What is Local SEO?
The process of optimising a website for local search in order to improve traffic, leads, and brand awareness is known as Local SEO. In essence, it’s how companies raise their online presence to connect with a localised target market.
Why is Local SEO important?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is essential to your company’s performance in your target local market if you are a local business or organisation looking to develop a strong local presence. A local SEO strategy is now more essential than optional for community businesses and companies looking to capitalise on mobile as well as new and evolving consumer behaviours.
Customers in all industry kinds are looking for the best local goods and services, and they want quick local assistance. It’s a tremendous potential lost if your company doesn’t come up when someone searches in your area.
The essential considerations you should make when tailoring your company’s online presence to cater to local markets are outlined in this local SEO checklist, which will also assist you in marketing your company locally and optimising your website.
Google Business Profile
One of the simplest ways to make sure your business appears in local search results is to create a Google Business profile, which just takes a few minutes. You give Google your company address when you create your profile. Google will then send a card with a PIN to that address, which you may use to confirm the physical location of your company. After that is finished, it should take a few days before you see your company included on the “map pack” that Google shows to local users who search for your kind of service.
It’s critical to get your on-page SEO correct, particularly if it relates to local SEO. The SEO components you manage are referred to as on-page SEO. You may increase search visibility and traffic by optimising your web pages for a certain key phrase or set of key terms. With the use of an SEO tool like SEMrush, you can carry out a local SEO audit.
- Title Tags:Incorporate a geotargeted keyword into your title tag.
- Meta Descriptions: If a local keyword is appropriate for that landing page, be sure to include it.
- Images: To increase keyword utilisation, use relevant alt text and captions.
- Navigation: Simplify the navigation structure to enable users to quickly locate pertinent information.
- URL Strings:Add further local context into URLs:
- Contact Information:Names, addresses, and phone numbers must to be prominently shown on each page.
- Internal Links: As an SEO best practise, including targeted keywords in the anchor text informs site users and nearby clients what to expect when they click on a link.
- Keyword Optimisation:Put extra location-based targets in your high-level keyword objectives. Making an existing page rank for “Bathroom Stores in East Sussex” as opposed to the more general “Bathroom Stores” could be all that is necessary to accomplish this. You can sift out low-intent visitors and focus just on those with geo-specific goals by ranking for local long-tail keywords. Although some of these local keyword modifications might be apparent, it’s always worthwhile to conduct keyword research to make sure you’re focusing on the proper long-tail and geotargeted search keywords.
- Special Offers: Draw in searchers with exclusive deals or incentives; what distinguishes you from your competitors? Are there any special offers they could benefit from?
- Voice: More than half of all smartphone users in 2020 used speech recognition software. Voice searches differ from written searches in that they frequently employ natural language and are longer. Consider the keyword “Post Office Brighton” for instance. The same query may sound more like “Post Office in Brighton that’s open right now” if voice search were used.
These types of on-page optimisation are frequently small adjustments that have a significant impact on your local search strategy. Speaking the same language as search engines is frequently necessary in order for them to comprehend your domain and provide readers with the best results.
A key component of any strong SEO strategy is backlinks. When considering link elements as a component of their ranking results, search engines give the most weight to these kinds of links. The more websites with various domain names that point visitors back to your website, the more weight major search engines give your website in their ranking of SERPs. Additionally, more backlinks result in more referral traffic, which increases the number of potential customers visiting your website.
Try finding local links as well from businesses that operate near you. This may let search engines know that your website is especially pertinent to a specific region.
Even though it’s undoubtedly one of the simplest jobs you can carry out, generating Google reviews is frequently ignored as part of a marketing strategy.
Regarding reviews on a Google Business Profile, Google has the following to say: “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location“.
Use this to your advantage by asking happy customers for reviews. You can provide your pleased customers a direct link to a page where they can post a review by using “Google Place IDs.”
The small stars that appear next to your company name after a consumer leaves a review will not only help your business stand out from the competition on Google Maps, but they can also help you get more favourable ranking signals from these reviews.
Today, social media is a tried-and-true method for companies to produce measurable results. Not to mention that social media creates a tonne of backlinks to your website that are SEO-friendly, which will only boost your search ranks. You may use social media to expand your audience, get in touch with former clients, and develop your brand.
Local SEO still has a place for schema, especially for companies with actual locations. With the use of schema, you can provide search engines the data they need to better comprehend your content and deliver the most pertinent search results. These search engines can display “additional” information about your material in search results, such as star ratings, pricing data, or reviewer details, by adding Schema code to your content. If you own or run a local firm, you should really work on polishing schemas.
When it comes to your SEO considerations, don’t overlook or undervalue the significance of your website’s mobile optimisation. Sites that aren’t mobile-friendly are now actually punished in search results. It is now a known fact that when a person searches on a mobile device, the leading search engines’ search results will prioritise mobile-friendly websites higher. Therefore, you risk losing out on local SEO if your website doesn’t function well on a smartphone.
Search engines are less likely to prioritise non-mobile websites since they are aware when you are using a mobile device and want to give you the greatest mobile experience possible. This results in better SEO.
You can check how your website appears on a mobile device by using Google’s mobile-friendly testing tool. Additionally, it is worthwhile to run your website via Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, which will provide you with more specific details on how quickly your mobile site loads and whether it complies with the company’s new Core Web Vitals guidelines. (Core Web Vitals are a set of benchmarks for a website’s speed, responsiveness, and visual stability; sites that fulfil them can get advantages in search engine rankings.)
To sum up…
Having an effective local SEO strategy has several advantages. Brand awareness rises as exposure in local search results rises. You will be on the path to local SEO success by carrying out the actions outlined in this checklist.