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What is local SEO?

Local SEO are the activities that make you visible in local searches; that’s people in your area looking for the products or services that you offer. Local SEO benefits businesses that have a physical location, such as a shop, bakery or restaurant, as well as those that provide a service to local customers, such as plumbers, mobile beauty therapists, and photographers.

What are the origins of local SEO?

As we know, search engines such as Google were born out of a need to organise and access all the rapidly expanding information on the web - but what if you only need search results that apply to where you live? This is where local search engine optimisation came in, providing searchers with results relevant to the area they were in, but also information such as opening times, address, and even reviews.

Why is local SEO important?

Being found by users is obviously the name of the SEO game, but that traffic isn’t much good to you if those users can’t become customers because they’re not in your area. Local SEO helps you be found by the people looking for exactly what you do in the area you do it in.

With 75% of consumers in the UK, US, France, and Germany using Google to look for business information, and with “where to buy” + “near me” keyword searches having grown by 200% in recent years, local search optimisation is not to be sniffed at.

Local SEO v regular SEO

In short, regular SEO aims to make your site searchable both nationally and internationally, whereas local SEO focuses specifically on searches within your local area. Ideally, your strategy should include a blend of the two.

What matters for local search?

Local SEO takes into consideration a number of factors - some you’ll recognise from regular SEO, and some are local seo specific. These include:


SERPs will always be curated by Google with relevance in mind; Google is looking for results that closely match a search query in order to rank it highly for that term. It’s within your power to tell Google all about your business via your website and your Business Profile (more on that later), so that it can gain a great understanding of your relevance against search terms.


Unsurprisingly specific to local search, distance is defined by Google as “how far each potential search result is from the location term used in a search. If a user doesn’t specify a location in their search, we’ll calculate distance based on what we do know about their location.” Although Google is vague in their definition of distance, since if you are a service area business they state your potential customers must not be more than 2 hours of driving away (but they don't provide an exact distance).


This is all about how well-known Google judges your business to be; how prominent it is amongst your competition. It’s one of the most complex ranking categories in local search, and there is offline reputation to consider too.

The map pack view for the searched keyword 'car dealerships Nottingham'

The map pack

Ever searched for, say, Italian restaurants in the town you live near, and found that a map pops up on Google showing pinned locations and the top 3 options relevant to your search?

This is what we’re talking about when we refer to the map pack. Any business looking to make the most of local search traffic should want to appear on maps for relevant searches. Google can determine a searcher’s current location, but the map pack can also be triggered by ‘near me’ or ‘near [location]’ search terms.

The map pack is reliant on a thoroughly filled-out Google Business Profile.

What are the local SEO ranking factors?

Google Business Profile

Formerly known as ‘Google My Business’, Google Business Profile is a kind of shop window in the SERPs, giving searcher’s the vital at-a-glance information that they’ll be looking for. Remember telephone directories? Google My Business is the modern digital equivalent.

Optimising your Google Business Profile is key to the success of your local SEO strategy, and it involves keeping it detailed and up to date, managing your reviews, and uploading images.

NAP citations

A NAP citation refers to the essential information about your business: its Name, Address, and Phone number - hence NAP. These usually appear on business directories, and on social media platforms.


Many consumers won’t even think of becoming a customer of a business unless the testimony of happy people who have gone before are visible to view online. Reminding customers to leave a review about their experience, and responding promptly when they do, marks you out as a trusted and active business to Google.

According to Global Newswire, 95% of users read online reviews before making a purchase. Of these, 58% say they would pay more for goods which have positive reviews.


Just as they are with regular SEO, backlinks can be valuable for local SEO strategies too. Pursuing backlinks by creating genuinely helpful, useful content for your users can help your local SEO

On-page SEO

What you put on your web pages has bearing on your local SEO. These can be optimised, through the content, meta descriptions and images, to appeal to local search intent.

Does my business need local SEO?

If you can confidently say ‘yes’ when asked if you provide goods or services within your community, then you shouldn’t be without a local SEO strategy. Leveraging that local search means you’re making the most of traffic from users in your area searching for exactly what you do!

Our local SEO services

As an SEO agency that covers the full spectrum of SEO activities, local SEO is a feather in our cap that can help make you a popular choice in your area. Here are some of the local search engine optimisation services we undertake for clients from all industries:

GBP Optimisation

As you may have gathered, your Google Business Profile is an integral part of your local SEO strategy, so it’s important to get it right. We know exactly how to make the most of a Google Business Profile, and how to thoroughly fill one out, and keep it updated.

Local content

There’s nothing our content team likes better than to get stuck into some local research, crafting content based upon it that makes your site an authority on relevant local topics. If there’s one thing Google’s fond of, it’s an authoritative site.

