We’ve all heard the saying, “Location is everything” and location can be especially important for small businesses. This is due to most customers searching locally when seeking businesses and information. Local search engine optimisation, also known as local SEO, has a huge impact on a small business’s success.
Local SEO involves optimising your website to attract local searchers looking specifically at companies within their geographic area. The good news is that there are a number of things you can do to improve your local SEO. This guide will teach you how to optimise your website and content for local search engines, as well as provide some tips on how to get more reviews on popular review sites.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimising your website to rank well in Google for local keywords. When someone searches for a local business or service on Google, they’re met with a “Local” carousel beneath their search results. This is where you’ll want to appear if you want customers to find your business. However, it’s not easy to rank in this section of search results as there are only three spots that are given to businesses in each city.
When users click on one of these local businesses, they’ll be taken directly to that business’ website if they’re searching within their city or region. If you’re not ranking in this section of search results, then you’ll want to consider local SEO for your business. There are a number of different factors that can affect your rankings in Google’s local pack and it’s important to be aware of them so that you can optimise accordingly.
Adding location extensions to your Google Ads campaign can help increase its impact.
Optimise your Google My Business listing by setting up a professional profile that looks appealing to potential customers.
Target your ad based on geographic location and set the target area to expand or shrink as needed.
Add location keywords to your optimisation efforts.
Where Should I Place Keywords?
When it comes to local SEO, you have a number of different places to add your keywords. While many people think that the most important place is your headings, this isn’t always the case. In fact, there are many factors that can affect which keywords are most important for your business.
While there are several places you can place keywords on your website, here’s what we recommend:
Title tags: This is the most important place to put your local keywords because it will be displayed in bold text at the top of your website. Additionally, when Google crawls your website, it will analyse these heading tags first to understand what your content is about.
META description: You should include one or two relevant keywords in the first 60 characters of this snippet of text, which appears below your title tag.
META keywords tag: This is somewhere you should put your keywords as it’s used by search engines to understand what content you want to be associated with.
Headers and Sub-headers: When writing page headers, the best practice is to use your target SEO keywords or keyword phrase at the start. That way it will be seen as more relevant and won’t get cut off in mobile SERPs, which can happen on small screens.
Page content: In general, you should try to write for humans first and search engines second. This means that your content should be engaging, readable, and free of unnecessary keywords. You can use your target keywords throughout the body of your text once the foundations are built and the content reads well, try to avoid keyword stuffing as this will negatively affect your SEO.
What Are the Most Important Local Search Factors?
There are several factors that Google uses to determine rank. In fact, there are more than 200 ranking factors that contribute to the SERP results for any given search term. While it’s impossible for us to show you exactly how each of these plays out with your particular business and industry and location, we can give you some general guidelines on what will help your local SEO efforts succeed.
1) Location Keywords
This is by far one of the most important factors when it comes to local search optimisation. If someone searches “marketing agency in [your city],” they expect to see marketing agencies nearby to them first. If they don’t find you as they scroll down through their results, they’re likely going to look at your competitors. Make sure your business website and Google My Business contains information on your country, city, phone number and exact address.
2) Google My Business
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to manage your business’s local presence on Google Maps and Google Search. You can claim your business listing, add information about your company, update photos and respond to reviews. When someone searches for a business on Google, they’ll see the results from their search engine along with local listings. These are often called “Google My Business” listings because they’re managed through the website itself rather than being submitted through an external third party tool.
3) Google My Business Categories
These are special terms that help customers find your business more easily. Categories can be created by Google or added by you, the business owner. When customers search for a category like “marketing agency” in their area, they’ll see a map of local businesses that fit in that category as well as a list of results under each location on the map itself.
These are the most important ranking factors. Reviews help you build up your reputation as a business and show that people trust in your work. Google uses reviews from customers and other third-party sites like Yelp to determine if reviews are relevant or not, then ranks businesses accordingly.
Links are one way Google evaluates the authority and trust of your site. Different websites can have different domain authority and page authority scores, so make sure to find a link-worthy partner with high rankings. Local links can be hard to get, but they’re invaluable when you do.
