The Simple Beginner’s Guide To Local SEO That Will Help You Rank

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Local SEO is a term that you have certainly heard if you have a website. But what exactly is local search engine optimisation? And how can it help your business? The answer to the first question is Local SEO is about targeting your marketing strategy to gain ranks in the physical area of your business. How can it help your business? If you have a physical outlet as well as a website you can ensure when users search in your area, they’re going to see your business at the top of the search results. How that can help your business is as clear as crystal.

So What’s The Difference Between Regular SEO & Local SEO?

Regular SEO covers a much broader spectrum with regards to searches. You are casting a wider net with regular SEO strategies, and this is not always the most prolific approach for local businesses. Local SEO concentrates on local search terms. Let’s elaborate…

The Local Pack

Let’s say a user searches for “hairdressers Stourbridge”. Google will come back with a list of local hairdressers in Stourbridge it considers the best matches – Google calls this a ‘local pack’. Below is an example of the Google results for this local search:

From the example we can see that Google also includes the business address, opening times and telephone number as well as a link to the business website and get directions map to the top three results. More places/results are available below for the rest of the ‘local pack’.

If the user selects one of the results they are taken to a new page with photos, reviews, questions and answers etc for that business. They are also presented with a full list of results on the left (as seen in image below). This is where you want to see your business – If not in the top three.

Local SEO starts with the local pack. Even so, your standard SEO and the results they achieve, remain important as they also show below local search results. These can include social media profiles as well as websites – Additionally, high ranks with local searches can give your standard results a boost. For example, if they search for Arena hairdressers which is the actual business name. See example below:

How To Optimise For Google Local Searches

There are strategies that can help you improve your business ranks in Google local searches:

Get Verified

You must verify your business listing with Google. Without verification, there is a good chance you won’t even be on the map.

Research Keywords

Keyword research is essential. Spend some time checking out the results for phrases appropriate to your business. Think about how your customers might word their search.  A short keyword would be “hairdressers”, a long tail phrase would be “hairdressers near Stourbridge”. The latter tend to have less searches but also less competition. Not forgetting to mention, they latter is in fact very specific to what the user is looking for.

Website Content

Once you have your targeted keywords and phrases it is time to get some content together. The content to use your targeted keywords naturally and not stuffed to the brim as to sound odd or forced.

Meta Data

When targeting local search ensure you include relevant keywords in your website Meta titles and descriptions. Many omit this because it does not help with the actual rank. However, it does help the user to understand what your website is about and if it relevant – Bottom line, it can help with click-through rates.

Business Name, address and telephone number – N.A.P

Your business name, address and telephone number should be clearly visible on your website. The footer is where people expect to see it. Also include these details on your contact page.

Mapping Your Business Location

By adding a Google map with your business location to your website contact page, homepage or footer you are giving Google a clear indication that the business they have listed and your website are indeed connected.


By ensuring the above basics are in place you will help set your business on the map for local searches. Additionally, ensure your Google business details are the same in any local or niche directories it is listed with, as well as social networks and any other website it might get a mention.


  • Mac McCarthy

    Mac McCarthy has been involved in the digital marketing field for over 20 years, having worked with the Jeeves, Alta Vista and Yahoo search engines in the early 90s through to the modern current day Google and Bing platforms.

    A keen follower of search engine algorithm updates and trends, he works and advises on digital strategies for a variety on SME’s and more recently the World Wildlife Fund, the single largest animal welfare charity in the world.

    Qualifications include Google Advanced Analytics, Google Ads, Google Search and the Google Partnership Program.

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