So if you’re a small to medium business operating locally and have run a couple of SEO campaigns before then you will know it’s pretty difficult to funnel in high volumes of traffic to your product pages or website.
Often there is a much smaller pool of traffic chat you might be competing fore and often it can be dominated by several key players, in particularly on the search engines. Sometimes it’s just not viable to create huge content pieces that might perform well in social media because it can often lead in a lot of non-relevant visitors and wasted traffic. This is even more so the case if you’re promoting say a doctors or electrician website for example.
What you need to generate is a consistent source of suitable traffic that is relevant to your business from the search engines that can become leads and convert to sales.
Here I am going to give you a few tips that I use to rank any local business, and trust me , I have used this system many times. Local SEO is one of my favourite areas of speciality because its constantly changing. If you need to keep ahead of your competitors then follow these tips:
On-Page Optimization for Localized Search
SEO for 0n-page local business follows some fairly old school SEO tactics. So the weight towards on-page content is pretty high on the local search listings, it’s very important that you cram in as much value to your contact as possible.
Here is a micro check list to try out for on-page local SEO
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page title tag.
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page H1 tag.
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page URL.
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page content.
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page image ALT attributes.
- Embed a Google map with your business marker into your landing page.
NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Consistency is key here. You need to ensure that you have your full NAP across your whole website (i.e. every page). Furthermore, you must use the exact same details/format when you mention your address on other websites (i.e. local citations).
You’ll also want to use Schema.org markup on your NAP to give the search engines all they need to display your company information correctly.
Here’s the code that I use to add in NAP information to local websites with Schema.org markup (just adapt the areas in bold to suit your own business:
<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness“>
<p itemprop=”name”>COMPANY NAME</p>
<p itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress“>
<p itemprop=”streetAddress”>ADDRESS LINE 1</p>
<p itemprop=”telephone”>PHONE NUMBER</p>
<meta itemprop=”latitude” content=”LATITUDE” />
<meta itemprop=”longitude” content=”LONGITUDE” /></div>
Local reviews can have a big impact on local search and affect those rankings directly, therefore you should spend some time to acquire them.
I should also pouint out that this isn’t just for Google reviews. You should also look at a Yelp page which are used by Apple maps and other local directories. However kicking off with Google reviews is a good place to start.
To start with try to grab the low hanging fruit and reach out to you r existing customers to see if they will help out by providing a review for you. You can even offer them an incentive such as a discount or something else for their time.
Another great tip is to create a new page on your website especial y for reviews, you can write a step by step guide for them on exactly how to leave a review for you, and remember to keep it as simple as possible. Use a URL something like this (e.g. yourdomain.com/review-us/) which you could also email to customers and clinets, along with a voucher code or some other thank you offer.
Google My Business
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to claim your Google My Business page.
Here is the link to get started and its pretty straight forward: https://support.google.com/business/answer/4566606?hl=en
Some more tips about this process below:
- Add a long, unique description that’s formatted correctly and includes links.
- Choose the correct categories for your business.
- Upload as many photos as possible.
- Add a local phone number to your listing.
- Add your business address that’s consistent with that on your website and local directories.
- Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo.
- Add your opening times/days (if relevant).
- Get real reviews from customers (I’ll come onto this).
Link Building & Citation Building
Link building within local SEO campaigns is incredibly important and it’s also something that’s often overlooked.
Compared to standard SEO campaigns, local SEO relies much more on links from other local websites that are really relevant to your business. It’s less about getting links from high authority websites (although that obviously helps) and more about getting links from websites local to you that are talking about similar things to what you do.
This means that local directories are a useful resource for link building, especially when it comes to building citations.
“A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP).”
These citations don’t even need to be linked, as long as they’re referencing your business NAP consistently in the same way.
Here are a few ways you can get local citations:
- Use a service like WhiteSpark and get them to find and upload local citations for you.
- Go through the extensive list of citations on the Moz website and manually submit your citations.
- Use a tool like Ahrefs, Majestic or Open Site Explorer to run competitive link research and find citations that your competitors have gained.
- Set up alerts through Mention or Google Alerts to track new mentions of your competitors’ NAP listing.
To support your citations, you’ll need to build some good quality links from local websites as well. Here are a few of the strategies that I use to build local links:
- Go to Meetup.com and search for a list of local events relevant to your industry. Find those that have websites and contact them about sponsorship (most of the time you’ll only need to put on a lunch for them). If they accept, you’ll get a link from their website (local to you) and their Meetup.com page (highly authoritative, local link).
- Create a local resource from public data (here’s 30 different data sources) and reach out to local press to get coverage.
- Run your own local meetup or event and bring through links from the local event page.
- Sign up to press request services to get quoted in local publications (huge potential for high authority, local links).
- Run an AMA on Reddit (within a relevant subreddit to your industry) and within other local communities.
- Line up interviews and columns within relevant online publications.
- Give a discount to local organizations for your products/services in exchange for a linked mention on their website.
- Enter local awards (or start your own if there aren’t any!).
- Spend time dedicated to local PR outreach to get online and offline coverage in local news.
- Run regular competitive link research and capitalize on any new opportunities that your competitors have gained.
- Offer scholarships (you get links from local universities) or offer jobs to students (you can get links from their careers pages).
I’ve tried and tested these techniques and can tell you that these do work. So good luck and let me know how you get on!
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a critical piece to your overall marketing strategy if you want to leverage the internet to bring in new local customers.
Studies show that 90% of consumers never scroll past the first page of the search results. So, if your company is nowhere to be found when your local prospects search for your type of product or service, they are choosing your competitors instead.
You’re probably noticed that:
– You don’t get a lot of traffic to your website
– You are not getting customers who found you online
– Your profits are declining due to the lack of online visibility
However, there are some simple ways you can turn things around and get the attention you deserve.
To help you get a better understanding of Local SEO and its importance, I have created a free report that goes into more detail: