If you are at all familiar with SEO strategies you will be very well aware of the fact that SEO changes ALL the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever that you optimise your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your local business.
What is Local SEO?
Quite simply, Local SEO is a part of SEO that specifically helps you optimise your business for people searching from a nearby location. Undertaking an effective Local SEO campaign will help your business to appear on Page 1 of Google’s search engine results pages.
Here are a few tips to help you get your business found locally:
1. Setup and Optimise your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is somewhat of a directory and it’s a big one. Claiming your GMB listing is very important, especially for smaller local businesses. Firstly, it’s free so there really is no reason not to have one and secondly, it can help you get incredible exposure on local maps and searches.
How to set up a Google My Business listing
To claim your Google My Business listing you first need to go to https://www.google.com/business/ and follow the steps. Once you have filled in your details, Google will send you out a verification code in the post. This is to ensure that your business is actually located at the address you have entered. Once you receive your verification PIN, you simply need to log in and verify your listing. Now you need to move on to optimising your listing.
How to optimise a Google My Business Listing
Optimising your Google My Business listing starts with all of the basic information about your business such as a solid description, categories, business hours, types of payments accepted and so on. You will also want to upload your company logo along with photos of your business, product or service. You simply need to fill in all of the required sections so that your listing shows as complete.
2. Titles Tags and Meta Descriptions
When you make a search on Google you will see a long list of search results that look like the one below.
In an ocean of competing search results, the Meta Title and Meta Description are your chance to make your business stand out above your competition. Try to make this text unique, compelling and descriptive. If not, your click-through rate will suffer.
You also need to consider the length of your meta details. The generally accepted length for a title is 50-60 characters and for descriptions, it is 160. Once you go over this you will get cut off by the dreaded eclipses. Now whilst this may not be a major tragedy it doesn’t look very professional and, if it cuts off a particularly well-crafted sentence, can affect how impactful your search listing really is.
To stay within these guidelines here are a few tips:
Never waste space on page names that don’t provide helpful information.
If you want to reach local customers, include the name of the city your business is in and/or the area your business serves.
Focus on using one targeted keyword and carefully place that keyword as close to the beginning of the tag as you can.
3. Online Reviews
Whether you are looking for a product, a service or a place to go for coffee, the likelihood is that you will take a look at the reviews of other people who have been to or used what you re looking for.
According to a recent survey, 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation, and seven out of 10 customers will leave a review for a business if asked by the business.
The main places you want to try and get reviews, especially for local SEO are on your Google My Business Page and on your business’s Facebook page. Getting your customers or clients to review your business on Google is crucial as these reviews show up on when someone searches for your product or business. Many people turn to social media to see what their friends and family think about a business, so having a lot of positive reviews can help draw in more customers.
Depending on your business you may want to look into other ways of getting reviews. Reputation marketing softwares such as Trust Pilot and Reevoo can give some more legitimacy to your reviews and help you build trust with potential customers.
4. Use local structured data markup
Structured data markup — often referred to as “schema markup” or “schema.org markup” — can be added to your website’s code to provide search engines with more information about your business, like the products you sell, reviews you’ve collected and the services you offer.
Only a very small percentage of businesses are using this markup meaning that by implementing this on your website can make your local business stand out and possibly help you to rank higher than your competitors.
Whilst this is an important step for standing out to potential customers, structured data is also incredibly important to Google as it helps the bots determine what your site content is about and figure out how relevant your website content is to a certain search.
So hopefully the tips above are enough to get you started with Local SEO. Implementing these four local search tactics will give you a head start on your competition. If you are still finding all of this too daunting, we have Local SEO Specialist based in Fareham, Hampshire who can help optimise your website and your business to be found locally. Just give us a call on 01329 565001 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss SEO with our team!