Local search engine optimisation is a vital part of a marketing strategy for businesses who rely on local leads. Whether you’re operating a multi-location company or a small business, there are several techniques which can be used to improve your website rankings for localised search.
Below, we’ve covered the primary methods used for improving localised visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Set Up a Google My Business Profile
Google My Business (GMB) profiles are free and relatively easy to set up, and they can have a huge impact on where your website sits on relevant localised searches.
After claiming, verifying and adding all of the relevant business information you’re good to go! We’d recommend frequently logging in and checking for any recent updates from Google, as new features appear more often than you’d think and it’s important to stay on top of your profile to ensure it is always fully up to date.
What Can You Post to Google My Business?
Just published a new blog? Or you’ve got some office insights you want to shout about? Share it to your Google My Business profile! It’s a fantastic way to show to Google that you’re still there, and active, as well as increase the likelihood of getting a few link clicks. It’s a win-win.
What Are the Other Benefits?
As well as giving you a helping hand with localised search, a Google My Business listing offers very valuable SERP real estate, and you should make the most of it! Provide Google, and the user, with as much information as possible to truly optimise the space you’re given.
As you set up your profile, you’ll be prompted with which information to include. The basics are the opening times, services (social media/email marketing), attributes (offers Wi-Fi/has outdoor seating) and photos. All of these are assets to the company, as they provide the opportunity to shout about the business and what you get up to.
It’s worth mentioning again as it’s SO valuable, a Google My Business listing offers PRIME real estate for zero cost (other than your time). Knowing this, it’s important to be aware, and considerate of the images and videos you’re adding.
A profile with imagery is more likely to get clicks when compared to one that doesn’t. Share your latest updates with high-quality and attractive images and videos for an increased chance of getting those precious clicks.
Avoid Duplicate Listings
It’s always worth doing a quick check to see whether your business already has a profile as it could save you some time, as well as mean you’re not presenting conflicting listings and duplicate content to Google (something the search engine is renowned for not liking!).
Update NAPOLP Information
You’re forgiven if you don’t immediately know what this one is!
NAPOLP refers to the details relating to your business information, and it needs to be consistent across your social profiles, website, business directories and any other information sources that can be read by a crawl-bot.
Sometimes just NAP, your business NAPOLP is the acronym used for the following details:
• Business name
• Hours of operation
• Business logos
• Profiles – your social channels.
What You Need to Do?
If you haven’t already, check and double-check that the information on the above is consistent across the board, including your Google My Business profile. This is an essential step in ensuring your business appears authoritative and trustworthy for both the crawl-bot and the user.
Optimise Landing Pages
It’s not new news to discover that by optimising the landing pages on your site, you’re more likely to improve your chances of ranking for localised search.
Review the title tags and meta descriptions, as well as the page titles, URL structure and landing page copy. Do this with local search in mind while you’re researching to increase your chances.
We’d also recommend checking how your website performs on a load speed check and how it looks on mobile-view. Google is mobile-first, meaning more emphasis is put on how your website performs on a mobile handset.
This is particularly relevant for localised search. If someone is using the ‘near me’ search or is looking for a specific business or service, such as a restaurant or hairdressers, they’re likely to be on the go, and the information needs to be delivered to them quickly or they’ll head somewhere else!
More and more customers and clients are referring to reviews before deciding whether or not they want to interact with a company. They’re becoming increasingly important for consumers searching for an insight into the services and products provided.
There’s a range of review sites out there, from Trustpilot and Reevoo to Feefo and TripAdvisor, each offering serious potential for your business.
But, to improve your chances of ranking for local search, ideally, you’ll want to encourage your customers to leave native Google reviews. The quality of reviews is important, and those with text have more value than star ratings.
Note: customers LOVE interaction, and they will appreciate after leaving a review, receiving a reply. Try to do this in a timely manner and make them personal where possible. If the review is negative, it’s even more important to get back to them, as well as try to resolve the issues presented.
Google evaluates backlinks in several ways, and one of them is to gauge relevance. If you have several local businesses all linking to your website, this will indicate to the crawl-bot that your website is relevant to a particular area.
As an example, a school could reach out to local estate agents and request a backlink to their website. This type of link is relevant and has an emphasis on local.
Have you considered implementing the techniques above in an effort to improve your localised ranking positions? Do you need any guidance or help to complete any of the above?
As a digital marketing agency specialising in SEO, we’re in the know when it comes to ranking. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help!