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Local Seo Guide London

3 Reasons businesses Should Invest in Local SEO

Local Seo Guide London

Thursday May 02, 2019,

10 min Read

3 Reasons businesses Should Invest in Local SEO

If you are a business in London, you are aware of how hard it can be to attract new clients. While some clients come through a referrals many others choose to self-refer. When that happens, the prospective client will generally run a Google search and simply call the first one on the list.

To maximise your client base and get your phone ringing you need to make sure you are in the top 5 positions in your local area search results. We will walk you through our proven step by step process to move your business to the top of the list in your area. But before we do that, let’s analyse why local SEO is absolutely critical for any business.

New Clients:

Getting new clients used to be a simple matter of placing a Yellow Pages ad and waiting for the calls to come in. In today’s internet age 97% of prospects look for local businesses online and Google is by far the dominant force in search.

Free Traffic:

Although the ads of the Yellow Pages are no more, advertising is still one of the biggest expenses for the majority of small to medium businesses. If you can improve your Google rankings, you will benefit from a constant stream of free traffic that you need only convert into clients.

Quick Results:

On average, national and international companies must wait at least 3 months to a year to see a significant improvement in their Google rankings. As a local business you have a huge advantage.

The reason is that you are competing only against other businesses like yours in your local area, not those on the opposite side of the country. And a lot of your competitors have not yet discovered the power of local SEO. With a targeted local SEO campaign, you could hit the first page of Google local results in as little as 60 days!


Step 1: Select Your Keywords

Step 1 of your local SEO campaign is simple: list the keywords that best describe your services. For example as a florist, you might try such keywords as “Flower shop”, “florist delivery”, and “florist near me”. Once you have a fairly sizeable list, sign up for a free Google AdWords account.

You do not need to develop or pay for an ad campaign, but you do need to have an account to use Google’s free Keyword Planner. This tool lets you input your chosen keywords to find out how much traffic they get. It also offers suggestions for related keywords that you might not have thought about.

With all of this information available, you are now ready to decide on exactly which keywords you will use. All keywords fall into one of two basic categories:

Buying Intent: These keywords are used by people who are imminently ready for your services. For example, someone searching for “root canals shepherds bush” probably knows that he or she needs a route canal, and is ready to choose a dentist for the job.

Focus your local SEO campaign on buying intent keywords, which produce the fastest results. Make sure those keywords are featured on your homepage, and structure your service pages around them.

Research Intent: Research intent keywords indicate that the prospect is just shopping around. He or she might need dentist work at some point, but is not ready to have it done. For example, someone searching for “fillings colours” might have a feeling that fillings are in his or her future, and is curious what they might look like.

Make research intent keywords a lower priority, since they do not drive quick conversions. However, they can still be useful in FAQs and blogs. These posts introduce your product or service to prospects who might think of you when they are ready to have work done.

Step 2: Optimise Your Keywords

Once you have a final list of keywords, you are ready to optimise for them in two different places—your Google My Business page and your website. Here’s how:

Google My Business

Your Google My Business page is a mini-website that appears in the “Map” section of Google listings. It increases your overall presence online and gives potential clients a quick summary of your practice.

In addition, it is much easier for a Google My Business page to become highly ranked than for a website page, which means you can boost your Google rankings even more quickly. Follow these steps to make sure your Google My Business page is accurately and fully filled out:

Verification: First, claim your page and submit to Google’s verification procedure. You will know this step is complete when you see a check mark and the word “Verified” next to your company name.

NAP: Your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) must be accurate on your Google My Business page and entirely consistent across the internet. Make sure Google knows that your business is local by listing a local phone number instead of an 800 number.

Categories: Google categories can be a bit confusing, as Google requires you to list your services rather than your results. Besides Lawyer, you might try such categories as Bankruptcy Lawyer and criminal lawyer, if you provide those services. Try to list 3 to 5 categories.

Description: Think of the description as a 100 to 200-word overview of your business that ends with a call to action. This format generally works well: {Name of Business} offers professional {“Your business” services, or similar} in {Your City}. {Provide some information about your background and/or why clients love you.} Call {Phone Number} today for a free consultation or sample etc.

