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The Role of Local SEO For Businesses with Physical Locations

Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a crucial aspect of digital marketing that focuses on optimising a website so it can be found in local search results. Google Maps Optimisation (How your business visible in maps search result) is also a part of local search optimisation.

Quick Summary

  • Local SEO can increase visibility, boost the business’s online presence, and enhances its reputation and credibility.
  • There are multiple approaches for improving local SEO. One of the most effective ways is by using location pages.
  • It is recommended to complete all the information requested within the Google Business profile to reap maximum benefit from this approach.
  • Citations: Having accurate and consistent citations across various platforms helps search engines understand the legitimacy and prominence of a business, which can positively impact its search rankings.
  • Reviews: One of the most critical factors. Google will use these to evaluate the reputation of your business.

The Significance of Local SEO

Local SEO has a profound impact on businesses with physical locations. Firstly, it enhances visibility in search engines and Google map results.

When a business is ranked at the top of local search results, it becomes the first touch point for users searching for a specific product or service in that area.

This increased visibility boosts the business’s online presence and enhances its reputation and credibility. Below is an example:

Client – Carla Lawson – Shark Digital

Keyword – Hair Extension Melbourne

Ranking for both top 3 suggestions in Google Maps as well as #1 in Google Organic Search Results.

Improve your local SEO visibility with Shark Digital.

Effective Ways to Improve Local SEO

Location Pages

Improving local SEO requires strategies on several fronts. One of the most effective ways, however, is through location pages.

These pages can provide valuable information about the business’s physical location, such as address, opening hours and contact information.

This not only helps customers find the business but also improves it’s visibility in local search results and the information provided here is cross-checked by Google.

If a business operates in several locations, creating separate location pages for each branch is crucial. This allows the business to rank in local search results for each location, increasing its overall visibility.

Google Business Profile Optimisations

Google Business profiles, also known as Google My Business profiles previously (GMB), are used by local businesses to clearly communicate their location, service, and reputability to relevant users via the search engine.

It is recommended to complete all the information that is requested within this profile and to keep it up to date, any meaningful changes with the business entity must immediately be updated in your Google Business profile.

It is important that you select the category of business most appropriate to you. As this will immensely impact the rankings, as well as your visibility to a user seeking the products/services under your business category.

You can access your Google Business Profile by searching your business name in Google (to be able to manage your profile – e.g.: see below – you will need to need to sign-up and verify you GBP).

Citation Building

Citation building refers to creating and managing online citations/mentions for a business or website. Citation, in this context, refers to mentions of a business and its details online and at various places across the web. These citations are commonly found in online directories, business listings, review sites and on other platforms.

Citation building is essential to local SEO strategies. Search engines like Google use citations to evaluate a business’s credibility, relevance, and popularity.

Having accurate and consistent citations across various platforms helps search engines understand the legitimacy and prominence of a business, which can positively impact its search rankings.

When building citations, it is important to ensure the information provided is accurate and consistent across all platforms. This includes the business name, address, phone number (NAP), website URL, and other details. Inconsistent or incorrect information can confuse search engines and potential customers, negatively impacting search rankings and user trust.

Reviews from Google Business Profile and Third-Party Websites

One of the most critical factors Google will evaluate is the reputation of your business amidst past users. Google does not rank or show businesses with bad reputations or unreliable information in local searches.

Negative reviews are unavoidable. Google rankings do not necessarily penalise you for having these, as most businesses are bound to have some unfavorable reviews. However, Google cross-references reviews on other third-party websites and across the website (including but not limited to – Facebook, productreviews.com.au etc.) for a given business before deciding upon it’s ranking.

It is recommended to invest in a review management system so you can build a review collection for your business automatically.

Conclusion

To conclude, local SEO is an essential aspect of online marketing for businesses with physical locations.

By optimising their online presence for local search results, businesses can increase their visibility, drive more traffic, and attract more targeted customers.

Whether a business operates in one location or multiple, a well-executed local SEO strategy can significantly enhance its potential for success. Therefore, businesses should not overlook the importance of local SEO and should strive to incorporate it into their overall marketing strategy.

This blog was originally published on Sentius Digital (View here).

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Sentius Digital
Written by Sentius Digital

Sentius is a full-service consulting agency, providing in-house marketing strategy, design, complete agency services, and digital solutions.

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