If you are an owner of a local business or you work for one, you will be aware of the difficulties with of running SEO for your business and the different considerations required to nation-wide companies. Local SEO differs significantly from a regular SEO campaign, as the local search results change for more rapidly than any other.
The chart above illustrates local SEO campaigns’ various ranking factors and their weighting. A notable factor is that on-page SEO and links is an important part in local SEO as per non-local campaigns. However, you will want to pay attention on the type of links as they will differ significantly.
Let’s review what practices to use that will drive results from your local SEO campaign
To Start With
You will need to do work to your website before you start looking at links to ensure you maximise your results.
To rank within the above types of listings, you’ll rely less on the link building side of things, and more on local NAP citations, local reviews and My Business signals.
Google My Business
You will need to ensure that you have a Google My Business page in place and that it is optimised appropriately in order to have great advantage on your competitors. Step Change Media offer a Google My Business Page setup and optimisation here.
The following needs to be included once the page is set up:
- A long, unique description that’s formatted correctly and includes links.
- The right categories for your business.
- Upload numerous photos – the more the better.
- A local phone number.
- Your business address – this needs to be the same as on your website and local directories.
- A high-resolution profile image and cover photo.
- If applicable, your opening times/days.
- Real reviews from customers (please refer to the later section).
NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
In order to be effective, your full NAP needs to be in every page of your website.. When you mention your address on other websites, it must have the exact same details and be in the exact same format.
So that search engines have what they require to show the right details for your company, use Schema.org markup on your NAP.
The above screenshot demonstrates how a local company can put structured data on their address, marking it with Schema.org data markup.
If you would like Step Change Media to investigate and markup your website correctly please visit this page.
Local search rankings are significantly impacted by local reviews so it’s important to obtain these. These reviews can come from various sources although you need to ensure that obtaining Google reviews is at the top of your list.
Your first step should be to contact your current customer base and see if they would be willing to write a review on your business, product or services.
A possible way to help you get more reviews is to have a page on your website to help your customers write a review which holds instructions on how they can do this. This can be very effective when getting in touch with customers asking to leave a review.
Step Change Media offer an effective local review outreach service to gain reviews for your business and gain rankings.
Local On-Page SEO Factors
Some traditional techniques work for local business on-page SEO and on-page content plays an important part in local search listings, so it’s key that you get the most value from your content as much as you can, so include your City/Region plus a relevant keyword to each of the below:
- Your landing page title tag
- Your landing page H1 tag.
- Your landing page URL.
- Your landing page content.
- Your landing page image ALT attributes.
In addition, embed a Google map with your business marker into your landing page.
Also, in order to increase your rankings you need to ensure that your website is mobile friendly as Google no longer ranks sites that are not mobile friend on mobile searches. Check if your website is mobile ready here. If not Step Change Media can help you get your website mobile ready
Local Link Building & Citations
Frequent link building within local SEO campaigns is neglected but this is a mistake as it’s critical.
Local SEO is more dependent on links from other local sites pertinent to your business. You want to ensure that you are selecting links from local websites with information about things people that are talking about related to what you do. Whilst it’s helpful to get links from high authority sites, it’s not as effective as links from local websites. As a result, local directories are helpful for link building, particularly where building citations is concerned.
“A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP).”
So long as your business NAP is always being referenced in the same manner, you won’t need to link these citations.
To find any existing citations you have you can use our citation audit service here. Another use for this tool is to look at your competitors’ citations and insert your own to the same websites.
To save you time and effort Step Change Media offer a niche relevant local citation link building service as these citations are labour intensive and tricky, therefore, the opportunity for error can be high, potentially causing harm to your website. Don’t delay, get in touch now.