Research indicates that around eighty percent of customers now use internet search to find local information, products and services. If you do not bring local SEO into your marketing strategies that’s a lot of potential customers passing by to the competition. Here is a comprehensive guide to Local SEO that can help you stop that happening. CGM digital specialists have given us a deep insight into how Google My Places works

Local SEO is about promoting your business online to customers that are looking for your products or services specifically in your area.

Google Business Profile Page

Google My Business is top of the tree with regards to local searches. Creating a business profile is essential for local SEO. If you do not have a profile already create one HERE. Once you have a profile, you can start optimising it.

1 – Get Verified

Google gives preference to verified businesses. More information on how to verify your google business listing can be found HERE.

2 – Encourage and Answer Reviews

Positive reviews are a held in high regard when assessing the ranks for local searches. Encourage your customers to leave a review and if they are good enough to do so, ensure you are polite enough to thank them.

Update Your Website

Ensuring your website is updated and meeting Google’s standards can also improve your local SEO results.

1 – Structured Internal Links

A logical internal linking structure makes your site easier to use.  Google gives weight to websites that are built to ensure a good user experience. In this way, ensuring your navigation is logical will help your ranks.

2 – Optimise Your Pages

Every new page of content you add is another opportunity to rank. Including your target keywords in the URL, tags, headers and Meta description, as well as the actual content improves your chances of getting ranked – When targeting local searches include the location as well as keywords whenever possible.

3 – Go beyond Contact Us

The days of having a simple contact form are gone. To improve your local SEO it is important to include your name and address. Adding a Google map will certainly get you some brownie points. Google local search includes telephone numbers (a click to call) and opening hours in the results, therefore it is also important to include them in your contact page.

4 – Make your Content Localised

Google algorithms have never been smarter. Writing good content is as important as ever. However, if you want to target local customers writing about your product and services in relation to local topics will be more beneficial. Think more about your content as a useful resource for local customers.

5 – If you’re not Mobile you lose!

A majority of local searches are carried out on mobile devices. Google can assess how mobile friendly your website is. Therefore, if it not optimised for mobile your ranks will suffer. After all, what is the point of sending the user to a website they cannot view?

6 – N.A.P Consistency

On your website, your Google business listing and anywhere else your company is listed or cited, it is very important the same Name, Address and Phone Number appear. If they do not Google might well consider ‘something shady might be going on’, or even see these as different companies. Get this wrong and your rank will lower as a consequence. Watch out for misspellings and avoid abbreviations. Additionally, make sure your NAP is text and not just an image. This is a common mistake that will usually cost you ranking points.

7 – Backlinks

Despite the rumours backlinks are still important. Getting links from local authorities, sponsors, periodicals and relevant companies (suppliers for example) will certainly help your Local SEO strategies. Google views backlinks as endorsements which legitimise your company.

8- Social Media

Share your Google My Business page on as many social media websites as possible. This helps Google to parallel your social presence and search relevance.

Summary

Getting good ranks for local searches takes time. Tasks such as adding content, backlinking, gaining reviews and citations are generally ongoing. There are free and paid Online Local SEO Tools that can help save time. Consider contacting a company that specialises in Local SEO. Choose wisely and you will be surprised at how much ‘local’ ground you can cover for your money!