What is Local SEO and Why is it So Important?

Did you know that 46% of searches conducted on Google are specifically looking for local information? To put that in some context, of the more than 3.5 billion searches that Google handles every day, more than 1.5 billion of those will include local intent. And that’s a lot of queries.

How Does Local SEO Work?

Google uses a series of complex algorithms every time it provides its users with results to their query. These algorithms consider numerous off-site and on-site signals to identify websites that contain content relevant to each search query. These results are then organised by prominence, with the sites that best address the query and deliver the most pleasing user experience (UX) positioned towards the top of the SERPs.


As increasing numbers of us are conducting Google searches on our mobile devices, local SEO has become a much more prominent consideration for business owners. When curating local SERPs, Google uses an array of signals including citations, links, local content and social profiles to provide searchers with the most relevant and highest quality local results. This means that there are numerous local SEO best practices that businesses can leverage to increase organic traffic from Google searches being performed by potential consumers in the local area.


The local search algorithm used by the search giant also considers proximity, which means that the location of the searcher plays a pivotal role in local SEO. Imagine for a moment that you’re at work in your office and you want to order sushi for lunch. Conducting a search for “sushi delivery” in your office will present you with an entirely different set of results than if you were to conduct the same search when you’re at home. This makes sense as when you’re ordering food, you want it to arrive as quickly as possible and therefore you’re going to want to find the best restaurants in your current location.

Does Local SEO Really Matter That Much?

In a word: yes. But allow me to expand on that a little…

As competition is so incredibly high in the digital sphere, businesses need to do everything possible to set themselves apart from their competitors for the right reasons. Those that haven’t yet implemented a robust local search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy to boost their visibility in local search engine results pages (SERPs) are almost certainly missing out on countless opportunities to connect with potential clients and customers in their local area who are ready to make a purchase.


Don’t forget, more than three quarters of consumers who use their phone to search for a local business or service will visit a business on the same day. So, if your business can connect with and capture the attention of a local audience, you are likely to have the opportunity to welcome them into your premises in as little as a few minutes.

Who Needs Local SEO?

There are an array of business types that will see significant benefits from developing and implementing a local SEO strategy.

Local Businesses

Clearly, local businesses need to appeal to a local audience and a local SEO strategy is a critical part of doing this effectively. A few examples of local businesses that will most keenly benefit from this investment include legal services, veterinary services, leisure and fitness venues, and property services.

Service-Area Businesses

There are an array of businesses delivering to or serving clients in their own homes rather than maintaining a physical store location including electricians, cleaners, builders and plumbers. Often, service-area businesses cover several different locations and local SEO is a critical component for maintaining visibility in every location.

What Does Local SEO Entail?

There are various tactics and strategies associated with local SEO however some of the main tasks linked with high-quality local SEO include building “NAP” (name, address and phone number) citations, targeting local keywords, and optimising a Google My Business profile.

The Map Pack

The term The Map Pack or “The Local Pack” refers to the three local results that are displayed alongside the map at the top of the SERP. This feature has its own unique algorithm and as it occupies such a prominent position in SERPs it is worth leveraging a variety of tactics to be displayed here.

Local Organic Rankings

Local organic rankings are displayed below The Map Pack and as commercial intent is strong for the majority of local searches, optimising your digital presence to occupy a prominent local SERP ranking position will be beneficial.

Google My Business

As Google wants to display verifiable information to its searchers, it generally feels most confident providing them with content that it trusts. As such, maintaining a Google My Business page is advantageous for businesses wanting to appear at the top of local SERPs. Additionally, The Map Pack feature utilises Google My Business information so it simply isn’t possible to appear here without one.

In addition to ensuring your contact information and opening hours are up to date which will improve your customer experience, Google My Business also supports customer reviews, imagery, social media posts, and more.

Local Content

Creating content around more general topics that are relevant to your business is key to increasing visibility amongst a wide audience. However, it is also important to create local content designed to appeal to a local audience. Aiming to become an authorial voice within your area is a solid strategy as this will increase trust in your business and leverage the value of significant on-page local ranking signals.

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