Ranking well in local search is now mandatory for smaller businesses and for those with a geographical client base. However, it’s worth noting the associated ranking factors differ when compared to a national search. And you need to know the difference!
Depending on what services you offer, the local search battle can prove highly competitive. If you’re a barber in Ipswich, how do you feature on top for the term “barber Ipswich”?
Today we’re going to strip back the process and outline the key factors that go into local search optimisation success!
Location Specific Content
Let’s start with the simplest process first. You need to create high-quality content that’s specific to the areas you operate in. Whether you’re a law firm in Geelong or a physiotherapist in Cairns, developing service pages that specifically refer to the geographical location you operate in will increase the likelihood of people finding your page.
Start by conducting keyword research around your sector, and define exactly what users are searching for in your industry. Then, curate separate pages for each service you offer tailored to the locations you’re targeting.
Google My Business
Then, you need to set up a Google My Business page, or at least update your existing one. GMB is a vital resource for local businesses as it gives you more power over your existence in local search results. It allows you to ensure your listing contains your information and makes successful ranking much more likely.
If you’ve already set a GMB page up, it’s worth revisiting it and ensuring the information is correct. Also, refreshing your associated images as high definition can benefit both your ranking and your user experience.
It feels like we mention the importance of a mobile optimised site almost weekly on our blog, but that’s because of its importance.
From opening hours to directions, to services, it’s vital your key information is easily accessible on a smartphone. With over half of mobile searches visiting stores on the same day, it’s a simple and efficient SEO tactic that can produce real-world impact.
Curate Meta Tags
There is some debate about the effectiveness of page titles and meta descriptions in the grand scheme of SEO, however, they certainly matter when it comes to local search. As both are displayed on SERPs, well-written and catchy metas and titles will encourage CTRs and engagement.
Put your business title and primary service keywords first, followed by relevant geographical keywords. By doing so, when a user searches for ‘industrial cleaning Albion’, they’ll be assured immediately from the search page that your business can cater to their needs.
Online reviews should always be encouraged as regular feedback from consumers in the area can go some way in bolstering local search rankings.
84% of searchers admit to trusting online reviews as much they would word-of-mouth. Some companies print on menus or flyers that direct customers to a review page, while there’s also the option of including a “rate my service” option in the emails you send. However, you get there, compiling an online catalogue of reviews and feedback can have a massive impact on sales.
What schema markups refer to is essentially ensuring all the information you list on your site is structured logically. In short, it’s simple code that gives Google and other search engine crawlers a better chance of locating you and processing your key business info (speak to your web guy)!
Google Knowledge Graphs, along with rich and feature snippets are easier to locate when schema markup is done right. There is a handy online guide that sets out to ensure your site reaches its full potential using schema markup.
So, start small, and then get deeper in order to win the local search optimisation war. It’s about encouraging feedback, using common sense, and making sure your site looks good and runs smoothly. Do all that, and you’ll have people knocking on your door in no time (well, they wouldn’t be knocking as they should know what time you open).