If you have a site hoping to attract local customers, you’re likely already figuring out that optimising for local has become absolutely essential. Statistics suggest that nearly half of all searches today on Google are local searches – those that look for businesses, restaurants, and shops near the searcher. Despite that fact, almost 60% of companies haven’t even claimed their Google My Business listing, a key factor in local search. As you begin to optimise your site to better capture local searchers, though, you may wonder how traditional optimisation advice – like linking – really plays into local search. The reality, though, is that linking plays a huge role in local search. In fact, most local SEO services UK companies will tell you it’s the second most important factor.
Why Linking Matters, Even in Local Search
Search engine algorithms look at a number of factors. Naturally, they look at keywords, reviews, and other things. In local, one key is that Google My Business Listing. Beyond that, though, they look at links. Links are a little bit like votes for another site. When one site links to another, they’re telling the crawlers that the site they’ve linked to is both useful and relevant. The more links you have to your site, the more sites are voting for yours. As a result, you get a much higher search engine ranking overall. What links really matter? Those that come from valuable sites. For example, imagine you run a fish and chips shop, and you’ve just made a list of the top ten fish and chip shops in Soho. The publication that named you to that list will likely link to your site, and that’s one vote for your site the search engines might take notice of. The more valuable the link, the more it affects your overall rating.
Increasing the Number of Links
It’s not an easy task to increase the number of sites linking to your own, as you’ll quickly learn from local SEO services. London companies have to do a bit of leg work to get those links, and while it may seem like a simple task ahead, the reality is that you’d better leave your linking to the professionals. Wondering why? The quality of links you get affects your profile, as we mentioned above. More than that, though, if you get poor links, you could really change your overall ranking. Submitting your site to link farms or using other techniques may mean you get a serious punishment from Google or another search engine, and that means a percentage of customers will never even see your name. Links do matter, but leaving it to the professionals to enhance both the number and the quality of your links is absolutely essential.
Don’t Ignore Other Local SEO Factors
Keep in mind that while you’re worrying about linking, there are a number of other optimisation factors that need to be addressed if you’re going to rank well for local. Ask any local SEO services – UK businesses must focus on a number of other factors to get a solid ranking. Those factors could include simple on-page optimisations like getting your title and description in order, or they could be more complex like standardising your name, address, and phone across the internet. Moreover, just claiming and/or enhancing your Google My Business listing is a pretty key factor too. It’s not just about the linking. Instead, local SEO is about a number of different factors that are designed to do what Google intended with local search – make your brick and mortar location easy to find.
It’s for this reason that consulting a professional local SEO agency is really going to help improve your overall search game. There are so many things to consider when you’re trying to capture that local search market. Considering all of them can be difficult when you’ve got a business to run as well. Working with a professional team to handle it, though, is a great way to get the links you need and deal with everything else that local optimisation involves. If you’re looking for real results, get help from local SEO services. London companies like yours are certain to appreciate the boost in rankings and foot traffic!
Hitesh is a digital marketing strategist and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in digital marketing, start-ups, branding, and customer acquisition strategies. Hitesh is the CEO and Founder of Reposition Group, which encompasses a number of companies in the digital sector including SEO.co.uk, Reposition.co.uk, and Bouncezap.com, amongst others.