How to Optimise Your Website for Local SEO

Local SEO is the process of optimising your website and online presence to rank higher in search engine results for local-based searches. Many businesses only operate within a local catchment area, so the aim of local SEO is to bring them customers they can successfully serve.

SEO

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimising your website and online presence to rank higher in search engine results for local-based searches. Many businesses only operate within a local catchment area, so the aim of local SEO is to bring them customers they can successfully serve.

Therefore, if a business doesn’t appear in local search results, it can be losing out on valuable traffic and clients. In other words, local SEO can be the secret to expanding your business and staying updated.

Optimising your website for local SEO can comprise of a wide variety of strategies, but fear not – Sherbet Donkey is here to help! We’ll cover all the top tips in detail in this article, so don’t go anywhere!

Website Optimisation Steps for Local SEO:

Optimise for Google Local Pack

It’s highly beneficial to have this set up, as you can ensure that your business profile is correct (including your catchment area) and the details are properly distributed to Local Packs.

What are Local Packs? I hear you ask.

Local Packs are a feature of Google’s search results, displaying a list of local businesses that match a user’s search query. They typically include a map, as well as the business name, address, phone number, and average rating from customer reviews.

Local Packs are usually displayed at the top of the search results, making them highly visible to users. They are designed to make it easy to find and contact local businesses that are relevant to a search query, and to provide a comprehensive overview of a business’s reputation and location.

Being listed in a Local Pack can bring a significant boost to a business’s online visibility and search engine rankings.

Engage on social media

The social platforms on which you choose to engage (and yes, you should be engaging on socials) will be dependent on who your target audience is and the services you’re offering. If you’re unsure, try putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and ask yourself where you would be most likely to engage with your product or service. Generally speaking, LinkedIn and Twitter are better for B2B, whereas Instagram and Facebook are better for B2C.

Whichever social platform you choose to engage on, you should take the opportunity to use the posts you’ve created to show that you are active on your GMB profile, by replicating your social media content as updates on your GMB. Google will love this.

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Keep your contact details up to date

This is a really important step, but it’s often overlooked by many businesses and can be a sure sign that your online presence isn’t being taken care of properly. What’s more, it confuses users, which is the last thing you want to do.

Wherever you have your contact details listed online – from your website to your social platforms – make sure they’re all up to date and consistent.

Take advantage of online business directories

This is all about getting your business’s name out there so you can be found by even more customers. Get your business listed on the following websites for free:

Yell.com – Remember the Yellow Pages? This is the modern, online equivalent.

Thomson Local – Much like the Yellow Pages, Thomson Local used to deliver a booklet to your door, but have also moved with the times.

Touch Local – This is a UK-based online directory that allows businesses to create a free listing and also provides paid advertising options.

Yelp – Another popular online business directory and review platform, Yelp allows businesses to create a free listing. It also provides paid advertising options, however, we would advise just sticking with the free version.

Bing Places for Business – Yet another free listing service, this time, offered by Bing. It helps businesses promote their services and products across Bing and other Microsoft services.

FreeIndex – This online business directory allows businesses to create a free listing and also provides paid advertising options. Again, we’d advise sticking with the free plan.

Perform a local SEO audit

Don’t worry, this really isn’t as technical as it sounds, but it can provide some real insights as to where you need to improve to get local SEO performing right for you. Some key tools that you can use for free are:

SEMRush – Go to semrush.com, select site audit on the left hand side, and type in your URL, then click “Audit Site”. It’ll take a little while depending on your site, however, it’ll come back with some handy pointers as to where you can improve.

GTMetrix – You’ll want to go to gtmetrix.com, put in your URL and then click “Test your site”. Again, it’ll come back with a score, along with anywhere you can improve your site’s speed. Note, this tool does just test your site’s speed, however, this does play a major part in SEO.

Page Speed Insights – Go to page speed insight, type in your URL and click “Analyze”. This tool will tell you how your website is performing on both Desktop and Mobile, and will give you a rundown of diagnostics for you to improve on.

Improve your internal linking structure

Ideally, each page on your website should complement another, and you should be able to seamlessly link between pages. When you link from one page to another using text, this is called internal linking and it shows that your content flows. For example, if I were writing about the results we’ve achieved for our clients, you will see that the word “results” is a clickable and directs you to examples of our work.

It’s important to make sure that internal links are relevant – don’t try to force it. Just keep in mind the content you have on your website and, if necessary, have it open in front of you when you’re writing a new blog post or landing page. As you add more and more content, it’ll likely be harder for you to remember exactly what’s on there.

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Optimise your content

Where possible, choose a URL that includes keywords relevant to your business, or the products and services you offer. You’ll also want to ensure they are short, clean, and easy to read.

“What about sherbetdonkey.co.uk?” we hear you cry. Well, we may be guilty of not having a URL that’s relevant to our industry, but we did opt not to include the word ‘media’, as we thought this would make our URL too long, and we like to think that “Sherbet Donkey” is memorable enough in itself.

