Are you new to SEO and don’t know where to start? Or perhaps you just need some guidance on the new algorithm updates in recent months. If you are a local business that wants to get noticed in search engines and generate more customers, you have to understand Local SEO. Without Local SEO, your business will not be able to take advantage of the local online demand for your products or services.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is a branch of SEO that specifically deals with search engine optimisation for local businesses. Undertaking an effective Local SEO campaign will allow your business to appear on Page 1 of Google’s search engine results pages, both in the “Map Pack” and the “Organic Listings”.
There have been a lot of changes in the SEO world over the last several years, especially for local SEO with the possum update which was rolled out in September 2016. We’ve created a list of important dos’ and don’t’s for local SEO to help your company dominate the local rankings.
Quick and Simple tips:
Duplicate Google My Business listings cause more visibility problems than ever before
Third party reviews have more weight
Category confusion causes more problems that it did before
Industry related links carry more weight
Review content is more important
Proximity gained a lot of weight
Unique content isn’t good enough anymore as everyone is doing it so your content actually needs to be local.
Use local structured data markup (schema.org markup)- this can be added to your website’s code to provide search engines with more information about your business, like the products you sell, reviews you’ve collected, services you offer and so on.
How to rank in the map pack?
So everyone wants to be here, but it is increasingly difficult to get there! Here’s a few of our top tips:
The #1 ranking factor is now proximity of address to point of search
Physical address in city of search is now the #2 ranking factor
Inks still matter more than anything else
Local links are the most valuable whether it is a follow or a nofollow link
You don’t need to worry as much about domain authority or trust flow
Ideas for local links
Local volunteer opportunities
Local offline groups
Neighborhood watch groups
Look at link profiles for similar businesses in other cities
Target your competitors links! They are easy to get and will be devalued for your competitors
But remember, don’t point all your links at your homepage
Content elements to rank for local
Put the city in the title tag
Put the city in the H1 heading
Include the city in the page content
Include the city in the image alt text
Include the city in the URL
Include the city in the meta description
You have to post on your blog regularly but also things that people will actually want to read
Ensure you’re sharing links to blog posts on social media
Use local content silos to rank in other cities
Citations aren’t as powerful as they used to be, but they’re a foundational tactic that should be completed
Your business needs to be listed where Google epects it to be listed,
Incorrect/duplicate citation info sends a bad signal to Google
Google My Business Signals
You must claim your location
You must use local phone number and it must match the number on your site
Make sure your include UTM tracking code on your GMB website URL
92% of consumers read online reviews before choosing a company to buy from
Spread your reviews between Google, industry sites, Facebook and Yelp
Final Tips for Local SEO and your overall digital marketing
Have you carried out keyword research through AdWords keyword planner? This will help you to identify keywords you want to appear for, what people are searching for and help you with content ideas for your website
Have you looked at competitor benchmarking? Who is doing well and what are they doing?
Google trends is a great and FREE tool, so use it
Have you ran a site audit on your website to ensure everything is correct?
Do you have Google analytics set-up?
Do you have Google Search Console set-up?
If you have any questions on local SEO, or if you’d like to talk in more detail, give us a call or fill out our contact form.
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