Understanding Local SEO
Unlike general SEO that focuses on optimising websites, local SEO zeroes in on enhancing your business listings on search platforms. These listings contain your business’s critical information, from contact details to operating hours. The most popular of these listings is Google My Business, prominently displayed in a card format during local Google searches and on Google Maps.For example, if someone searches for “physical therapy clinic” in Melbourne, local SEO is the mechanism that ensures relevant local businesses appear in the search results. And it’s not just about popping up on a search result page – after all, a mere 0.63% of Google searchers click on results from the second page. It’s about achieving that coveted spot on the first page, and preferably, ranking high.
Three Key Elements for Local SEO Success
There are three crucial elements to optimising your local SEO for success: 01. Consistency: Your business name, address, and phone number should be the same across your Google business listing, your website, and your profiles on social media platforms. Any discrepancy can lead to search engines deeming your listing as potentially misleading, damaging your listing’s rankings.02. Profile Completion: A complete Google business profile can work wonders for your local SEO. This profile should include a phone number, photographs, and a comprehensive list of products or services you provide.03. Reviews: If local SEO had a superhero, it would be customer reviews. Businesses with a high volume of positive reviews are significantly more likely to rank highly in local search results. However, authenticity is crucial. Search engines have sophisticated systems to detect suspicious review activities, such as faking reviews or paying for them. Why Local SEO Matters for Australian SMEs If the statistics are anything to go by, local SEO can bring about a revolution in how SMEs in Australia do business. For instance, 54% of smartphone users search for business hours, and 53% look up directions to local stores. More significantly, 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day. The implications are clear – if your business is optimised for local search, you’re likely to see an uptick in foot traffic and sales. What’s even more compelling is that location-specific searches have been on the rise, growing 150% over the last two years, outpacing similar searches that do not include “near me”. This shift indicates that consumers are increasingly relying on their search engines to discover local businesses, underscoring the importance of local SEO. In conclusion, with 88% of local business searches on a mobile device resulting in a call or visit within 24 hours, it’s evident that local SEO is a tool that Australian SMEs can no longer afford to ignore. By leveraging local SEO, SMEs can ensure that when potential customers are searching, they are not just found, but chosen.