TLDR on Local SEO

Local SEO is a great way to boost your visibility to nearby customers.

Let’s break down the essentials of local SEO and how to enhance your local search results.

Local search has a powerful impact on businesses of all sizes. Here’s the stats to prove it:

Here’s the deal.

Invest in local SEO to reach and engage with more local customers and boost sales.

What are some strategies to optimize your business for local SEO?

Get skilled with local SEO with our comprehensive guide, which features strategies for dominating the local market.

Let’s begin.

Understanding Local SEO

Let’s start with the fundamentals.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO helps businesses become more visible in local search results by focusing on specific geographic regions.

Local search engine optimization focuses on the importance of geographic location.

Implementing a local SEO strategy can benefit businesses of all sizes can benefit from implementing a local SEO strategy, whether they have a physical location or serve a specific geographic area.

Key tactics include Google Business Profiles, citations, and online reviews.

What Matters for Local SEO? How Does it Work?

Local searches are very relevant.

If you’re looking for a Japanese restaurant nearby, you can search for one in your location.

Google’s local search algorithms and usual ranking factors are designed to find the best match for your search.

  • How well does the Google Business Profile match the search intent? – Assessing relevance.
  • How far a user is from the business location, according to Google, when they search – Understanding distance.
  • Based on reviews, review scores, and other ranking factors, Google defines prominence by how vital a business is to its potential customers.

Google displays two types of local search results, utilizing specific factors.

  1. Organic results refer to the usual list of search results you’re used to seeing on Google.
  2. The Local Pack, also known as the map pack, highlights the top section of search results with three local businesses related to a search. It features a Google Map that pinpoints these listings.

By effectively managing your local SEO, your local business can appear in both types of Google local search results.

Significant aspects of how Google displays local search results are outlined here.

The search engine displays local search results for queries that include a city, town, or “near me” keyword.

You can receive local search results without explicitly searching for “Japanese restaurant in New York” or “Japanese restaurant near me.”

Google will display local search results when it identifies the intent of your search as local.

The proximity factor in Google’s local search algorithm considers your location when you search for a local keyword.

If you’re in New York and search for “Japanese restaurant,” Google’s local search results will display a list of nearby locations on its search engine results pages (SERPs).

Conducting the exact search in Las Vegas will yield different local search results.

Understanding the Importance of Local SEO for Businesses

Without local SEO optimization, your business misses potential customers ready to shop nearby; however, effective local SEO can elevate your business to the top of search results in your area, ensuring instant visibility to customers searching nearby.

Local SEO benefits any business with a physical location or that serves a specific geographic area.

Statistics highlight the impact of local SEO:

Annual global Google Maps searches for “shopping near me” have surged by over 100%. In comparison, mobile searches for “store open near me” have increased by more than 250% in two years. Searches including “where to buy” + “near me” have risen by over 200%.

This growth is driven by mobile usage, as people increasingly rely on smartphones to find services or products instantly, wherever they are.

Dominating local search results significantly benefits businesses:

Think With Google reports that 76% of smartphone users searching for nearby options visit a business within a day, and 28% of these searches lead to a purchase.

How can you get more eyeballs in local search results?

Implementing a local SEO strategy is essential to positioning your business at the top of the listings in your town, city, or region and ensuring visibility to local customers.

Exploring the Key Components of Local SEO

What critical components should you focus on for effective local SEO? Let’s explore.

Google Business Profile Optimisation

Claiming and optimizing your Google Business Profile is one of the most important actions for your local SEO.

Google utilizes Google Business Profile information to determine which businesses best match the searcher’s intent in location-based search queries.

Your Google Business Profile ensures that accurate details about your business, such as location, contact information, opening hours, reviews, the latest menu, photos, and more, are prominently displayed on Google Search and Maps.

Your local SEO efforts are highly effective: Google reports that customers are 2.7 times more likely to deem a business reputable with a complete Business Profile on Google Search and Maps, 70% more likely to visit, and 50% more likely to consider purchasing from such businesses.

You have continual control over your online presence. You can update your Google Business Profile information anytime to ensure accurate details are displayed.