Location pages

Individual pages that focus on the areas that you serve can help you be found by local customers - we can create them, and we can write the content. We work with you to ensure every page is as helpful to your users as possible.

Local competitor audits

Think you know who you’re up against? If not, we’ll find out for you, and regardless of whether you’re familiar with your competitors or not, we can also measure your local SEO success against theirs, working hard to make you top dog.

Local business citations and NAPs audits

You need your business name, address and phone number in all the relevant places, so you can literally be found everywhere! We can help with this too.

Location-based keyword research

You can’t work blind with keywords, and that’s as relevant in local SEO as it is in regular SEO. We can accurately find the search terms your potential customers are using, so that we can weave them naturally into your content.

Online reviews

We’ll take a look at where your reviews currently are, and how you’re managing them, advising you on how best to approach them going forward so that they positively impact your SEO efforts.

Local search schema

Schema speaks Google’s language, and sits behind your web pages to tell the search engine exactly what they need to know. If you’re appealing to the local community, there’s local search schema (also known as Local Business schema) for that - and we can handle it for you.

Regular SEO still applies

Whilst businesses that serve a specific area should make local SEO a priority, it doesn’t mean that regular SEO shouldn’t also be one. We’d recommend making local SEO a part of your overall SEO strategy, as opposed to going after it single mindedly and ignoring the regular SEO best practices.

Why choose 427 for your local SEO marketing?

We’re a multi talented bunch here at 427 Marketing, which means we’re proud to offer our services as a local SEO agency. With years in the industry, we’ve watched local SEO change and evolve, and we continue to keep our finger on the pulse as we hurtle into the future; it’s why our clients can rely on us to keep up with local SEO trends.

It would be our pleasure to make your business visible on the search engine results pages of your local community, putting you in front of the people who need you most.

Could you use help with your local business SEO? We’re a local SEO company you can trust; give us a call to get the ball rolling.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of local business does Google recognise?

Google acknowledges the following business types:

  • Bricks and mortar locations - this includes shops and restaurants
  • Service Area Businesses - such as plumbers, caterers or photographers
  • Home based businesses - this could be a daycare centre, or a psychotherapist with a home office
  • Multi department business - this could be anything from a hospital to a car dealership
  • Multi practitioner business - like a solicitors, beauty therapists, or a dental practice
  • Hybrid businesses - this could be a restaurant that also delivers to people’s homes
  • Multi brand business - such as a car dealership with multiple franchises under one roof
  • Mobile businesses - like coffee vans, or street food vendors
  • Co-located and co-branded business - a good example of these are when Post Offices are located in premises such as Co-Op, or WHSmith
  • Solo practitioner businesses - like one solitary solicitor operating in more than one area of law
  • Multi brand business - such as a car dealership with multiple franchises under one roof
  • Kiosks and cash machines

Can you set up my Google Business Profile for me?

Yes we can. Working together using your details we can help set up your Google Business Profile. However it may be easier for us to walk you through the steps of setting up your profile to make sure all details are correct.

I have a physical premises but I also sell online -can I still do local SEO? 

Yes! Both local SEO and regular SEO will benefit you greatly.

I’ve heard replying to reviews is good practice - does it help local SEO?

Yes, it does - one of our top local SEO tips is to reply promptly to all your Google reviews, regardless of whether they’re positive or not so positive.Yes! Both local SEO and regular SEO will benefit you greatly.

I cover multiple areas - should I have a location page for each one?

This depends. If you have several different locations you operate from then yes by all means have a GBP for each location. However if you operate from a single location but service a wider area, use the service area selection tool within your Google Business Profile to select which areas you provide your services for.

I share a business location with several other businesses - will local SEO still work?

Yes! It's common for businesses to share locations, such as shared office spaces; rest assured, local SEO can still work for you based on your address.

What is the most important ranking factor in local SEO?

As with all forms of SEO there is no singular silver bullet and it’s important to cover all bases in local SEO. However we would say that without a Google My Business profile, you’re on to a loser. It’s essential if you want to be found locally in the map pack.

How quickly does local SEO start to work?

As with regular SEO, there is no set-in-stone time frame for local SEO to start working, and it’s highly unlikely you’ll see instant results. However, with the right care and attention, you local SEO efforts could begin to pay off after around 3 months, with even more encouraging results happening from the 6 month mark onwards.

Real clients, real results

We pride ourselves on delivering real measurable results for our clients. View our case studies to find out how we helped.

Nexa Properties

Lettings & Estate Agency

423% increase in website enquiries

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View case study

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