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Local Legends: How SEO Can Drive Kent Businesses to Success

Running a business in Kent can sometimes feel like trying to find your car in a shopping centre car park on Black Friday. But a secret weapon can help you shine: Local SEO. It’s like having a giant, neon arrow pointing customers straight to your door. Let’s look into what local SEO is, why it matters, and how you can use it to make your business the talk of the town.

What Is Local SEO?

Think of local SEO as a way to make sure your business shows up when people nearby are searching for services or products you offer. Imagine you run a bakery in Canterbury: someone nearby searches for “best bakery in Canterbury” – you want to be the first name they see. That’s local SEO at work. Alternatively, another person is scrolling through Google Maps looking for a bakery, and you “pop up”. They will most likely contact you first. That’s local SEO at work

Why Should You Care About Local SEO?

More Prominence: When people search for things near them, you need to be right at the top of the list. At the very least in the top three. In fact, 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. That’s a lot of potential customers you could be missing if you’re not optimised for local searches.

Builds Confidence: Showing up in local search results makes your business look more credible. Around 88% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This is a huge swing in online mentality. So, when they see your business with glowing reviews, they’re more likely to trust you and go on to buy your products and services.

Increases Foot Traffic: More visibility means more people visiting your shop. Did you know that 78% of people use the internet to find local business information regularly? That’s a lot of feet heading your way if you play your SEO cards right.

How to Use Local SEO for Your Kent Business

1. Get Your Google My Business (GMB) – Now called “Google Business Profile” (GBP) Listing Right

Google Business Profile is like your business’s online ID card. Make sure it’s filled out correctly with:

  • Your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP): These should be consistent everywhere.
  • Business Categories: Pick categories that best describe what you do.
  • Customer Reviews: Encourage happy customers to leave reviews and respond to them (even the cranky ones).

2. Use Local Keywords

Sprinkle local keywords throughout your website content. If you’re a café in Maidstone, use phrases like “cosy café in Maidstone” or “best coffee in Kent.”

Fun fact: “Near me” mobile searches have increased by 136% recently. So, using local keywords helps you get found by people searching nearby.

3. Get Local Backlinks

Backlinks are like getting a thumbs-up from other websites. The more local websites link to you, the better. Try to get listed in local directories or collaborate with local organisations.

4. Optimise for Mobile

Most local searches are done on mobile devices. Make sure your website looks good and works well on phones. This is super important because 57% of local searches are done on mobile devices.

5. Be Active in Your Community

Join local events, sponsor community activities, and chat with your customers on social media. This not only makes you more visible but also shows that you’re a valued part of the community.

Why Google Maps Listings Have Become Important from a User Perspective – and How Local SEO Enhances This

Google Maps has become an indispensable tool for users seeking local businesses, and understanding this can significantly improve how local SEO can be utilised to benefit businesses in Kent.

1. Easy Access to Information

Google Maps provides comprehensive information about businesses, such as hours of operation, contact details, and directions. This immediate access helps users make quick decisions about where to go and what to buy.

How Local SEO Enhances This:

Optimising your Google My Business (GMB) listing ensures all this information is accurate and up-to-date. Local SEO helps your business appear in relevant searches, making sure that potential customers see your details when they need them.

2. User Reviews and Ratings

Google Maps prominently displays user reviews and ratings, which play a crucial role in consumer decision-making. Users trust these reviews as much as personal recommendations.

How Local SEO Enhances This:

Local SEO involves encouraging customers to leave positive reviews and responding to them. Businesses that actively manage their reviews tend to rank higher in search results. For example, 88% of consumers trust online reviews, making it essential to maintain a positive online reputation.

3. Real-Time Updates and Notifications

Google Maps provides real-time updates about business hours, special offers, and temporary closures. Users appreciate these updates, which help them plan their visits.

How Local SEO Enhances This:

Through GMB, businesses can post updates about promotions, events, or changes in operational hours. Regular updates keep customers informed and engaged, improving your chances of appearing in the local pack.

4. Visual and Interactive Experience

Features like Street View, photos, and interior views on Google Maps offer a rich visual experience. This helps users get a better feel for the business before visiting.

How Local SEO Enhances This:

Uploading high-quality images and virtual tours to your GMB listing can attract more customers. Local SEO strategies include regularly updating these visuals to keep the listing appealing and relevant.

5. Convenience and Efficiency

Google Maps consolidates essential business information in one place, making it convenient for users to find what they need without visiting multiple websites.

How Local SEO Enhances This:

Local SEO ensures that your business appears in local searches, providing users with all the information they need right on Google Maps. This increases your chances of being chosen by potential customers who prioritise convenience.

Linking It All Together

Local SEO is the practice of optimising your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. By enhancing your Google Maps listing through effective local SEO strategies you can improve your visibility, build confidence with potential customers, and provide them with the convenient, comprehensive information they seek.

Statistics to Remember:

  • 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphone visit a related business within a day.
  • 86% of people use Google Maps to find local businesses.

Real-Life Success Story

Take for example the story of a small café in Maidstone. They were struggling to get customers through the door. By optimising their Google My Business listing, encouraging reviews, and writing blog posts about local events, they saw a 50% increase in online visibility and a 30% boost in foot traffic within six months. Now, they’re not just a café – they’re a local legend.

Wrapping Up

Local SEO might sound like techy wizardry, but it’s really about making sure your business shows up when it matters most. By focusing on local search optimisation, you can increase visibility, build trust, and attract more customers. So, get started with these tips, and soon your business could be the next big thing in Kent.

To start your Kent Local SEO journey, contact smokingchilimedia.com today! 

For more detailed statistics and insights, check out these resources (99Firms (Taylor Scher) (Safari Digital).

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