What is Local SEO?
First things first, what is local SEO? In simple terms, it’s Search Engine Optimisation that is specifically designed to attract your target audience or users in a targeted geographical location. So, if you’re a graphic design company in Edinburgh, U.K., and you only want to attract users within this area, you’d use local SEO.
Local SEO is very specific, but in turn often produces greater results, because you’ll have less competition than if you were to target a wider audience. This also means that you might be able to save money too, as your SEO will be focussing on a small catchment area.
Why is Local SEO important to embrace?
Google is constantly updating their ranking algorithm, so keeping up-to-date with local SEO is very important. Recently, Google stated that local searches with high relevance, combined with a high-quality website with original content, would be prioritised over those that rank lower on their algorithm.
So, the aim of the game is to get your business’ website on the first page of Google, so that when a user searches using relevant keywords to your website, yours will appear in Google’s business listings, as well as on the search engine itself.
How do you improve your Google Business listing?
It may sound simple, but ensuring your business’ information is accurate and consistent is one of the most important factors in improving your Google Business listing. As well as Google My Business, there are other sites, such as, Foursquare and Yelp which can help towards getting your business seen – but the information about your business on these websites must be the same! The same process should apply to your business if you have multiple branches, too.
Does a small difference really matter? Yes, it really does. Google are becoming very strict when it comes to SEO and page ranking; as well as improving your ranking, Google will penalise your website’s ranking if it doesn’t conform to their standards. Google RankBrain is Google’s AI system used in their search algorithm; we won’t lie, it’s a complicated system, but it’s definitely worth checking out in order to improve your website’s SEO techniques.
What else can improve your Local SEO?
Some simple changes to your website can improve your local SEO, similar to general SEO. Ensuring that you include relevant keywords in your page title is an absolute must! It might be tempting to overload on your keywords – the more keywords you have, the better chance you’ll be seen on Google, right? Wrong! Remember, Google’s algorithm will not go easy on you if you’re not sensible about your SEO techniques. There are also many software options for you to fix and correct SEO issues (many of these we use ourselves.
When applying your SEO strategy, natural, interesting, relevant, and engaging content is the way forward. Let’s face it, who wants to visit a website where you’ll get bombarded with irrelevant, low-quality content that doesn’t give you the information you require. For example, if your website sells cakes, make sure your content is about cakes. You can include blog articles, and relevant links to other websites, but if you get carried away and lose your reader’s attention, your ranking will be adversely affected.
Can smart phones make a difference to your Local SEO?
Absolutely! Think about it, when you’re out and about shopping and you fancy a bite to eat, what do you do? You probably use your smart pone to check Google to see the information and location of local restaurants nearby. That’s local SEO right there! According to Statista.com 73% of the U.S., as of January 2017, were using their mobile phone to browse the internet, and 90% in Japan.
Ensuring that your website for your business is mobile optimised is very important. Most professional web developers and designers will make sure your website is at the top of it’s game on both desktop and mobile. Here are some simple steps to take to ensure that your mobile website uses local SEO to its full potential:
- Include your business’ telephone number on your website (this means a mobile user can simply click on your number, and it will initiate a call to your business)
- Include your business’ name and address on your website
- Integrate Google Maps on your website (a mobile user can click on your location, and receive directions straight to your door)
www.statista.com – Mobile internet user penetration rate in selected countries as of January 2017