The Guide to Local SEO | 5 Easy Ways
Local SEO is just the regular organic SEO only that in this case, your geography matters.
What it means is that your goal is to rank high in SERPs (search engine result pages) when local searches are concerned.
Local search is vital to small businesses because 80% of customers find local information with their searches. If your local business doesn't have its local search in order, then you're losing out on a great percentage of your customers. Local SEO is vital for your business to remain in the limelight.
Your business will benefit immensely from this few compilations of local SEO techniques. Use them to make your site better.
Optimise your website
Make sure your website is well optimised for you to rise on the SERPs ranking.
You can look into your website SEO and fix that. You should add these activities to the standard SEO practices:
Create a dedicated contact page
Nowadays, people are interested in getting clear information about what you offer. Make sure that your contact page has your "NAP" clearly on it.
Make phone numbers clickable on mobile devices
Many of the searches related to location see from mobile phones. It is necessary to optimize your site for mobiles. A whopping 76% of these searches end up in a phone call, and you'll lose out if your phone number is not clickable. Not all users are patient enough to switch apps just to type in the number before they reach you. You can use Google posts to learn how to make your phone number clickable.
Add a map or your locations
Local SEO is meant to make people locate you easily, right? Make sure you add a map because 86% of people search on Google Maps for the location of a company.
Testimonials make people trust you. Showcase testimonials from previous customers on your site to increase your local SEO ranking.
Schema.org is an invention aimed at making major search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google to have a shared language. Because of this, the search engines can easily get what your website is for. When you use the schema markup for local businesses, you're reminding Google that your website is for a local business. This makes your local rankings go up.
2. Claim your online profiles
You shouldn't restrict your online presence to only your website. Fight for your business to be listed on big review sites like Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google My Business, and other popular local-review platforms.
Create profiles on other social media channels that are important to your location of interest. Make sure the information across all social media platforms is identical. Be consistent too so that your profile will attract customers. Search engines will also get better information on your business to raise your rankings.
3. Create local content
Create a blog on your website because it is very necessary for SEO. You can choose to host your blog using the same domain as your business.
Make it like "www.yourwebsite.com/blog."
This makes you get links to your blog and to your main business site at the same time. Try including local city and street names on the blog posts; that way, your website rankings will increase in line with your blog's.
4. Get reviews
Prior to the coming of the internet, bad businesses easily ripped off their customers, but all that has changed now because the internet has made the customers, boss. This means that anybody can corroborate your claim of being good or not. According to research, 81% of people check ratings and reviews. Many consumers make blog comments, and a large percentage say that reviews determine if they buy or not.
What're your online reviews like?
Your business is in problem if it is not able to get a four or five-star rating on the big review platforms. Customers do not like poor ratings and having none at all indicates that your brand cannot be trusted. This is because reviews are included in search results. Getting reviews is a lifelong process, and you may even receive negative reviews sometimes but be sure to handle it professionally. Provide wonderful services to avoid bad reviews.
5. Build citations
Citations are places on the web where your business name, phone number, address, or phone number is quoted even without links to your website. It helps boost your local SEO growth because it represents about 13% of the factors used for local rankings. Ensure that your citations are built for real noticeable locations. If possible, create a special set of citations for all the real locations you get. However, use correct and identical details on all the citations you build. When you do not use correct citations, you may have issues with your rankings, in this case, be consistent.
Search engine algorithms are able to detect abbreviations so check to see if your abbreviations will be found out and translated accurately by search engines.
You can use some of these methods to build your citations.
Local search engines
Search engines are always on the web looking for citations so that they can update their own index information. Help then notify you by listing your business on platforms such as Foursquare, Hotfrog, and Yelp. Spend some resources and time to get your business on the list of many quality and significant local business directory.
Boosting your local SEO with local blogs is also a great thing to do. Because they are well-registered by search engines and have a high connection to specific cities, street or regions, getting links from these blogs will make search engines to notice your business as trustworthy and relevant to these local searches.
Locally focused directories
Local directories are linked strongly to a geographic region and just like the local blogs; they are well-noted by the search engines. Choose the directories edited by humans because they are less prone to spam and have more trust from the local search engines.
Use search terms like this to seek for specific local directories:
[Target city] directory and [County] directory
Industry-focused directories or blogs
Citations from these kinds of blogs can also help boost your rankings. They usually focus on the keywords and topics linked to the products and services you offer. Local search engines include them as citation sources despite their not having a local focus. You can try featuring on the membership directory that relates to your trade.
It is quite difficult to climb the SERPs as a small business having little resources. But local SEO is very important and will help you to be successful. It is necessary to increase your local rankings so that as more and more people use reviews and search engines, you'll be easier to find.
Follow the steps above and watch your business site climb the local SERPs. All you need to do is optimise your website, get citations, be reviewed, and create wonderful local contents.
However, don’t just restrict yourself to only technical SEO practices. Make sure you create a relationship with important local businesses and also, use social media to your own advantage.
Puffin Marketing is a Digital Marketing Agency based in Northern Ireland. We offer services in SEO, PPC and Web Design. If you are a business looking to improve your websites rankings with local SEO in Belfast or further afield, do not hesitate to get in contact with us.