While Google Business Profile is free, it requires some direct customer interaction to utilize fully; you cannot operate a 100% online business. Although a physical storefront or address is optional, your business model should include in-person engagements like a cleaning service, such as visiting or delivering directly to customers.

After creating and verifying your Google My Business page, follow these steps to optimize your profile:

  1. Leverage special features: restaurants and bars, for instance, can enhance their profiles by uploading menus and dish photos and accepting reservations and online orders directly through search.
  2. Enhance your listing with authentic images; Google indicates that businesses featuring photos receive more direction requests and website clicks.
  3. Create a custom description of up to 750 words to highlight your business’s unique aspects, which will be visible on Google Search and Maps.
  4. Encourage customer reviews by sharing a shortened URL of your review link through email marketing, social media, and other channels; reviews can be directly submitted on your Google Business Profile or Google Maps.
  5. Responding to all positive and negative reviews is crucial for local SEO; Ipsos research shows that customer reviews are the most trusted source for evaluating products and businesses.
  6. Update your Google Business Profile regularly to ensure accuracy. Keep business hours and other details current to prevent customer frustration, mainly when changes occur.

Local Keywords and Content Creation for Local SEO

Like traditional website SEO, content is a crucial component of local SEO.

Optimizing web pages with local keywords and posting on local business blogs are effective local content marketing strategies that enhance your visibility in local search results.

Similar to broader content approaches, your local content strategy begins with thorough keyword research.

Conducting keyword research for local SEO involves identifying keywords used by people searching for local products and services, aiming to rank for these keywords to drive highly targeted local traffic to your business.

Utilize tools such as Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool to identify geo-specific keywords that users are searching for; then, incorporate these local keywords into your web pages and generate content focused on local interests to enhance your SEO efforts.

Optimizing content for local SEO involves more than just inserting local keywords into your blog posts; it requires a strategic approach to enhance visibility effectively.

Demonstrating an understanding of the local audience and positioning yourself as the knowledgeable, authoritative go-to resource is essential for effective local SEO.

To effectively engage local audiences, concentrate on your area by covering local and industry news, including fundraisers and topics pertinent to your business’s location.

As a local real estate company, you can create valuable resources about local businesses and events for newcomers, such as a map of local service providers (tradies, doctors, dentists) or a calendar of town events. This will enhance your website’s local SEO with relevant on-page signals.

Local content resonates with your audience and significantly enhances your visibility in local search results. Google rewards content that delivers relevant, local information.

Importance of NAP Consistency

NAP, which stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number, represents customers’ crucial details for visiting your business and making in-person purchases.

Google, along with other search engines and voice assistants, utilizes NAP data—Name, Address, Phone number—to verify the details of a listing, ensuring the accuracy of results for users searching for local businesses online.

Commonly placed in the site’s footer, header, or on a Contact Us page, your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) are also critical components of local citations found in online directories and social media profiles, enhancing your local SEO.

Maintaining NAP consistency is crucial in local SEO. It prevents confusion among search engines and customers and ensures that your business information is accurately represented.

Think with Google reports that 60% of smartphone users contact businesses directly from search results, using the NAP data—Name, Address, Phone number—displayed on the search engine results page instead of visiting the company’s website.

An incorrect digit in your phone number or a mistake in your address details could frustrate potential customers, leading them away from your business and potentially costing you revenue.

That’s why ensuring NAP consistency across all your citations is crucial. Companies with NAP consistency are likely to rank as highly as businesses with consistent local citations that are appropriately managed.

Ensuring NAP consistency across all citations is crucial for high rankings; businesses that maintain consistent NAP information are as likely to rank well as those with well-managed local citations.

Step-by-Step Local SEO Strategy

Develop a strategic plan to enhance your local rankings and increase traffic. Here are the initial steps to get started.

How to Conduct a Local SEO Audit

Begin your local SEO efforts with a comprehensive audit to assess your website’s performance and identify initial priorities.

Essential Elements of Your Local SEO Audit

  1. Website Audit: Assess the performance of your pages and content. Does your site incorporate on-page SEO elements like keywords, meta descriptions, and image tags that aid in ranking?
  2. Auditing Method: Utilize Semrush’s free website audit tool to analyze your site.
  3. Local Backlink Audit: Determine the number of regional websites linking to your site and assess the authority of these sites.

