Local SEO, as the name implies, focuses on optimising your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. These searches take place on Google and other search engines. Let’s break it down for you.
Imagine you’re a jewellery store owner in Birmingham. When people in your vicinity type ‘jewellery store near me’ or ‘jewellery store in Birmingham’ into Google, you want your store to appear in the top results, preferably in the ‘Local Pack’ or ‘3-Pack’. This is the block of three business listings that appear below the map in Google search results:
This is where Local SEO comes into play.
Local SEO involves a set of specific actions and strategies designed to improve your visibility on Google and other search engines when people close to your physical location perform a search. It’s crucial for businesses like yours, where customers come to a physical location.
How Local SEO differs from ‘normal’ SEO
- Geographical Component: Unlike traditional SEO, which focuses on ranking in search results across the country or even globally, local SEO prioritises appearing on SERPs in a specific location. This strategy relies on marketing your products, services, and brand to local leads and customers.
- Google My Business: A crucial part of local SEO is the use of Google Business. By creating and optimising a Google Business listing, you can appear in local search results and Google Maps. This listing displays important information about your business, such as your address, hours of operation, and customer reviews. This isn’t something typically focused on in traditional SEO.
- Reviews Matter More: Online reviews play a significant role in local SEO. The quantity and quality of reviews on your Google My Business page are one of the most important ranking factors for local search.
- Local Link Building: In traditional SEO, any high-quality link would be beneficial. However, for local SEO, links from local businesses and organisations are particularly valuable.
- Local Keywords: Local SEO focuses on local keywords, i.e., search terms that include location-specific phrases. For example, ‘jewellery store in London’ or ‘best jewellery shop in Manchester’.
In a nutshell, while traditional SEO and Local SEO share many similarities, the primary difference is the geographical component of Local SEO.
If you’re a jewellery store owner with a physical location where you want to attract customers, focusing on local SEO could be a game-changer for your business.
Maximising the effectiveness of your local SEO efforts
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting started with local SEO for your jewellery store.
- Google Business Profile: Your first step should be to claim and optimise your Google My Business listing. Fill out every detail, including your business name, address, and phone number (also known as NAP), your opening hours, and a link to your website. Make sure to choose the right category for your business, i.e., “jewellery store.” Add high-quality photos of your store and products, and encourage your customers to leave reviews. Remember, Google loves consistency, so ensure your NAP information is the same across all online platforms.
- Local Keywords: Incorporate local keywords into your website content, meta tags, and URLs. These are keywords that include your location, like “jewellery store in London” or “best diamond rings in Manchester.” Google’s Keyword Planner can help you find relevant local keywords.
- Website Optimisation: Make sure your website is user-friendly and mobile-friendly, as many customers will be searching for local businesses on their phones. Include your NAP information and your opening hours on your website, ideally in the footer so it appears on every page.
- Local Business Directories: List your business on popular online directories like Yelp, Bing Places, and Thomson Local. Again, consistency is key – your NAP information should be identical across all listings.
- Online Reviews: Encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business listing and on other review platforms. Positive reviews can significantly boost your local search rankings. Be sure to respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, in a professional and timely manner.
- Local Links: Try to get links from other local businesses, community groups, or local news sites. This could involve sponsoring a local event or collaborating with a local fashion blogger. These local links signal to Google that you are a trusted business in your area.
- Social Media: Use social media platforms to engage with your local community. This can help increase your local visibility and drive traffic to your website.
- Schema Markup: This is a bit more technical, but adding local business schema markup to your website can help search engines better understand and display your business information.
Remember, local SEO is not a one-off task but an ongoing process. Regularly update your Google Business listing, continue creating local content, and keep engaging with your local community.
With time and effort, your local SEO strategies can help your jewellery store stand out in local search results, attracting more customers to your store.