Local SEO helps businesses to rank for geographically-related searches on Google, and also other search engines.
People looking for local resources do a local search on the internet. For instance, a report from Business2Community says 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
To improve ranking for your services terms such as, say: ‘Internet solutions West Midlands’, It will be necessary to decide upon the target words – related to services that you provide locally, with your region added onto the search.
Why has local SEO become important?
Nowadays, more searches are made from portable devices, that is, phones and tablets, than from desktop devices. These devices are trackable, indeed may people use their mobile for satellite navigation.
Therefore, if a search engine knows where you are, it can provide a search recommendation that is nearest to you.
For this reason, performance in local search is valuable in bringing more potential customers to your web site and to your business.
Step 1 Create a page of local content
A properly engineered web page with appropriate content is needed for search engines and other sources to link to:
- Within 2 clicks of home page
- Content should include target terms plus location
- Page meta-title and meta-description to include location
- Page Title and H1 Heading to include location
- Local images with Alt- and Title- tags featuring location
- Local case studies (relevant to key phrases)
- Local phone number
- Local fax number
Step 2: Update the XML Schema for your web site
Major search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo support a structured data mark-up schema. This is defined, with examples, at schema.org. The on-page mark-up structure tells search engine robots what each page is about, as the information is classified into ‘tags’. In this case, it tells the search engines precisely what your address and region are.
- Include your address in XML site schema with your county as region
- Add your region in the UK as AreaServed in XML schema
- Add local phone and fax numbers to XML schema.
Step 3: Claim your Google local listings
- Set up Google Places page with target phrases
- Set up full Google Plus pages, as these are linked to Google Places
- You can now have location pages on Google Plus as well as Places.
- Validate these listings with Google, this will take time and patience
- Post frequently on Google Plus and expand your contact list.
Step 4: Claim local listings on other sites
- Bing Places
- Yahoo local
- Yelp – Google takes notice of reviews on sites like Yelp.
- Get links from local directories such as the local Chamber of Commerce
Action 5: Obtain positive reviews
Online reviews will make a big impact on your search engine performance, even if they are Yelp or another resource. However, a recent study by Digital Marketing Works (DMW) concluded that online reviews and ratings posted on Google (Google+ Local and Google Maps) are a most important factor in determining inclusion and ranking for a business. Hence it is most important to reach out to your customers, ask for reviews and, if necessary, provide incentives.
Visit our SEO page to find out more.
If you’d like some help with your web site’s local SEO, email us at [email protected] or give us a call on 01455 290 222 to speak to a member of our team.