Use Google Search Console to assess your backlink profile quickly. Navigate to Search Traffic > Links to Your Site and click “Who links the most” to identify which sites provide the most backlinks. Additionally, you can view your most linked content and the ways your content is related. For a thorough backlink audit, consider using Moz’s Open Site Explorer.

Google Business Profile Audit: Assess how your Google My Business listing appears in local search results. Ensure all information is accurate and current.

Auditing Your Google Business Profile: Access your profile and use the help center for guidance on reviewing and updating various sections effectively.

Google Search Console Audit – How well can Google index your website? Is your site crawlable?

How to audit: Google Search Console’s accessible tools and reports help you measure your site’s search traffic and performance and fix issues.

Local Citation Audit – How many citations do you have? Are you in the top online directories? Are your local citations consistent and correct?

To audit local citations, use Semrush, Moz, or BrightLocal tracking tools. These platforms assess your presence in top online directories and ensure your citations are consistent and accurate.

Competitor Analysis involves assessing your local search ranking compared to nearby competitors. Use tools like Ahrefs’ Site Explorer or Semrush to analyze your position and identify strategies to improve your ranking and close the gap with competitors.

To audit your competition, use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer: enter your domain and review the Organic Competitors report.

Alternatively, Semrush offers a “Main Organic Competitors” feature to analyze your standing against rivals.

After completing your local SEO audit, identify and prioritize urgent issues, like Google crawling problems. Then, strategically plan your timeline to implement local SEO tactics effectively.

Local citations include your business’s name, address, phone number, and website (NAPW). They typically appear in online business directories like Yellow Pages Online and True Local, providing essential visibility and authenticity to your business online.

Citations serve as a crucial ranking factor in local SEO, signaling to Google the legitimacy of your business when listed in reputable online directories. It’s vital to maintain accuracy and consistency in your local citations.

While manually adding citations is an option, it’s time-intensive. For efficiency, consider using third-party services like BrightLocal or MozLocal to manage local citations and listings.

How can you determine the necessary citations for effective Local SEO?

Essential local citations in Australia typically include listings on platforms like Google Business Profile, Yellow Pages,, and True Local

Discover influential citations specific to your industry using tools like Moz’s Citations by Category and WhiteSpark’s Best Citations by Category.

For instance, using Moz, select your industry, like Restaurants, to view a tailored list of critical citations to prioritize.

Here’s how to make excellent local citations:

Maintain consistency in your NAPW (Name, Address, Phone number, Website)

  • Enhance local rankings by incorporating top keywords into your business descriptions.
  • Link directly to your location page instead of your homepage.
  • Improve customer conversion rates and enhance visibility in image searches by adding business photos to your listings.
  • Incorporate customer reviews to attract new customers and boost your local search rankings.

Focus on local backlinks to strengthen your SEO efforts,

Local backlinks are vital for enhancing your local SEO. Local backlinks, distinct from citations, signal to Google your legitimacy as a company and can raise your domain authority, similar to general SEO.

In local SEO, a regional focus is essential for link building, ensuring all links are high-quality and relevant to your area.

Explore these strategies to secure trusted local backlinks for your website.

  • Support local community groups and sports teams.
  • Support local events and meetups.
  • Work with local businesses.
  • Find famous local bloggers in your target area.
  • Contact event page owners who write about local attractions and activities in an area.
  • Join your Chamber of Commerce to boost your business visibility.
  • Connect with local journalists and share your business updates.

Use customer reviews to boost local SEO

Customer reviews are crucial for local SEO. People rely on them to decide whether to buy from your local business.

49% of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members—91% of 18-34-year-olds fit into this category.

According to ReviewTrackers, most people check Google reviews before going to a business. Almost half of local consumers feel optimistic about a company if there is a review from the last month.

Boost your local SEO by getting more online reviews with these tactics:

Add your Google Business Profile review link to all your communications for easy access.

  • Train staff to ask for reviews from satisfied customers.
  • Send emails asking loyal customers for reviews.
  • Check Trustpilot for product reviews that Google uses in its shopping ads.

