Local SEO or local Search Engine Optimisation is a small bit of the science of SEO generally which has many facets. One of which is the whole area of “Local SEO”. Whilst it is only one of maybe 12 important factors for SEO it is critical if your target market is also local to you. In some ways it make seo easier for you if you can focus on local seo. You will still have to compete with National or Global brands, but you may be able to entice local shoppers and then the real challenge is to retain them. In theory you do not need a website as you can use Google My Business and Facebook along with Google or Facebook Ads. However we would always recommend you get your own space or land on the net by having a website of your own. This is better than ads and any possible transient space on Facebook or other social channels etc.
When it comes to Local SEO, here are some things to consider and work on.
- Google My Business profile for each individual address, with good optimised photos of the business, the products, team members, premises etc. Add in the hours of business. Use Local keywords and key terms.
- Reviews – Do get reviews, obviously good reviews, as in 5* with well worded testimonials or reviews in GMB again using Local keywords and key terms. Remember to reply to all reviews, using suitable words again.
- Facebook page or profile for each individual address to engage with the audience who use this medium, if the demographic is right for your business.
- Instagram account for the business to engage with the audience who use this medium, if the demographic is right for your business.
- Linkedin personal account and one for the company or business to engage with the audience who use this medium, if the demographic is right for your business.
- Twitter account for the business to publish timely items to engage with the audience who use this medium, if the demographic is right for your business.
- Local Directories – Google ‘local directories’ and create an entry in all of them. Many are free and some are paid entries.
- Other local sites linking to you is good, so ask friends, acquaintances, suppliers etc…
- Links from Chamber of Commerce or Business Networks.
- NAP in all directories should be exactly the same everywhere and the Name Address and phone Number is critical to have consistent. Otherwise Google could think you are two different businesses.
- Map – Add a map to show whwere you are and again a Google map is good.
- External links should be added in your website to other local businesses or facilities.
- Internal links should be used where you can interlink any related pages or posts with a hyperlink. Why not create a few such posts if you do not have any yet.
- Headings in posts such as H1 or H2 or H3 should refer to local places, businesses etc…
- Images – use suitable images/photos and optimise them with suitable local names and alt tags
- Mobile – it goes almost without saying that your website should be mobile friendly and responsive
- Voice – Do optimise the website for voice search, which generally includes longer key phrases
- Local influencers – By all means engage with local influencers and try to get them to post links toyour website
- News – If there is a local online news website, try to get mentioned with a link or even pay for an advertorial. You could become a ‘columnist’ covering your topic of authority.
- Engage with other local business and communities on social to get seen, to answer questions, to add value.
Benefits of Local SEO
The benefits of good Local SEO include the fact that it increases the chance that you will get found in search by your local market. You could be competing with much bigger national companies, but they are marketing nationally. So, in theory if you do everything on the list above you can compete well online locally. There is quite a bit of work to do initially, so it is down to you to decide if you will do it or outsource it. This is not very exciting work. Even when you do the work, it will not all happen overnight. However give it 6 months and you will see how much you creep up the SERPS search engine results pages. You want to optimise your whole website so that is is seen as being local to Google. See our short guide to On Page SEO Tips. If you want to learn more about SEO read our What is SEO Guide. By all means use a keyword planner from Google and a Keyword Mapping Tool to add structure to all this work and recored the changes. You can listen to podcasts such as Local SEO Tactics. Or talk to us about our SEO Plans here.