06 Jun 2018

Why Businesses need to Embrace Local SEO

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.

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

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03 Feb 2018

3 Advanced SEO Strategies for 2018

#1 User Experience

In 2017, Google announced that RankBrain is now considered to be one of the most important ranking factors. As the technology behind RankBrain continues to develop in 2018, it is going to become a lot more important as the year progresses. Essentially, RankBrain is an advanced system which will govern the way in which Google presents its search results.

When you enter a search term into Google, the search engine will display a list of results that closely match the keywords that you have entered. Let’s say for example, you entered a search term and there was a really great post in position 5 on the first page of the results. This piece of content covers everything you need to know. This will send positive signals to Google and so it will boost the rankings of this page. If you click on the website that is currently ranking number one and the content is really bad, you will leave the page after just a few seconds.

RankBrain will notice this and if enough people bounce from the page back to the SERP, Google will remove it from the #1 position. RankBrain focuses on two things; The amount of time someone spends on your page and the percentage of people who click on your results.

#2 In depth content

In the old world of SEO, Google would evaluate each web page to see how many times a specific keyword was mentioned. The Google spider would check that the keyword appeared in the title tag, URL, Image ALT tag, description and H1 tag. Although Google still looks at this, it is not as important as it once was. Instead of measuring content Google also focuses on the context.

Google focuses on showing web users the best possible result. The best pages will cover a topic in incredible detail which is focused, actionable and above all valuable to the reader. When you provide in depth content for web visitors, everything they need to know about a given topic is covered so they don’t have to look elsewhere.

But writing advanced in depth content that Google wants is not as easy as you may think. First, the content must be at least 2,000 words. This is just the right amount of words to cover everything and provide the right amount of detail that your web visitor needs. Rather than being focused on keywords, Google is now more focused on topics. Once you have completed your post, you should try to incorporate LSI keywords. These are key terms that are associated with the topic of the page. When Google crawls your page and picks up these keywords, it will realise that the page covers the topic in great detail.

There are lots of ways that you can find LSI keywords including LSI Graph, the ‘searches related to’ found at the bottom of the SERP and the Google Keyword Planner. If for example you were looking to explore LSI search terms that relate to web hosting, head over to LSI graph and enter this search term:

 

The term web hosting displays the following LSI keywords:

 

#3 Mobile Index

Google have recently announced that they are making the switch to a new ‘mobile first index’. This means that Google will consider the mobile version of your website as the ‘real’ version. This will be the case even if someone accesses your website from a desktop computer. The majority of searches are carried out on a mobile device and this is only going to increase as the year’s progress. Although it has not been released yet, it is important that your website is ready.

Here are our top tips for preparing your website:

Consistency – Make sure that your site is consistent across desktop and mobile devices. One of the main issues is hidden content. Hidden content displays as a ‘more’ label on a mobile device. Any content displayed below this tag will be ignored. Make sure that if you use these tags in your content they are removed so readers can see all of your content.

Responsive – If you haven’t already you need to move from m. to responsive

Usability – Make sure that your websites are user friendly for mobile users. If mobile users have trouble accessing your content, making a purchase or browsing pages, you need to make changes. There is a great little tool by Google called the Mobile Friendly Test. Just enter your URL and the tool will let you know whether it passes the mobile friendly test:

So there you have it. Three advanced SEO strategies that will keep your SEO on top form in 2018.

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