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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).

A screenshot of The Website Marketing Group's Google My Business Profile, a Website Design & SEO company in North Wales.

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 <title>
  • Page H1 Element <h1>
  • 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)

Statista tells us that as of January 2021, 92.6 percent of all internet users accessed the internet via a mobile device. That’s a whopping 4.32 billion people. If that isn’t a reason to make sure your website is mobile friendly, we don’t know what is. Hire a developer to make your website 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.

Choosing the best Web Host for Your Website

Web hosting refers to the services that let your websites connect to the internet. In order for your businesses to flourish, you need to select a suitable web host for your websites. You need to ensure that web hosting services that you have hired meet the demands and requirements of your businesses and facilitate the working of your website.

Below are a few guidelines that you might consider before selecting a suitable web hosting service for your website.

Identify your hosting requirements

In order to choose the right web host for your website, you first need to be aware of your hosting needs and requirements, which will facilitate the growth and progression of your businesses. Question yourself about the type of website you want to create and maintain, the type of software you will need, the need for Windows application and the amount of website traffic you expect.

It is even better if you have an established plan for the working of your website and beginners are advised to use a shared hosting account initially.

Ensure optimum server uptime

It is important that your web host operates round the clock. You may also ensure that your web host operates through a powerful server and uses stable network connections. This leads to the assurance of you having optimum uptime score.

Employing a web host that operates all throughout the day, through a powerful server and stable network connections, you will be able to have an uptime score of 99.5% for your website, which is the recommended measure. Anything below 99% is considered ineffective.

Support for multiple add-on domains

Domain names come at fairly reduced prices and for this reason, most of the webmasters opt for having multiple domains. These multiple domains also need additional hosting space. Hence, you may need a hosting account that supports the providence of additional space for keeping multiple domains.

Before hiring a web hosting company, you might enquire about the domain space that it offers, in relevance with the amount of space you need to host the desirable number of domains.

Availability of server upgrade options

Shared web hosts can prove to be quite beneficial. It is estimated, that a shared web hosting account can support a properly optimised WordPress blog, having 30,000 to 40,000 visitors monthly. A shared web hosting account can work efficiently, provided that the concurrent database connections are limited to 20.

However, if you plan for your website to evolve and grow with time, you might opt for a web host that has growth capacity i.e. evolving from a shared account to a VPS and growing into a dedicated account, to support increased processing power, more memory capacity, increase disk storage space and enhanced security.

Providence of e-commerce features

If you plan to create and run an e-commerce website, that facilitate business transactions, you might consider the e-commerce features of the web host you plan to avail the services of. The web host should provide sufficient assistance to facilitate your e-commerce activities. You might want to ensure the providence of essential e-commerce features like, SSL certification, devoted IP and installation of one-click shopping cart software.

What is LCP?

LCP means Largest Contentful Paint. It’s the measure of time taken for the page to load, and become readable to the user.

Users do not want to wait long amounts of time for a website to load. When you visit a website you like it to be instant, and responsive. LCP is important for user experience (UX). A high LCP (long duration) can also result in a higher bounce rate, and less conversions; in turn this usually means less revenue for the business that owns the website.

LCP is becoming an important factor for Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) and the ranking position of the website.

How to find your LCP?

There are tools online, and built into browsers that can help you find out a lot of information about your page speeds, including the LCP.

A good online tool is PageSpeed Insights from Google, and it uses the same ‘Lighthouse’ tool that is built into browsers such as Chrome. To access this in a browser, press F12 on the keyboard and go to the Lighthouse tab, then generate a report.

Lighthouse will test the current page, and give details about the Performance of the page, and more. The LCP will be one of the first metrics it will show.

This is a lighthouse test run on Amazon.co.uk:

What causes Poor LCP?

There are many factors that can affect LCP; Slow server response time, Slow resource load times, render-blocking JavaScript & CSS.

Slow Server Response Time –

When the server is slow, all the speed metrics will be negatively affected. This will result in slower loading of all website content, causing LCP to increase dramatically. Slow Server Response Time can be caused by problems in the bank-end infrastructure, unoptimized databases, etc.

Slow Resource Load Times –

Large resources such high quality imagery can take more time to load as higher quality usually means bigger file size and longer downloads. All resources and media should be optimized as much as possible to allow for faster loading speeds.

