Blog | Marketing Madness

Beginners Guide to Local SEO

12/07/2016

Although we often think of SEO on a global scale, there is still a lot of revenue and growth to be made on a far smaller scale thanks to local SEO.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is simply SEO that is targeted at a specific location.

It requires a physical address for your business, so you need to have an office or offices in the area you are targeting.

Google will use your local SEO to help direct its users who live in your catchment area towards your business if they are looking for your particular products or services.

This can give you a much-needed boost if you are competing with bigger business that operate outside of your local area.

Local SEO Ranking Factors

So, what are the main ranking factors you should be looking at when setting up your local SEO?

Google My Business

local-seo-googlemybusiness

The first step with setting up your Local SEO is to get onto Google My Business. This will help you through the necessary steps you need to complete in order to get everything up and running.

Plus, the great thing about Google My Business for beginners is that it uses a Wizard to help you get set up, so even those who are new to local SEO should be able to get started fairly quickly.

Just remember to ensure the following elements are set up above all else:

  1. Using your correct business name and physical address
  2. Pick the relevant category for your business
  3. Using a registered landline number
  4. Have an eye-catching feature image, preferably of your building or offices
  5. Creating a detailed description of your services
  6. Include at least one link to your website
  7. A minimum of three reviews of your business (Ideally, five would be the best number to start with if you can)

TIP: For additional brownie points, you could also look at creating a Google Virtual Tour of your business for customers to browse around.

Links

  • Location Links: Having links from other registered businesses within your catchment area. These could be partners, clients, customers or contributors.
  • Industry Links: As with normal link-building activities, having links from credible websites within your industry are vital if you want to rank

Tip: Use Majestic SEO to track your backlinks and ensure the right links are being made

  • Authority Links: These might not be location or industry specific but getting a link from a high authority site will always contribute to your overall ranking factor

On Page Signals

Location SEO is still essentially SEO, so you still need to pay attention to your on-page optimisation.

However, if you are focusing on local SEO, then you need be focusing on location-specific elements:

  • Titles
    • If you offer a specific service for different areas within your catchment, create optimised titles that show the user your locality, and availability, as they scroll. For example – ‘The Roofing Man | Lincoln Roof Repair | Arrives Within 60 Mins
  • Meta descriptions
    • In the same way as you can specify Titles, look at your meta descriptions and ensure that your location is added as a Unique Selling Point to any potential customers looking through SERPs
  • Header tags
    • Your H1 and H2 tags should be optimised towards your location, and not just generic – ‘Lincoln Roof Repairs’ instead of simply ‘Roof Repairs’
  • Page content
    • Within your content you can go into detail about how your location makes you the best choice for the job at hand. You can also mention the other areas you cover and include links to the relevant pages within your own website
  • Images
    • Ensure that your images have Alt Tag descriptions included, with the location of each added as well
  • Map
    • Give your customers an instant view of the areas you cover with a map. You could use a free image tool such as Piktochart or Pixabay to create one if you can’t find an existing image to use
  • Address
    • It is essential that you include your physical address on your website when optimising for local SEO. Google (and your customers) needs to be able to verify that you operate within the area you say you do
  • Landline phone number
    • Along with the physical address, including a landline number within the pages of your website will help boost the ranking factors for your local SEO
  • Testimonials and Reviews
    • Receiving positive reviews and testimonials is a bonus for any business, but when you are looking at local SEO, these become even more essential. They bolster the association you have within your local area and will help to improve your overall ranking factors.