Though global search engine optimisation is, of course, essential, the importance of local SEO should never be under estimated. A recent study found that 50% of consumers who conduct a local search, visited a store within the next 24 hours and 18% of those purchased an item. So, if your business isn’t ranking highly in local search results, your brick and mortar location is going to suffer. And though SEO can take time to truly reap the rewards, there are a number of simple things you can do both on and off-site to quickly improve your local search visibility.
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6 onsite tactics you can implement today
1. Add location information to every page. By ensuring every one of your business’ web pages contains location information you can reinforce where your business is based with search engines, as well as target other locations nearby. And there are a number of aspects of your pages where you can add that location information…
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. Or in your content. Another great place to put location information is within your page content and blogs. Most multi-local brands tend to have the same location page information for all their locations, so instead, you should do a bit of research and make your content unique and valuable for every location.
4. Build local are landing pages. By crafting bespoke landing pages which target all the local areas near you, you can increase your search footprint as well as provide a more personalised experience for your local searchers. For example, London is a large area, and searchers will instead be more specific, searching via the city boroughs, for things like shops, restaurants, hotels and services.
5. Improve your internal link structure. One issue that many local businesses face is having a poor site architecture, often with business critical pages only being linked to from the main navigation. So, improve your site’s architecture by adding links where relevant within your page copy, blogs, service and information pages. By doing this our team consistently see clients receive an uplift in rankings (map & organic).
6. Use Schema Markup for your main pages. Implementing Schema Markup (learn more about Schema here) on your main pages, you can not only improve your local search rankings but also how your results appear on search result pages, providing 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
6 off-site tactics to be utilised
1. Boost your reviews. Getting your happy customers to leave you reviews both on Google and other trusted review sites such as TrustRadius, will allow you to build your reputation with both search engines and potential customers.
2. Build quality local back links. Increasing both the quality and quantity of backlinks to your business’ website will have an increasingly impactful effect on your local search rankings. So, get involved in local business fairs, do a presentation at a local school or university, or publish an article online and have those associated organisations link back to your website.
3. Establish 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 and ideally you’ll want to aim for around 90+ local business citation.
4. Local coverage. Some of the strongest backlinks come from major publications, so try and get your business coverage with local press and foster relationships with journalists who can aid in providing you with ongoing coverage for your business news.
5. Optimise your Google My Business page. Setup and optimise your Google My Business (GMB) page, choosing 1-3 categories you want your business to be found for, upload plenty of images of your premises, team, products and services and ensure all their alt-tags contain a representative description and if possible keywords. And finally, frequently post to your GMB page to keep it fresh and engaging.
6. Set you Bing and Yahoo Local Business pages up. Often over looked by businesses is the potential power of Bing and Yahoo. Both, though a long way behind Google still hold substantial search market shares, and Bing Search is used to power Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana voice search services, which are rapidly increasing in shares of the voice search market. Setting up your businesses Bing and Yahoo local listings are really simple and quick, and a great way to grab some extra local traffic that your competitors are probably missing out on.
So, there you have it, what is local SEO and some fantastic tips you can use to help propel your business to the top of your customer’s local searches.