5 tips to kick start your local SEO

Posted under SEO, Website

Following on from my last blog, an introduction to local SEO and as promised here are some local SEO tips on to get your business performing better in local search results.

google local1. Google+ local and Google place

This one is a biggie and if you haven’t already created your Google+ Local page and claimed your Google place listing I highly suggest you do this first and foremost.

Some things to remember when you are setting up your page:

  • Remember to fill out ALL of the information.
  • Upload relevant images
  • Link back to your website
  • Include your business contact details
  • Verify your business address

Understanding what pages you currently have and what more you need if anything can be confusing, Google definitely hasn’t made it easy. This article on Search Engine Watch explains more about the differences and similarities in Google places and Google+ local.

2. On site

There are a number of things that you can do on your site to help your local SEO efforts. The obvious one is to make sure that you include the location you are targeting in page titles, descriptions and in the page copy.

What is less obvious is that, it is important make sure that the business name, address and phone number (NAP) are visible on every page. Listing a phone number with a local area code is the best option.

media matters address

3. Citations

A citation is essentially your name, address and phone number (NAP) but on a site other than your own. Citations work in a similar way to links to establish the authority of your local business.
Here are some examples of Media Matters citations:

LinkedIn profile

linkedin

 

Business listing on Opportunity Peterborough

opportunity peterborough business listing

Yell Listing

yell listing

It is important that the citations that you create are the same as how your NAP is listed on your website. So for example if you are a limited company, will you use ltd. or limited? Pick a format and stick to it.

In the same way that low quality links can, low quality citation listings can do more harm than good even though citations do not necessarily have to link back to your site.

4. Reviews

brewery tapReviews are important to both search engines and your potential customers.

They are important to search engines because they are an indication of popularity and authority and they are obviously important to your potential customers because reviews are a form of social proof.

So, how can you get reviews? It is quite simple really… ask for them!

If you have an email database, email your customers and clients and ask them to leave a review. You could even build it in to a regular process so for example, if you are a hair salon, you could send a follow up email after a clients appointment, thanking them for their business and at the same time asking them to leave a review.

You could post the review link on your social networks or include the review URL on your customer receipts.

5. Links & Social

Just like in organic SEO, links play an important role in local SEO.

The number of links pointing to a site is still an indicator to search engines of the popularity and authority of that site, however the quality of those links is more important than the quantity.

The best way to get links back to your site its by creating unique quality content that people naturally want to link to and share on social platforms. This keeps you safe from any threat of a Google penalty that comes with artificially building links back to your site, just for the sake of having another link.

If you are stuck for ideas on what content you could create you should take a look at Dawn’s latest blog on how to find valuable and relevant content marketing ideas.

Laura McGill

Laura is our digital guru – she loves the opportunity to be both creative and analytical, digging into clients’ analytics and developing insights to help creatively solve problems and fuel successful marketing campaigns.

She is Google Certified and eats, sleeps and breathes the latest developments in digital marketing. She’s passionate about it – and that is great news for all our clients.

She says she loves working with supportive and friendly colleagues at Media Matters. She describes herself as being tenacious, forthright and loves puppies and kittens! She also possesses an incredible attention to detail.

Away from work, she is busy renovating her home with partner Stef – and perhaps not surprisingly loves gaming and socialising.