Local SEO Tips

Local SEO Tips

James Norquay

James Norquay

16 Aug 2021

Whether you are a small business, a well-established player in your niche or a large franchisee, Local SEO marketing is an important tool to utilise to improve your online engagement.

In the past, the only way to get exposure and attract local customers would have been through a business directory like the Yellow Pages or your local paper. Although these traditional means of initial exposure may seem intuitive, now, Local SEO should be just as high on your priority list.

On average, 89% of people use their mobile or smartphone’s Google search function to look for local businesses at least once every week. Of this, 58% of people search for where a local coffee shop or convenience store is daily. That means that the pressure for every small business to have their Local SEO in check is slowly mounting. If your Local SEO isn’t optimised, you’re missing out on opportunities from local searches no matter how good your coffee tastes or what your shop is selling.

Knowing this can be really daunting but to help you out, we have decided to share a short guide on Local SEO to give you some SEO tips from our perspective.

What is Local SEO?

Local search engine optimisation is a powerful tool used to increase the online visibility of your small business using local links and Google’s local functions. But, what is it?

The thing is, local search is still SEO – it requires keyword research, content, links, and on-page technical SEO. It is referred to as “local” because it has a geographic area focus to target people in the local community rather than the broader population. Basically, local SEO puts the focus on your local customers and tourists rather than people outside your geographical area.

Local information searches make up 46% of Google searches which means if you want to stay relevant in your local market you need to hop on the local search bandwagon. If you haven’t optimised your online presence for local search you’re already losing potential customers to your competition.

Therefore, the point of Local SEO is for people in your area to find your product or service first using Google search. To achieve this, you obviously need to rank highly in the search engine result pages (SERPs), specifically local results. This will also boost your online relevance geographically so you can build your following in your immediate proximity.

So, where do we get started? According to Moz’s Local SEO report, you should be focusing your Local SEO efforts on the top ranking factors, proximity and local keywords. It’s clear that when people look for local content they use specific location-based queries to find what they’re looking for but how does that help us?

Google has found that the most common local search queries are:

  1. “Who’s close to me?”
  2. “When are they open?”

This is where local SEO becomes really important. Making sure your online presence has accurate and up-to-date information including your working hours, address and business name all relate to your search ranking.

The phrase “near me today/tonight” has also seen an extremely dramatic increase from 2017 to 2019 as Google has now begun providing enhanced results for geographically related searches to meet their users’ needs.  

These enhanced results are now based on:

  • Proximity
  • Relevance
  • Prominence

Okay, but what does this mean? If a searcher is looking for a specific type of business they will be ranked on the proximity, relevance and prominence within the geographical location. This gives you no excuse to get onto your local SEO to make sure no one misses the opportunity to see your business online.

However, a surprising number of small businesses still lack a high-quality online presence that is location-specific for relevant local prospects. Local SEO is just like an online billboard or ad in the local paper. This style of on-site content marketing and backlinks can drive potential customers.

Still not convinced? Here are some of the benefits of implementing a local SEO strategy.

What are the benefits of Local SEO Strategy?

Now you might be wondering why you should use Local SEO.

Over the years, ‘local intent’ has increased meaning that potential customers are searching for services within your local service area. There is no point in a Sydney café ranking high in Melbourne’s local search results, so it is imperative to improve your Local SEO if you want to increase your organic results. To capitalise on this, you can boost your Local SEO and your business will be the one they find at the top of local search rankings. 

A successful Local SEO campaign will help your business because it:

  • Pushes your local site up Google’s algorithm rankings and inserts it into the local pack.
  • Is cost-effective for marketers and receives the highest level of conversion across all local advertising channels by using tools like Google My Business and Facebook.
  • Increases online visibility, online presence, and organic traffic to your local site.
  • Helps local customers find you via local search results, Google Maps or other navigational apps.
  • Easily converts customers using mobile devices to convert sales almost instantly whether in search engines, through directories, or through social media channels.

It is important to be in both organic search and what Google calls the ‘Snack Pack’ of local listings as they make up 33% and 40% of clicks from potential leads. The first step in attempting to implement local SEO is therefore ensuring the optimisation of your local site across all channels.

