Local search engine optimisation is a type of SEO that focuses on optimising a websites online presence to attract more potential customers from local searches. Search engines look for signals such as local content, links, profile listings, and social media pages to gather information for local search results. With Google accounting for a 94.7% market share of search engine searches in Australia, most people are using Google to search for local businesses.
Local searches are searches combined with a location attached, such as:
Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers who are actively searching. Unlike SEO, local SEO has a geographical component for example ‘plumber Newcastle’. It is a process of building those signals and relevance around a specific geographic. Whether you are for a brick-and-mortar business or a service area business your business can benefit from a good local SEO strategy.
With 97 percent of consumers looking online to find local business information, the importance of local SEO can not be overemphasised. Furthermore, 50 percent of people who did a local search on mobile went to a physical store within one day. With 18% of mobile local mobile searches leading to a sale within one day!
Local searches are becoming increasingly prominent on with 46% of all searches on Google having a local intent. In the past 2 years alone there has been a 900% growth in ‘near me’ searches. Google knows that when a consumer is searching for a local business or service they tend to state the name of a city, town or postcode. For example, rather than searching “blinds”, you instead search “blinds Newcastle”. With this slight modification you go from telling Google you want to know about blinds in general to you want blinds stores in Newcastle.
The driving force behind this increase in local searches is the increase in mobile usage, with 89 percent of Australians now using a smartphone. This is up from 88 percent in 2017 and 84 percent in 2016. Consumers are using their mobiles to search for products and services when they want them. In fact, 78 percent of local searches on mobile ended with a purchase being made offline.
In your searches of Google, we are sure you have seen one of the biggest elements of local SEO, Google’s local pack. The Google Local Pack is the boxed area that appears at the top section on the first page of results when a local search is made through Google’s search engine. The local pack displays the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search query. These results can be incredibly helpful to the user as they can find relevant and highly rated businesses near them and see opening hours, phone number, reviews and location. According to one study, 33% of clicks go to the local pack results, with 40% going to the regular organic results.
All these add up to one thing, local SEO can play an important part in your digital marketing strategy. If you want to dominate your local geographic region, you need to implement a comprehensive local SEO strategy to ensure potential customers can find you when they are searching for your products or services.