Businesses should optimise their websites for local business SEO in order to target a niche of area-specific customers who can build your brand’s reputation, says Danielle Hayley at FSE Online
You’ve invested in a new website and have claimed your domain name. Your business is ready to sell its services and products to the mass market. However, you could be missing a trick if you don’t initially focus your attentions on local business SEO.
The importance of local SEO
Google introduced local SEO into the SERPs as far back as 2009, but it was the Google Pigeon update of 2014 that really changed the emphasis that the search giant put on local search results. Currently, if you search for a business in Google, you will notice a small box known as a ‘local pack’ which lists three nearby businesses. This is located above the regular organic listings, so holds an optimum position on the search page. If you have optimised your website for local business SEO, then you stand a great chance of appearing in these packs and obtaining a large volume of local traffic.
Reduced competition at a local level
By focusing your SEO efforts on an area campaign, rather than a national or worldwide promotion, you will effectively identify a niche market. Targeting this niche concentration of local consumers is likely to bring in a great quantity of potential leads who are more likely to convert into sales figures. The alternative of using a scattergun approach to find customers who are based all over the UK is unlikely to be as successful. Customers like the convenience of knowing that a company is based nearby. They may be tempted to visit your business to view further products, or simply to collect merchandise in order to save delivery fees.
If you submit your business website to Google My Business, then it will automatically appear on Google Maps. You will gain traffic from Google Maps itself, but also from users of the huge amount of apps that are integrated with the search giant mapping feature. Brand new apps are created on a daily basis, so your business inclusion in Google Maps makes sure that your company will keep on being promoted in the future with very little effort.
Build customer relationships
It is easier to win brand new customers if you are based locally. Customer rapport is still paramount, even with the existence of the World Wide Web. By creating excellent customer relationships with locals, you have a better chance of attracting repeat visitors and obtaining glowing customer reviews. This is vital in building the positive reputation of your brand.
Local SEO tips and tricks
In order to optimise your site for local business SEO, it is important to make sure that you are listed in directories such as Yelp, Yell and Scoot. You need to make sure that your business NAP (name, address and phone number) is listed consistently and without errors to ensure that Google is able to promote you correctly. It is also vital that your NAP is listed accurately on your website using Schema.org mark-up and that it is visible on each page.
Your website should contain high quality content which is location specific, so be sure to talk about events in your area. You can also link to other area resources which will be of use to your visitors.
The world is still your oyster when it comes to gaining new traffic when it comes to the potential of using the Internet for gaining leads. However, as a general rule it is much easier for all businesses, both old and new, to optimise their sites for local SEO in order to fully reap the rewards of attracting loyal customers in your area.