In the ever-changing universe that is search engine optimisation, local SEO has risen to become a major contributor in driving people to your business and traffic to your website. That is why we decided to give you 10 top local SEO tips that you can action for your business.
If you do not believe us, look at these local SEO statistics from a HubSpot blog:
- 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else.
- 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.
- “Near me” or "close by" type searches grew by more than 900% over two years.
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a marketing technique that belongs to the wider concept of search engine optimisation. The purpose of Local SEO is to help businesses promote their products and services to local prospects and customers. This includes driving traffic to a website, as well driving customers to a store.
Local SEO is affected by similar factors that affect SEO. These include local content, social profile pages, backlinks, and citations.
An excellent example of Local SEO in practice can be seen when we are looking to order food in our local area. To find the most suitable solution, you may search for “Takeaway in Southend”. As seen below, you are greeted with a list of local businesses that can help your cravings.
Why is local SEO so important?
Local SEO is so important for small/medium-sized businesses as it helps drive relevant consumers to their store or website, that are based in their local area and ultimately have a high purchase intent.
Not only this, but it helps increase brand awareness, grow revenue, and increases customer retention.
Check out the statistics below to further back up the comments above:
- 92% of searchers will pick businesses on the first page of local search results. SEO Expert Brad
- 72% of consumers that did a local search visited a store within five miles. HubSpot Marketing Statistics
- 88% of searches for local businesses on a mobile device either call or visit the business within 24 hours. SEO Expert Brad
- By using location-based coupons on mobile can lead to a 9916% increase in incremental mobile revenue. WordStream
10 Top local SEO Tips
We have put together our top 10 local SEO tips that you can action for your business.
1) Optimise your Google My Business
Google my business has become such a powerful tool for those looking to excel in Local SEO. As it is Google's own invention, the search engine ranks any organisation with a verified Google My Business highly in search results. This is because Google is looking for authentic search results to give its users.
Tips to make sure your Google My Business is optimised:
- Complete all the necessary information fields when setting up your page.
- Include opening hours.
- Include contact details.
- Authenticate your Google My Business following Google's instructions.
- Encourage your customers to leave online reviews.
- Post updates regarding your business.
- Responds to reviews and comments left by customers.
2) Use online directories
To improve your local SEO, you should sign up for and optimise your profiles for online directories. Some large directories include Apple, Yelp, Bing, Google, and Trip Advisor. However, there may be some that are particularly relevant for your local area and niche
When using online directories' consistency is essential. This includes your Company name, address, industry, phone number and description. Consistency means writing each of them in the same format as before. It is also important to ensure there are no spelling mistakes or grammatical errors. Any discrepancies can affect your ranking.
3) Optimise your website
Local SEO can be built into a wider SEO strategy when optimising your website. This includes things like your URL, title tags, headers, meta description, and content.
As seen in the image above, the 07 Heaven Marketing website has been optimised for local searches in Essex. The title stag begins with the keyword and location to tell Google its importance.
Your meta description is equally important. Local keywords including locations should be included.
4) Improve your internal linking structure
If you have heard of SEO before, I am sure you understand the importance of external link building or backlinking. A feature that is often overlooked is internal linking. By improving the structure of your internal links on your website you can greatly increase your Local SEO rankings.
The structure of your internal links is important as it contributes to the following:
- Supports website navigation.
- Assists with information architecture and website hierarchy.
- Distributes page authority and ranking power among pages.
5) Gain external links from your local area
So, we have discussed the importance of internal linking, and you are right, external links are just as important. Just as with other forms of SEO, getting inbound links from websites with relevancy and high authority is essential in boosting your local SEO performance.
To ensure that the links you are getting are benefiting your local SEO as much as possible you should focus your effort on getting links that fit these criteria:
- Link from a locally based website.
- Link from a website with a high domain authority.
- Include words that relate to your business and local area in the Anchor text of the link.
Some excellent examples of great places to get backlinks include local news publications, local schools, or local market leaders. These organisations are well trusted within the area and usually have high domain authority. Everything Google is looking for.
6) Create local content
With the advancement of Google, content creation is now all about creating content that adds value to your reader. To score highly in local SEO, it is vital that you are producing content that wows your audience whilst concentrating on topics within your local constituency.
Your goal should be to create content that puts your business as a local authority on the subject. This can include writing about local events, local industry news and content around your own business and employees.
7) Add location pages to your website
If you are big enough to have more than one location, you should be utilising location page throughout your website. This allows you to optimise individual pages for each store. A location page is designed to provide readers with your name, address, phone number, store hours, unique store descriptions, parking/transit information, promotions, and testimonials from happy customers.
Creating location pages is the most SEO friendly format of letting your customers and the search engine know that you have multiple locations. It helps you avoid duplicating content across multiple locations and means that one page is not trying to rank for multiple words.
8) Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
Local search and mobile search go hand in hand. By 2021, mobile devices will influence more than $1.4 trillion in local sales. Mobile are now so advanced that a user can easily use their phone as a device to search Google.
Some of the most common mobile searches that lead to people discovering your site include looking up reviews, finding directions to your location, and searching for contact information.
Make it easy and a better experience for your customers by making your site mobile friendly.
9) Make sure you are consistent online
As mentioned before when discussing online directories, being consistent online is one of our top local SEO tips. This includes anywhere that you are posting on the internet in relation to your business. Look out for your name, address, and phone number.
Your goal is to make it easy for people and search engines to find you. To do this, set up your NAP, which stands for name, address, and phone number (with area code). This should be included as crawlable HTML text on your site.
10) Engage with your customers on social media
Google now considers social activity more important than ever. By consistently posting content and interacting with you following you are indicating to Google that you are an authentic business. And remember, google loves authenticity.