How you can improve your local SEO strategy

The pandemic brought many changes to the way that consumers shop. Lockdowns, as well as our decisions to avoid busy areas, meant that people turned to shopping online – even those who had previously chosen to shop on the high street.


      This change of consumer habits prompted more retailers than ever before to explore the benefits of omnichannel marketing, especially to generate more digital sales

      Whilst many retailers with a broader target market already used the internet to sell products and services, those selling to a predominantly local consumer base found success online. Studies show that 97% of consumers looking to purchase in their local area use search engines to find what they need. In a nutshell, if you’re a retailer selling locally, you probably can’t afford to ignore the potential of digital marketing. This means two things – optimising your website to attract local business, and making sure that consumers can find you.

      To achieve your local sales goals, the best way forward is to build an effective local SEO (search engine optimisation) strategy. This should provide a plan that will allow you to reach the top of the organic search results, as well as to win your place in local search results, known as pack results, which appear above the organic list.

      This blog post gives you some tips on how to get your website noticed by local shoppers by achieving a good ranking in both organic and pack results. If this sounds like a winning strategy for your business, read on…

      Pack results

      Pack results give your business the very best chance of getting a good local ranking. They appear above the results of organic searches, in order to provide consumers with a local choice first. As well as helping you achieve a valuable ranking, they show up as pins on the map graphic that you see on Google’s search engine results. Pack results also give the consumer access to further details about your business, such as your address, business hours and contact information.

      Here are the best ways to get a good place in your local pack results:
      • Improve your ‘Google my Business’ rating.
      • Make sure that your business and location are verified by Google.
      • Respond to any online reviews about your business, products or services. This includes thanking customers for positive comments, answering questions promptly and dealing with any negative comments. Remember, even a negative review gives you an opportunity to demonstrate that your business deals with dissatisfied customers well.

      Local SEO organic search results

      To get the best possible local results, there are three key components that Google uses to rank your site in organic search results.


      The quality of your website’s content should always be your first consideration. This is the case whether you’re optimising pages for a global ranking or to rank well in local results. Ask yourself if your content is truly useful to website visitors, and if it’s relevant to your potential customers.

      If you’re building a new website, you should use region-specific keywords to increase local traffic. Including town or city names is usually a good strategy. Customers will either be looking for a business they can travel to, or they will prefer to support local businesses by buying from a nearby retailer, even when shopping online.

      Local online directory listings also help your website rank well in searches. Spend time making sure that your website is listed in any relevant local directories. Check that the description of your business and any photographs are relevant, of good quality and engaging to a local audience.

      Finally, links to other local websites help to boost your online visibility. Consider reaching out to other businesses in the area to exchange links.


      Positive reviews on third-party websites, such as Facebook and local business directories, help you stand out when compared to other businesses. This is the most important part of your strategy to build local prominence. According to this research by Shopify, 41% of customers consider reviews when making a buying decision.

      Make sure that your website is updated frequently and that you have an active profile on social media, including links back to your website pages in your posts and comments. Make sure that your identity, and any information you provide, are verified online when this tool is available.

      You might also want to consider backlinking to other local websites that target your area, such as websites about attractions and events.


      Finally, it’s usually not possible to compete with global companies (e.g. Amazon) on an even playing field – unless you have a similar marketing budget. However, 89% of retailers report that most of their direct competition comes from other online businesses. Considering that studies show the majority of customers like to shop online, making yourself visible in your local area is vital.

      The two key areas to target when you’re looking to appeal to nearby customers are geo-modified searches and ‘near me’ searches. Make sure your keywords are region-specific to improve your ranking in both geo-modified and ‘near me’ searches.

      Your keyword research

      Using the right local keywords is vital to maximising the success of any of the methods we’ve described. The importance of this type of research can’t be emphasised enough – and never assume that you already know which keywords are going to give you the best results.

      Large enterprises often focus on top-level keywords without targeting localised ones. This means there is less competition for local traffic, and your local Pay-Per-Click marketing will be far more cost-effective using these keywords. Researching and implementing local keywords grows your digital footprint, and inevitably results in more customers finding your website.

      There are many online tools you can use to research keywords, but getting an SEO professional on board for this part of the process will probably save you money in the long term.

      Find out how Semantix can help you build your online presence and boost your sales.