Owning a business isn’t all gumdrops and rainbows. It takes a lot of hard work. And when it comes to digital marketing, small businesses have their work cut out for them.
What will help your business not only stand out from all the others but land you the right kind of customer? Local SEO.
Local SEO is the key to tapping into your local community. In fact, ‘where to buy’ and ‘near me’ mobile queries have grown by over 200% in the past two years. Now that’s a lot of sales you could be missing out on.
So why is SEO important, and how can you optimise your website for local searches? Read on to discover everything you need to know about local SEO.
Why is SEO important?
Ever wonder how Google knows what websites to show you when you search for something? No, it’s not some voodoo magic – it’s SEO.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and it refers to the methods used to increase a website’s position on a search engine results page. Using SEO enables search engines, like Google and Bing, to find all the important information you’ve searched for. They can even rank these websites in order of relevance.
So what does this mean? It means the higher your page ranks, the more traffic your website will receive. So trust us – you want your website to rank as high as possible.
What is local SEO?
Local Search Engine Optimisation is very similar to regular SEO – both affect the visibility of a website in a search engine’s rankings. But what sets local SEO apart from traditional SEO is the scope of the search results.
Regular SEO ranks websites on a global scale, while local SEO prioritises websites that are more specific and localised to the user’s search. Local businesses will use local SEO strategies to make their business website more visible to potential customers in their area. This is especially effective for companies such as:
- Law firms
- Construction workers
- Businesses who travel to their clients.
How does Google rank my website?
We’ve already established that search engines, like Google, don’t use secret fairy magic to rank your search results. So what exactly are they looking for?
Along with traditional ranking factors, local SEO ranking factors focus on three things:
In simple terms – how relevant is your website to the user? Does it answer their question? Does it offer what they’re looking for?
Your website needs to target the keywords and topics that your potential customers are looking for. So list your business under the correct categories in directories – and don’t forget to add those important keywords in your descriptions and content.
For a little extra pizzazz, try creating content based on your own experience and expertise. It’s an easy, natural way to weave in those keywords and makes you look like a total boss in your field!
So how does your website stand out from all the other similar sites? What presence does it have? That search engine algorithm is pretty gosh darn clever, and it can pick out a fake website from a mile away. So show those algorithms that you’re the real deal with local links, reviews and active social media pages.
It’s simple logistics – users doing local searches are more likely to use a business that’s near them. That’s why Google wants to show its users businesses that are close to them.
Google uses three types of searches to identify how close you are to a potential customer:
- Geo-modified searches – When users search the name of the city, suburb, or zip code.
- Non-geo modified searches – These leave out any location details from the search.
- ‘Near me’ searches – When users add the terms ‘near me’ or ‘nearby’ in their search.
How to optimise your website for local searches
Claim your Google My Business page
According to a 2016 study, 56% of local retailers haven’t claimed their Google My Business listing. This is a way for local businesses to ‘claim’ their business name, location, and other information from Google.
Once you snatch your listing up, it’s important to complete and optimise it fully. Add your business profile photo, your geographical location, opening hours, website – anything!
Google allows anyone to suggest edits and make changes. So remember to regularly check your listing to ensure that all your information is accurate and up to date.
Add schema markup to your website
Schema markup, or structured data, is the code search engines use to understand what your website is all about in-depth. The better the code, the more likely your website will rank higher on the search results.
Not a professional web developer? No problem! Use Schema App or the Schema Markup Generator by Merkle to help you implement your code.
HOT TIP: If your business has multiple locations, add schema markup to each city page.
Add reviews to your website
Sure, you already know that reviews are awesome for promoting your business, but did you know they can also help with your local SEO?
Reviews are the second most influential ranking factor for local businesses. So the more killer reviews you can get, the higher you’ll start to rank on user’s search results.
The best way to get more reviews for your business? Ask for them. If you’re feeling too shy to ask in person, use some of these techniques:
- Design a landing page especially for collecting reviews. Use landing page builders such as Carrd or Unbounce to help you.
- Send your customers a text message survey or review request via SMS.
- Ask via email. Send an email blast to everyone on your customer list. MailChimp is perfect for sending loads of emails at a time.
Looking for a local SEO specialist in Adelaide? We can help! Digital Marketing Tribe specialises in SEO for Adelaide brands looking to take their SEO to the next level. To find out more about our services, get in touch HERE.