Local SEO searches make up roughly half the overall searches made on Google.
And this is traffic you want to be found by.
That’s because local SEO searches are made by consumers who are usually looking to buy a particular product or service, at the exact time they’re searching for it.
So this is high converting traffic.
Let’s look at a few stats from a recent study:
- 50% of consumers who conducted a local search visited a store within the next 24 hours
- 18% of those bought something
So, if your business isn’t ranking highly in local search results, you’re missing out on a lot of customers who are ready to visit your shop.
Now SEO is a long game, and it can take some time to really start seeing results. Any SEO agency which tells you otherwise is lying.
But, while sustained SEO success takes time, there are some simple things you can do today (both on and off your site) which can help you achieve some instant improvements in your local search visibility, while you wait for the long term work to kick in.
Keep reading, and we’ll run you through 12 SEO tactics (six onsite and six offsite) that you can use today to start seeing some results in your local SEO visibility:
6 onsite tactics you can implement today
1. Add location information to every page
Your business’ local contact information is the biggest thing search engines use to figure out if you’re relevant to a local search.
If you don’t put this information on your website, search engines can’t tell where you are.
So they won’t include you in local search results.
2. Like in your title tags
Your page’s title tags are the perfect place for you to include location information.
Always begin with the main keyword, you’re wanting to target, followed by the location and then add your brand name, if you have enough characters left.
3. Include details in your content
If you’re creating content for your website, then come up with ideas that let you include your own information as well.
This is particularly useful if you have shops in multiple locations.
Most brands are pretty bland with their location information. They have a generic page, and then all their different addresses.
Try to be a bit more creative.
Come up with content relevant to the local area that allows you to include your address and contact information.
Even something as simple as X things to do when visiting X town can be effective.
4. Build local landing pages
Sometimes customers might use general local SEO searches if they’re planning a trip.
Searches like “Best things to do in London.”
But London is a big place, and once your customers are in the city, their searches are likely to become more specific.
So as part of your local SEO strategy, you should create local landing pages for the specific areas near you.
That way, when customers look for local services in a specific borough – you’ll show up in their searches.
5. Improve your internal link structure
How customers get around your shop is something you take a lot of time thinking about.
You have signs pointing customers around so they don’t get lost.
You have recommendations for things you think customers might like.
And yet when it comes to websites, the user experience and your website’s architecture often gets overlooked.
So you end up with a website full of individual pages that users can get to from the homepage – and that’s it.
Remember, your website is just a digital shop.
Whether you’re selling fashion or accounting software, the purpose is to get people in, help them get around and find what they need, and eventually buy from you.
Adding internal links from service pages to blogs to guides to landing pages will make it easy for customer to get around your site.
You can point them in the direction of other content or products you think they might be interested in and keep them on your site for longer. (Remember, if they’re on your site, they’re not on a competitors site, so keep them with you as long as you can).
Also, internal links help with your SEO and is a signal to Google that you have a large resource of information – rather than just a couple of decent pages.
6. Use Schema Markup for your main pages
Using Schema Markup (learn more about Schema here) on your main pages helps improve your local search rankings and how your results appear on search result pages.
This provides a much more user-friendly experience.
So, make sure to mark up the following pages on your website:
- Home page – local business markup
- About page – about markup
- Contact page – contact markup
- Services/product pages – product markup, review markup.
- Blog page – blog markup
So, that’s it for onsite local SEO tactics you can use.
Any questions so far?
OK. Let’s dive into some off-site local SEO tactics.
6 off-site tactics to be utilised
1. Get customer reviews
Has your service left customers ecstatic?
Get them to tell other people.
Asking customers to leave reviews on Google and other trusted sites like TrustRadius can help build brand reputation.
It also signals to search engines that people like your service, so you’ll appear higher in search.
Getting legitimate links back to your website is one of the biggest factors deciding where you’ll rank.
Increasing the quality and quantity of links means you’ll appear higher.
Links are generally difficult to come by and you need a content strategy in place to earn them.
But you can get listings through local business directories, industry specific directories and other local citations by attending or sponsoring local events.
3. Get (consistent) local citations
A business citation is made up of having one of the following listed on another website:
- Business name
- Business address
- Business phone number
- Website address
It’s best if you can get all four listed.
Ideally you’ll want to aim for around 90+ local business citations.
But make sure the information is published in a standard format.
Having multiple citations published in different ways can confuse search engines and negatively impact your search results.
4. Do local PR
Can you get your business featured in the local newspaper or on a local news website?
True, you’ll need to generate some (positive) news for your business.
But building relationships with local journalists can pay off big time if you can get some local news coverage.
5. Optimise your Google My Business page
Setup and optimise your Google My Business page.
Choose 1-3 categories you want your business to be found for, upload plenty of images of your premises, team, products and services and make sure all their alt-tags contain a description and keywords.
And finally, frequently post to your Google My Business page to keep it fresh and engaging.
6. Set Bing and Yahoo Local Business pages up
Bing and Yahoo often get overlooked for SEO (because most people use Google).
But they are both still powerful tools for your local SEO.
For instance, Bing Search is used to power Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana voice search services.
And voice search is becoming an ever more important factor in search.
Setting up your businesses Bing and Yahoo local listings are really simple and quick.
And they’re a great way to grab some extra local traffic that your competitors are probably missing out on.
And that, as they say, is that.
Hopefully you’ll find these tips easy to follow and get some success from your local SEO work.
Want some extra help getting this stuff set up?
Get in touch with one of our local SEO experts who’ll be able to guide you through the process and help you start driving local search traffic to your business.