As mentioned in my previous articles; local SEO is important for ALL businesses which means ALL websites should be optimised for local SEO.
The below tips should be employed as part of a larger local SEO strategy, by following this and other blogs in the series you’ll be well on your way to an effective local SEO plan.
Read more of the series:
Part 1: What is local SEO?
Basic Website Local SEO
The first stage of optimising your website for local SEO is to try including your town/city or region covered keywords throughout your website in:
- Your URL
- Page Titles
- Meta Description
- H1 and H2
This will help search engines begin to understand particular pages on your website and your website as a whole are relevant to the location you’re targeting.
Once you’ve updated your website to reflect this follow the below tips to enhance your websites local SEO and maximise your website’s presence.
Website local SEO tip 1: Refrain From Keyword Stuffing
The main search engines, like Google, hate keyword stuffing and so do your website visitors. In the early days of SEO, the keyword was very popular for attracting search engines, however, as the technology has evolved and got smarter so have the consumers. It can be very tempting to still do this, but avoid using ‘black hat’ SEO. It will only have a negative effect on your search engine rankings.
Kathy explains – ‘Black Hat’ SEO refers to a set of practices that are used to increases a website or web page’s rank in search engines through means that violate the search engines’ terms of service.
Website local SEO tip 2: Make Sure Your Address is on your website
You may think this is a small detail which will have little impact, however, it is one of the criteria search engines use to identify your website as being relevant for certain locations.
You may know this as ‘NAP’ – Name, Address & Phone Number. Its very important you make sure its displayed consistently wherever you use it. For example, Google to identify these two addresses as different:
RST, Address1, Address2, Devon, Postcode
RST, Address1, Address2, N.Devon, Postcode
You can actually end up creating competition for yourself by having these details different in different places. Always make sure wherever your NAP details are, they are all the same.
Check your social networks, local online directories, association and chamber pages and make any requests to update the details where it doesn’t match what you primarily use.
You can also add visual cues to your NAP details in your main navigation bar or header of the website, depending on where on your page your visitors usually go often to help them easily view the details.
Website local SEO tip 3: Make Your Service Areas Clear (If Applicable)
Make it as easy as possible for your website visitors to view the name of their town, county, or state, this will increases the chances they will consider using your services.
You may use standalone service area pages for certain branches of your company. If this is the case, make sure each page is optimised for that particular location with area-specific keywords like post code, town name and local landmarks.
If you’re not certain where is best to start, go to a page which describes your service area; add information about how the company serves that area, any reviews you have from customers in that location, embed an interactive map of your location or simply add a list of the names of the towns or counties you cover.
Website local SEO tip 4: Optimise Specialised Pages for Certain Locations
If you’ve read my other blogs you’ll know by now the basics of SEO, so I won’t explain that here, however, I will once again emphasise the importance of creating landing pages for local service areas.
Think of these local landing pages as mini homepages, they should provide visitors with all the details they would need to make a decision whether or not your company is for them. You also need to make sure the keywords are optimised to the local area as previously mentioned.
Once you’ve completed this, search for your page and make sure the SERPs give an accurate and realistic preview of what visitors will find from your service and company for that particular area.
It’s key to remember Google ranks pages, not domains. This is important for local landing pages, as having multiple pages for different locations on the same domain will not cause you any search engine penalties.
Kathy explains – SERPs = Search Engine Results Page
Website local SEO tip 5: Leverage Business Blogging
Blogging is a brilliant way to help increase your local search rankings. You can easily include location-based keywords in the posts whilst reporting on local events, business interests or local government policies. You could even add location keywords to your tags and categories to increase location relevance.
Just make sure you are writing the article for your readers; an article that is geo-targeted but either irrelevant to your business or just confusing to read can be more harmful to your website.
Website local SEO tip 6: Focus on Local Link Building
This isn’t necessarily something you’ll do on your website, but its important win helping your website rank locally.
It is slightly time-consuming, but there are many local link bounding opportunities and it can have a very positive effect on your website’s rankings if you gain the right links.
- Social Media – the use of popular social platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest can help you gain link backs from influencers, companies are relevant to your business or from recommendations from your customers. Using LinkedIn as a network can also help you find likeminded people who will be willing to link to your website.
- Local Blogs and Websites – Most towns these days will have a number of great local websites and blogs which will be willing to link to local businesses. Links to these types of websites establish search engine trust your company is part of this location. To find such sites search for:
- Your town/city/county plus ‘Blog’ or ‘News’
- Your postcode plus ‘Blog’ or ‘News’
- Local Directories – These websites are normally relatively easy to find and can be free to sign up to, enabling you to get a free link back fast. To find them search:
- Your town/city/county plus ‘Directory’
- Your postcode plus ‘Blog’ or ‘Directory’
- Associations and Organisations: Are you already a member of the local Chamber of Commerce or any other local organisations? Local organisations like these will generally be willing to link back to your website and again will help search engines trust your website is from a local company. Think of all local groups you’re apart of and have them link back to you.
There are many more link building opportunities, this, however, is a get way to start your local link building strategy.
Final tip: Remember, as always, content is king.
The saying really is true. Continuously adding relevant content to your website will help attract search engines and establish you as a local authority and expert on your area of business.
Read more of the series:
Part 1: What is local SEO?