What is local SEO?

Local SEO is a key weapon in the arsenal of any digital marketing agency in Shrewsbury. We’re talking about tools from search engines like Google My Business that showcase your business on maps, known as Google’s local ‘snack pack’. Local SEO also relates to helpful content featured on your website. That could be more information about who you are and where to find you or just engaging, sharable content that grows your audience. To highlight how Local SEO can help your business, we’ll use the example of Sabrina Boat and how we dominated the Shrewsbury SERPs.

What is Local SEO?

How we dominated local SEO in Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury is often cited as one of the best places to visit in the UK. The town boasts over 660 listed buildings, a plethora of preserved medieval streets, and a thriving independent shopping scene, all wrapped within the River Severn.

Of the 15 million people that visit Shrewsbury every year, most only stop for one night. That means there is a lot of competition to grab people’s attention. Sabrina Boat contacted StoryThreads looking for a digital marketing agency with SEO and web design experience to help them solve a big problem

TripAdvisor recategorised all their listings and Sabrina Boat, which is commonly referred to as one of the best things to do in Shrewsbury dropped from 3rd to 33rd overnight.

Example of Local SEO in Practice: Rank High on Google in Shrewsbury.

Local SEO starts with registering your business

Google My Business is probably the most mission-critical element of local SEO.  If you don’t own your listing, we suggest you visit their site and claim yours now.

It’s a really simple process to register. Once you’ve completed your application, you’ll receive a postcard with an activation code within around 5-10 working days. Here’s where you register your Google My Business account.

Also, let’s not forget Apple Maps. Mobile equates to 70% of all traffic to the Sabrina Boat website, and over half of the visitors have an iPhone with Apple Maps installed. Even if the default is set to Google Maps, you could be missing out on a trick if you don’t claim your business on Apple Maps.

Optimising on-page content for local SEO

Hands down the reason why Sabrina Boat ranks so well in Shrewsbury is the content marketing approach.

When we first met with the Sabrina team we quickly identified that they weren’t selling a boat ride, they were selling Shrewsbury and everything it had to offer. There are listings sites for Shrewsbury but people see the Sabrina office as the unofficial tourist information point, so it made sense to create online visitor guides.

What set Sabrina Boat’s website apart from other listings sites was our interactive guides. We kept the content unique and posted it up on the Google My Maps platform like this River Severn guided walk. Even though it was built into the web page itself, you could launch the guide directly onto Google Maps to make it easier to follow on your phone.

Tourism Marketing UK

Local SEO and long-tail keywords

Spending time on keyword research paid trumps for Sabrina Boat and their local SEO campaign in Shrewsbury. This is especially true for long-tail keywords.

So you might be wondering what is a long-tail keyword?

There’s a great article over at Yoast that goes into great detail about long-tail keywords but in a nutshell, they say:

‘Long-tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly searched for keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific’.

According to moz.com and their keyword explorer tool, Shrewsbury gets an awful lot of searches per month on Google.

Local SEO for the Keyword Shrewsbury Search Volume

OK, so that’s a lot of people searching for the keyword Shrewsbury.

There’s an issue, the competition for the top spot is fierce and most SEOs struggle to beat Wikipedia, it’s a high authority domain with lots of high quality links pointing at it.

So we focused instead on long-tail keywords.

And guess what happened?

We gained the top spot for lower volume traffic keywords, and this is what happens when you’re at number 1 on Google.

Taking advantage of featured snippets

Featured Snippets are everywhere these days.

You’ll see them at the top of a Google search page ABOVE the number one position.

Wait, there’s a number ZERO position?!

Not only do Featured Snippets appear over the highest ranking page for a search term, they typically have a conversion rate three times higher than the number one position.

Featured Snippet from Google Shrewsbury

The example above is an Unordered List featured snippet for our piece of SEO content about a Shrewsbury walk along the River Severn. It has a click-through rate of 15%.

The featured snippet above is an Unordered List. There is also an Ordered List featured snippet which is very much the same thing but as you can imagine it applies to step-by-step instructions or rankings.

The Table is another type of snippet.

The fourth type of snippet is the Definition Box. There’s an example of one taken from another piece of content marketing we produced for Sabrina.

Tip: When crafting your content to include Definition Box featured snippets, consider the search term as a question and try to answer that question within 40-60 words.

Featured Snippets at the Top of Google

Why does local SEO matter?

Sabrina Boat has seen an uplift in site visitors by 67% through the creation of optimised content, on-page SEO across the site, and technical SEO (ensuring everything works as it should on mobile and desktop).

Alongside local SEO, our CRO team redesigned specific touchpoints to make it easier to convert visitors into customers, doubling the conversion rate to 8%.

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