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.

Vanilla Circus has been ranking keyword + location pages on the first pages of Google for over 13 years. We have written software and systems that can easily create unique content that can rank your pages for every location in the UK, for every variation of a keyword.

This content is future proof and perfectly acceptable to Google as it is the very best in Geo content available on the internet.

Most importantly, it also converts.

Each page has its own unique content and is designed to inform and convince a visitor to purchase.

Watch video on Google’s rules for local SEO

Or see Guidelines for representing your business on Google

How to get local SEO working for your company

Local SEO has a terrible name in the world of Internet content. It is often seen as SEO only pages which are typically all the same bar a change to city name or postcode. Hidden pages for Google’s benefit only. 

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

By 2023 it is estimated that 67% 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 is always misunderstood within a local search is that there are two parts of a key phrase. For example, plumber + London. The page needs to be about plumbing services, heating etc. This is a given. However, what about London. How do you define London?

  • London is full of Londoners.
  • It is a city in the UK.
  • It is a collection of local areas/boroughs and councils.
  • London is a collection of postcodes, street names etc.

We have often seen content writers telling visitors that 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 without giving it a spammy URL that does not fit in with the rest of the website like www.plumber.com/london-plumber-london-camden-city?

One secret of successful geo-targeted SEO is on-site architecture.

If London is the sum of its parts, then a website with a structure that reflects this has to be more about London than the above URL example.


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

If this page we create has a link to Camden Council landlord services, 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.

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 company owners will not thank an SEO company for gaining organic search 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 area and pointed to the correct hub page

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

To VC, local search is not rocket science.

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 you also want to rank for heating engineer London, leaky tap London, new bathroom London, install a kitchen + plumber + London etc.

77% of UK searches  for a local UK 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 enjoy the geography, the locations, the local backlinks and learning and optimising for regional areas. To us, it is fascinating.

If you would like to get your Local SEO working for you, please call VCM on  020 8405 6418.

If we can’t rank your website locally, then no one can.

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.


Nearly 1 in 3 of all mobile searches relate to a UK location

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