Local SEO Guide

Win More Local Clients With Our Guide To Local SEO

If you’re reading this guide, then chances are you’re a business owner or marketing professional based in Bristol with a website that you want to get ranking on the 1st page of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

In this 15 page guide, we’re going to take you through the steps required to make that happen. We’ll also take look at some actions you can take to actively troubleshoot your SEO if you’re not seeing the results you expect.

Why would we write a Local SEO strategy guide like this?

We want to help those businesses who need their SEO Bristol focused and are looking to get hands-on with some digital marketing of their own.

We speak to many people who are or have started up their own business who, at the moment, can’t afford what we do, my fear is that after deciding they can’t invest in our SEO services, they keep looking until they find someone willing to do SEO for the small monthly investment they have available.

The problem with this approach is that you’re likely to end up with a company who either cuts corners and uses methods which are at odds with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines or one that does nothing. Both will see you wasting your money and leave with the feeling that SEO has nothing to offer your business, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

You’d be much better off having a go yourself. Learn the basics from this guide and when you can afford to outsource or don’t have the time to do it yourself anymore you’ll have the knowledge to choose an SEO company wisely or even hire someone in-house.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is much like your run-of-the-mill everyday kind of SEO. It’s only called Local because the searchers you’re targeting are local to your business and they’ll search with a location added to their main keyword. Such as:

  • Accountant Bristol
  • Electrician Bristol
  • Cakeshop Bristol
  • Or even… SEO Bristol

The tactics you’ll use are slightly different to national or international SEO. But the general principles are the same.

  • Create a great website
  • Write great content
  • Build links from local websites

There’s clearly more to it than that, which we’ll get to later in this guide. But for now, just keep in mind that what Google wants to show people who use its search engine are the best possible results for their search query.

Why is local SEO important?

Here are some interesting statistics from Google regarding local search, taken from their research conducted in 2014. You can read their full report here, or read the executive summary which I’ve copied below.

Consumers search with their location and proximity in mind

  • 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information.
  • They search on smartphone and computer/tablet for store address, business hours, product availability and directions.

Local searchers take action

  • 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.
  • Local searches lead to more purchases than non-local searches. 18% of local searches on smartphone lead to a purchase within a day vs. 7% of non-local searches.

Consumers prefer and act on location-based ads

  • 4 in 5 consumers want ads customized to their city, zip code or immediate surroundings.
  • More than 60% of consumers have used location information in ads.
  • They say it’s important to have store address and phone number in ads on computer/tablet, and directions and the call button in ads on a smartphone.

It makes sense. We’ve always known that people gravitate toward local suppliers, even in this age of The Internet and Globalisation, people often would much rather use a business “down-the-road” than one in another city or country.

Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP)

Before we look at how to get there, let’s just take a look at the makeup of Google’s results page. It’s changed a lot over the years, but today the general look of the SERP for a local search goes something like this… albeit very simplified version.

Google SERP Layout 2017
Google SERP Layout

If you’re trying to rank your website organically, which I assume you are as that’s the whole point of this guide, then you have 2 opportunities to rank.

  • The Local Pack
  • The Organic Results

A closer look at the “Local Pack”

I’m taking it that you’re familiar with Google’s organic results, but you may be less familiar with the local pack.

Google Local Pack for SEO Bristol
Google Local Pack

This is the local pack for the search query “SEO Bristol”. For now, at least, I’m pleased to see Superb Digital at the top.

It is possible to rank in both the local pack and 1st page of the local organic listings, meaning you can have 2 results on the 1st page of Google. Now, who doesn’t want that!? You could even combine it with some paid search marketing and have 3 results on page 1!

Is it worth getting here and more importantly, how do you get here? All will be covered in subsequent chapters.

First, let’s look at some of the SEO Tools you’ll need and what signals Google is looking for from your local business.

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