Hours: Make sure your office hours are up to date, and are listed consistently throughout the internet. If you offer emergency after-hours services, list that information in a separate paragraph.

Images: Images are a wonderful way to boost patient engagement and show prospects that you are trustworthy. Try adding a few photos of the office or work space, or of satisfied clients(with permission!). Your images must be sharply focused, sized between 10KB and 5MB, and have a minimum resolution of 720px x 720px. We also recommend replacing the generic Google My Business background image with a branded image.

Website Optimisation

Start by optimising your homepage and service pages, also known as your “core” pages, for your chosen buying intent keywords. Later, you will shift your attention to your “content” pages, or blog posts and FAQs, which are centered around your identified research intent keywords. Here is how to optimise:

Homepage: The title tag is the most important part of your homepage. Think of it as a book’s chapter title, and make sure it is between 50 and 65 characters. Try this format: Business type in {Your City} | {Name of Your Business}.

The next most important element is the meta description, which calls attention to your primary services and ends with a call to action. It should be between 100 and 150 characters in length, and use a format similar to: {Name of Business} offers quality {Cakes and Wedding cakes, or similar} in {Your City}. Call {Phone Number} today to schedule your Recipe!

Known as the H1, your visible headline must be descriptive yet concise, and include your primary category. Try this format: {Type of Business} in {City, Town}.

Finally, consider your page copy. It should be 500 to 1000 words long, cleanly written, and well edited.

It should give background information about your business, briefly describe your main services or products, and end with a strong call to action. Include your primary keyword in a natural way.

Service Pages: Each primary service should have its own page, and each should be tightly focused on a single keyword. Optimise each service page in the same ways as your homepage.

Step 3: Build Citations and Links

With your local SEO campaign’s basic structure in place, it is time to build citations and links. These elements improve your online reach and help to boost your Google rankings.

Citations: A citation is a listing of your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) in an online directory. You can use general national directories such as yell.com and Facebook, as well as general local directories such as the website for your town’s Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, seek out directories that are targeted to your type of business in particular or closely related. Make sure your NAP is identical in every listing.

Although many directories are free, some provide only paid listings. Before you invest, use Google Analytics to find out whether that website is driving traffic and conversions.

Links: You can easily boost your Google rankings by developing inbound links from top-quality, authoritative websites. Build relationships in person and online with businesses that offer complementary services, such as suppliers etc. Then ask those companies if they would mind trading links.

Step 4: Ask for Reviews

Client reviews are critical for two reasons: they convince prospects to try your services, and they reassure Google that you have a legitimate business. Although all review sites play an important role, Google My Business page reviews provide the fastest increase in your rankings.

Send an email to your satisfied customers with a link to your Google My Business profile, and ask them directly to write a review. If you do this on a consistent basis (Don’t hound them), you will soon have a frequently-updated stream of reviews.

Step 5: Track Your Progress

You can only learn how well your local SEO campaign is doing, and find those areas that need improvement, by tracking your results. Although there are innumerable ways to track and analyse page data, focus on these three core


Rankings: Since Google customizes its search results based on past browsing behavior, the only way to know how a particular page actually ranks is through a tool. Previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, the free Google Search Console is a good start. Ask your webmaster to install it, and then check your report once or twice per month.

Traffic: Google Analytics is the best way to track your traffic, or how many people visit your website. You can look at your total traffic, which pages draw the most visitors, and the percentage of visitors that come from Google search. Check your traffic report each month, and keep an eye out for any long-term trends.

Conversions: A conversion is any specific action you want your website visitors to perform. For example, you might want them to schedule a free evaluation. Google Analytics lets you track telephone conversions as well as web conversions, see which services draw the most conversions, and even determine which pages have the highest and lowest conversion rates.

Let’s Get Started!

As you can see, a comprehensive local SEO campaign is key to driving more potential patients to your orthodontics practice. Make your way through the five steps in order, finishing one in its entirety before moving on.

Here is a recap:

  • Keyword research
  • Keyword optimization
  • Citations and Links
  • Reviews
  • Tracking

Want Help with Local SEO?

At Shane Media DMA we specialise in helping businesses attract more local clients through Google. If you’d like help with your Local SEO, 0208 611 2798 contact us for a free consultation or send us a message through our website.