Negative reviews can positively impact your brand, sales, and visibility in local search results. Research shows that a 4.7 rating may be more trustworthy to consumers than a perfect 5-star rating.

Responding promptly and sympathetically to negative online reviews is crucial. Over half of consumers (55%) value seeing businesses engage with reviews, which boosts their perception of the company.

Google values customer feedback and provides guidance on handling reviews. Consider using an online review tracking tool, such as ReviewTrackers, to monitor and address negative feedback.

Advanced tips for improving local SEO

Ready to boost your local SEO?

According to Think With Google, most smartphone users search for business hours and directions to local stores during local searches.

Google’s Local Pack provides mobile users quick access to business information, such as opening hours, phone numbers, and reviews, making it convenient to find local establishments.

Your website is crucial for mobile users looking for quick information.

Optimize your mobile website for local search to help customers achieve their goals quickly.

Improve the speed of your website.

A slow website can negatively impact user experience, potentially leading visitors to leave and explore other options.

E-commerce sites that load within a second convert 2.5 times more than sites that load in 5 seconds, highlighting the significance of even a few extra seconds of loading time.

Test your site speed with online tools like Pingdom Website Speed Test and GTmetrix to ensure optimal performance.

If you need to speed up your site, some quick wins include compressing images and optimizing your code.

Make sure your mobile site is responsive to provide the best user experience.

Ensure your mobile site is responsive, providing users with an experience specifically designed for mobile devices, including simplified navigation, easy-to-read text, and adequately spaced-out links.

Implement a visually infinite scroll that uses pagination in the code, allowing Google to read and crawl the page effectively.

Engaging with the local community is crucial for local SEO

While digital tactics are essential, in-person engagement is equally vital.

The more you participate in local activities, the more brand awareness and trust you will build, leading to increased digital PR.

You can sponsor events, secure local media stories, and partner with other businesses to boost brand awareness, build your reputation, and earn inbound links.

Additionally, engage with your local community on social media by participating in regional groups, sharing community events, and responding to comments.

Monitoring and Adjusting Your Local SEO Efforts

One of the biggest mistakes business owners and marketers can make is considering local SEO a one-time marketing task.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Local SEO is ongoing; you must continuously monitor and adjust your efforts to see results. Only by monitoring your results can you see what’s working and what’s not and tweak your strategy accordingly.

How do you monitor your local SEO?

Here are some things to track:

  • Go to your Google Business Profile Insights to track clicks and business profile interactions.
  • Check Google Search Console for website performance analytics to evaluate traffic and conversion rates.
  • Check your keyword rankings to see your ranking for your target local keywords.
  • Monitor your local citations.


Now that you understand the importance of local SEO, how it works, and some key strategies, you have everything you need to start driving local traffic to your business.

The question is, will you do everything yourself or hire a professional SEO team to help? While you can handle many tasks yourself, such as setting up your Google Business Profile, it’s worth working with an experienced SEO team like StudioHawk to ensure your local SEO strategy continuously works hard to keep your business in front of potential customers.

At StudioHawk, SEO isn’t a side hustle—it’s our bread and butter. We have mastered what matters regarding local SEO, driving revenue-shifting results.

FAQs on Local SEO

What is the difference between local SEO and general SEO?

Local SEO and general SEO differ in their geographic focus, target audience, and search intent. General SEO aims for broader visibility, while local SEO targets specific geographic areas to ensure a business and website is in front of customers when they search with local intent, e.g., for a business location or opening hours.

How often should I update my Google My Business listing?

There is no set frequency for updating your Google My Business listing, such as your contact details or physical address. Searchers rely on your listing for up-to-date information about your company, and outdated information could be sent to the wrong location. Google suggests posting at least once a week to maintain visibility and engagement with potential customers on your business profile.

Can local SEO help my business if I need a physical storefront?

Local SEO can benefit businesses that have face-to-face interactions with customers, even if they do not have a physical store or location. Google allows you to create a Business Profile if this is the case. According to Google, businesses without a physical address can still have a profile as long as they have in-person contact with customers. Google says: “You can have a profile if your business doesn’t have a physical address as long as you make in-person contact with customers.”