Local SEO basically means optimising your site to maximise visibility for when local or geo-targeted searches are made.

Local SEO is is becoming more over time and will soon be critical to any business that serves their local area and wants to promote themselves online.

If a business has a physical address and serves the local area, they should be doing some kind of local seo. They should at least have their local Google + page set up correctly also be included in any relevant local directories.

What are Local / Geo Located Terms?

Local or Geo Located search terms are searches made that are geared towards something that is location specific – usually a product or service.

Local SERPs ListingsTerms like “dry cleaners richmond”, “hotels in Melbourne” and even “SEO Melbourne” are examples of location specific search terms.

Also, as Google’s algorithms get more insightful over time we will see other terms that are actually location specific, but don’t contain a city or suburb, be classed as location specific and return local type results.

Local Results Pack:

Local searches often trigger what’s called the “Local Results Pack”. This is the extra section of listings that appears within the search results that contain address and phone numbers, map pins and often reviews. There is usually upto 7 listings in this section and there is also usually a map that accompanies the listings to show their locations.

What is different about Local SEO?

Obviously there is a local focus when doing local SEO and more effort needs to be paid to the following:

Your Google + Profile

If you are in business, you really should have your Google + profile set up whether you are local or not. But, it is very important for local business and local SEO, because the information in your profile affects the local search listings – if you appear there. It also affects Google Maps and other things like your Google + page.

Make sure you have claimed your Google + / local listing and make sure you have entered all relevant information into your profile – like trading hours and other information. Also, make sure you add some good relevant pictures to your profile.

There is more information directly from Google here: www.google.com/business

Customer Reviews

Be active in getting customer reviews on sites like Yelp, True Local and most importantly on your Google + page / listing. These are important as they are shown in the local listing, and give you business credibility when visitors see them.

Local Citations

Local citations are essentially mentions of your business name and address on other sites – mainly local sites. We are just talking about mentions, and not necessarily links.

Make sure you are mentioned / listed in any relevant local or business directories, Yellow Pages, Yelp and any community sites.