A Guide To Local SEO
For a long time, businesses serving specific cities and regions relied on word of mouth and local paper ads to attract custom from nearby. Then search engines came along and everything changed. If you don’t rank highly in local search results for your services (such as ‘web designers near me’ or ‘web design Hull’), you could be missing out on a terrific amount of new business.
The importance of local SEO
Ultimately, strong local SEO will yield more leads, increased foot traffic to a bricks-and-mortar location, enhanced credibility, and more conversions from a local customer base. You might even get featured in what’s commonly known as the Google snack pack or map pack – those three businesses displayed prominently atop a local search results page.
Local SEO also helps you to compete against larger chains that have more resources but likely lack a more local focus. So, how can you optimise for local search?
Google Business listing
This is undoubtedly the most crucial part of a local SEO strategy. The Google Business feature allows you to create a free listing that displays your business name, address, map location, contact details and open hours on Google, which when fully optimised will also include images and regular updates.
It’s a lovely little business profile that appears in search results and Google Maps, plus it’s something that Google takes into consideration when ranking businesses in organic local searches. Make sure to claim yours and keep it up to date and you could receive a lot more web traffic and phone calls.
Don’t forget mobile users
Smartphones are a part of daily life, not least when people are out and about looking for local information, such as searching for nearby places to eat or where to pick up some DIY materials. Catering your website to mobile users by optimising it for smaller screen sizes is a great start, plus you need to have quick load times, easy mobile navigation and clear calls to action, such as a clickable phone number and a simple contact form.
Collect customer reviews
Just as with regular SEO, customer reviews hold significant weight when search engines come to rank your site locally, and they have great sway over who gets featured in the aforementioned snack pack. Plenty of positive Google reviews will enhance your reputation and enhance your position in search results, local and otherwise.
Local link building
Backlinks are useful for local SEO and have strong influence over what gets listed on the snack pack. Having plenty of websites with strong local authority linking back to yours will leave you in good stead search-wise.
Try working with local trade associations, business networks, directories and even council or academic sites for places to gain backlinks. Meanwhile, guest posting on locally prominent websites or working with influencers can be another valuable source of backlinks.
Locally focused keywords and content
Local people want locally relevant content, goods and services. One way to do this is to use Google’s keyword planner to filter by location and generate a list of locally relevant topics and keywords to create content around.
You can also write blog posts about local industries and events (making sure to mention familiar landmarks in your copy) and create landing pages for each of your locations if you have several across a region. Any locally relevant content you can muster will have you flying up the search results.
Geographic landing pages
Adding hidden landing pages for local towns on your website can be a great way to improve your local SEO ranking. By including keyword-rich content on these pages, you'll help your website rank higher in search engine results pages.
Ask us about SEO and digital marketing
As well as being your friendly Hull web design company offering affordable website packages, we can also provide and manage your digital content. This can include copywriting, blog writing, photography, videography, email campaigns and social media management. To find out more, get in touch on 01482 880929 or fill in our contact form.
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