Local SEO is crucial to your success if you’re running a business with a physical location. It’s a powerful way to get more traffic from Google and other search engines, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood concepts in digital marketing. Many people think that all you need to do is add some NAP information and call it a day, but there’s so much more.
In this blog, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of local SEO, exploring everything from identifying your local audience to optimising your Google My Business page.
By the end of this post, you’ll better understand how to dominate the SERPs and map pack with local SEO, giving your business the visibility it needs to succeed in your local market. So let’s get started!
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the practice of optimising your website for local search engine results. It’s a powerful way to get more traffic from Google and other search engines, but it’s also one of the most misunderstood concepts in digital marketing. You have to do the following to implement local SEO effectively:
- You need to understand how local businesses are ranked by Google in order to create successful campaigns.
- You should know what kind of content will help your clients stand out from their competitors on SERPs (search engine results pages).
- And above all else, you must know how best practices like review management can help make sure that customers find them when they’re looking for services like yours locally.
How to Identify Your Local Audience?
The first step in local SEO is to identify your local audience. First, you must develop an understanding of your local market and the keywords they use when searching for products or services. You can do this by researching the competition, analysing their content, and identifying what makes them stand out from their competitors.
Once you’ve identified these keywords, it’s time to optimise them so that Google knows what kind of content they represent. This means creating relevant titles and meta descriptions (for web pages) and ensuring images have alt tags containing relevant information about what’s being shown in each image (for SERPs).
How Do You Optimise Your Website for Local SEO?
Local search engine optimisation (SEO) is an essential aspect of digital marketing for local businesses. It helps them to appear in local search results and reach potential customers in their area. In this article, we’ll discuss optimising your website for local SEO.
Claim and Optimise Your Google My Business Listing
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google. Claim your GMB listing and optimise it by adding your business name, address, phone number, website, photos, and business hours. Make sure that your information is accurate and consistent across all platforms.
Use Local Keywords
Include local keywords in your website content, such as city, neighbourhood, or region. For example, if you’re a plumber in Melbourne, use keywords like “Melbourne plumber” or “plumber in Melbourne.” Use these keywords naturally in your website copy, title tags, meta descriptions, and URLs.
Create Location-Specific Pages
Create location-specific pages for each of your business locations. These pages should include your business name, address, phone number, business hours, and directions. Also, include customer reviews and testimonials on these pages to build trust with potential customers.
Build Local Citations
Citations are online mentions of your business name, address, and phone number. They help to improve your local search rankings and establish your business’s credibility. Build local citations by listing your business on directories, review sites, and social media platforms.
Get Reviews and Ratings
Encourage your customers to leave reviews and ratings on your GMB listing, Yelp, and other review sites. Positive reviews and high ratings can boost your local search rankings and attract more customers.
Use Schema Markup
Schema markup is code you can add to your website to help search engines understand your content better. Use schema markup to mark up your business name, address, phone number, reviews, and other relevant information.
Optimising your website for local SEO can help your business to reach more potential customers in your area. Implementing these strategies can improve your local search rankings, build your online reputation, and grow your business.
Local Link Building
Link building is a critical aspect of search engine optimisation (SEO). It helps to improve your website’s search engine rankings and drive more traffic to your site. However, not all links are created equal. Local links are particularly important for small businesses that want to attract local customers. Let’s discuss local link building and how to get started.
Identify Local Websites
The first step in local link building is to identify local websites relevant to your business. Look for local blogs, news websites, and directories that cover topics related to your industry. Make a list of these websites and prioritise them based on their relevance and authority.
Create Local Content
Create content that is relevant to your local audience. Write blog posts, create infographics, and share local news and events. This will help to establish your business as an authority in your local area and attract links from local websites.
Submit to Local Directories
Submit your business to local directories such as Yelp, Google My Business, and Yellow Pages. This will help to improve your local search engine rankings and attract links from local websites.
Participate in Local Events
Participate in local events and sponsor local charities and organisations. This will help to establish your business as an active member of the local community and attract links from local websites.
Building relationships with local bloggers, journalists, and influencers can help to attract links from their websites. Engage with them on social media, attend local events, and offer to provide expert commentary on local news stories.
Offer testimonials to local businesses and service providers that you have worked with. This can be a powerful way to attract links from their websites and establish your business as a credible and trustworthy provider.
Local link-building is essential for small businesses that want to attract local customers. By following these tips, you can improve your local search engine rankings, attract more traffic to your site, and establish your business as an authority in your local area.
Optimising Your Google My Business Page
Optimising your Google My Business page is one of the most important steps you can take to dominate local search. It’s also a great opportunity to get more reviews, which will help increase rankings and improve your overall SEO campaign.
To start off, make sure that you’ve created and verified your GMB listing on Google Maps (if it isn’t already). Then, optimise the following aspects of your GMB listing:
- Title – Use keywords relevant to what people are searching for in their area. For example, if someone searches “pizza delivery near me,” then include those terms in your title. Try including some additional information like hours or phone numbers so users know exactly what they’re getting when they click through from SERPs into Yelp or other listings.
- Description – This section should contain useful information about what makes this business unique compared to others nearby, but don’t forget about keywords. Include them whenever possible without sounding spammy; otherwise, Google may penalise you down in rankings over time due to poor quality signals associated with low-quality content.
Tracking Your Local SEO Performance
The next step is to measure your rankings. You can do this in several ways, but we’ll focus on Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tools).
Google Search Console provides a lot of useful information about how your site performs in the SERPs and where it stands against other local businesses. You can use this data to track monthly fluctuations in rank, identify new opportunities for improvement and even predict future performance based on historical trends.
Local SEO Best Practices
By following best practices for local SEO, businesses can attract more local customers, improve their online reputation, and ultimately grow their business.
Here are some of the most effective local SEO best practices to help you improve your online visibility and attract more customers to your business:
- Optimise your Google My Business profile with accurate and up-to-date information about your business, including your address, phone number, website, and operating hours.
- Use relevant local keywords in your website content, page titles, and meta descriptions. This helps search engines understand what your website is about and improves your chances of ranking high in local search results.
- Build “NAP” citations (name, address, phone number) on reputable local directories and review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Yellow Pages. Make sure your business information is consistent across all the directories you use.
- Get listed with big data aggregators like Data Axle, Localeze, and Foursquare, as well as other popular directories in your local area and industry, such as Apple Maps, Bing Places, and Facebook.
- Use schema markup on your website to help search engines understand your business information and improve your chances of appearing in rich snippets.
- Create locally-focused content, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos, that targets your local audience and includes relevant local keywords.
- Encourage customer reviews on your Google My Business profile and other review sites. Positive reviews can improve your visibility in local search results and help you build trust with potential customers.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and loads quickly on mobile devices. Mobile optimisation is especially important for local search, as many customers use their smartphones to search for nearby businesses.
- Use social media to engage with your local audience and promote your business. Share updates about your products or services, respond to customer inquiries and feedback and post content that highlights your local connections.
Grow Your Business with Local SEO Today!
In conclusion, local SEO is a powerful tool for small businesses looking to improve their online visibility and attract more local customers. By following all the information and best practices we’ve discussed, you can improve your chances of ranking higher in local search results and dominating both the SERPs and Map Pack.
However, local SEO can be complex and time-consuming, and it’s important to get it right in order to see results. That’s where TopRankings can help.
Our team of SEO experts in Melbourne specialises in local SEO and can help you develop an effective strategy to dominate the local search results. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you grow your business with local SEO.