In the digital realm, local businesses have been placed on an even playing field with industry giants, thanks in part to Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). Local SEO is no longer just about listing your business in directories and hoping for the best. It has evolved into a strategic play involving an array of tools and methodologies. With Google accounting for a vast majority of all searches, it becomes imperative for businesses, especially those looking to dominate local markets, to optimise for Google’s algorithms.

Google My Business: Beyond the Basics

Claiming and Optimising

It’s a given that you should claim your Google Business Profile (GBP) listing. But are you doing enough to stand out?

  • Posts: Consider weekly posts that appear directly in your GBP. These could include updates, offers, or blog post snippets.
  • Virtual Tour: Create a 360-degree virtual tour of your business using a high-quality camera.

Analytics and Automation

You might be using Google Analytics, but have you integrated it with your GBP?

  • GBP Insights: This tool provides specific information on how customers found you. It’s like Google Analytics but for your Google Business profile.

User-generated Content

  • Questions & Answers: Actively use this section to address queries, not only from potential customers but as a way to include your hyperlocal keywords in a natural way.

Hyperlocal Keyword Strategy

It’s not just about ranking for “Auckland digital marketing business”; it’s also about ranking for “best digital marketing services near Britomart”.

Tools and Resources

  • SEMrush: This tool offers an excellent keyword research module that allows you to get location-specific data.

Competitor Analysis

  • Ahrefs: Known for their comprehensive backlink database, it’s an excellent tool for competitor research.

Local Link Building: A New Perspective

Local PR

Engage with local journalists and bloggers in the tech or related sectors. Offer to write guest articles, thereby earning you a local backlink.

Local Partnerships

  • Co-working Spaces: Partnering with a local co-working space can offer you a trusted backlink and could also be a source of new business.

Local SEO Audit Tools

  • Moz Local: It provides a complete audit of your local SEO performance, including your citation efforts.

Managing Reviews Like a Pro

Automation Tools

  • Trustpilot: While not a New Zealand brand, Trustpilot does have robust automation options for sending review invites after a purchase.

Crisis Management

  • Google Alerts: Set this up for brand mentions, so you can deal with any negative reviews in real-time.

The Future of Local SEO in New Zealand

Search is changing rapidly at the moment. Expect voice search and AI to play an increasingly important role. We’re also seeing a rise in ‘zero-click searches’, where answers are displayed directly on the search engine result page (SERP), bypassing the need to click through to a website. From your Google Business Profile to local link building, each strategy has its nuances that could potentially be game-changers for your business.