8 tips to improve your local SEO rankings
Editors Note: Expert content needs an expert content writer and Yorkshire Powerhouse is pleased to publish this business advice article on Search Engine Optimisation, kindly written by a real expert in his field – Manpreet Singh from Bobble Digital.
Please consider contacting Manpreet for any aspect of digital marketing or digital strategy – just click on the advert links above or below – and please mention Yorkshire Powerhouse if you do make contact.
Search engines operate globally … but it’s normal for customers to want to buy from a local supplier and there are local SEO techniques that can help your search results when there’s a local prospective customer looking online!
TIP 1 – Optimise Your ‘Google My Business’ Profile
The obvious but really important first step to Local SEO. The Google My Business free tool allows you to populate your business details, location, website information, trading hours and event create an organic search headline around your businesses. You can even optimise map locations so users can find your store or business quicker. You can also optimise Keywords related to your business and you end up with a full google profile.
TIP 2 – Manage Customer Reviews
Google has its own review platform which is quite popular for consumers to use when searching for particular products/services. A higher review rating (out of 5) builds more site authority and reputation online that will ultimately drive more customers to your website. The best way to get a review is to ask your customers to fill them in either on location or via email notifications. But remember, be responsive to reviews both positive and negative as it shows great customer service.
TIP 3 – Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
With Googles updates in 2018 to be ‘Mobile First’, any website that is not mobile responsive is going to be negatively impacted by Google’s Search Guidelines. The majority of Google searches now take place on mobile devices. It’s the first step a consumer takes on the conversion journey or researching on their mobile. Ensure all content and images are optimised across all devices and focus on the pages that drive leads/conversions.
TIP 4 – Make Your Site Fast Loading
Page speed really matters to web users, which is why Google has always taken it into account within its desktop search rankings. From July 2018 however, it has also been factored into Google’s mobile search rankings as part of its new ‘Speed Update’. The faster a user can access your site and load valuable content they are searching for, the more likely they are to convert on-site and stay on-site for longer periods of time. Use the following tools to check your page Speed:
TIP 5 – Add Local Business Schema
Ever searched for ‘Cinema Film Times’ and see them automatically appear after doing a search and showing the times are your local nearest cinemas, this is called ‘Structured Mark-up’ where the information is placed on your site via Structured Data and Schema Mark-up Code. This tells Google and other search engines key snippets of information about your businesses and products. A highly effective tool to target local consumers searching for specific opening times, products and services.
TIP 6 – Build Citations
Citations are just basic information about your business e.g. Name, Phone, Address etc that is displayed online. These are usually placed and found on directory sites, social platforms, event listings and local news sites. This is one of the key beginner elements of SEO and is one of the core elements for local SEO optimisation. Google uses Citations as a source of business information, so you need to ensure you have enough citations to be found, but also importantly ensure they are correct and accurate.
TIP 7 – Ensure your site is ‘Localised’
Sounds obvious considering the topic of the article, but essential if you have more than one location. This will allow you to be able to separate your different locations out by region or focus on your local area where you are currently based. Make sure your website has your full address on it. Within ‘contact us’ pages you should clearly separate out each location. Ensure you add in useful information about your outlet as well as the basic details of name and address.
Focus your content around your local region e.g. when holding events, ensure you mention your town, city or area e.g. “How Leeds Digital Marketing Agencies will benefit from Channel 4’s relocation”. This leads perfectly into TIP 8.
TIP 8 – Create Local SEO Content
Creating content that is relevant and has authority is simple if you focus on what you know and specialise in. For instance, there is no point in a sock retailer publishing content on their local ‘Park Run’ event unless they tie this into the choice of footwear and running socks to prevent blisters and increase comfort. Also, content should ideally focus on providing education, helping consumers get answers to the search queries they enter into Google. The benefit results in ranking for locally searched key terms but also in building your domain authority.
Getting your local SEO ‘right’ can be a complex and challenging process when you’ve got a business to run … find an expert who can help you improve your SEO and start with a ‘local search’ focus first!
Blunt advice from Yorkshire Powerhouse
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