Six things you need to know about local SEO
Did you know that around half of all Google searches are for local products and services, largely driven by the way Google has introduced maps into its search results? This is why local SEO is now vital to help potential customers from your geographical location to reach you.
Here are six things to consider, and help ensure that customers searching in your area choose you:
1 Online citations and directory entries help convince search engines that your business is genuine and operating in your location. GMB (Google My Business) is important as it can quite literally put you on the (Google) map! Make sure your (free) GMB profile is completed correctly and include high quality original photos. Also consider using Yell, Apple Maps, Bing Places and Yahoo Local as well as trade specific directories. Do a regular citation audit to check progress.
2. Positive online customer reviews are more important than ever, but never be tempted to fake them and always respond appropriately to any negative feedback. Manage your reputation with care and make sure your Facebook page and other social media are working hard for you.
3. Build up your site’s backlinks – sites linking to yours. Do this by creating content such as an article, video or guest post and persuade other sites to use them. You need genuine, good quality, relevant links from a trusted source and if the link is in a block of editorial text, so much the better.
4. Title and meta description tags still matter. Every page has to have an accurate, interesting title and a set of tags that act as a mini-ad for your site, containing your keywords including location. The title should be 50-60 characters long, and tag descriptions 160-200 characters.
5. Bear in mind that the increase of mobile phone users searching for instant results whether it’s curry or curtains, wherever they happen to be, has made local SEO even more vital for many businesses.
6. Finally, something that sounds obvious but frequently trips people up – make sure that your company name, address and contact details are prominently displayed on your own site and are exactly the same when shown on every other website or citation that refers to you.