Step 1 – Ensure Your Website Is Optimised For All Channels

A good quality base of operations, like your website or Facebook page, is key to your small business ranking high. Ensuring that your site has a low load time, quality local content and is readable across all platforms will assist in your SEO rankings.

Customers are also more likely to contact a local business via mobile searches as the ease of searching on the go for local businesses is becoming more popular. Ensuring your website has mobile accessibility and simple navigation on all devices will ensure your site gets high priority.

Step 2 – Claim and Optimise your Google My Business Listing

This is considered the most important part of Local SEO. Creating your Google My Business Listing gives potential customers easy access to your online presence including your business name, address (if you have a physical location), phone number and website.

More than just creating your online business profile, you should also add your foundational content including backlinks to important aspects of your website and your operating hours. Adding these additional resources for consumers will not only create a more user-friendly experience but will push you up in the results pages.

Step 3 – Keyword Research

Implementing traditional SEO techniques is one of the best ways for your small business to rank well in local searches. Ensuring that your NAP is accurate and correlates across your all online platforms is your first step.

Brainstorming SiL’s (Service in Locations) should be your next step. By looking into your location and industry/niche you should be able to come up with some local keywords that will help you rank. 

Google autocomplete is also a quick way to see what people are looking for in your area and to see what local keywords your competitors are looking for. Browsing local certified sites is another way to identify keywords your competitors may not have thought of.

Step 4 – On-Page SEO Strategy

Enlisting in the help of On-Page SEO services should be your next step. There are a few things that you can do to enhance your on-site SEO.

One advancement you can make is utilising keywords in your H1, title tags, URL and meta description and including your NAP on your homepage to rank effectively. Using use testimonials or reviews on your website will also raise your online brand’s ethos.

Schema markup is also another way to improve the way that search engines read and represent pages in SERPs. To do this, employ Google Structure Data Markup Helper for tagging specific parts of your website including your NAP, title and other keywords.

Lastly, implementing an SEO audit and researching local landing pages and location directories to round out your SEO strategy.

Step 5 – Building Local Citations and Local Links

There are two ways to build local citations, structured and unstructured.

Structured utilises mentions that include NAP information for business directories and social profiles. Unstructured involves creating local links through blog posts and preferred vendors to raise site rank and authority.

According to Moz, citations are one of the top local ranking factors for the Google ‘Snack Pack’ and organic search results. Consistent NAP information via citations and local links also contribute to rankings where inconsistency can confuse potential customers and Google. However, ensuring that these backlinks, content links and citations are of a high quality is extremely important.

Step 6 – Quality Editorial Links via Link Building

Creating quality links through editorial content and link building great affects localised organic rankings when targeting specific, niche blogs and sites.

Whether the content is on-site or on other sites, ensuring that you’re creating a useful resource rather than promoting a product or service directly will engage your potential leads. Consumers want to learn and seek out information like guides, recipes or how-to’s. 

Quality content is of the utmost importance for the service industry specifically as people will be attracted to hiring professionals who are interested in helping them. The best way to find places to insert your editorial pieces is to look for local ‘write for us’ pages by looking up your local cities.

Step 7 – Ongoing Maintenance

It also important to maintain and document your citations while link building with business associations, niche blogs and business directories. 

There are three important, regular tasks that you need to review.

1. Online Customer Service: consistently responding to customers positive reviews and negative reviews

2. Inaccurate Google My Business Listings: sometimes, business listings are edited without notice to you or the business owner meaning that information may be inaccurate. Your job to make sure your information and citations are up to date at all times.

3. Use google posts to keep people up to date on-page.


We covered the Local SEO, the benefits for a marketer, and what we know from an SEO and digital marketing perspective.

If you found this article useful please give it a share or contact our team to learn more.

James Norquay

James Norquay founded Prosperity Media in 2012 after working in the SEO & Content Marketing space for over 10 years. Prosperity works on Small to Large eCommerce, Marketplace and many other projects in Australia and the US markets.