We often think of the purpose of SEO to get us to the top of Google, and local businesses often don’t think they need it. In reality, ranking locally is very important for small businesses. If you were to have a peek here, you’d have all the more reasons to rank better locally. People search for local businesses all the time, whether it’s to find a thai restaurant or a good mechanic nearby, or to check the opening hours of the local launderette. Here’s how to optimise your local SEO.
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- Claim your business listings. Claim all listings under your business name, take down any duplicates and keep your listing information up to date and accurate. You can use an SEO expert like Toni Marino to help you find all these listings, and clear out any out of date, or incomplete listings. This puts you in control of the information about your business and stops people being annoyed by finding a phone number that doesn’t work anymore, or opening hours that are wrong.
- Add location pages to your website. Search engines crawl your site all the time and find potential matches to give as a results on search engine results pages. If you have a set landing page for your business location (one page for each if you have more than one), then the search engines can find your listing and deliver the right location to the person searching.
- Improve NAP consistency. NAP stands for name, address and phone number. If a search engine is going to deliver the right results, these need to be the same everywhere. If your company name includes something LLC, Co. or Inc., then include it. Make sure you always use the same, correct suite number, street or road name, and write these the same way every time.
- Update Google My Business. Users all over the internet rely on Google business listings for information. These details should be easy to find for the searcher. With Google My Business, make sure your business name, address and phone number are right and prominent. Include a brief business description, a link back to your website and your operating hours. Your listing should look appealing too, with a logo as your profile picture. Use a high quality image, this isn’t pixelated or blurred. Add some pictures of your products or your office. Some examples of your work will help too.
- Get reviews. Reviews are an important ranking factor for local listings, and they can help you to stand out. Encourage customers to leave a Google review for you if they’ve had a positive experience. Google boosts business listings with reviews, meaning more eyes will you see your listing. Your listing will also take up more space on the results page, making it look more appealing to the searcher. Reviews also add social proof, encouraging a potential customer to trust you and what you do. This means more people will click on your website link, improving your click through rate. A strong CTR also helps to push your link further up the search engine results, encouraging more people to click.