Organic search is a marketing channel with the potential to drive real value for virtually every business. However, smaller companies can find it difficult to compete with the larger budgets and greater resources of bigger firms in the search space, which is where a robust local search engine optimisation strategy can come into play.

Local SEO focuses on helping businesses and customers in a small area find each other efficiently, and you’ll need a completely different SEO strategy to reach local customers. Here are a few key points to consider when developing one:

1. Keyword research

Just like in any SEO, developing a Local SEO strategy requires you to generate good keywords. In this case, though, they need to target people in your service area who are searching for local places to purchase goods or a service.

Local specificity is much more important than high search volume. Think about what you would type into your phone. Something along the lines of ‘plumbers in East Hull’ or ‘Boiler engineers in Kensington’ will do you a lot more good than ‘best prices on tyres’ or ‘cheap smartphones’. Just like with traditional SEO, you will then need to use those keywords on the page. Focus on backing the best keywords up with genuinely  useful content.

2. Social media

Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms – are vital to any local SEO strategy. More and more customers make purchasing decisions solely using social media resources every year, so this will not only contribute to your local SEO effectiveness, but will bring in customers directly – win/win.

3. Business profile pages

Get your business on Bing Places for Business, Google+ Business and similar profile pages. This allows your business to pop up to the top of relevant results, along with a map , and this will give you greater prominence in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

4. Lots of (positive) customer reviews

Focus a great deal of effort on getting positive reviews of your business up on the profile pages mentioned above, as well as on Yelp and related services. Customers rely heavily on reviews when making purchasing decisions, especially for smaller, local businesses they may not have used or heard of before.

5. Directory listings

Get yourself listed on all relevant directories, and make sure that you publish a well-worded description that explains your USPs on each. Even more important, make sure your business’ name, address and phone number are a very visible part of the listing and are kept the same across all directories.

6. Link building

High quality, natural links to other local content are key here. Search engines understand Local SEO very well these days, and if they see legitimate shared links between your business and local resources, they will rank you higher for it.

Get in touch with the SEO experts at EdgeThreeSixty to discuss an effective strategy to help your business grow.