Local SEO is really important for customer acquisition. We all know the importance of SEO to business websites – SEO is one of the magic ingredients that helps search engines rank your website so that it’s more discoverable by visitors. In the last few years, SEO has split off into a number of smaller strands, one of them being local SEO.

Local SEO focuses solely on geographic factors and indicators – essential in an age where millions of web searches are made on smartphones and tablet devices. The location-sensing technology in these devices now allows us to type in ‘coffee shops near me’ or ‘hairdressers near Brixton’ and receive results relevant to our actual location.

So we’ve established that local SEO is important in this tech-fuelled day and age. How can you master this form of marketing and establish your business as a local frontrunner? Here are five top tips:

Claim your business page from Google

This is the first (and one of the most important) steps towards mastering local SEO. Google is the search engine of choice for the majority, and having your business premises listed with Google will ensure it shows up in relevant local search results. This is totally free, and simple to do. Ensure that you fill in every single detail about your business, from the basics like your address and contact number, to things like opening times and any reviews you might have.

Carry out an NAP audit

NAP means Name, Address and Phone Number, and this information is commonly stored in online directories like Yell, 192.com or Thomson Local. There are a number of tools online which can help you track down which directories hold your data, so that you can verify that it’s all correct – if there is conflicting information across various directories (two different phone numbers, for example), this can have a negative effect on your local SEO.

Build location-specific pages

If you have numerous business locations, it pays to build a specific page on your website focusing on each of the premises. You can then optimise each of these pages to focus on local keyword searches. So if you have one page based on your printing premises in Blackpool, and other focusing on your premises in Lytham, you can target the users that are searching for printing companies in these destinations.

Seek reviews for local SEO

Reviews are an increasingly important part of rankings – Moz believes that they make up round 10% of how Google will rank local search results, with better-reviewed businesses appearing higher up the list. They’re also essential if you’re trying to build trust in your business. Offer your customers an incentive to leave you a review – this will help search engines to see that you are a successful, customer-pleasing business which deserves to be ranked higher up to be discovered by new customers.

Use social media

Social media profiles like Facebook and TripAdvisor will also influence how Google views and ranks your business. Social media can also help with things like NAP listings and reviews, as well as promoting your brand to new audiences and targeting new customers with local ads.

We hope our tips have helped – have you perfected your local SEO yet?