The Guide To Local SEO For Brighton Businesses – How To Get More Customers in Brighton
Brighton is an incredibly competitive city, so businesses need to be able to stand out from the competition to be discovered. Perfecting your local SEO strategy can help you find new customers in the Brighton area. Every business needs an online presence and if you have an online presence, you should make sure it is optimised for discovery on search engines. Local SEO can help customers discover your business online and an make them more likely to visit your premises in-person and make a purchase.
The internet has levelled the playing field when it comes to promoting your business. On the one hand this is a good thing, you don’t need anything more than a social media account and a phone to start getting your brand in front of customers. On the other hand, this means that there are far more competitors than ever before, and you must work even harder to stand out from your competitors. Just having a great website or social media feed isn’t enough – you also need new customers to be able to discover you. This is where SEO (search engine optimisation) can help.
At Carden Digital, we’ve supplied both SEO and local SEO services to businesses in Brighton and they’ve had success at increasing their leads, sales, and footfall. Let’s look at some of the ways we’ve helped businesses improve their local search rankings as well as looking at how local SEO differs from standard SEO.
What Is Local SEO For Brighton Businesses?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of making alterations to your online presence (whether that’s a website, social profile, or online store) to make it easier for users who are searching for products and services like the ones you offer. Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process of enhancing local businesses’ visibility on search engines, particularly those businesses with a physical presence. Businesses can greatly increase footfall to their stores or online sales to local customers by adhering to local SEO best practises.
Local SEO often focusses on local business listings, both on websites and on the Google search engine results page (SERP) itself.
According to Google itself, over a third of searches now include some form of local intent “shoe shops near me”, “local electrician”, “Brighton-based carpenter” etc. Google also says that the number of these searches is growing quickly. Google has adapted to meet this demand for localised information by expanding the use of Google My Business profiles.
To prove the importance of local SEO for Brighton businesses, if you search for something like “Plumber near me”, you will notice that Google usually displays a map of the local area, along with at least three suggested plumbers who cover the local area. This is known as the “map pack”. But, in a city like Brighton there are dozens of plumbers, so winning a top spot on the map pack is going to lead to a lot more enquiries.
Unlike other aspects of SEO for businesses in Brighton, Google is very clear about how it ranks local search queries. When Google detects that a search has “local intent” it uses additional ranking factors on top of its regular algorithm. It judges businesses based on;
How relevant the business is to the user’s search. A business which closely matches a user’s search will be more likely to be shown to them. Therefore, it’s important to know how your target market is search for products and services like yours.
How close the business is to the user’s current location. Closer businesses will be preferred by the algorithm; however, the closest business will not always be the #1 spot if Google figures out that a business farther away is significantly more relevant or prominent.
How popular a business is compared to its local competitors. Reviews, backlinks, mentions on other websites, and age of business can all play into what Google calls “prominence”. Therefore, encouraging users to leave reviews is always a good idea.
How To Improve Local SEO For Brighton Businesses?
Almost all customers perform some form of online research before making a purchase, so it’s important that your business shows up on Google when people are researching the service you provide. Even if you currently get business by word of mouth, customers are likely to cross reference your business with other competitors online.
If you haven’t optimised your website for local search, then you are missing a huge opportunity to attract new customers. Every business in Brighton is different and their local SEO campaign will also differ depending on factors like the size, age, target demographic, and service area of the business. There are, however, some essential steps we take with every business we work with. Some of these require specialist knowledge or tools, but others you can do yourself if you are looking for some local SEO “quick wins” …
- Claim Your Google My Business Listing
If your business has an existing premises, there is a good chance that you already have an automated Google My Business (GMB) profile. You can claim this by searching for your business on Google and clicking on “Own this business?”. Google will send you a postcard with a code printed on it and you will need to prove you own the business by entering that code online when it arrives. Alternatively, if you do not have an automated GMB profile, you can create one by registering your business at google.com/intl/en_uk/business/. Once you have claimed or set up a Google My Business listing, you should make sure that all the information listed on there is correct (address, phone number, opening hours etc). You should also upload some images of your business or products and place a link to your website.
