7 SEO Tips for Local Search Domination

by | Feb 7, 2016 | Search Engine Optimisation, Website Marketing | 0 comments

If your business serves customers in a particular area, it’s important to show up in the local search results when people search for your products or services. Local search results are when people search for keywords along with the name of a place, such as a city or town. One study found that 59% of consumers regularly use Google to find local businesses. This means that having a strong presence in local search results can help your business succeed. It gives you a chance to compete with large national companies and win in search engine rankings. So, if you’re a local business, it’s worth putting effort into improving your visibility in local search results.

You can show up in two different places in the local search results: the regular search results and the local search box 3-pack. For example, if you search for “plumber Norwich,” you might see a list of plumbing companies in the regular search results, or you might see a smaller box with the top three results, known as the local search box 3-pack.

Example Google Search Engine Results

On a big computer screen, the organic search results are located below the visible part of the page, meaning the viewer has to scroll down to find them. However, the local search results are much more visible and prominent, appearing in a box of their own with a handy map showing the location of the businesses. The local search box displays the top three results for the location searched, and if the user wants to see more local businesses, they have to click on the map. It is essential to rank among the top three to make the most of this opportunity, and the rest of this guide focuses on getting your business to that position.

7 SEO Tips for Local Search

If your running a local business that wants to rank well in the local search results you’ve come to the right place. Here are 7 SEO tips that will help you boost your local search rankings and increase your online visibility.

1: Cover the SEO basics

If you want your business to show up in local search results, there are a few SEO basics you need to take care of first. Before we dive into the specifics of local search optimisation, let’s review some important things you need to have in place.

First of all, it’s important that your website is mobile-friendly. Nowadays, most people use their mobile phones to search for local businesses, and Google gives preference to mobile-friendly sites in mobile search results. The easiest way to ensure your website is mobile-friendly is to use a responsive web design or theme. There are plenty of free and paid for themes out there if you want to build the website yourself. However, if you’d like professional web design please check out our services!

Secondly, you need to make sure that your website loads quickly. Google takes the user experience into account when ranking search results, and a slow-loading site can negatively affect your ranking. A fast-loading site will give you an advantage over your competitors (and we can help there too).

Finally, conducting keyword Research is essential to determine what people are searching for. Knowing what keywords people use to search for businesses like yours will help you optimise your website content to improve your visibility in search results. We won’t go into details on these topics here, but they are important SEO basics you need to have covered before focusing on local search optimisation.

2: Preparing Your Website for Local SEO Success

There are some simple ways to let Google know that your business is local and where it’s located:

  1. Register your website with Google’s search console. It’s free and you just need to create an account with Google.
  2. Add your name, address and phone number (NAP) to every page of your website. Most people add this information to the footer, but if you want people to call you, adding your phone number to the header of your website can increase calls.
  3. Add website schema to your website. Website schema is a type of code that is added to a website’s HTML to help search engines better understand the content on the website. It provides additional information to search engines about the website’s content, such as business name, address, phone number, and reviews, which can improve search engine rankings and make it easier for potential customers to find the website. It’s sometimes referred to as rich snippets. You can check if your website already has schema by using Google’s testing tool, or the one at schema.org.

3: On Page Optimisation

After taking care of your website’s overall SEO, it’s time to look at each individual page. Google values original content, so don’t copy from other websites.

  • Choose one keyword to focus on for each page, and use natural language throughout the post.
  • If you’re a local business, consider adding a location keyword to the page.
  • Use the target keyword in the page title and URL, and include it in at least one subheading.
  • Mention the keyword a few times in the text, but make sure it sounds natural.
  • Add an appropriate image to the page and use your keyword in the alt tag.
  • Make sure your spelling and grammar are correct.
  • Fill out the page metadata tags, including the title tag with your keyword and target location (less than 70 characters), and the meta description with the keyword and location (less than 160 characters).

4: Google Business Profile

Now that you’ve optimised your website, it’s time to focus on off-site optimisation. One important step is to register your business with Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business). This will help your business show up in Google Maps and the local 3-pack. To get started, sign in to your Google account and select the ‘locations’ tab. Click on the plus sign in the bottom right corner and choose ‘add a location’ from the pop-up options. Follow the steps to add and verify your business. Make sure to include as much detail as possible, such as a description of your business and some photos of your work and workplace.

5: Local Citations

Local citations refer to directory listings where your business is mentioned. Google pays attention to some of the bigger directories and uses their data to help rank your website in search results. You can add your business details manually to these directories, but you must make sure that you use consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) data for all listings. Moz Local is a useful tool for keeping track of these citations. You can use their free tool to track and analyse your listings in the most important directories, or you can pay a small fee and they will do all the work for you.

6: Social Media

Social media can greatly affect how well your business ranks in local search results. When creating social media profiles, it’s important to include your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP), and link back to your website. This helps search engines like Google understand that your social media profiles and website are associated with the same business.

Social media can also help you build brand awareness and engage with potential customers in your local area. This engagement can lead to likes, comments, and shares, which can increase your online visibility and social proof. The more engagement you have, the more likely people are to visit your website or store.

Having an active social media presence can also boost your website’s authority and trustworthiness, both important factors in local search rankings. Social signals such as likes, shares, and comments can signal to search engines that your business is active, relevant, and trusted within your local community.

Social media can also help you generate backlinks to your website, which can improve your search engine rankings. When you share valuable content on social media, other websites and blogs may link back to your content, increasing your website’s authority and ranking.

So, social media plays a crucial role in your local search rankings by helping to establish your business’s authority, relevance, and trustworthiness in your local community, and by generating backlinks to your website, improving its authority and search engine rankings.

7: Reviews

Collecting reviews is crucial for any local business. When people search for businesses like yours, they often rely on reviews to make decisions. Positive reviews can build trust and attract more customers, while negative reviews can hurt your reputation.

One effective way to collect reviews is to encourage your customers to leave feedback on your Google Business Profile, Facebook page, or Yelp listing. You can do this by simply asking them in person, via email, or through a follow-up message after they’ve made a purchase or received a service.

It’s important to make the review process as easy as possible for your customers. Provide clear instructions on where and how to leave a review, and consider offering incentives like discounts or freebies for leaving a review. Your Google Business Profile page will have a link on it that you can send customers, that will take them directly to a review form.

However, it’s important to note that some review sites, like Yelp, have strict rules against soliciting reviews. Make sure to check the terms and conditions of each platform to avoid any violations.

Remember, the more positive reviews you have, the better your chances of ranking higher in local search results and attracting more customers to your business.

Boosting Your Local Business: Key Takeaways

By implementing the strategies discussed in this post, you can increase your local business’s online visibility, attract more customers, and ultimately grow your revenue. Optimising your website, listing your business on directories, collecting customer reviews, and building an active social media presence are all key steps towards boosting your local search rankings. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your analytics and make adjustments as needed to continually improve your online presence. With these tools and tips, you’ll be on your way to reaching more customers in your local community and beyond.

Do you want a planet-friendly website?

Ready to make your website more sustainable? Then let us help you! We can help you create a website that is efficient, user-friendly, and environmentally friendly. So don’t wait any longer – contact us today and take the first step towards a more sustainable future!