What is local SEO and why is it so important?

If your location is fixed and you only offer services locally then your website is in fact a geography website. Confused? Don’t be.

How to get local SEO working for your company

Local SEO has a very bad name in the world of Internet content. It is often seen as SEO only pages which are normally all the same bar a change to city name or postcode. Hidden pages not for Google’s benefit only.

Many companies including large and small merely put the pages into the footer believing that Google will now believe they are based across the UK and will rank their pages accordingly. It rarely works.

By 2023 it is estimated that 64% of all UK Google searches are looking for local information.

Why is my local optimisation failing?

The reason why we see most local SEO strategies fail is because they are poorly executed.

There is a disdain for this type of content. There is a belief that Google will rank anything as long as you include the keyword plus the location and perhaps embed a Google map at the bottom. Oh, and add a Google My Business listing and your good to go.

What’s being misunderstood is that within local search there are two parts of a key phrase. For example, plumber London. Obviously, the page needs to be about plumbing services heating etc. This is a given. However what about London. How do you define London?

London of course is made up of Londoners it is a city in the UK. It is a collection of local areas. We have often see content writers telling users the London is the capital of England and has a population of 8m. This is missing the point.

Simple example

So exactly how do we inform Google that this page is actually about London and not a page that has a URL that looks a little like this www.plumber.com/london-plumber-london-camden-city.

One secret of successful geo-targeted SEO is actually on-site architecture. If London is the sum of its parts then surely a website that has a structure that reflects this has to be more about London than the above URL example.


Using this simple exercise you can see that possibly our page about a ‘plumber for London’ but actually based in North London/Camden is more believable to Google.

Then of course we have the actual content. If this page we create actually has a link to Camden Council landlord services then again perhaps this points to credibility. There are endless content improvements that we can make that can emphasise Camden. What about links to sites Kentish town pages etc.

Simply put if you’re local SEO is not working, we invite you just to read the SEO content that is on your website.

It problem has nothing to do with Camden or the chosen location. It is simply a plumbing page with a few words changed. We call the ‘words’ variables. The content we create has over 70 variables that change. The systems we have created actually has over 5 million variables per page!

Our approach

Proximity | Prominence | Relevance

  • The website is already sufficiently about plumbers.
    • However in essence the company only wants to target the London area.
  • So in that case it is less about plumbing and more about geography or localisation (London areas).
    • The owners of the company will not thank an SEO company for getting them traffic from miles away from London.
  • We need a structure and content that reflect the location
  • We need internal and external links that validate our content and URL choice
  • After creating the pages a simple strategy of adding localised backlinks that reflect the location and pointed to the correct hub page

Every week Vanilla Circus creates geo-targeted pages. We work with medical and finance pages, we also work within construction and manufacturing.

We have developed a strategy of geo-content that is far superior to any other local SEO company in the UK.

Local SEO for small businesses: For example, why rank solely for plumber London or plumber Camden when of course you want to rank for heating engineer London, leaky tap London, new bathroom London, install a kitchen + plumber + London the list is endless.

82% of UK searches  for a local business on a mobile either call or visit the business within 24 hours

We can make this all possible inexpensively and effectively.

We think what makes our local SEO strategies more successful is that we really enjoy the geography, the locations, the local backlinks and learning and optimising for local areas. To us it’s interesting.

If you would like to get your Local SEO working for you then please call Mr Sykes on  020 8405 6418.

Tips and Checklist

7 Factors that affect local SEO

  1. Site architecture and url structure
  2. internal and external linking
  3. use of location words in anchor text
  4. Website content
  5. Local SEO backlinks (local citations)
  6. Reviews from customers in the same location as the business
  7. Number of pages dedicated to a single location

6 Factors that do not affect local SEO as much as you think

  1. Google local/Google my business entries
  2. Developing Google local listing, images, blogs, offers
  3. A physical address in an area
  4. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
    1. basically web directory listings!
  5. Social media signals (links + location)
  6. Past Google analytics recorded user location data
  7. Domain IP

If you don’t agree with the above list or would like to add to it please reply here.


Watch video on Google’s rules for local SEO

Or see Guidelines for representing your business on Google

About the author

Benedict is an expert in Geo-targeted SEO. His experience in local SEO is based on over 15 years of working within the industry. One of his major achievements was generating over $60m for a US company by creating a system of localised pages that were based on the location of local airports. On a more down to earth daily basis his expertise in creating content to ensure client’s rank for keyword + location is very successful. His approach is unique and the end result is invariable a #1 position in Google.

Benedict has worked ranking health and finance websites for local search. His company Vanilla Circus is famous for its own in-house software that can generate its own content aimed at localised search results for large areas of the UK. Currently, this system is used by over 20 clients. More.