Local Search is absolutely crucial for businesses of all sizes, with recent research showing that four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information, which means that if your business is not optimised for local SEO Manchester then you could be missing out on around 80% of your potential customers. But how do you do that?
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is a tool that businesses can use to help promote their business to people in the local area to both existing customers and potential customers as well. When the search engines are gathering information for local search, they look at things such as social media profile pages, links, and local content to make sure they are providing the searcher with the most relevant results.
How can you optimise for local SEO?
In order to succeed at local search engine optimisation, there are three things you need to look at: optimising your google my business account, updating your website to optimise for local content and engaging with the internet in a way that helps boost your site. Now, this might sound a little overwhelming, so let’s break it down:
Google My Business Optimisation
Google My Business (GMB) is really the king of local search as Google understandably prefers to share content that it has already checked and verified and GMB is the tool that they provide for us to help your online business listings to meet their needs. If Google can verify your business as being authentic, then it may reward you with a sidebar space in their local search results – a coveted space.
To make sure you are optimised for GMB you need to not only create and verify your GMB page, but also use Google posts within your account, and also encourage your customers to leave reviews online which you can then respond to (making sure you include a specific location).
Optimising your Website for Local Search
Now you have optimized your GMB listing, the next step is to look at your website, and how to optimise that. There are five things you need to take into consideration:
- Internal Linking – Internal links not only support your site navigation, but they also assist with website hierarchy and information architecture and also help to distribute page authority and ranking power among your pages.
- URL, Title Tags, Headers, Meta Descriptions, and Content – every new blog post that you add to your site is a new indexed page for your site, which you can use to target a local search phrase, which can help you to get found in the search engine results pages. Every time you add a piece of content to site you can, therefore, use the URL, title tags, headers, meta and content to help with your local search efforts
- Location Pages – If you have more than one location in your business, then you can create a location page for each brick and mortar spot. If you only have one location for your business then you need to make the about us page as descriptive as possible. Your local search efforts can really be helped by adding google maps to your location pages as well.
- Local Content – Googles recent algorithm changes have focused on promoting sites that have content that is relevant for users rather than written for search engines. You should mix up writing stories about general topics to attract a large crowd, with more localized stories to attract your local audience.
- Mobile Optimised – Mobile search and local search are like brother and sister – especially when you consider the fact that nine out of ten smartphone users use their devices for local searches. Most of the common ways that users will search for your business include contact information, directions and reviews. Make it easy for your prospective customers to find you by making sure your site is mobile friendly
Engage with the internet
The final way to improve your local search results is to engage with the world wide web using directories. You need to make sure your business name, address and phone number (NAP) is set up as crawlable HTML text on your website – not in an image as this cannot be crawled. The most common place that people place their NAP is in the header or footer of the website. Consistency is also key. Wherever your business is listed, you need to make sure that everything is spelled correctly and the same name, address, and number are used.
You should also engage with the internet by getting inbound links from guest blogging, engaging with social media and also adding posts to your Google My Business account.