Local SEO | September 13, 2016
Local Quick Wins: 7 Local SEO Tips to Improve Your Local SEO
Time and time again I see brands making a hash of their local SEO – and missing out on valuable custom. Find-out more about our local SEO agency and how we can help you ensure these local SEO tips are implemented.
But local SEO needn’t be a headache. Here are my seven simple steps to fixing up your local search visibility:
1. Claim and Verify your Google My Business Listing
This is the basis of any successful local SEO project, and might seem like an obvious one, but many businesses have unclaimed listings in Google Maps.
Claiming and verifying your listing gives you control over the information that is displayed and also protects you from the risk of other people claiming and controlling your business information.
Google My Business (GMB) is a free business profile that allows owners the options to, among other things, update their contact information, brand graphics, reply to reviews, and enlighten customers on any promotional issues or any special announcments. To Google, it serves as a verification tool that enables you to satisfy their requirements for a highly sought-after sidebar spot in Google local search. This is the vital first step for any first local business lookinging to brining in more organic serach traffic or more footfall from users searching for their business services in the local area.
2. Get your NAP right
For search engines to understand your business location, it is essential that you have your Name, Address and Phone number (commonly referred to in the SEO world as ‘NAP’) clearly displayed on your website. Most brands choose to display this information in the footer of their website.
It needs to be crawlable and indexable so that Google can corroborate the information, and therefore display your business location correctly in the search results.
3. Keep it Consistent
Google is, I’m frequently found telling people, both significantly cleverer and stupider than we give it credit for. While it can process data and make decisions for users at unfathomable speeds, it can often get tripped up by the smallest issue. For instance, it can easily get confused if it finds inconsistent data about your business online. That means if your address isn’t completely consistent on your own site, across the internet and on Google Maps itself, then Google may not present the right information.
I’ve seen plenty of times how the smallest discrepancy affects a client’s local visibility – thus harming site visits and offsite revenue.
Having your NAP consistent across the internet in online directories helps search enegines understand exactly where your business is located. Yelp, Yell.com, and Thomson Local are good online business directories to start with for any local business who wants to improve their local SEO efforts.
So, ensure that your NAP is displayed in exactly the same way on both your own site and within Google Maps itself, as well as in appearances of your business address across the web. Consistency is key!
4. Optimise your Website for Local Terms
Take advantage of search volume in your local keywords and optimise your location landing pages for relevant search terms. Consider adding location pages to your website with all of the information available on your GMB listing. As part of your local SEO strategy you should investigate the opportunities to make location based landing pages on your website for any and all physical locations you serve. But don’t waste your time creating landing pages for ares with do not have a physicla location in or areas that you do not serve. Google’s algorithm is now advanced enough to figure out when you are trying to game it with these kinds of black hat SEO tactics.
Having well-optimised meta information, headers and body content contributes to your relevancy and reinforces your business location, resulting in more visibility in the local SERPs.
Pro tup: Some keyword tracking tools, such as SEOMonitor, display on thier interface if a keyword has local intent. This means that Google has added the location of the searcher into the equation when displaying the results in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page)
5. Enhance your Google My Business Listing
Inside your Google My Business account, as well as ensuring your location information is accurate, you have the option to add additional information. This can include opening hours and photos of your premises, and give the opportunity to respond to reviews.
This updated information will help both users and search engines find your location and can contribute to the optimisation of your map listing.
6. Manage your Citation Profile
Citations aren’t particularly sexy, but when it comes to local visibility, they’re pretty essential. Your citation profile backs up your business presence by proving your importance to search engines. There are a huge number of citation sites to explore, but certain industries rely on particular local sources to prove their importance. For instance, if yours is a business in the leisure industry, then TripAdvisor is a very influential site – so it’s essential that your NAP is found there.
Ensuring your business NAP appears on the most important local aggregators gives you the best chance of performing well in the local SERPs. And, as ever, consistency is key here.
7. Don’t Ignore Traditional SEO Signals
Traditional SEO signals such as your website authority are still a major ranking factor in the local SEO arena. You need to work on your domain as a whole, alongside your local campaign, in order to see success in the search results.
Local backlinks from local sources may help your local SEO strategy. Local search engine optimisation involves building up local links, this is the building blocks to your business’s foundation. Just like word-of-mouth, you want people linking to and talking about your website online. Having links from local publications and other relevant local resources could help built your brand authority and cement your business as a local hero.
Having said that, depending on your location, there are certainly local SEO quick wins to be had with investment local SEO, particularly if you operate in a less competitive are.