Local SEO is important for all local businesses, from plumbers & builders, to florists & accountants.
Local SEO helps businesses to rank for geographically-related searches on Google, and other search engines.
People no longer use The Yellow Pages. Nowadays, people looking for a local business begin their search on the internet.
Local SEO is important when you consider that:
- 1 in 3 searches on Google is a local search
- 4 in 10 people do a local search everyday
- 70% of online searchers will use local search to find offline businesses
However, many local businesses’ websites are not optimised properly for local search, meaning they miss out on potential customers. After all, if potential customers can’t find your website, it doesn’t exist to them.
How To Dominate Local Search:
1. Location Keyword In Title Tag And H1 Tag
It’s important to use the location name you serve in your product page(s) title tag and h1 tag to help rank for searches from users in your location.
NAP refers to your business name, address and phone number. It’s important to have your NAP displayed on your website, and to ensure that it is always consistent on your website and any other sites that mention you NAP.
3. Local Phone Number
It’s important that the phone number displayed on your website’s NAP is a local phone number for the area you are trying to show up for in local searches.
4. Schema Markup
Schema.org was launched in 2011, but the recent Google Hummingbird update and greater dependency on Knowledge Graph has made schema.org all the more important.
Google states that by adding schema.org markup, search engines gain a much stronger understanding of the page content.
Local businesses can capitalise on this by adding Geographic markup to their website and letting Google know you are a local business.
For more information on schema markup for local SEO, check out this article.
5. Claim Your Citations
Citations are listing for your business on search engines and social media. Common places include Facebook, Google, Bing, Yelp, Yell and FourSquare, but many other websites exits. You should claim your listing on sites like these and also look at local directories for the area you serve.
6. High Quality Backlinks
Like traditional SEO, domain authority is still an important ranking factor for local search. Domain authority is a prediction for how a website will perform in search rankings (learn more about domain authority).
By attracting high quality links to your site from high domain authority websites, you can boost your own website’s domain authority and ranking in search results.
7. Links From Local Websites
You will also want to get links to your website from locally relevant websites, even if they have a low domain authority. If they are influential in your local area, then try to get a link.
8. Google+ Local Page
Google+ provides local businesses with a huge opportunity to appear in local search results. Local businesses should claim their Google+ Local page, and ensure they give as much information as possible, including adding images and opening times.
Obviously positive online reviews are good for your business, and can influence potential customers to choose your business.
Reviews can also improve your ranking in Google search results. Reviews on your Google+ local page are the most important. You should also try to get reviews on sites like Yelp and Yell.
It’s important to remove the barriers for getting reviews from customers, so actually ask them for a review and send them a direct link to where they can leave a review.
Local search and mobile search go hand in hand. Mobile users are important to your business as mobile searches primarily pull their search results from local search, and 9 out of 10 smartphone searches end in an action.
Therefore it’s important to make your website mobile friendly. Have a mobile responsive site and ensure you have mobile click to call for your phone number.
Bonus Tip. Use Video
A bonus tip is to take advantages of Google’s love for video. Using video on your website allows you to have rich snippets show up in search results, with the thumbnail of your video being shown, as displayed below:
Econsultancy found that this improves click through rates from Google by over 41%. Users are literally drawn to your result like a moth to a flame, meaning you can actually get more clicks than websites ranking above you in Google search results. Learn more about using video for SEO.