In this guide we will walk you through Local SEO and getting your website ranking locally on Google. There are many aspects to this including Google My Business, reviews, NAP and more but don’t worry; we’ll talk about each area in detail so this guide will help both beginners and even the more experienced SERP optimisers.
Getting started with the basics of Local SEO:
This isn’t a quick task so you might need to dedicate a chunk of your morning or afternoon to ranking your local business on Google & other search engines. It’s better to take your time and get it right than rush through and miss out critical data which search engines use to display your website to potential visitors.
Let’s start your local SEO campaign with Google My Business, Local Reviews & NAP.
Google My Business (GMB) for Local SEO
We love rich information and you’ll often find Google catering to this love. One way Google do this is through GMB (Google My Business) which provides business or company specific data such as their name, address, phone number (NAP) and other various data such as reviews. GMB is essentially an overview of the most important company information.
You can see below an example of a GMB profile (which just happens to be ours).
When creating or claiming a GMB profile you need to make sure it includes as much information as possible:
- Your website, business, charity or company name. (formal entity name)
- Full business address
- An accurate, lengthy description of the business
- The categories your business is under
- A local phone number
- High quality, visually pleasing and relevant photos
- Opening or operational times
- Services you offer, these are generated based on your business primary category
- The logo of the business and a cover photo
Local SEO & Local Reviews (GMB, Yelp, Trustpilot, Reviews.io)
Reviews are critical to every business, helping some to grow very fast and even causing some to fail.
Acquiring high quality, honest reviews will prove to be beneficial for your business as a whole. They have also been confirmed to have a direct impact on ranking your business for local search.
Google isn’t the only search engine in the world though. There are others including Microsoft Bing and Yahoo. So try to have reviews everywhere you can.
A good way to grow your organic reviews is to reach out to your existing or past customers and see if they would like to leave a review for your business. It helps to incentivise them for providing you with a review, this could be a discount, a free meal or something similar.
Make sure leaving a review is as easy as possible, the perfect process would be to send them a link via email, text message or instant messaging platform so they can easily access a web page and submit their review.
Collecting reviews is a whole other topic so if you’re wanting to dive deeper into it feel free to give us a call at 0800 254 5504.
NAP - Name, Address, Phone Number (Core information)
When ranking your business for local results, it really does help to be local.
Place your business name, full address and local phone number in the footer of your website. The information you place in the footer and on GMB must be consistent.
If you enter your phone number on GMB as 01234 567 890 then you must make sure this is the same on your website.
On-Page SEO for Local Results
SEO has evolved into a very complex area over the past few years but some components still remain the same, because sometimes less is more and simple is just, well, better.
A long time used tactic for SEO is on-page optimisation for location+keyphrase // keyword. This tactic caters to a high weighting factor in search result indexing so it’s very important this is thought through and implemented correctly; it’s not something you want to be re-doing again at a later date.
You need to place the target location and relevant keyword in strategic, prominent areas of your pages:
- Meta Title
- Meta Description
- Page permalink (URL)
- Page Title Element
- Page H1 Element
- Image Alt attributes
<img src="" alt="location+keyword here">
- Body text
In addition to the location and keyword placement in the areas recommended above, you should also look at adding a Google Map to your website or even a Google Map with a business marker to show exactly where you’re located.
Website Responsiveness (Mobile Friendly)
Link Building from local, relevant businesses.
Link building is a high weighting factor in all aspects of SEO and SERP strategies so don’t miss this one out.
Take advantage of local directories and websites such as your local newspaper and informational businesses that can provide you with a link to your website. This will help in increasing your local SEO rankings, assuming you are gaining high quality links from reputable domains.
Click Through Rate (CTR) & Bounce Rate
You’re ranked on Google but not climbing the rankings as well as you’d like.
There’s a few reasons that come to mind when hearing this from some of our clients but the most common are CTR and Bounces. Search engines prefer websites that are engaging and pull more people in whilst retaining their attention.
Click Through Rate is the percentage of traffic that sees your website in search results and click it.
A higher CTR tells you people are likely to click on your link, if your CTR was 75% and your link on SERP’s was seen 100 times, this would mean 75 out of 100 people clicked on your link. From this it is relatively safe to say if 1,000 people saw your link; 750 people would click on it. The lower your CTR, the less people actually click on your page. A lower CTR is likely to negatively affect your SERP rankings.
Bounce Rate is the amount of people that click through to your site and instantly leave or stay on it.
A higher bounce rate implies that the content on your website is ‘bouncing’ people away from your website and back to the search results to find another website or web page that satisfies their intentions. A lower bounce rate is likely to positively affect your SERP rankings.