Local SEO - for whom?
As the name implies, local SEO will suit small and medium enterprises with a local reach (i.e. services provided only in one city). Nevertheless, this strategy may prove effective for bigger companies who work in multiple towns, if such business has its office in them of course.
Local results - how do they work?
Even normal searches, using default browser settings, show up local results for users. Google automatically determines your location and at least a part of your search changes depending on the place you're in right now. It means that other results will appear for someone in Liverpool while other person searching for the same phrase in London will get something else.
Search engine result for plumber in Liverpool
Search engine result for plumber in London
Let's see which elements are crucial for effective local SEO and how to increase the visibility of your page in search results.
Physical location of your company
Physical, existing office in the town you wish to focus your local SEO on is a must. For example, if you wish to work on SEO for London, you should have a place where you can meet with your customers or business partners.
You can also read about creating your own page in Google My Business.
As in more "traditional" SEO, optimization is the key to success - without it even the strongest link won't help.
- First of all, make sure your site has a contact page with current data: the name, address (with postal code) and telephone number (preferably - a landline). It won't hurt you if you also add such info as email, tax identification number or other business credentials. The contact page should be also supplemented with a Google map with your location marked.
- In addition, you may also add your contact data to the page's footer. It is important to make this information identical in every place you put it in.
- If your company has multiple offices, each should have a dedicated, separate contact page.
- You can also use special microformats (schema.org) for your contact info. You can check if they are implemented correctly using Google tools - https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets
- Titles for your pages should include the company name and its location. Usually, they take form of a subpage title - company name - city
- Be sure to have unique content throughout the whole page. Concentrate on the description of your company. When you create content, try to add the name of your company and its location if it is possible. These elements can be also included in headers (H1, H2, H3). But remember - making the text as natural as possible is the most basic rule of SEO. Do not overdo it with key phrases.
You should create a profile in social media outlets - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others. Write the correct info, including your office's location. Social media profiles are a form of investment - when you devise an appropriate strategy, you will gather local followers. Although social media profiles do not have a direct effect on your search rankings, you should nevertheless make them as user-friendly as possible and utilize them in your marketing campaign.
When you create a profile, try to utilize all of the options and add as many details as possible.
In addition, when you decide to have social media profiles for your enterprise, add appropriate buttons on your home page, so you can connect your customers with the whole web of internet relations, so you can share the content you publish more easily.
Reviews, opinions, ratings
Natural, "organic" ratings for your business are yet another important factor in local SEO. You can use not only review in Google Maps but also popular services like Yelp, TripAdvisor (or others, relevant to your business). A lot of opinions and reviews written by customers makes your company more trustworthy (if the reviews are positive, of course).
Do not publish "fake" reviews - they are very easy to spot and they won't benefit you in any way.
You should also try to contact your customers and talk with them about the reviews (both positive and negative). When you answer the needs of your clients, you are more believable.
To encourage the customers to share their opinion about you, you can utilize special widgets on our site that allow them to write a review quickly and without much hassle. You can also send a questionnaire which will ask about the satisfaction and customer service.
Local SEO also relies on proper link building. When you work on gathering strong links for your site, you should be sure they are topical and, of course, local. It is a good idea to leave a link to your site in local classifieds, directories, city forums and portals for communities.
Brand mentions, citations
Modern SEO strategy cannot rely only on optimization and linking. Brand mentions and citations gradually become more significant, especially for local SEO. These terms encompass mentioning your company on other local sites without direct links.
Such citations are also analyzed by Google to evaluate page authority. Ideally, you should get local citations in a natural way - for example, your satisfied customer may mention you on a local forum.
To get more brand mentions, you can try to use the power of well-known portals which give you an ability to create a profile with contact data. In this case, always remember the rule we reminded you of several times - be sure that this data is similar to the one you have given on your site.
Author: Filip Morkowski