Improve Your Local SEO
Locally targeted SEO can be a vital part of your marketing strategy that often gets overlooked! Local SEO targets are often much more attainable for smaller businesses, rather than national SEO targets that will push you into competing against other, possibly much bigger companies across the UK.
Optimising your website to target more people specifically in your local area means that you are looking to get get more traffic from people in your local area. If you are selling, or delivering goods or services only within a specific area then this is a no brainer!
For example, if you are a plumber in Chorley, you want to optimise your SEO for Chorley, or more specifially, “plumber in Chorley”. You are not interested in getting clicks from Glasgow, as you are not going to be travelling that far.
Google actively promotes businesses that are closer to your physical location, so you may have an easier time trying to reach your audience than you think!
If you are looking to improve your local SEO whether your in Chorley or not, these five tips will help!
1) Claim your Google Business Listing
Do you know what Google Business or Google Places is? If not, you will need to! Do a search for your business on Google with a location extension. I.e – “Interact Digital Chorley”. Over to the right of the Google page there will be a listing specifing your business. Have you seen this before? Did you know you can edit it, add details and optimise it?
The best way to optimise your Google business account is to:
- Include your logo, opening hours, how you can take payment, what it is you do (products or service listings) the product or service you sell, and lots of pictures!
- Actively encourage people to leave reviews on Google. These are much more trusted than a review that is written by you on behalf of your customers on your website.
- Reply to each review. Including any bad ones. Often, a bad review can be turned around if you answer it. An ignored bad review is more likely to be believed and can ruin your digital reputation.
- Use the posts feature. You can publish posts, updates and events all straight onto Google. This gives you more authority and helps to promote your local listing.
A few years ago when me and my partner were in Barcelona, we almost exclusively used Google places (the non logged-in name of Google Business) to find new places to eat or visit. Each one of the places we went to had great reviews and had optimised their Google business account to show plenty of pictures and easy directions so that we could find it.
There may of been other places that were equally as good, but we would never find them as they weren’t on Google places.
If you are having trouble verifiying your Google business listing, please get in touch and let us help you get going with your local SEO.
2) Create content around local events
Want to create a local feel to your services? Create content about things happening in the local area. Displaying your services at a local fair? Talk about it? Do you sponsor an event or local sports team? Create a blog post about it with pictures.
When you have a think about it, there will be lots of content you can create that is related to your local area and the services or products you provide.
3) Add local extensions to your titles
When you are writing your content, pay attention to the area you are in. For us an example would be “Local SEO services in Chorley” as that is a target we are looking to target more aggressively. If I target ‘local SEO services’ then surely the ‘local’ part is relative to whoever is reading it and where they are?
Many businesses do the same thing. ‘Plumbing Services’ could easily turn into ‘Plumbing Services in Chorley & Preston’ for example.
4) Add Google Maps to your pages
Show people where you are based. The best and easiest way of doing this is to include a Google map on your webpage. Often people will include a map on their home page to make it as clear as possible that they are local.
This can also easily provide directions to people finding you through the website as the Google map links to the persons Google account, letting them click and find directions to you, wherever they are.
5) Make the most of local directories
Listing your website on local directories can be a good way to get backlinks to your website. Local directories exist to promote business in the local area, like the Yellow pages did before the internet took over. There are lots and lots of directories available and many techniques to find the best ones to list your website on. A quick way to find them is to Google ‘Best local (free) directories’. this should bring up lists of different directories that others recommend you link your business too.
If you can, list yourself on directories that ‘do-follow’. If you are unsure what a do-follow link is, I will try to explain underneath. This might get technical, so bare with me….
Do-follow links pass along a recommendation from the website that hosts the link. Essentially, the website that is linking to yours is declaring that your site is good and the reputation of the host site will vouch for that.
‘No Follow’ Links
No-follow links are links that aren’t validated with the website reputation. It is just a link to your website without any weight behind it. Social media sites use no-follow. If you post a link from your Facebook page to your website, it won’t be a recommendation by Facebook to your business, it will just be a link.
This ‘do-follow, no-follow’ process is the same for all links. The better reputation website linking to your site, the more importance the link is. A link from a .gov website is worth thousands of links from really low reputation sites for example.
Please get in touch with us if you want to know more about these links, as it can be quite confusing.
The best practise for getting the most out of local directories is to make sure that your NAP (name, address, phone number) are correct and consistent across all directories on the internet.
If you have changed address in recent years, Google your name and old address and make a list of any directories that appear. Get in touch with these directories and ask them to update their listings so that everything is the same across the internet.
I hope that this post makes optimising your Google business profile easier and gets you more local Google traffic! If you have any questions, or want any help with your Google business profile, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.