10 Local Marketing Must Haves
If you’ve ever searched for something within your local area, then you have completed a ‘local search’.
Local SEO utilises local keywords, Google Maps, Google My Business (GMB) pages and other directories to ensure all content has a local focus, attracting local leads in your area.
Make the most of your online presence and brand with these 10 local SEO tactics.
01. Create a FREE Google My Business Listing
Google My Business, formerly known as Google Places, has become the starting point for all successful local SEO campaigns. Google My Business is the foundation of local listings and without it, a business’ name will not show up in the local listings. These listings are already becoming more competitive.
While Google used to include a “7 pack” of local businesses, they have dwindled that down to just three, so only the top three businesses are shown in full. The only way for a business to give themselves the best chance to appear there is by creating a Google My Business listing.
(If you haven’t set yours up yet, check out this post where we walk you through how to setup your Google My Business Listing in 10 simple steps.)
These results can fluctuate daily if you don’t keep on top of your rankings so it’s critical you track your performance on a regular basis. There’s nothing worse than realising your phone’s stopped ringing because your competitor just knocked you out of the ‘Top 3 Google Snack Pack’ results.
02. Business Listings on all Major Directories
Google My Business might be the gold standard of local SEO, but there are other online directories that business owners should also utilise including:
- True Local
By having consistent directory listings on these sites, you can attract a lot of traffic from the masses of people searching for you via directories.
03. Your Top Ranking Location Keywords
Keywords play a huge part in local SEO. These are the words users enter into search engines when they’re looking for a particular service, product, or information. Google uses those words and searches across pages online to deliver the most relevant results to the user.
While some keywords, such as ‘hairdresser’ for a hairdressing business are going to be obvious, others won’t be. And business owners that don’t perform keyword research will miss out on some that could be very valuable to them simply by not investing time in proper research.
You can see here that when we type ‘microdermabrasion’ into our keyword tool, we can see exactly how many searches are made each month in Melbourne alone.
We can see other possible relevant keywords and estimated cost per click if wanting to run an AdWords campaign.
What’s even better is that we can see who’s already ranking on Google and how competitive keywords are so, as a business owner, you know what’s worthing investing time and money into, and what you should steer clear off because it’s just way to competitive to rank for.
You can save yourself a ton of cash and wasted resources trying to rank for the wrong terms that won’t deliver quality customers and an increase in sales.
04. Your Website Title Tags & Meta Descriptions
A title tag is the title that’s shown in the search engines as the title of the webpage. It also appears at the top of the browser of any webpage. And when it comes to content, the search engine algorithms place a lot of importance on them, as they really give the robots and algorithms an idea of the context of the webpage’s content.
But what makes a great title tag?
- They are less than 55 characters.
- The business’ name is clearly visible.
- They include one primary keyword that has high volume and is highly relevant to the business.
- Use keywords close to the beginning of the title tag, if possible.
- Title tags should be unique, with each webpage having its own unique title tag.
- When focusing on local SEO, the geographic location should also appear in title tags.
It is very important to not duplicate Page Titles & Meta Descriptions, simply rewriting them to avoid any duplicates and you’d score some quick wins with Google.
05. Create Social Media Profiles
Social media has a huge influence on local SEO for a number of reasons – one is that it lets a business claim more of their business’ name and brand online.
Social media is also a great way to get reviews and citations that are mentioned above.
It also lets business owners interact directly with their customers, which is another reason it’s a great boost to local SEO.
06. Optimise Images for local SEO
Optimising your images is important for a couple of reasons. The first is that image files are by their very nature, much larger than text files and therefore, take much longer to load.
However, Google and the other search engines now consider the loading speed of a website when ranking pages, and they’ll place slower-loading pages further down in the search results page.
But while the search engines may realise that a webpage has a file on it that will take longer to load, they cannot read or understand image files. So when there is an image on a page, the search engines only know that it’s an image file; they don’t understand what the image is actually of. This is another reason why image files need to be optimised.
07. Go Mobile to avoid losing traffic
Mobile, mobile, mobile – it can’t be said enough. If you want to improve your local SEO, you must ensure that your website is mobile-friendly; there’s just no way around it.
In one of their latest updates, Google announced that they had focused on mobility, and that sites that weren’t 100% compliant with the new mobile requirements would be penalised. And that those penalisations would come in the form of those websites being placed lower down on the search engine results page.
08. Make sure you have consistent citations
Citations in the local SEO world are any mentions of a local business on other websites. In order to be considered an actual citation however, the name, address and phone number must all be included and there cannot be any errors across different websites or directories.
This is known as ‘NAP’. The search engines love citations, even when there’s no backlink to accompany them.
If you see errors like this business below, you can win some brownie points with Google by quickly cleaning them up so they’re consistent across the board.
09. Get positive online reviews
Reviews online today are the driving force behind most of the purchases that are made, both online and in-store.
More than ever people are researching products and businesses before they use them, and having no reviews online can be just as bad as having negative reviews out there.
Having one or two 5-star reviews online just isn’t enough.
Business owners need to continuously make sure new positive reviews are being added all the time, both to keep them up to date for users, and to keep the search engines happy.
10. Audit your Competitors
Every business wants to know how their competitors doing, this helps businesses see how they stack up, where they can improve, and where they have an edge over their competition.
Here you can see a huge amount of opportunities for this solar company as the top 5 spots are missing a lot of top directory listings.
By looking at your overall footprint in Google’s eyes, you can see where you should allocate resources to your marketing and search strategy and where you can save time.
If you’d like help getting a good handle on your local SEO, get in touch with any questions.