5 tips for improving SEO for local businesses

So, you’re a local business that sells products or services within a particular area. Your main focus is on, for example, ‘waste collection in location’. Unlike other large, national or worldwide businesses, you can’t rely on generic keywords. If you can’t rank for a variant of a keyword and location, you’re less likely to get business in your local area.

This is where local SEO comes into play. Google has implemented changes to their algorithm in recent years that puts more focus on local businesses (through tracking the location of the user), which means there is a fantastic opportunity to get local exposure for your business. But how do you do this?

Here are five SEO tips to help your local business gain exposure within local searches:

1. Create and optimise a Google My Business profile and G+ page

When a user types in a brand into Google, they will see a profile of this company appear in the right-hand corner of the page. This is created using Google My Business, and is a great way to gain trust from users.

It’s relatively simple to set up, but there are a few tricks to make sure you get the most out of it. One key factor is how you categorise your business. By ensuring your business is clearly and correctly described, Google will help you to rank within this sector.

You must also make sure that your business address and phone number is correct, and whether you service customers or if this is a virtual office. And remember – if you move, update these details!

2. On site optimisation

There are three main areas of your page that are simple and easy to optimise to improve local search:

– Page titles

– Meta descriptions

– Headers

By adding locations to these various onsite tags, you can give Google a clear signal of what you want to be ranked for, and within which location. Remember that page titles should be within 55-65 characters, meta descriptions should be between 155-165 characters, and headers should be clear and concise so that they best explain what will be on the page.

3. Create localised pages

If you provide services within a number of different locations, for example, different boroughs of a city, it is worth creating a page for each of these. This means that when a user searches for ‘Waste collection in borough’, they will find a relevant page with key location information. By creating these pages, you are increasing the likelihood your website will appear in multiple search results, driving organic traffic.

4. Local directory listings

This is a free and easy way to both increase your local search exposure, but to also gain high authority backlinks to your domain. Building these natural backlinks will give positive signals to your website, which is still a large factor in how Google ranks websites within searches. You can find large lists of directories online, many of which are free.

5. Get involved in your local community

A little bit of local PR can go a long way. This needn’t be a difficult or time consuming activity. Local newspapers are often on the lookout for stories, so this can be taken advantage of. It can be as simple as an anniversary or order milestones or a story about your work with local charities, schools or other clubs. Ensuring that you are visible on local community websites or newspaper websites will keep you in front of the users who are likely to purchase your product or services.

If you take advantage of these five local SEO tips, your business will be more likely to appear on page 1 of Google, helping drive traffic from organic search, increase exposure and by extension, your revenue. If you’d like to partner with an SEO specialist to help your business, contact us today.

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