Websites can reach audiences globally but in order for this to happen, it must rank at the top of search engine results. But, how do you improve your website’s rankings? Well, SEO and Local SEO is the answer here. But don’t panic if these terms are unfamiliar to you, we’ll go through it in this article.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a process that helps to improve your website’s rankings which in turn, will help to improve footfall and sales. So, Local SEO helps a local business to rank higher in a certain area, improving your business’ visibility in local search results by targeting location.
Understanding Google and Local SEO
Google owns a whopping 92.07 % of the Search Engine Market Share Worldwide. Most of us use Google daily and so it’s really important to understand how Google’s ranking works to construct your Local SEO strategy. Google will also look at how many people are looking for businesses in that location so the location of your business being apparent is crucial.
So many of us now use our phones to search a business, in fact, Google estimates that 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a physical place within 24 hours. Google will rank your website based on loads of factors in their Webmaster Guidelines, but we’re discussing the top ranking factors in this article.
How Do You Optimise a Website for Local SEO?
There are many areas you can focus on when optimising your business’ site for Local SEO. In this article, we’re talking about five areas which you should prioritise when creating your Local SEO strategy:
- Google My Business
- Local Citations
- Local Reviews
- Schema Markup
- Keyword Research
We’re breaking down how these strategies boost your Local SEO.
Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business)
Using Google Business Profile is a great tool and if your business isn’t already connected to, you should claim your business now. It’s really easy to navigate and well worth doing. Search for your business name on Google and there’s a good chance it will already have a listing, so you just need to claim it and update the details. We discuss this setup in much more detail here, so head over if you’re struggling.
For the best results, keep content up to date (especially opening hours) and keep uploading photos, posts and attributes. It’s also important to encourage reviews on Google Business Profile, responding, thanking the customer for a positive review and apologising & asking for more information on negative ones.
Having a Business Profile listing improves reliability and visibility, both of which contribute to increased footfall and sales.
With Local Citations, remember N.A.P – Name, Address, Phone. A citation is simply an online mention of your business in any of these forms. Maintain consistency in different listings to avoid confusion and start with your own website, making sure your Name, Address and Phone number are visible on every page.
Once this is complete you can start using business directories, such as YELP, Linkedin and Google+ Local. But don’t stop here! Make sure you add citations to local directories as well, after all, this is about boosting Local SEO. Whatever your business’ industry is, there is an online directory for it so make sure you utilise them, and most importantly, make sure they all match the citations on your website. You can also use tools which check for existing listings and then you know what needs updating. The main thing is getting citations as many places as you can.
We have already mentioned Local Reviews on Google Business Profile, which is a big part of your Local SEO strategy. They validate your services and customers are more likely to trust your business if it has good reviews. In fact, A 2017 study found that GMB reviews were the second-most influential ranking factor for local businesses. So, simply put, the more positive reviews you have, the higher you will rank. You can also start to add reviews to your website when they begin to stack up.
Don’t let the possibility of bad reviews put you off though! Encourage customers to review with a follow-up email or text. Reviews both influence online rankings as well as increasing sales.
Add Schema Markup to Your Website
What is Schema Markup? It helps Google to match the local searchers to your business’ website. So, it doesn’t impact your rankings directly but, it will help Google to organise any data on your website, which then helps your data to appear in the relevant search results.
It sounds complicated, but the key thing is implementing your schema markup on your website wherever you describe your business. You can add schema markup to multiple pages if your business has multiple locations.
Identify Local Search Terms and Create Local Content
Content remains to be essential and a part of your content is keyword research, which is an important ranking factor. Researching keywords entails finding local search terms which can then be used in content on your website and social media. Try and look for words and phrases that relate to questions posed or answered in your content. There are multiple online tools that can help with this. Whether it’s in news articles or videos, keywords are crucial.
How can we help?
The number of ways in which you can try and improve your business’ rankings is massive, but we’ve tried to give you a snippet of where to start. Local SEO takes time and there are many other things you can do to boost it, but these things give you a great shot of improving rankings. Just don’t forget, it’s about the long-term and you’re unlikely to see changes overnight. Stick with it and you’ll thank yourself later!
We understand how important constructing a good Local SEO strategy is but we also know that it is a big job. We have Local SEO packages which will help to boost your business’ online presence.
So, if you want to get more local customers and you’re not sure how to start, get in touch or give us a call on 01706 482017 to find out how Shine On Digital can help.