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The term Local SEO refers to optimising your business locally to appear at the top of the search result pages. If your business has a physical address local SEO is essential to make it easier for potential customers in your area to find you, and a few small tweaks can make a big difference to your local search rankings.
Here are our tips on what you can do to increase your position and get more attention:
1. Local Citations
One of the easiest ways to improve your local search ranking is to check that your citations are consistent, correct, and you are included in online directories such as Yelp and StartLocal. Also known as NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) this information is not as powerful as it used to be in search, but it has become more of a sign of local relevancy and definitely worth being on top of. A quick evaluation will check the status of your online citations, and a tool such as Whitespark’s Local Citation Finder can also help you to find further citation opportunities.
2. Relevant Information
Make sure your business information is exactly the same on all platforms including local citations, classifieds, directories or social media sites. Google verifies business address details, NAP information and gives rankings to sites that have the same details across all websites.
3. Customer Reviews
Customer reviews (specifically positive ones) are an important part of Local SEO, plus they are displayed in Google search results so people will read them before seeing any other information about your business.
The fastest way to get reviews? Ask for them. Point your customers in the right direction to leave a Google review, and make sure the process is as straight forward as possible. It’s worth keeping in mind that increasing your number of reviews should be a marathon effort not a sprint, and it’s preferable to have a steady stream coming in rather than a short burst.
4. On-Site SEO
When optimising a website for Local SEO there are a few key elements that you should focus on. Including your City and State in the Title Tag is important, and make sure that this information is also within the content of your website. You can also use the ALT text within your logo (and any images that you have on your website) to give details about the image and your location, eg. Bob the Builder, Perth. It’s a good idea to have your address and contact information on the home page in a prominent position, and as text (not an image).
5. Optimising Google Maps
Optimise your Google Maps listing and make your business stand out in Google. Add a relevant descriptor, contact address, contact number and verify your listing. Finally, embed a Google Map that points to your Google Plus local listing along with local citations, as this reinforces where you are located.
Local SEO is a valuable tool for businesses looking for new customers in their area. When combined with traditional SEO techniques you should see a noticeable increase in your local search rankings, which improves visibility and ultimately attracts sales.