Having a successful Local SEO strategy is crucial to any business looking to host a strong online presence. Of course, listings on Google+ /Bing/Yahoo Local are a must, and carefully constructed content is a no-brainer….but what else are you missing in to help in making your Local SEO top notch?
#1 Add Images and Videos.
Whist on-page text is vital to your local (and other) rankings due to it being so ‘readable’ to Google-bots, images and video are valuable additions and can greatly enhance your Local SEO efforts – when used correctly.
Create videos that showcase you and your business and what you do, introduce people to your staff, or ask customers for video testimonials. Take photos of your local area, places you go and your local neighbourhood so the online community can visualise them. Pictures really do speak a thousand words, and help personalise your company giving it that added dimension.
Of course, it goes without saying, for any image you use online – ALWAYS remember to add ‘alt text’ to your images to ensure that they appear in search results to ensure that they appear in search results for your keywords.
#2 Use Social Media
It might seem super obvious, but its still a neglected area when it comes to small/medium businesses who cite they “don’t really have the time”. According to the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 72% of businesses who are active on social media, saw increased traffic and sales as a direct result of their social media presence and efforts. So, its probably time that people made the time!
The benefits of Social Media to local SEO are two fold:
- Networking: More and more local businesses are finding their own little corner of social networks, creating communities, pages and hashtags. When it comes to start ups or smaller sized enterprises, everyone is in the same boat, and keen to help one another and recommend business accordingly.
- Promotion: Use your sites to post promotions, blogs, latest news…even daily deals for locals who ‘walk in’ with a code or quoting certain word or phrase. As a great example; a bakery in Chicago tweeted/posted online when fresh donuts and bagels had just left the oven offering deals for the first X number of customers through the door. It became a local phenomenon, and business boomed.
#3 Get Blogging.
You don’t need to write novels or be the next Shakespeare/Rowling/Tolkein (delete as personal-choice-appropriate) but a blog will do wonders for your Local SEO.
Firstly, not only is it regularly updated content that in the eyes of Google is rather good indeed and much preferred over a constantly static page, but it gives you the chance to engage with your audience on a more personal level.
Put together keyword-centric posts that are relevant to you and your business and will help credit your search rank. Remember not to over stuff the post with keywords,make it readable and interesting. Add in local flair too, use your creativity. For example, if you are looking to rank for “Italian Wines, Southampton”, visit a local vineyard and post photos/videos of your day there, showing insight of how your wines are made. Write recommendations and reviews, team with other produces of products that compliment your own business and could feature. Find what works for you and put pen to paper.. or should we say fingers to keyboard!
#4 Update Your Title Tags.
Each page title or “title tag” as its also known is an incredible important part of SEO – local or otherwise, and one that is easily missed. (In Layman’s Terms, these are the words that appear at the top of your browser on any given page, and the words that show up in the blue links in a Google search).
Remember to include search terms you are targeting in your page titles. Title Tags are best kept short but informative, with the most important keywords at the beginning.
#5 Unique Title Tags
As a follow on from #4 – it is equally important that every title tag is completely unique. Its simple to check and can be done with a quick search of site:yoursite.com intitle”the words in the title” in Google.
If everything is unique already – give yourself a quick pat on the back, but it is still worth reviewing and giving it the Local SEO once-over to see if you’re missing any key information.
Add in your city name to titles where possible – as this is a key piece of information that nearly every local search will contain when looking for a service/product in their area.
#6 Your Google+ Local Page.
If you haven’t already, you simply MUST claim your search pages on registered directories such as Google+ Places etc.
We put together a post a little while ago about how to set up your Google+ Places Page to help you through the initial stages, but the work you do post-set up is equally important.
Secondly, remember to invite users to review your business. It is one thing for people to be able to find you, but new customers require ‘social proof’ -the idea that others have used your products/services and are happy with the result.
Make sure your Google Local page is fully optimised which includes your content on page. With such limited wiggle room on Google+, it is worth speaking to the professionals about ensuring your page is working at its very best. Here at Codastar we can set up your page for you but make sure it is branding accordingly to your business, giving that extra element of professionalism cross platform.
Speak to us today to see how we can help you.