Optimising your website for local search is becoming more & more important, particularly with the increase in users searching from mobile devices while on the move. There are just a few simple steps that will help you to feature in the local listings and the natural listings for geographically-related search queries. How much work you need to put in will depend on the competition for the keyword phrases you are targeting, however, by taking the steps below you will certainly see an improvement.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of increasing visibility in search engines for geographically-related search queries like ‘Restaurant Limerick’. It applies to both local listings (use of Google My Business) and the natural listings. However, in order to rank locally your business must have a presence in the area you are trying to rank in.
How To Rank Your Local Business?
Here are a few simple tips on how you can improve your local search performance….
Sign Up For A Google My Business Account
Google My Business (GMB) allows you to increase visibility in Google Maps and Google Search in your local community. It’s very easy to create a listing and best of all, it’s free to do so. Your GMB account holds all the relevant information to get your business on the maps. Simply, add your business details (name, address, phone number) and choose a category.
Once Google has verified and accepted your information, you can add other details about your business such as business hours and images. The richer and more informative the page is, the easier it will be to make it rank.
This is probably the most important thing you’ll need to do. Encourage your customers/contacts to leave a review on your Google+ Page. You can do this at the end of emails, on business cards, through discounts or by offering them a review in return. Reviews will help you to rank within the local listing more than any other factor.
Reviews on websites such as Yelp and Foursquare can also have a positive impact on your local rankings.
Local Listings Sites
There are plenty of local listing sites and local directories in Ireland. These site are a great easy way to promote your website and include citations, review sites and directories.
Local listing websites are webpages which feature information about your business, a map, images and reviews. Some of the main sites are listed below:
Local Directories are slightly different to business listings in that they usually only provide a title, a description and a URL. Although they are low value links they are still useful for new websites or any website that does not have many inbound links.
When submitting your website to these local listings and directories, bear in mind the following tips:
Show Your Address on Your Website – This may sound obvious but it is often overlooked. Your address should be on your contact page at the very least and it should preferably use a microformat.
Include A Google Map – Again this is a fairly obvious one, but it is often overlooked. It may not propel you to the top of the listings but it will help to authenticate you as a local business.
Include A Local Number – List your local number on every page of your site. This will help to authenticate you as a local business. Ideally, the number should be in text as opposed to embedded within an image as search engines will not be able to identify it otherwise.
Include Your Location In Your Page Titles – This is a particularly effective way of improving your ranking for local queries. If you haven’t already, mention your location within your page titles where possible.
Mention Your Location Within Your Content – If possible, try to use your location within your content when describing your business, products or services.
You can make some significant improvements in local search by following these simple steps. If you would like to find out more about local search or inquire about our services please do not hesitate to contact us.