Relevant keywords should also be used in the title tags for the products/ services you offer. You should try and make sure they are both descriptive and accurately reflect the content of the page. The same applies to your meta descriptions. Use relevant keywords that apply to your businesses and the products or services you offer, but keep these descriptions short, concise and accurate as to the contents of your page.

Finally, you will want to ensure that your content is written with SEO in mind. If you’re not sure how to do this, then be sure to check out our recent article on how to write people first content. One of the key takeaways from this post is to organise your header tags, much like the chapters of a book, to make it easy for users to understand and for search engines to crawl. Exhibit A…

Content should be of a high quality without being overly stuffed with keywords. If they occur naturally while you’re writing, then great, but don’t go back through and try to fit them in anywhere and everywhere- it won’t read well to the user. You should also try out the EAT method, covered in our article on how good content can benefit your business

Add location pages to your website

You can really localise your website with the use of location pages. Pick key areas that you cover and build location pages, based on your knowledge of the area, around these. Don’t forget to apply all the tips we’ve already outlined in this article to your page, and don’t have more than one page for any one location – if you do, you’ll basically be competing with yourself!

Here’s an example of one of location pages. It’s important to remember that each page has its own tailored content, as Google doesn’t like duplicate content.

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Create localised content

If you are a local business servicing a local catchment area, then apply what you know to your website – and to individual location pages where applicable. If there’s a local landmark that residents talk about frequently, then reference this. If you’re going to be at a local event in a business capacity, then broadcast it. These tactics will help to reinforce that you are part of this local community, and that you are able to provide your service or products to this area.

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Ensure your website is mobile-friendly

The majority of searches are now made using a mobile device. As such, it’s vital that your website is optimised for mobile devices. Surprise, surprise, this will also help with SEO.

Sites that are not optimised for mobile users will experience a much higher bounce rate than optimised sites. The bounce rate is the number of users who visit your website and then bounce off without completing a call to action (CTA) so, ideally, the lower the bounce rate, the better. A word of warning: Google will penalise sites with higher bounce rates. So, whether you’re doing it for your users or for SEO purposes, it’s worth ensuring that your website is fully optimised for mobile devices.

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Secure relevant and quality inbound links

Inbound links are links on other websites that point to a specific page on your website. They’re also known as “backlinks”, and are considered as pretty important for SEO purposes, because they signal to search engines that other websites consider the content on your website to be valuable and relevant. In simpler terms, inbound links are like “votes” for your website – the more votes your website has, the higher it will be ranked in search engine results.

You can earn backlinks by carrying out digital PR services, such as contacting local news journals with a newsworthy “press release” about your business. You can also reach out to local influencers to try out your products or services in exchange for mentioning you online.

You can check the relevance of the link by visiting the website and seeing exactly what the website is about. You can check the authority of a website by using a tool such as moz.com. While other services do offer domain authority scoring, Moz is generally considered the most accurate – after all, they did initially came up with the concept.

Participate in local community events

That’s right, getting involved with your local community face to face, can actually aid your local SEO efforts.

How? Well, if someone mentions you or thanks you for your help, that’s basically some free PR for your business. All you had to do was get involved with a local community event, for example.

You can also reference this on your website and you’re more likely to have your content shared among the local community, as it’s relevant to what’s going on.

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Create a strong customer base

Customers have a tendency to go back to providers that they’ve had positive experiences with, and will often purchase products or services from businesses they know they can trust, so keep this in mind as you attempt to convert leads to sales.

Ask your repeat customers to leave you a review on Google or similar rating platforms. It may take a prompt or two, but if you can earn multiple positive reviews, this will help instil a sense of trustworthiness in your business. If you do have any negative customers or feedback, then you should handle this quickly and professionally while still addressing the customer’s concerns.

Focus on quality over quantity

Ultimately, being unique, caring for your customers, treating them well, focusing on quality, and being consistent are all important aspects of running a successful business, both on and offline. By standing out from the competition and offering a unique perspective or service, you can attract customers who are looking for something different. Caring for your customers and treating them well is crucial for building trust and loyalty, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Quality and consistency are also important factors that go hand-in-hand. Ensuring quality can help to ensure that your customers re satisfied with the products or services that they receive, while consistency helps to build trust with your customers and allows them to know what to expect from you.

By incorporating these principles into your business strategy, you can create a strong foundation for long-term success.

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Conclusion

In conclusion, local SEO is a crucial aspect of digital marketing for any business that wants to attract customers in their local area. We help lots of businesses be more visible in their local area. View the common locations of our clients here.

By following the steps we’ve laid out in this article, you can improve your visibility in local search results and make it easier for customers to find your business. Additionally, by focusing on providing high-quality products or services, treating your customers well, and being consistent in your approach, you can build trust and loyalty, which can lead to repeat business and positive word-of-mouth recommendations.

Ultimately, by implementing a comprehensive local SEO strategy, you can increase your visibility, drive more traffic to your website, and grow your business. And that’s the goal, right?

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