The
Ultimate
Small Business Guide
to
Local Search Engine Optimisation

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Whether you’re starting up a business or just looking for ways to grow, you can’t avoid the importance of search engines in playing a huge role in helping your customers find your product or service.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is one of a variety of ways that small, local businesses can market themselves online. Many methods cost nothing except a little time, and will ensure that you show up in Google results when people search for businesses local to them. We’ve scoured the very depths of the web to find the most useful articles and resources, and we’ll guide you through the process, starting with the most important foundations first.

Google Places for Business

Why do you need to claim your business’ profile on Google Places? Well, around half of all Google searches are location based, meaning that Google will prioritise results for relevant businesses in a given area. The first source that Google gets this localised information from is its own Google Places for Business platform, which also serves up results for people searching directly in Google Maps – so this is the most important step you can take in getting your business online.

On Your Website Don’t have a site?

If your business already has a website, then you can reinforce your Google Places for Business listing by adding a page for each location in which your business operates, adding your contact details as they appear elsewhere online. This needn’t be complicated, but it does need to be complete and consistent across the web for the best results.

Power Up the Search Rankings

If you’ve set up your Google Places for Business properly, and you have landing pages for your locations on your website, then you’re well on your way to ranking in Google search results for businesses in your area. However, there are further actions you can take to make sure you’re ranking as highly as possible and beat the competition. Many of these are ongoing processes rather than one-off silver bullets, but for a little extra time a month you can make sure you’re getting as much traffic – and business – as possible.

Citations

Reviews

This is split by country – scroll down the article to see the UK section.

It’s worth reading the comments on this article for some more ideas.

Links

“Local SEO links do indeed matter, but not as much as they do for purposes of ranking in Google’s general (non-local) search results. At the same time, links (especially from high authority websites local to your business like your local newspaper, Chamber of Commerce, Educational Institution, etc.) can make a profound difference and help you dominate local rankings fairly quickly if you also optimize other relevant LSEO ranking factors. If you can get links from local websites in your geographic region of business by all means get those links!” – An Introduction to Local Search Engine Optimization

Pay-Per-Click & Display Advertising

Google’s Adwords platform allows you to advertise your business above and alongside their regular search results, which can be a great way to boost your traffic beyond ranking organically using the steps above. Online advertising is by no means a must-have for all businesses, but if you feel that you need more exposure in a crowded space, and you’re willing to spend a little more time and money, then the points below should stand you in good stead.