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The local SEO agency in Colchester, Essex

What is “Local SEO” and how does it differ to SEO?

On our Search Engine Optimisation page, we explain what SEO is and how it can be used in different ways. One of the ways that it can really help is that it can be focused. We specialise in helping businesses utilise SEO based on their location, this is local SEO.

Not everyone supplies consumers across the UK or at an international level. An Italian restaurant based in Colchester is not going to need to try and rank at the number one spot on Google for the keyword phrase “Italian Restaurant”. What is more useful for them is to get the number spot on search engines for “Italian Restaurant in Colchester”, and variations of this. They may wish to rank for searches in Essex to encourage visitors in surrounding areas to visit. This is where Local SEO comes in.

When we add the addition of the location to a keyword phrase it becomes something known as a “long-tail keyword”. This means that you focus on long search phrases that are more specific to your business. Long-tail keywords do have lower search volumes but much higher conversions rates in comparison to broad search terms. Although if you have a business that services a specific location then there is no point trying to rank your website at a national level. It is about using SEO to emphasise ranking factors based on your location.

Where SEO is focused on a whole topic and ensuring a website follows best practices to be found, Local SEO is a smaller aspect of the wider topic and uses these best practices to benefit businesses that want to advertise at a local level. Afterall, anyone looking for local search results is a potential customer. It is about increasing your local search ranking. It doesn’t matter if you are a big business or a small business, it just matters if you are a local business.

Search engines look at huge amounts of information but when working out which websites to return to consumers in results pages they use three main factors. These are proximity, relevance, and prominence.

Proximity is a relatively simple one in that it is all about how close to someone your business is.

 

Relevance is all to do with the content of your website. Does it give the best information relating to the search made by a consumer and does it answer their needs?

 

Prominence is about what other websites are saying about you and what consumers think of your business. This cover backlinks that refer to your website but also online reviews as well.

Local SEO is about covering all of these areas to really drive your business where it matters.

What does Local SEO entail?

There are a huge number of things that impact Local SEO. Many of these you are probably already doing. If you aren’t then, get in touch with us today and we can help you with all of this. The things you are likely to have already done include Google My Business Page to help show up on Google Maps, you probably put out a regular blog post and have registered with business directories and business listings or citations.

 

Other areas that you could be utilising include social media pages and online reviews through review sites. These all have location settings and consumers who use them typically search their local area, or the area they are visiting, and so placing your business on them helps you get found online.

All these things help. We have a look at a few of these in more detail below.

Google My Business:

While Google My Business is essentially a local business listing it does so much more than that. It is a way of getting your business to show in searches and on maps. How many of us have looked, either locally or when visiting an area we don’t know too well, at Google Maps to find businesses in the area?

If you are not registered with Google My Business and do not show up on maps, how many customers are you missing out on? Setting up your Google My Business Page is free so there is no excuse not to do it.

On top of helping you get found it also allows you to control how your business information is used and displayed. When you search a specific brand through Google, on a laptop or PC, you will often see a section on the right-hand side of the search results. This section has the brand name, links to their website, a button for directions to get there, a save button (to store it on your Google account), the industry that business operates in, their address, contact details, opening times, reviews, a brief description, and more. This is all down to having a Google My Business Page. It offers a quick glance for potential customers to find out plenty of information about your business, in one place!

Business Directories:

Many of us remember the days of physical business directories being delivered to us. These days there are a huge number of directories and they are all online. Getting on all of them can be tricky and time-consuming and nigh on impossible, but the more you are on then the more it will help you.

Have you ever run a search online and see the results all being business directories? This often happens when you search for something like “electricians near me”. Consumers can use any one of these directories to look at a list of businesses in a certain area. If you are not listed on that directory, then that consumer is not going to check out your brand. We can help get you on plenty of online directories to help increase your chances of being found.

Citations:

Citations are a quick way of getting your business on other websites. There are lots of websites that are set up to list businesses in local areas. Some of them cover the whole UK but allow users to search in specific locations.

Most of these websites will offer the chance to add a citation for your business. It is like a shorter version of a business listing, which will often have a brief description of the business, and tends to include succinct information about your business - company name, address, telephone number and URL.

What are the benefits of Local SEO?

Local SEO means that you can get found on search engines without trying to compete with national brands and their budgets. It allows you to focus your efforts on doing everything to be the top local result when consumers in your area are looking for your products and services. Depending on which report you read somewhere around 80% of all searches on search engines, are local. This means you don’t have to try and find a local search engine; consumers already turn Google local for you.

Because so many of us use search engines to locate businesses in specific areas local SEO can really help drive traffic to your site. A quick tip, you’ll likely know from personal experience that using a smartphone to search online is more common these days than using a laptop or PC, make sure your website is mobile-friendly. You’ll miss out on so much local traffic if it isn’t!

With newspapers reducing in popularity their circulation has dropped and many local newspapers are closing down. The introduction of the internet and smartphones has impacted the way we consume news. Only a few years back one of the best ways to get in front of a local audience was to put an advert in the local paper. With the large drop in readership of papers it is now more important than ever to ensure that local people can find your business. If they are looking online for businesses, then you need to make sure you can be found.

The more local SEO work that you have done on your website the higher you will rank. The higher you rank then the more traffic you are going to receive to your website. Search engines, like Google, work on presenting people with a list of results that are the most relevant to the searches they make. If someone is looking for a business in a specific location, and you haven’t done any local SEO, then you will not be returned to those people. If you aren’t being returned to people in search results, then you are losing out on potential sales.

What can HC Media do for my Local SEO?

Our expertise in SEO means that we understand that not all businesses need to try and compete for a specific keyword or keyword phrase. We know that for many businesses you need to reach a local audience and want to get in front of as many local people as possible.

When working with us on Local SEO services we will ensure that your website SEO is optimised for local searches, that the content on your website is focused and optimised, and we will help, or even arrange, to deal with setting up Google My Business and getting you on multiple directories to help cover as many areas as possible to push you up the rankings and help grow your business!

HC Media run local SEO for numerous business owners and as an SEO agency with experience working with national and international clients, you can be sure you’ll be getting the very best. We understand SEO at all levels and can help grow your business and online presence in a way that will continue to benefit you. We only use high-quality backlinks and we manually review all of them individually to ensure they will help increase your authority score.

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