How to Optimise Your Website for Local SEO
22nd December 2021
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimising your business for location-specific results. Search engines use the user’s IP address or geolocation to determine search results.
Why Is Local SEO So Important?
Local SEO is essential for smaller businesses operating at a regional level, but it also benefits national businesses that offer regional services. Optimising local SEO provides up-to-date and relevant information to your local customers, and in turn, this can lead to more website traffic, leads and conversions.
12 Steps for Local Search Optimisation
If you’d like to target users looking for local businesses like yours, or the location of your business is otherwise an important part of your offering, here are twelve steps you can take to improve your local SEO:
1. Homepage and Meta Data
Your homepage should have clear indicators of where you are located and what your business does. Your page title tag, the header tag, and meta description should clearly state this information. Optimise your page title tags to include the name of the city and the product or service you offer.
2. Service Pages
Dedicating separate pages for each product or service you offer will help you rank higher with Google and provide more opportunities for SEO and ranking keywords. Each keyword you want to rank for should map back to one page that you choose to optimise - the page that you consider to be the most relevant to that keyword. You’ll then be able to optimise that page for keywords containing that particular service and the location where it is being offered.
3. Location Pages
Location pages are especially useful if your business has more than one location. There should be a page for each location with essential information such as an address, phone number, opening hours, store offers, facilities, and Google Maps. One thing to note with multiple locations is that you must have unique content on each page.
4. Internal Linking Structure
Adjusting your internal structure will benefit SEO by improving navigation for users, which impacts your authority score and ranking. The ideal website structure will have as few steps as possible between the homepage and any other page, but it will also provide plenty of links between different pages, and in particular, links to the most important pages on your website.
5. Optimise for Mobile
With people searching on their mobile devices more than ever, your website must be optimised for mobile. Use Google’s tool for assessing how mobile-friendly your website is. Use Google’s guidelines for advice on optimising for mobile.
6. Optimise for Voice Search
Research has found that customers use more long-tail keywords when using voice search, therefore it is important to adjust your SEO to account for a more conversational tone. Include common conversation starters for questions, such as who, what, when, where, why, and how. Voice search users may also be more likely to use location queries such as “find restaurants near me”.
7. Local Backlinks
After performing a site audit and setting up tracking for keywords, you should be able to find more websites mentioning competitors or your sector. You can use these to build your local backlinks. Reach out to local websites that cover business for a write-up and offer services to local bloggers in exchange for backlinks. Working with the local community and sponsoring charities can also lead to backlinks and improve reach.
8. Google My Business
Google My Business is usually the first impression a user will get of your business, so keeping this information updated is one of the most effective ways to rank higher on Google Maps and gain visibility in local searches. Make sure the information is correct and consistent with your business listings. Verify your page as soon as possible to access all the editing features available.
9. Business Listings
Business listings contain all of the public facts about your business and this information appears across search engines, this is why it is essential to confirm these details and make sure your business listings are consistent. It’s important to make sure details such as your address are correct on business listings because if the address is wrong somewhere, this can be picked up by Google, or two incorrect pieces of data could be conflated to create a third incorrect listing on Google or elsewhere.
10. Social Media
Make sure you have a Facebook Business page to act as an additional source of information for local customers and link it to your Google My Business page.
11. Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews can have a large impact on your business so it is essential to check these and respond promptly. Negative reviews handled the correct way can still have a positive impact on your brand.
12. Invest in Local PPC
Local PPC can be highly effective and beneficial for your business. Creating location-specific content will resonate with your audience, improve your SEO, and in turn, affect the quality score of your ad. The higher your quality score, the lower your cost per click, and the more likely users will be to convert if your content is highly relevant. Though this is a local PPC tip rather than SEO, any improvements you make to your website for local PPC will likely have a positive impact on SEO, too.
Local SEO is critical to your business's success if you have a brick-and-mortar location or only service a specific geographic area. As people rely more on search engines and online reviews to find what they need, you have to boost local rankings to get found online. SEO and digital marketing are constantly growing and changing so it is worth dedicating time to this in your marketing calendar. If you’d like any help with local SEO, get in touch with SilverDisc.