- Complete Local Directory Listings
Brighton has several local business listing websites, most of which allow you to create a free listing. In order to help your search ranking rather than hamper it, you need to make sure that your contact details are consistent across different business listings. Here are some Brighton listings website you could try and get your business listed on:
- Keyword Research
We conduct keyword research to see what people nearby are searching. This can help inform you about what services your target market is most interested in, as well as how they are searching for it. This can help influence what added content you should put on your website.
- Website Optimisation
Before we even start on your website’s content, we ensure that the site is in the best possible shape from a technical standpoint. This includes making sure it is optimised for mobile devices, is free from errors like broken links, and loads pages as fast as possible. This is an ongoing process as there are always more improvements to be made but looking good on mobile and being free of technical errors is a good baseline to start from.
- Pay Attention To Local Competition
If your business isn’t ranking in the top three businesses when someone does a search with local intent, you need to pay attention to who is. Understanding your competitors, what they are doing right, and what you could do better can help inform what areas of your local SEO need attention and let you know how competitive the local area is. Unfortunately, when it comes to local SEO for businesses in Brighton, the answer is it is normally VERY competitive.
- Local Content Marketing
As part of our local SEO strategy for Brighton businesses, we create content for your website which is focused on the Brighton area. This can range from simple tasks like making sure that if you are a plumber in Brighton, you actually have the words “plumber in Brighton” on your home page, to more complex ones like creating a series of blogs or products pages related to your services in the local area. Far too many local businesses never mention anything related to the local area on their website (other than the contact page).
- Off-Page Local SEO Factors (Reviews)
This is focussed on getting links to your sites from other high-ranking, relevant websites, and getting more reviews on your GMB and business listings. Reviews and backlinks are both “trust signals” which Google uses to decide how much authority and trustworthiness a website has. You can suggest to satisfied customers that they might want to leave a review on your GMB profile. Reviews are a key factor which Google considers when choosing which businesses to display at the top of the search page. You might also want to encourage reviews on industry-specific sites like TripAdvisor. Consistently getting high reviews from genuine customers demonstrates to Google that real customers value your business and that you give a reliably high level of service.
The Importance Of Local SEO for Brighton Business
Local SEO isn’t just about getting a higher search ranking, it’s about what that increased search ranking can lead to. Here are some of the benefits of increasing your online presence through a local SEO campaign.
- More Traffic and Leads
In all cases, the higher a website ranks in search, the more traffic that website can receive. So long as that traffic is relevant, local traffic, it will also increase the number of enquiries.
- Improved Conversion Rate
The better your website design is, and the more relevant it is to your target market, the more likely a visitor is to “convert” to a customer. This means more leads, phone calls and sales (both online and in-person).
- More Footfall
A lot of the time that nearby users make searches with local intent, they are doing so on their mobile while they are walking around Brighton. If you can capture these searches, you can increase foot traffic to your premises.
- Cost-Effective Approach
Unlike other marketing efforts, local SEO campaigns continue to supply benefits for years. While Google makes regular adjustments to its algorithms, the staples of good local SEO remain the same. So, most actions you take today to improve your local SEO will still be valuable 5 years from now. Contrast this to other marketing methods like PPC (Pay Per Click) ads which stop giving you any benefit the moment you stop running them.
- Builds Brand Reputation
The more visibility your brand has online, the more trust users will have in you. Even if they don’t make a purchase today, this customer recognition can pay off weeks, months or even years later.
Does Your Brighton Business Need Help Local SEO?
After reading this article, you should be aware of the importance of local SEO campaigns for Brighton businesses. If you feel confident doing this by yourself, that’s great – but if you feel like you’d benefit from some professional SEO help, our local SEO team is here to help. You can book a free site audit today from one of our SEO specialists. We’ll give you a report on the current state of your SEO and some suggestions of how it could be improved. There’s no obligation to hire us afterwards, but we’re confident that you will!