In the last Marketing Mondays post, we told you all about local SEO and why you should be using it. If you haven’t checked it out yet, we explained how local SEO can help you grow your business by improving your online visibility.
When it comes to marketing your brand, it is important to devise a strategy that is suitable for your type of business, especially if you are an SME with a limited budget. You don’t want to be wasting your efforts on strategies similar to those used by larger organisations unless you have the budget and brand recognition to match. The chances of these strategies working on a small budget are minimal. Once you’ve decided whether national or local SEO is right for you, you can create a strategy that will help you to grow the number of people visiting your site.
Today, we are bringing you our top 4 local SEO tips that can drastically improve your rankings in Google search results for local queries.
Create Area Pages
Imagine putting a billboard in every major town and city that you work in. It would cost you a fortune! Now imagine, doing that for a fraction of the price… the joys of area pages! What happens if you’re a Leicester based business but you operate throughout the Midlands? Only appearing in the search results for Leicester based queries could mean that you’re missing out on a large number of potential customers. By creating area pages, specific to certain towns and cities, you are creating a page (or online billboard) that users can find when searching for your services in those areas. once you’ve created pages for specific areas, you’ll need to get them to appear within the search results. Our first local tip is base on how to structure your area pages. They should include:
- Area-Specific Content
- Local Case Studies
- Local Reviews
- Contact Information
- Calls To Action
- A Unique Title (H1) & Subtitles (H2-H6)
- Eye-Catching Images With Descriptive Alt Tags
- Captivating Meta-Descriptions
- Relevant Title Tags
Stay Consistent With Your NAPs
This one may seem obvious and simple but you would be surprised at the impact it has on your ranking for local organic results. NAP is an acronym that stands for name, address and phone number.
So why does Google love a good NAP (don’t we all?). Easy. First of all, according to Google “local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence”. If we focus on the distance element we know that Google algorithms will always show users businesses closer to their location, unless there are others further away that are more relevant to the query or more prominent.
So what happens if you don’t have a consistent NAP across your website and across any other platforms where your business may be listed?. Well, you may become invisible to Google, because it won’t be able to know which information to trust and you could be losing value from ranking factors such as directory listings, Google my Business or social media for being inconsistent.
Furthermore, you can’t forget about the user experience. For example, if you don’t already have a NAP on each one of your webpages’ footer and header we would suggest you do. This way users won’t have to dig around to find out where you are based.
“local results are based primarily on relevance, distance, and prominence”
Obtain Positive Reviews
Obtaining reviews from past and present customers shouldn’t be as daunting as it seems to be for a lot of businesses. It is a common practice and it is even expected of you. Chances are your customers are also asking for reviews from their own customers.
Reviews are an extremely effective way to establish trust since users seem to trust each other significantly more than they do the actual brand (and who could blame them?). However, this isn’t just true for the consumer, it is also a reality for Google. The more quality reviews you obtain the more Google will trust your business, thus considering it “relevant” and “prominent”.
Video testimonials can also be a great way to show users why they should choose you over the competition. For inspiration on how to create one check out one of our client’s video testimonials.
Optimise Your Google My Business Listing
If you don’t already have a Google My Business Listing you should probably create one the minute you finish reading this article. Google my Business gives you greater visibility on search results and it is highly useful for users. It features a button to your website, a directions button that will show them how to get to your business on Google Maps and a call button. It also allows them to leave reviews that you can respond to so you can engage with your audience. As mentioned before, if your listing has a consistent NAP it can have a great impact on Local SEO.
Here is what you need to have a fully optimized Google my business listing:
- Consistent NAP;
- Service Areas or radius you cover;
- Business hours;
- Website link;
- Relevant Attributes (e.g.: women-led);
- Business Opening Date;
- Professional images and logo;
- A good amount of positive reviews;
- Regular posts about products, offers or events;
Local Link Building
A good amount of local quality links is one of Google’s most valorised ranking factors. The reason for this is very similar to why reviews are important. If another business within your industry or related to your business activity has a link on their website leading to your website Google sees this as a sign of trust. The ways it is seen is if a “relevant” and “prominent” business is linking to you it’s probably because you also have those qualities.
You can use some of the following methods to get local businesses to link to you:
- #1 Create a great article/online resource and contact businesses/bloggers that will likely link to it;
- #2 Enter your business for local awards;
- #3 Sponsor a local event;
- #4 Lookout for mentions of your business that aren’t linking to you and request they do;
Get More Tips
You can now start putting into practice all the tips we’ve given you to succeed in your Local SEO campaign. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We have many more to give out. Follow our weekly Marketing Mondays updates to find out about more useful SEO tips that can help your business grow. If you have any questions or require assistance in implementing our suggestions we would love to hear from you.