Search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial for businesses trying to reach customers online. However, in an ever-globalising world, catering to local audiences is becoming increasingly important. This is where the localisation of SEO comes in.
Localisation of SEO refers to optimising website content and structure to target audiences in a particular geographic location. The goal is to make content more relevant for local users to improve engagement and conversions.
For example, a business based in Manchester would want to optimise its website for people searching for related products or services in Manchester and the surrounding areas. This is opposed to targeting all of the UK or even global audiences.
There are several key reasons why localising SEO is crucial:
Improved Local Rankings
Google and other search engines give preference to pages that closely match local user intents and locations. So optimising for local SEO can push website rankings higher for local searches.
For example, when someone in Bristol searches for “plumber Bristol”, a website optimised for that geo-intent will have an advantage over generic plumbing websites.
Increased Local Clicks & Conversions
Higher local rankings and relevance lead to more local traffic that converts better. If a website properly showcases serving a particular area, local users are more likely to use its services and make purchases.
Conversion rates from local leads tend to be very high, so local SEO success significantly boosts revenue.
Builds Trust & Authority
Customising website content for specific regions signals to local users that a business truly understands and caters to their needs.
This geographical relevance establishes trust and authority with the local audience much more than generic websites. So local SEO helps cement a brand as an industry leader within its served locations.
Successfully optimising a website for local SEO requires focusing on several areas:
Website copy should directly speak to the target location with locally optimised titles, headers, URLs, meta descriptions, image alt text, etc using relevant terms.
For example, content could showcase serving specific towns, cities or postcodes, reference local events, locations, sports teams, etc. This signals to search engines a specific geo-intent.
Properly structured metadata helps search bots understand a website’s local orientation. This includes:
Citations & Local Directories
Registering with online directories connects brands to local intents while building more regional relevance signals through inbound citations. Top platforms include Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Hotfrog, FreeIndex, etc.
Optimised GMB Listing
An up-to-date and fully optimised Google My Business profile is mandatory for local SEO success. This helps Google understand exact geo-intent and service areas while driving more Maps traffic.
Earning links from location-relevant sites indicates local orientation to search bots. Useful targets include local news/events websites, sports teams, directories, chambers of commerce, etc. in the served region.
Local Content Authority Sites
Having an optimised brand mention or location page on authoritative regional publishers adds trust and awareness. For example, local landing pages on newspaper domains like ManchesterEveningNews.co.uk or LiverpoolEcho.co.uk.
While international SEO also expands reach to wider geos, local and international strategies differ considerably regarding relevancy and intent:
So international SEO casts a wider net while local SEO laser targets specific geos. Businesses shouldn’t choose one over the other – a tiered strategy encompassing both is best.
Optimising for local SERPs requires specialised strategies. Here are some top local SEO tips:
The exact local SEO strategies would differ based on the nature and location of the business. However, the above tips serve as a guideline of how brands can laser-target local user intent through optimised content.
However, effectively executing local SEO comes with a few hurdles:
Maintaining these localised strategies at scale for a growing regional presence demands added time and resources. But again, the payoff from higher local visibility and revenue makes the investment worthwhile.
Top franchises and chains with locations across the UK particularly rely on expertise in local SEO and outranking map packs. Opening new regional outlets that aren’t discoverable to nearby searchers results in a huge missed opportunity.
The best strategy is creating optimised Google My Business profiles for each location while still maintaining a national GMB account. This allows customising listings at the local level while still benefiting from national search visibility.
Many brands also run AdWords location extension campaigns to serve text ads alongside the map pack. Franchises can enable leads to request quotes from their nearest location so no opportunity gets missed.
Location pages on the main website should also showcase details of the closest regions served while accommodating national information needs.
So brands with expanding regional presence must continuously double down on local SEO efforts to maximise visibility and conversions in each community.
Typically, brands have two options to improve local search performance:
Partnering with specialists that provide dedicated geo-focused strategies across the above areas offers the best results.
Reputable local SEO agencies stay updated on algorithm changes to ensure local ranking stability. They also offer insider knowledge from serving other regional businesses to deploy proven tactics faster.
Most crucially, agencies do the heavy lifting executing multi-point local campaigns while brands focus on daily operations. This makes delegating to an experienced local partner well worth the investment.
Take A DIY Approach
Of course, not everyone has the budget for an agency, especially single-location operations. DIY local SEO is still possible through proper education and mastering free tools.
Business owners can self-optimise listings, create localised content, manage citations and track ranking progress. But this demands extensive effort doing daily SEO tasks versus outsourcing them.
The DIY route also means learning through free courses and communities versus getting specialist strategic input. And with Google’s intricate local algorithms getting harder to crack, an agency’s expertise in what works often outweighs trial and error.
So brands must determine whether it’s more viable to appoint local SEO staff internally or hire an expert external partner. Generally, bringing on an established agency ends up being the more efficient option for long-term growth.
Customising SEO for local user intent remains crucial, especially for location-dependent services. When done effectively across key areas, local SEO success can transform brand awareness and profitability within served regions.
While mastering hyperlocal strategies demands added resources, the ROI through elevated local visibility and conversions makes this a mandatory investment as part of scaling localised presence across the UK.