been handled accurately to ensure a search engine (and website visitor) is not confused about your business and where it is.

Local SEO Consultant in Southampton, Hampshire

For those individuals who have the time and want to improve their rankings within the search engines I have some tips below for you.

What can I do myself as a local business owner to help improve my Local Search Engine Rankings?

I will preface this with any good web designer will incorporate SEO into the heart of the build of the website as opposed to treating it as an adjunct, bolt on or afterthought. The reason for this is that site architecture is important to SEO because the way your site is constructed and built can promote a positive user experience and journey. So factoring in SEO from the outset can help place the user at the forefront of thinking and urges the client to consider 'how will users/clients/customers find my website?'. For example, if you're looking for a web designer in Southampton, you may type 'Web Designer Southampton' into Google if my site wasn't optimised or built to attract these sort of searches then I wouldn't benefit from you being on my website which would be bad news for my business.

  1. Have your site built with SEO factored into the heart of the build (make sure it's mobile & tablet responsive)
  2. Write for Users NOT search engines (Ideally 400 words per page)
  3. Avoid Duplicate content, overstuffing keywords and having too many pages with low quality content.
  4. Verify your site on Google My Business ( add all details - opening hours, images etc to complete it 100%)
  5. Encourage Google My Business Reviews (Ensure these are legitimate or they will be ignored as spam)
  6. Place your business on other quality local directories such as Bing for BusinessYelp etc.
  7. Create a Facebook Page and a Twitter Account.
  8. Incorporate a News/Blog section onto your website to help keep your site active.
  9. Share News posts through social media accounts with link back to your website (Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIN)
  10. Optimise Meta Title (approx 57 characters) and Meta Descriptions (approx 160 characters) on key pages (If have a wordpress site you may find the Yoast Plugin or RankMath SEO Plugins useful for this.

How much should I pay for Local SEO?

This really can vary dependent on whether you go for an SEO Agency or Freelance SEO Consultant. Also, it will depend on the type of business, industry sector and level of competition. You could expect to pay anywhere from £250 to £2,000+ a month. Some sectors can be fiercely competitive on a local level whether business-to-business or business-to-consumer. It's good to shop around, discuss options and tactics. 

How long do Local SEO Results take?

You may start to see results within 3-6 months, however, this can not be guaranteed. Once again it can be dependent on how competitive your target area and sector is. For example, optimising in a small town is very different to trying to rank within London. It's important to discuss your expectations and goals with your SEO Company or Specialist.

 

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