Why Local SEO is critical to business in a #shopLocal world

All too often we talk about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), the methods used to be seen in search engines like Google and becoming the top search result when people type in relevant search terms, but little do we focus on how to achieve this at a local level. Strangely, it’s easier and a lot more important than some may realise, and can get your business #1 on Google at a local level!

Being seen, known and a choice is always a priority for local business but in our new world of online, #shopLocal and competition, Local SEO is an absolute must! With tools available to make a real difference to business on Google, Bing and other local search engines, it’s time to get your business optimised and reaching your local customers.

Local SEO

In 2020, 46% of all search in Google had a local intent. I could go on and talk about how this equates billions of searches but that doesn’t matter locally. But what does matter locally, to you, is that nearly 50% of searches that happen in your area are by people looking for results in your area. Additionally, these users have a higher typical intent to purchase and mobile users are 35% more likely to progress to an in-store visit!

Local search users are ideal for your attention making Local SEO paramount to your local business.

Optimise your business SEO for the ultimate in local business results

What is local search

This is a good question. It may sound like it’s something different to normal search, but it isn’t. Local SEO refers to the process and results of ‘optimising’ your business online presence to attract _more_ results for your business from local searches.

When someone uses Google to search, Google automatically checks their location and uses this as part of many, many factors to deliver relevant results. When the intent of that search is one that matches locally, they will show these in the Local Snack Pack; a special area at the top of the search results on desktop and on mobile.

Local snack pack SEO

Google Snack Pack is a boxed area that appears on the first results page when a local online search is made through Google’s search engine. The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search enquiry. – Google

As you can see, this means you can get your business at the top; front and centre, the TOP in Google Search for your local customers.

Optimising for local Search

Okay, you should now be thinking “We need this” and you’d be absolutely right! Local SEO is perhaps the singular most important thing you can do for your business to optimise organic results and attention for your business today. But how do you approach it?

Seek Support

Firstly, if this is something you may want help with, check out my Local Business Centre where I offer this and other services specifically for local business.

Business Listings

Search engines like Google and Bing have business listings within their product. These connect to their search results, map services and a lot more. Head to all these search engines and get your business listing officially updated. At the very least, check the name, address a phone number (NAP) and that any other visible citation is up to date!

Business Listing Posts

Some search engines will offer the ability to post on your business listing. This is FREE, hugely powerful and means you can post offers or updates that will appear alongside your local search results!

Map Services

If you just think being on Google Maps is enough, this is a wake-up call. People today seek directions and local information in a variety of ways including voice assistants on their phones (Hey Siri, Okay Google, Alexa …) or in their homes, social media, local directories, etc and your NAP or even full business information are displayed on these services from relevant sources. Ensure you have spent the time checking business citations and getting your business details updated across all relevant platforms where possible. Someone asking for a local business on Siri won’t display your details from Google!

Social Media

Users today access and engage on various channels to investigate, research and reach out to a business. For this reason, your business profile needs to be up to date and optimised to capture viewers and drive action towards your business.


There’s nothing like some form of social proof to build authentic buyer confidence and boost SEO. Reviews also help build positive algorithmic relevance that your business is a top result. Google, Bing, Facebook and others all offer some form of a review or recommendation feature. For Google, your Reviews are displayed alongside your search result! To really power this, remember to ask customers to leave a review across your channels and do not forget to engage with their review!!!

Your Website

Traditional SEO comes from your own website; your on-page SEO and the same is true today only the effects are amplified for Local SEO. Depending on if your business has one location or several associated locations, you’ll want to ensure your website is built correctly and enabling you to manage the following:

  • H1, H2 and H3 tags appropriately.
  • A matching keyword in your title tag
  • A matching keyword in your URL (aka the full web address)
  • Always short, structured and succinct URL’s
  • A readable, enticing meta description
  • Open Graph tags are clear and relevant per page
  • Using relevant scheme markup on each page

Whilst some of the above works at a technical level to present, balance value and overall weight of the webpage to the search engine algorithms, others are designed to be positive, visual cues for users when they see your result online. There’s no point being #1 if the information is poor and/or uninteresting!

Website Content

Fundamentally, it can be really difficult to be found online for keywords, terms or phrases if you are not using them on your own website. The more quality content on your website around the words greatly increases your footprint and relevancy which in turn will help optimise your business results. This tip works for overall organic SEO but again it adds strength at a local level. When you compete for local search results against other businesses in your area, you want your details to be optimised and to appear ahead of everyone else!

The easiest way to approach this is to write content on a news or blog section on your website. Do this…

Get local, now

I cannot emphasise enough how beneficial Local SEO is to your business and how adopting the above will greatly improve your results in Google Search, Bing, social media and a lot more.

It may seem a lot, but these recommendations and actions should be part of the ongoing process for your business success online – even local businesses that do not sell online NEED success online.

Start slow or ask for help. Get your listings updated, at least your NAP and begin sharing more content, even small articles and updates. Just doing that is a huge start and can really help you on the path to Local SEO success!

More Local SEO

If you have any questions at all, drop me an email, reach out on my social media or signup to my email list for key updates.

If you would like support designed specifically for local businesses including Local SEO Search and Optimisation, check out the Local Business Centre for more.

Let’s optimise your business SEO and more for the ultimate in local business results