Local SEO as part of you SEO strategy
As search is becoming a more integral part of our daily lives, local visibility in search engines is becoming more important for businesses. Being visible on the internet for local search queries is becoming ever so important to stay ahead of competition.
More and more are people using the Internet to search for local operators. This can be an instant search when consumers are looking for a bar, hairdresser, restaurant, supermarket or any other business that may fulfill an instant desire/need. Or a more general enquiry when looking for a mechanic, law firm, electrician or other service providers. People are looking for someone who can handle their request/need as soon as possible and as close as possible. And where do we all start this search? Exactly, the internet and Google. As such, it is important to incorporate local search engine optimisation techniques into you SEO strategy.
Start with your website
Make sure you have a website, a registered business (preferably with ABN) a business address and contact details (phone number and email). This is vitally important to get started. It is also vitally important that you always use the same information and that is consistent anywhere you place it. Not only is it confusing for clients if the address or contact details vary, but is also important for Google.
Add your address to all your website pages
A good way to start it to add you address in the footer or header of your website. That way it is automatically displayed on all your web pages.
Create a landing page for all locations
Does your business have multiple physical establishments? Create a landing page for each of them. This page should give a little information about the local establishment and all the contact details.
Register a Google My Business Page
This is the key in providing relevant business information to Google. You can do this by signing up for Google My Business. Verify your business details such as your website and email. The address information that you provide will be used in Google Maps. Google will send you a postcard with a code to this address that you will need to enter to verify the location.
If you have more than one physical location, make sure you add them all to your Google My Business listing.
Before you start, make sure you read Google’s guidelines.
Start registering you NAP details across the web
NAB stands for Name, Address and Phone number. By including your NAP details on websites, such as business directories or other website related to your location, is important for SEO purposes. It is important that this information is consistent. Each mention of your business online is called a ‘citation’. Now don’t confuse citations with (back)links to your site. Citations are just mentions of your NAP details. And the more relevant citations you have, the better search engines will acknowledge (and thus rank) your business’ presence.
A good place to start listing your business and increasing your citations is through business directories. Some of the more established and well know ones are: Yellowpages (Sensis), TrueLocal, Yelp, Localbd. An extensive list of business directories will be provided below.
A good tip is to create a general description about your business with information about the business, its history, the founders and additional information. Store this somewhere, as you can use this information on all listings where you can supply additional information about your local business.
Also, fill out all details you can when supplying information to citation pages or directories. Take your time to find the right category to place you business under and fill out the relevant keywords if you can. This information is used by search engines.
And don’t list all citations and listings at the same time. It can be a tedious job. Spread it out over a month or two to get all listings correct.
Adding a schema markup to your website informs search engines what a business is all about and hands them information in a structured matter. This way you can control certain information better for search engine purposes.
As a local business, you can add your contact details and location to make sure search engines pick up on them correctly.
Although unnatural link building is a practice of the past. There are still ways that you can get relevant links to your website that you should. A short list of tactics that you can pursue.
- Local business directories. Of which we have provided a list a the bottom of this post
- Do you have friends that have websites?
- Cooperate with suppliers/vendors/partners. Write about each other and let them link to you. It also gives you a higher level of trustworthiness if you show you work together with a bunch of partners.
- Sponsor events, but make sure you are mentioned on the event website and social media pages as a proud sponsor.
- If you have something newsworthy, spread it to local papers and blogs. They are often quite happy to write about it as they are always hungry for news stories.
Reviews are becoming more important. In fact, the general consensus is that reviews will become even more important in the future. You should stimulate customers and clients to leave reviews. Once you are on google plus and facebook, this would be a good place to direct customers to for reviews. As customers to leave reviews by letting them know they can! Put it on your menu card, or simply ask your customers clients to post a review when you interact with them. Put up a sign… give them a little something in exchange for a review. You’d be surprised how many people are willing to actually write something. And don’t be afraid if bad reviews. Bad reviews are an incredible way to get feedback from customers. It shows you where and how you can improve your business.
List of Business Directories in Australia
Business Directories Australia
*This list is provided by Whitespark.ca
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