Growing your business
Get Started: Local SEO for Small Businesses
While many businesses are already familiar with search engine optimisation (SEO) and maybe even have some practices in place, there are still a number of business owners who are put off implementing an SEO strategy due to cost, time and effort.
However, with our ever-evolving digital world, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to be turning their efforts towards SEO - and implementing a local SEO strategy could certainly be a good place to start.
Why local SEO?
More and more people are now searching on the go through their mobile devices, therefore, this is the perfect time to take advantage of this and get found by potential customers in your area. In fact, reports show that 78% of local mobile searches result in an offline purchase and 86% of people look up a business location on Google Maps
You don’t even need a website to implement a local SEO strategy which is great news for businesses who aren’t necessarily online
A lot of your competitors are already implementing local SEO practices, therefore, you don’t want to risk getting left behind!
So with that in mind here are a few tips on how you can implement some simple local SEO practices into your business:
Conduct a NAP audit
The first thing you’ll want to do is carry out a NAP audit. NAP stands for name (business name), address and phone number. This information needs to be consistent across all the places that you appear online. You’ll also need to remember that this includes any information published by third parties! To find out where your business is listed you can use tools such as Moz to find sites where your information appears.
You’ll also need to search for any previous business names and addresses to make sure you’re capturing all the information that relates to you. Then all that’s left to do is update the information (making sure it appears exactly the same across each listing) or alternatively contact the relevant person who can update it for you.
Get on Google My Business
One of the first things you should do is register your business on Google My Business. It’s a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google through Search and Maps. To do this all you need to do is visit Google My Business and register your business.
You’ll then want to make sure that you add a description for your business including any relevant links to your site, select the most appropriate categories for your business, upload some attractive photos, add a phone number and physical address, and include your opening times. You can also add reviews from previous and existing customers to build up your credibility.
Encourage local reviews
While reviews can help to build up your reputation as a business, they can also help you to rank in search engine results! According to Moz’s 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, reviews account for 13% of the ranking factors in local SEO. In light of this information, businesses have been focusing more than ever on encouraging their customers to leave a review for their business.
Get customers to leave reviews directly on Google or other review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor of Facebook. You can do this by offering incentives for doing so, providing links on receipts or asking them directly to do so. You can find more information on this in our online guide.
Optimise your website and content for local keywords
If you are carrying out keyword research for your site, you should consider incorporating some relevant local keywords to help boost your ranking. For example, you can try keyword phrases such as ‘florist Hammersmith’ and then if that ranks well try other ones such as ‘top florist Hammersmith’. You can also stray a little out of your immediate location to reach more people in your surrounding area. If you’re struggling to think of keyword phrases, try and put yourself in your customers’ shoes to really think about the words they will be searching for. You can then incorporate these into your website content, and any online content that you produce.
As you can see, it only takes a few simple actions to implement a local SEO strategy that works. Try it out for your business and see how many new customers you can reach!