If you’re running an online business, you need to be optimising your website to make it as easy as possible for prospective customers in your local area to find you via search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. FSE Online Ltd explain more
Local SEO will help customers find local services when they don’t have a specific company in mind. Local SEO benefits an online business by allowing customers to gain higher ranking positions based on their current location – if your website contains relevant information to their search, then your business is likely to appear higher up in the listings, meaning more customers will be able to view your services and take a look at what you can offer them.
How well you rank within the search listings depends on how much effort you put in to optimising your website for your targeted search terms. Relevance is key when it comes to dominating the local market online.
There are a range of things you can do to guarantee your site ranks well when prospective customers are searching locally:
1. Optimise your website
You can optimise your website by making a number of changes to its content and ensuring Google can figure out what you do and where you’re based. Work on refining your meta-data to include several of your key search terms; improve keyword placement in your website’s content; start generating more backlinks to your site by getting in touch with other relevant, high quality websites who will agree to give you a mention.
2. Ask your customers to leave reviews online
People love to read customer reviews, especially if they’ve never used a company before. The quality and the quantity of your business’ online reviews are very important not only in terms of reputation, but also in terms of how highly Google will rank your site. Don’t swamp your customers with heaps of reviews, as this looks unnatural and a little unnerving – keep a steady stream of reviews coming via your testimonials page, your Google+ account and even a third party reviews site like Reviews.co.uk or Trust Pilot.
3. Increase your citations
Try to display your company’s name, along with a relevant piece of information about your business, on as many local sites and online directories as possible. The more mentions, or ‘citations’, you have from quality sources, the more favourably Google will view your site.
4. Create a blog on your own website
A website blog will add another platform for your business through which you can engage and inform your potential customers. Scattering your blog with lots of localised search terms will also increase your site’s relevancy for local keywords!
5. Generate links and awareness via social media
With the use of social media forever increasing, it is important to get active online if you want to attract the largest audience for your business as possible. Be sure to submit your company information to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+, and keep these accounts updated with company and industry news to show the community you’re serious about making a splash in your local area. Join local Facebook groups, get involved in LinkedIn discussions with other local businesses and use hashtags to connect a highly targeted audience within your town or county. Most social networks will also allow you to link back to your company website via your company bio, too.
For more information on the principles of SEO, please visit our SEO service page. Learn more about local SEO here. This article was co-compiled by Holly Hawkins.