Local SEO has changed the search landscape and given smaller business a shot at outranking big competition. However, local search optimisation isn’t just for smaller businesses and any firm that welcomes clients through the door has a lot to gain from local search.
Google has increased its emphasis on local results – especially when it comes to services – so it pays to invest a bit of time to establish your local presence. Luckily, this is much easier than other elements of your SEO campaign and with these 5 simple steps you’ll be well on your way to making your presence known.
Set up your local accounts
The first thing you need to do is make sure your Google My Business account is properly set up – as well as another others you want to you (eg: Bing Places). Local businesses simply need to get verified and set up your business details. While things are a little different for businesses with multiple locations so take a look at our guide for more info.
Be meticulous with your NAPs
This is a vital part of your local SEO setup and even simple typos or abbreviations can trip you up. Your NAP info (name, address, phone number) not only needs to be accurate, it needs to be identical across all accounts and listings. So if your business is registered as Bill And Bob’s Accessories LTD, you need to make sure this is consistent across your entire online presence. Don’t miss out the LTD anywhere or write “limited” in full on certain accounts – every detail needs to be exact.
Take the time to fill out directory listings
The most time consuming part of local optimisation is filling out the directory listings. It’s worth taking the time to put in as much detail as possible for each listing though – no matter how tedious. Aside from your NAP details, users want to know a host of additional info – including directions, open hours, your web address and a bunch of other things. The more info you offer up, the more credible you look to both search engines and the people who use them.
Rethink social media
Local searches mean many users will never make it as far as your website. With local listings and social media accounts it’s perfectly possible that customers will walk through your door without ever seeing your homepage. This doesn’t mean you don’t need a website, but it does mean you may have a different balance between your on-page and off-page strategies.
Five-star reviews are gold when it comes to local SEO and you want to build as big a collection as possible. Encourage customers to leave reviews and motivate them with something appealing. Not only does Google love top reviews but its no surprise that users click on businesses with five-star feedback first. And if you’re worried customers might not be too kind with their reviews it might be time to take a look at your services and raise the bar.