How do you increase conversions on your business website? By getting more eyes on it.

How do you get more eyes on your website? By optimising it to encourage organic traffic figures to grow.

And traffic from anywhere is what you’re after right? Wrong.

Traffic is good in theory, but if visitors are not converting once they’ve found you, then you’re wasting your time.

Yes, SEO is all about optimising your site to drive more traffic towards your web page, but if you run a local business and your target audience is local to you i.e. in London, why are you wasting your time trying to rank highly in South Korea (for instance)?

That’s an absurd example, but if you’re a local business and you’re trying to get your local SEO strategy sorted, you don’t want to be trying to capture everyone’s attention. You want to be capturing the attention of those customers and users who are local to you.

So how do you get your local SEO strategy right?

Difference between organic SEO and local SEO

First things first – what is the difference between organic SEO and local SEO? Surely SEO is SEO the world over?

Well, they both begin with a search…

The difference between organic SEO and local SEO is that local has a geographical element to it.

When a customer is searching for something in their local area, odds are they’ll type in what they’re looking for followed by the geographical region they’re searching in. I.e. best SEO agency + London.

By doing this, the search engine will produce results based on the search request and narrowed down to geographical search area. And even if the user doesn’t actively include the geographical region, most search engines will take into account user search location and produce results based on what’s around them.

Local SEO

So local SEO is essentially where you optimise your business website so that you show up when a user types in a search request for your services or products and your location.

Organic SEO

If local SEO are the results of the search geographically local to where the user is searching, then organic SEO are the remaining results, just without any local intent.

Organic SEO results are presented based on the search engine’s results page algorithm – this takes into account hundreds of different ranking factors including keywords, links (both in and out bound) and even content.

Which brings us onto the next question…

Which SEO search should you aim to rank for?

That depends on who you’re targeting. If you have a brick and mortar business, it makes sense to target those customers in your vicinity. So whilst you want to gain exposure and rank in both organic and local SEO search results, your preference will probably lie in local.

However if you want your business to rank for certain search terms, rather than a set location, you’re more likely to want to try and rank in the organic search results.

I.e. if your SEO agency doesn’t have a physical office, nor does it service a specific area, you would want to try and rank organically, rather than locally where you could shut yourself off to a large proportion of potential clients.

Can you rank for both local and organic searches?

The simple answer is ‘of course’.

At the end of the day, search engine optimisation is all about making it abundantly clear to the search engines what it is your website does and what it offers, so that they can present the best and most relevant results to users. So if you want to rank for both, then you need to optimise your site accordingly for both.

How do you create a local SEO strategy?

If you want your small business to be found locally, then it is vital that you have a local SEO strategy in place.

Optimising your site for local SEO will mean you get more local traffic, more local leads and hopefully more conversions, which is really what SEO is all about. Plus, it’s a way for you to be smart with your marketing budget, especially if you’re up against national and international business goliaths who have an infinite marketing spend.

So how do you get your local SEO strategy right? Here are 5 ways you can try.

    1. Create your business a Google My Business account. It’s free and it will get your foot in the local door. Once created, optimise this page to ensure you’re ranked for the keywords and search phrases you’re aiming for. You should also think how else your users find you. For example, 77% of users will search Google Maps to find out about local businesses, 38% will search via Facebook, 35% will look on Yelp and 32% will check out your business website. 
    2. Garner positive reviews. We live in a peer-reviewed world, just look at how we shop on Amazon or how we find a decent restaurant near to us. We will always opt for the product, service or place with the most and best reviews. So try and get your customers to review you positively via your GMB page. 
    3. Optimise for voice search. Don’t think voice search is relevant to your business? Think again. Speech recognition technology is on the up and up and with the huge leap forwards in development in recent years, by 2020 (yes, in a month’s time), between 30-50% of all online searches will be done via a voice search request. How do you optimise for voice search? Well, one of the most common types of voice search is navigational, i.e. for directions to somewhere. So if you are the place the searcher is trying to find, being on GMB will start you off on the right foot. 
    4. Have your content strategy focus on local. If you’re trying to rank for the keywords ‘best SEO agency’, you’re unlikely to compete given the number of other SEO agencies out there. However, if you try to rank for ‘best SEO agency London’, you narrow the search field significantly. Then by creating custom local content you can increase your organic visibility exponentially. Basically, use your content to get your business to rank for less competitive, but more specific local keywords.
    5. Use the best visuals you can. A picture paints a thousand words etc and using visual information to convey your point is an easy and sure fire way to let customers know what you do or sell. Not only do visuals bring your website to life, they also make your business more professional. Show your customers everything you’ve got i.e. the building your business is located in. What your workplace looks like. All of your products or services. Your employees. Make your users want to come and see you for real. And don’t forget to include videos too – the combination of sound, your imagery and accompanying text make it one of the most powerful mediums on the internet.