Ranking highly for searches with local intent is a great way to improve visibility online. Increasingly, mobile users are carrying out searches with the intention of converting immediately. This has made Local SEO an important tool for a huge number of traditional offline businesses on top of the ecommerce and online operators.
Using the power of location, you can access huge numbers of users that would otherwise have been lost to local competitors or would never be made aware of your proposition at all. The tactics for optimizing your search tactics for local visibility are relatively simple compared to the more technical side of SEO, however they can be labour intensive to execute and will take time to see the true extent of the results.
We recommend three simple steps to help you get started:
- Register a Google place (Google+ Local); using a Google place will allow your business to be listed in local searches, sounds obvious, but we’re amazed by the amount of businesses that would benefit, yet don’t bother. From restaurants to estate agents there are very few businesses that would not benefit from signing up and increasing visibility immediately.
- Location Targeted Content; using keywords in content is by no means dead, keyword stuffing will not get you anywhere nowadays, but the keywords are still good indicators to Google about your site, what you do, and importantly; where you are based. Whether you are simply setting up landing pages for each location or posting geographically specific blog content, the content of your site will have an impact on what terms you rank for and how highly you rank. When publishing pages also think about what location it relates to and name the location as part of the title tags, the headers, permalinks and even the alt tags on images will help.
- Citations; As covered in several of our other articles, citations are a powerful indicator to search engines and an important trust factor for establishing the validity of the information related to your offline presence. Citations are simply mentions of your business alongside address, phone number, website, etc; they can be obtained through a number of methods, the most reliable of which is directory listings.
The power of local search is growing and is predicted to continue doing so for the considerable future, the techniques used to rank for local search are more informative than spammy, so it is unlikely that local search methods will be penalized by any algorithm updates. This is what makes local search so important for most businesses in the western world where every day more consumers are making decisions based on what their phone tells them.