Local SEO In 5 Easy Steps

Some businesses find their customers in a purely local area. If I am in Glasgow, and I need a dentist, I probably don’t want one in Manchester.

Google knows this, and builds it into search results whenever it can. If it can, it will attempt to isolate the most relevant match for your query based on your location, displaying it next to a map at the top of the organic search results.

Local searches are usually carried out with a view to completing a transaction ofline, as in the dentist example above.
The user wants to find the closest Italian restaurant, car rental, or plumber. One in three searches on Google is seeking local information.
With the massive increase in mobile internet use, local searching is likely to grow.

So here are five top tips for ensuring your local business gets found by anyone carrying out a local search in your area:

Get a Google Places Page

When a user makes a local search, defined as a business type plus a geographic location, Google displays a map with seven local businesses tagged with pointers.
Sign up for a Google Business Places Page to get your business included.

Optimise your Google Places Page

Unfortunately, Google displays only seven local businesses for each local search result. You may find those seven spaces are already taken for your niche in your area.
So, you need to optimise your Google Places page for the best chance of taking one of those top spots:

  • Complete your Business Places Profile completely, every detail, including hours of service and categories. Be as specific as possible. Google displays “used car sales” when someone searches for “car sales”.
  • Include keywords in your description, within reason.
  • Include photos and video.
  • Keep details up to date, and post fresh content occasionally.
  • Encourage customers to post reviews and testimonials.
  • Stick to Google Places Quality Guidelines.

Get Listed on Local Search Directories

Local search directory listings are highly valued by Google. There are local directories for most areas, and also Yahoo Local and Yell.com.
Get your business listed on as many as possible. Again, it’s important to fill out your profile as fully as possible, and ask for reviews.
Professional or trade bodies sometimes have directories, too.

Include Geographic Information on Your Web Pages

Set up a footer with geographic address and contact details on every page, include a map and directions showing visitors where you can be found, and consider including local places as keywords in web text.

Target Mobile Searchers

Ensure that your web site is optimised for viewing on a smartphone or tablet. Consider trading links with other local businesses which complement yours, such as spas and beauty salons, restaurants and guest houses.

Optimising your site for local search is a great way to get found by people in your area who are actively looking for your business. 

These basic steps will certainly set you off on the right track, but for an advanced overhaul of your local SEO status, you need a professional to help.
For further information on Local SEO for Businesses, please click here.