What is Local SEO?

Subscribe to our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Back to all posts

The way that people find businesses has fundamentally changed in the last decade. More and more people are now heading to the internet to find products and services, with 97% of users relying on online searches.

This presents a huge opportunity for local businesses to connect with potential customers actively seeking what they offer. But how do you get your business to show up at the top of search results? The answer is local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a digital marketing strategy specifically designed to help businesses increase their visibility in local search results. For example, when a user searches for 'plumber Melbourne', or 'Pizza near me', local SEO helps your business appear at the top of the results page. A top spot on Google for these types of searches can increase website traffic and mean more conversions for your business.

Why is Local SEO Important?

Local SEO is crucial for businesses that operate within a specific geographic area for many of the following reasons.

Increased Visibility

Local SEO ensures that your business appears in relevant local searches, putting you directly in front of customers actively looking for what you offer. Studies have shown that local searches make up 46% of all Google searches, highlighting the growing importance of local SEO for capturing the large amount of local searches.

Targeted Reach

Local SEO makes sure that you're placing your marketing efforts in the right direction, maximising your returns. Unlike traditional marketing methods with a wider reach, local SEO allows you to focus your efforts on the customers most likely to convert, leading to a more cost-effective marketing strategy.

Enhanced Credibility

A well-optimised local presence, including positive reviews and accurate business information, builds trust and credibility with potential customers. Consumers often rely on online reviews before making a purchase decision. Local SEO helps you to cultivate a positive online reputation that influences buying behaviour.

How Does Google Determine Local Search Rankings?

Understanding how Google ranks local businesses is key to optimising your local SEO strategy. Here are the three main factors that influence your position in local search results.


Google will prioritise businesses closest to the searcher's location. This emphasises the importance of accurate and consistent business information across all online platforms. Ensure that your NAP (name, address, and phone number) details are identical on your website, Google Business profile, and any other directory that you're listed on. Even tiny discrepancies can negatively impact your local SEO ranking.


Google also considered how well your business offerings match the searcher's intent. Optimising your website content and online profiles with relevant keywords is essential for improved ranking. Include keywords that reflect the services you provide and the geographic area you serve. For example, a plumber in Melbourne should target keywords like 'plumber Melbourne' or 'emergency plumber near me'.


Google factors in the overall reputation and online presence of your business. This includes customer reviews, citations from other websites, and engagement on social media profiles. You should encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your Google Business profile and any other review platforms you use. Additionally, building backlinks that are relevant to your industry and location can significantly improve your prominence in the eyes of Google.

How to Optimise Your Website for Local Search

By implementing the following strategies you can significantly improve your local SEO ranking.

1. Claim and Optimise Your Google Business Profile

Your Google Business Profile is vital for local SEO success. Ensure your NAP information is accurate and consistent across all online directories. Add high-quality photos, write a compelling business description highlighting your USP, and encourage customers to leave reviews to build credibility and trust. You can also utilise the 'catagories' section to make sure your business is categorised accurately and include relevant services that you provide. Read more about how to fully optimise your Google Business Profile.

2. Localise Your Site Content

Add local keywords and geographic references to your website content. Include city and neighbourhood names naturally throughout your website copy to signal local relevance to search engines. For instance, a bakery in Brighton could create a piece of content such as 'Top 5 Cakes to Try in Brighton, Bayside'.

3. Choose the Right Keywords

Conduct keyword research to identify long-tail keywords with local intent. These are more specific search terms, for example 'cafe next to Flinders Street Station', or 'supermarket in Geelong', that potential customers in your area are likely to use. Utilise keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to identify relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition.

4. Manage Your Reviews

Encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google Business profile and other platforms. Respond promptly and professionally to both positive and negative reviews to show you are committed to customer satisfaction. Thank customers for positive reviews and for negative reviews, apologise for any shortcomings and outline the steps you're taking to address the issue.

5. Optimise for Voice Search

With the rise of voice search assistants like Google Home and Siri, consider how people might as for your business verbally. Optimise your website content with natural language queries to improve your ranking for voice searches. Instead of just targeting keywords like 'plumber', include phrases like 'find a plumber near me' or 'what's the best plumber in Brunswick'.

6. Optimise Your Website

A user-friendly website with fast loading speeds is essential for positive user experience. Invest in a website design that is visually appealing and easy to navigate on all devices, including desktop, tablets, and phones. Ensure your website content is mobile-friendly, as a significant portion of local searches now come from mobiles.

7. Get Listed in Local Directories

Mentions of your business name, address, and phone number on other websites are significant to your local SEO strategy. Submit your business details to relevant online directories in your niche and local area. Examples include industry-specific directories, local business listings, and online yellow pages.

8. Run Local PPC Ads

PPC advertising allows you to target your ads to users searching for specific keywords in your local area. This can be a great way to supplement your organic local SEO efforts and drive targeted traffic to your website. Consider utilising Google Ads to create location specific campaigns that target potential customers actively searching for the products or services you offer.

9. Engage with your Local Community

Building relationships within your local community can significantly benefit your local SEO efforts. Partner with local businesses for cross-promotional opportunities, sponsor local events, or participate in community forums. This will not only increase brand awareness but can also lead to valuable backlinks from other local websites.

10. Track and Analyse Your Results

Local SEO is an on-going process that requires consistent monitoring and adaptation. Utilise tools like Google Search Console and Google My Business Insights to track your website traffic, keyword ranking, and user engagement metrics. Analyse your data regularly to identify areas for improvement and refine your local SEO strategy!

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, local SEO is a powerful tool for local businesses to connect with potential customers actively searching for products or services in their local area. By implementing the strategies outlined in this article and tracking your local SEO campaign, you can position your business to be seen by more local customers, drive more traffic, and thrive!

Remember that local SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Be patient, persistent, and focus on delivering a positive customer experience to build a strong online representation and attract more local customers.

Request a quote

We'd love to hear from you

Provide some details below and we'll get in touch with you

Thank you!
We have recieved your enquiry and will be in touch shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.