Simple Local SEO Strategy
If you’re a small business owner you’ve probably become frustrated with the huge amounts of customers you’re missing out on a daily basis due to the fact your website does not appear on the first page of Google.
In today’s day and age of “permission marketing” customers like to find information on products and services on their own terms before speaking to a sales representative. No longer does “in-your-face”, “push marketing” reap a decent return on investment.
Google is now the turning point for local business transactions, in fact as reported by Moz over 80% of local sales now start from a search engine.
If you search for “your product/service” in “your business’ location” what do you see?
If you’re not listed on the first page, simply you have no chance of making the most of the demand in your industry. So what can you do to rocket your website to the top of the rankings?
Google Plus, Bing and Yahoo Local Page
Firstly, head on over to plus.google.com/pages/create and set-up your businesses Google Plus page. Upload at least 2 or 3 professionally taken photographs and write up a concise summary of what your business does. When selecting the type of product or service your business offers make sure to use the pre-set categories Google gives you. Whichever categories you select you’ll have the opportunity to rank in the local map listing for.
It is imperative that you add your phone number, address and business name completely. These details should be replicated on your website, and specifically on the webpage you are linking to from your new Google, Bing and Yahoo profiles.
Head over to Bing (https://www.bingplaces.com/) and Yahoo (http://yahoo.infoservegroup.com/businessdetails.html) and repeat the same sequence.
Each of the above websites will ask you to verify your listing, to do so you will be sent a PIN number in the post which usually takes around a week to arrive.
Other points to consider with your Google, Yahoo and Bing listings:
- Use a local phone number
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your listing pages
A citation is any mention of your business name, address and phone number online. It is of the up-most importance that your business’ citations are 100% consistent, this means all the citations you build (e.g. on Google Plus, Bing Local, etc.) have the same phone number, same address and same business name as what is advertised on your website.
The quantity and quality of your business’ citations are the most important factor when it comes to your search engine ranking position. A couple of examples would include;
Find similar directory websites that list business information in your industry and apply for a listing with them. As mentioned, quantity of citations is important, but the quality of these is most important. Use a tool such as Open Site Explorer to find the “domain authority” of directory websites before listing your business with them.
To improve your chances of ranking for local search results further you need to optimise the webpage you want to appear in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
For example the Curve Interactive Website ranks for the phrase “SEO agency in Tunbridge Wells”, you will notice this page has been optimised in the following places;
- The URL
- The Title Tag
- The Heading Tag
- The Image Alt Text
- Inclusion of the business address, phone number and business name.
- The use of a Google Map
Simply place the keyword phrase and location you want to rank for in the highlighted areas above to maximize your websites ability to rank. Why does this help? Google and other search engines have “robots” which scan the text written on your website. These robots look to find headings, titles, images, etc to find out what the topic of the page is about and hence its relevance to certain search queries. In essence by changing the points marked out in the images above you are “telling” the robots exactly what topic your page is about and what search queries you’d like it to rank for.
Final Factors to Consider
The “domain authority” of your website’s homepage has a major part to play in your listing position. Making sure you are implementing a SEO strategy to earn and build links from other authoritative websites will benefit your local ranking positions too.
With the advancement in mobile technology the proximity of a search user can also affect your search position. For example if a search user makes a search for “dentist in Tonbridge” Google’s algorithm can work out exactly where that user searched from and serve them results that are most local.
- Make sure you keep your business’ citations consistent and your profiles on sites such as Google Plus are optimised should be the start point for any business wanting to dominate local search results.
- From here the next step is to optimise your website and landing pages too reflect the locality of your business.
- Finally, seek to increase your websites and webpages domain and page authority through quality link building and SEO.