Updated: Nov 24, 2021
Generally, when users search, they are looking for one of three things; looking to find a place, looking to buy a product or service, or looking to find out some information.
Local search is the easiest and most convenient way to address the first of those aims, finding a location. Local intent searches make up 46% of searches carried out on Google globally(1), so failing to address this key behaviour can cost businesses significant opportunities. Adding to those stats, the fact that two out of five searches in Australia(2) happen on the go on a mobile device highlights the size of opportunity behind local search.
Given the importance of local search here are five tips to help you get the most out of this key marketing channel:
1. Optimise Your Google My Business Listing
When it comes to search engines in Australia, Google is king. So making sure you have an optimised Google My Business listing to ensure you appear in Google’s local search results is vital.
We can use several areas to optimise a Google My Business listing, but the most important aspect is ensuring that all details are accurate and up to date. If a consumer is performing a local search, they are generally at a high intent point in their decision making journey, looking for either location or contact information to take action. The last thing you want to do at that moment is provide an outdated address or phone number and lose that potential new customer.
In terms of how to optimise your listing to gain more visibility, it is best to fill out as much of your listing options as possible:
· Opening times
· Business description
The more information you can provide to Google, the more they can understand your business and when it is relevant to share your business listing when someone is searching for a service or product you offer. It can also make your business stand out against other competitors in the local results and improve the perceived credibility of your business.
2. Name Address Phone Number (NAP)
Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) is a common acronym you will encounter when reading about Local SEO. It is an important factor in building trust with search engines for them to show your listings to potential customers. It boils down to Google trying to get a measure of how accurate your listing is by checking things like your business name, address, and phone number against prominent third-party sources of information like Yellow Pages, Yelp or Foursquare.
Increasing the number of listings you have across these sites and ensuring they are all up to date and accurate can help improve your visibility across local search. Managing all those listings can be a bit of a headache, so one thing to consider is using a citation management platform like Brightlocal or Yext to manage all your listings from one place.
Reviews are a massive part of local search as well as more generally helping your business build credibility and trust with potential customers. Building up your total number of reviews and your overall rating can be a key differentiator between companies in local search.
When you consider what Google’s product is to consumers, it is helping them find someone or something that satisfies their needs and wants. As such, Google wants to return results it trusts to provide an excellent experience to users. Reviews are one of the most direct and explicit ways to show Google that your business can satisfy customers and subsequently help Google satisfy its customers.
4. Use Structured Data
Structured data is the most technical element we will cover in these tips. It is code you can put on your website to tell search engines what your business does, where it is, contact information, etc.
This gives Google the information it needs not only to show your local listing from Google My Business when users perform locally relevant searches but also your website. This can give you more real estate on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), giving you a larger share of the clicks and traffic for minimal extra effort.
5. Don’t Forget About Other Maps
When talking about local search, as in this article, it is easy to default to Google as the be-all and end-all. With over 90% of the search market in Australia, it is easy to see why you’d be correct to do so, but there is still value in making sure other local search options and map services are optimised.
The standouts to make sure you are also addressing would be the likes of Apple Maps, which make up over 75% of the map users on iOS devices, and Bing Places for Business, that over-indexes for older demographics and Facebook to capture people looking for local experiences through social platforms.
More goes into local search than just the above, but these five tips are a good starting point to put you on the right track. If you want to talk to us about how you can drive growth for your business through Local SEO, check out or marketing services and get in touch.