The internet is a wild ride; it can be glorious and grim. But something that the internet is great at is connecting businesses and brands with their audiences. Thanks to the internet, we can connect with people from all across the world, and many of us do.
But don’t forget about your locals; Mary & Sue from around the corner could be your biggest fans – if only they knew about you!
Local SEO is a powerful tool for businesses to reach new customers and grow their customer base. With the right local SEO techniques, you can storm your industry in your city or town. It absolutely should be an essential part of your online and SEO strategy.
Make sure your website is optimised for mobile
How often are you out and you’re lost, looking for a place to have lunch or a nearby place to grab a piece of kit? And in these situations, how often do you turn to your smartphone and Google what you’re looking for? Your potential customers are doing the same thing.
Making sure your website is optimised for mobile will rank better in search results on smartphones. Making sure your website is optimised for mobile includes:
– a responsive design
– making the text large enough to read on a smaller screen
– ensuring you have image alt tags with clear descriptions in place
– it also means choosing a URL structure that follows Google’s best practices
– schema markup to show the location of your business.
Mobile optimisation is an important step for local SEO because it makes sure users will quickly find you when they search on their smartphone – no matter where in the world they are! If your website isn’t mobile optimised, this is a mistake that can cause you to lose out on potential customers.
Create a blog and use it to post new content regularly
Only good things can come from a blog and regular fresh content, I promise.
Having a blog on your website with great content ensures that people will be coming back to your site and checking for new content. This means not only are visitors are more likely to come back regularly – it can also improve the ranking of your site in search engine results pages (SERPs) because Google likes websites that keep their content fresh.
When you post new content, make sure that the title contains keywords for your business and include a brief description of what will be covered in the blog so that it’s easy to see how readers can benefit from reading this post.
Include keywords in the title and meta description of each page on your site
Local SEO is vital because it helps you rank higher in local search results. When someone searches for your business name, these are the pages (websites) that will show up and be displayed to them when they have a matching query. Therefore, you should make sure that each page has keywords as part of its title and meta description. This includes both the homepage and blog posts.
For example, one way to optimise your on-page SEO is by including your business name in the title of a page and adding it into the meta description. This tells Google what this particular web page (website) is about so that when someone searches for you using these keywords, they find this page.
Use social media for marketing and local SEO
Social media fulfils so many different things for all of us; some of us use it to keep in touch with friends and family, others use it to learn new things, and some people use it to shop and find businesses nearby.
Even if you’re not much of a Facebook user personally, I would recommend making sure that you have a Facebook Page for your business so that it’s easy for customers looking in their city or town to see how they can reach out to you with questions or provide feedback, or even just find your opening hours or menu/product list. It also means that when someone searches for your company, the social media page will be displayed in the search results.
The key with social media is engaging content – which can help people become more aware of your services or products. So, if you’re a restaurant, make sure to post images of what’s on offer so that you can entice potential customers in, plus they’ll know exactly what they’ll be able to buy when they come and visit your business!
Optimise web images
This one is a little less specific to local SEO and is great for SEO and userbility overall, but images are important. Visually they enhance your website, but they’re a gold mine for SEO opportunities too.
When you upload an image, make sure it has a descriptive alt tag that helps the search engines understand what this particular photo is about. This also means making sure that the image file name is relevant. For example, if you’re uploading an image of your business in action at a trade show, then it’s essential not to just call it ‘image 1’ or ‘photo.jpg’.
But just as important as SEO, by utilising your caption/alt text for images, you’re also boosting the accessibility of your website as screen readers used by blind users capture and read aloud this text. So, by writing descriptive and helpful captions and alt text, you’re improving the accessibility and userbility of your website.
Honestly, overall, good SEO is fundamentally about being valuable and helpful. It’s about creating useful and engaging content that serves your customers and users and answers their questions. Google rewards this content with brownie points and better ranking.
Google My Business
If you haven’t heard of Google My Business, it’s basically like the yellow pages but online, and it’s a free SEO tool that can help you get found online. A directory meets Google.
It’s also a straightforward way to manage your business information and tell people what your business does. You can even review how your website is performing! It keeps track of the number of visitors who come through from Google search.
Even if you don’t want another profile to manage, I would definitely recommend registering for GMB because it allows you to publish your company info, like name, address, contact details, opening times etc., directly onto Google’s SERPs. It also provides business-specific insights, such as where visitors are searching, how many customers are going to your website from Google, and what keywords they’re using.
In terms of local SEO, this tool is particularly handy for businesses with a physical location such as restaurants or shops because it allows people searching in their area using ‘near me’ to find you online.
As you can see, there are many ways to boost your local SEO. You may not be able to implement all of these strategies at once, but the more you do, the better your chances are of getting found by potential customers and clients in your local area.
If you need some fresh eyes on your copy, you’re ready to launch a blog, but you don’t have time to write the content, or you’re feeling stuck for ideas, why not drop me a message and see how we can work together? Find out more about my services here or take a look at some of the nice things people say about me here.