February 28, 2017

How to improve your local SEO strategy

Published: 28 February 2017 

For owners of local businesses, having a local SEO strategy is crucial. After all, you want to make sure your customers can find you online and you stand out from the competition.

For local businesses struggling with their SEO strategy, or can see it needs improvement, there are a few crucial steps that can be implemented.

1. Third Party Websites

One sure way to improve your local rankings is to claim online company profiles. The most important to secure is Google My Business. Once you secure your page, you need to ensure all your information is up to date. This includes business name, URL, contact number, and if appropriate physical address and opening hours. Customers will be frustrated if it is difficult to access your website or contact your business.

You should also make an effort to be mentioned on websites with local listings, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor or Expedia. Even consider listing your business in local directories. Having a link to your website on these pages will expand your reach and make it easier for customers and tourists to find your website or visit your store.

2. Keyword research

To outrank your competition, you’re going to want to undertake keyword research. You want to be looking for the right keywords that will drive traffic to your website.

To know which keywords to use, you have to know who your audience is and what they will be searching. When people are searching for a local business, they generally include the geographical location in the search term.

Tools that will help with keyword research include:

3. Optimise your website

You want to ensure that your website is appropriately optimised for local SEO. Make sure your pages, in particular the title, includes your geographical description. This means the location will appear in search results. You can use tools such as Yoast SEO Snippet Preview to view what your site will look like when it’s shown in search results.

Optimising your website goes beyond having the correct text. You want people to stay on your website and navigate through other pages. If not, you will end up with a high bounce rate, which can lower search engine rankings. Make sure your website is designed well and is aesthetically pleasing. If you have a physical store, you can include high-quality photographs or videos of the exterior and interior of your store on your website.  

4. Social Media

Any business that is serious about standing out from the competition will have social media accounts. This is a great way for any local business to expand their following and gain new customers. Businesses don’t just have to rely on customers using search engines to find their business. It also opens up another platform for advertising. Businesses can invest in Facebook Ads or Twitter Ads. If targeted correctly, social media advertising can be a great way to gain more customers and make more profit. Instagram also offers a great way for businesses to visually promote their products or services to potential new clients.  

5. Write Local Content

People love reading about something that is in their area. The trick here is to writing good, interesting, local content. Otherwise, people simply won’t read it and it won’t be worthwhile writing it.

Consider who your audience is and what they would be interested in reading. While you want your content to be relevant to your niche, you don’t want to be self-promoting. People want to read something that is helpful, not just an ad for your business. If you’re an athletic store, you’re going to want to look at local events occurring and write content around that, for example, “Essential Items Needed to Complete the Bridge to Brisbane.” Next, promote your content through your social media channels. If you are using paid ads, you can target a new audience by their interests, as well as location and age.

Hows does this help SEO? The more content you generate, the more traffic will be flowing into your website. It also gives you more opportunities to post new content to your social media pages. You will be able to see an increase in not only organic and social traffic, but direct traffic as well.

Following these five steps will make you not only stand out from the competition, but increase traffic and conversions to your website, as well as improve your search engine ranking.

Ben Maden

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