Render-blocking JavaScript & CSS –

JavaScript and CSS being loaded on a website is essential in most modern websites, but when there are big payloads of these assets e.g. too much JavaScript or CSS that is unused, this will make your website take longer to load for the end user, especially on mobile devices. Sticking to less plugins, and minimizing on the CSS and JavaScript can improve LCP.

How to Improve LCP?

Optimize Media –

Images can be optimized in a few different ways. Image dimensions should be considered when added to the site. The images do not need to be larger dimensions than will be displayed on the site. You can compress an image, lowering its quality and file size. The image format can also be converted to a more efficient file format(JPEG, PNG, SVG). Videos load faster than GIFs, so replacing any GIFs with videos can also be of benefit.

Optimize CSS –

CSS files need to be loaded and processed before the page can be rendered. Therefore they are render-blocking. Removing unused code, minimizing css files, and optimizing CSS can help to improve the load times. In some cases you can move your CSS to the footer and inline any critical CSS in order to avoid layout shifts or render flashes, this will cause there to be less CSS that is render blocking but also doesn’t affect UX negatively.

Optimize JavaScript –

JavaScript can be optimized in a few ways to aid with LCP speeds. Removing any unnecessary or unused code is a good way to start. Checking the code to ensure it matches current standards and meets performance benchmarks, badly written code can run more slowly than well written code. Code that is written efficiently will run smoother. Deliver all JavaScript in one file to reduce HTTP requests.

What can we do for your LCP?

We offer SEO services to optimize your site to decrease load times, and improve your LCP, and Search Engine Ranking.

SAVE YOURSELF £££

We will beat written quotations by 20% guaranteed.

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Website Analysis
Backlink Audit
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Keyword Research Analysis
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Keyword Research Consultation
Homepage Content Audit Report
Internal Page Content Audit Report
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On-Page Optimisation
Homepage Meta Data Optimised
Internal Page Meta Data Optimised 10 per Month 20 - 40 per Month 60+ per Month
Fix 404 Errors 5 per Month 10 per Month 20+ per Month
Canonical Redirect
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Page Speed Analysis (WordPress Sites Only)
Image Compression (WordPress Sites Only)
Off-Page Optimisation
Monthly Article Writing for Link Building 1 per Month 4 per Month 8 per Month
Monthly Link Building
Local Business Directory Links
Document Sharing Links
Video Sharing Links
Social Profile Links
Link Outreach 3-6 Hours/Month 9+ Hours/Month
Reporting
Keyword Rank Reporting Up to 6 Keywords Up to 20 Keywords Up to 50 Keywords
Google Analytics Reports
Manual Website Review After 6 Months After 3 Months After 1 Month
Website Health Checks
New Keywords Added
SEO In Depth Advisories
Support
Customer Telephone Support
Customer Ticket Support
Dedicated Account Manager
Initial Site Review + Setup Basic Advanced Premium
Initial Setup
Website Analysis
Backlink Audit
Google My Business, Analytics & Search Console
Keyword Research Analysis
Competitor Research Audit Report
Keyword Research Consultation
Homepage Content Audit Report
Internal Page Content Audit Report
Location
Local
National
International
On-Page Optimisation
Homepage Meta Data Optimised
Internal Page Meta Data Optimised 10 per Month 20 - 40 per Month 60+ per Month
Fix 404 Errors 5 per Month 10 per Month 20+ per Month
Canonical Redirect
Robots.txt
Sitemap Creation/Optimisation
Homepage Schema Markup
Page Speed Analysis (WordPress Sites Only)
Image Compression (WordPress Sites Only)
Off-Page Optimisation
Monthly Article Writing for Link Building 1 per Month 4 per Month 8 per Month
Monthly Link Building
Local Business Directory Links
Document Sharing Links
Video Sharing Links
Social Profile Links
Link Outreach 3-6 Hours/Month 9+ Hours/Month
Reporting
Keyword Rank Reporting Up to 6 Keywords Up to 20 Keywords Up to 50 Keywords
Google Analytics Reports
Manual Website Review After 6 Months After 3 Months After 1 Month
Website Health Checks
New Keywords Added
SEO In Depth Advisories
Support
Customer Telephone Support
Customer Ticket Support
Dedicated Account Manager