How Should I Build Citations?
Citations are the links to your business online that appear in search engines. These can be in the form of positive reviews on review sites, or they can be links to your website from third-party websites.
Google considers citations as a signal for ranking you highly in local searches, and it’s important that you have as many citations as possible. This will help you rank higher than other businesses with fewer links, which can result in more visitors and customers coming through to your website.
Additionally, citations are beneficial for local customers because they provide them with direct access to information about businesses around them, information such as contact details and opening hours, which means they don’t need to search extensively when they want something from a specific place nearby.
What Is NAP And Why Is It Important?
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. This information should be included on your website and any other online presence you have (i.e. social media profiles). By having consistent NAP across all of your business listings, you are helping customers find you more easily by allowing them to search by your name or address. In addition to this convenience for customers, having consistent NAP also helps Google understand what your business is about.
Google values consistency in your listings. When all of them describe the same thing, it can confidently display your contact information on queries that match.
If the search engine detects inconsistencies in your NAP spread throughout your listings, it will assume that its data is unreliable. Unreliable data will then lead to a lower ranking in the search engine results page. A study by Wesley Young found that a consistent NAP could impact search performance by as much as 16 percent. Consistency is key to the success of your NAP. If there are any differences between the information you provide on Google Maps, Facebook, Yelp and other platforms, it will lead to confusion among customers who search for your business online.
Why Is NAP Important?
The information you provide on your website should be clearly visible on all your pages, so that customers can read it. Google will also rely on text content rather than images in order to index this page properly.
Claim and update your Google My Business listing to ensure that it contains the correct NAP information.
Use Google to search for potentially incorrect listings. Google yelp.com “my business” or simply Google your phone number, address, or name as a query in the standard search engine bar to find places that might have mislabelled you.
Keep an up-to-date database of all your listings so you can easily correct this information if necessary.
What If I Have Multiple Locations?
If you have multiple locations, it’s important to make sure each location has a unique address, phone number, and website. If you don’t have a different NAP for every single location, Google will show all of your listings together under one overall listing.
When updating your local SEO for multiple locations:
Ensure that each business has its own NAP (name, address, phone number) as well as unique website addresses (if applicable) and phone numbers.
Make sure that each business is listed separately on Google My Business pages.
The Impact Of Local SEO On Small Businesses
Local SEO has a huge impact on small businesses because most customers are searching for businesses and information near them.
Local SEO is a very important part of search engine optimisation (SEO). It’s often thought of as a subset of “local marketing” and encompasses everything that’s done to make your business visible in the location-based results on Google.
The reason that local search has such a huge impact on small businesses is because most customers are searching for businesses and information near them. In fact, 92% of consumers use search engines to find local information and make purchasing decisions online.
Summary Of The Most Important Factors For Local Rankings
The most important factors for local rankings are:
Your website’s relevance to nearby searchers.
Consistency in location keywords throughout your digital marketing material.
A complete Google My Business profile with NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number)
Reviews from customers who have previously purchased.
The number and quality of citations you have pointing back to your site.
The quality of your website and its content.
Header and meta tagging.
How you measure up against the competition for local keywords.
There are several ways you can increase your local rankings. Firstly, create content that’s relevant to local searchers. Your website should provide information about the area that you serve, including businesses and events that are happening nearby.
Secondly, work on building up citations. Citations are links from other sites pointing back to yours, including mentions of your business on Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and Google My Business listings.
Thirdly, create a strong social media presence. Create profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and use these to share content about your business. This will help you reach new customers who are searching for local businesses.
If you need any help with these steps then please ensure that you contact us at The Lunn Agency and we will be happy to help you take the right steps towards a strong local marketing campaign.
Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of local SEO and how it can help your business. As we discussed before, local search is one of the most important forms of search for small businesses because most customers are searching for businesses and information near them. This means that if you want to stay competitive in today’s marketplace, then it’s important for you to understand what makes up local SEO so that you can start implementing these strategies today!