With Googles emphasis on personalised search results, and the growth in smartphone use meaning that on the go searches are being performed more and more for businesses and services nearby, local SEO can only grow in importance.
Here are our top five tips to help you improve your chances of being found and stand out against your competition:
1. NAP Citations
Top of the list is “Name Address Phone number” citations. These are instances in which the location and contact details of your company are mentioned on the web. Theyre important as they help increase search engines certainty that your business is legitimate.
Luckily, theyre easy to set up. Unless your site is brand new, it’s a good idea to start with a citation audit – and there are some good free tools for assessing your citations:
Correct any incorrect NAP listings and remove duplicates. Search engines like consistent citations so stick to same format throughout e.g. using the word S-t-r-e-e-t (and not St.) across each citation.
Make sure you have all the most important local listings set up:
- Google My Business (this will allow you to set up a Google+ page and list your business on Google Maps)
- Better Business Bureau
- Bing Places
- Yahoo! Local
- Apple Maps
- Amazon Local
- Tellows.com (an international phone directory that allows users to register the level of trust/authority in phone numbers (or lack thereof), together with a comment)
Handy hint: If information is incorrect in Googles index, request a call back via the top right hand button on this page.
Make sure you look at the categories your competitors are listed for and add those to your listings. Do this by searching for GCID” in the page source of your competitors site.
Gradually build more citations over time. Use Brightlocal to compare and steal citations from your competitors and find your own citation sources.
Reviews are a key factor in local SEO. Google research shows that having reviews on your Google listing will lead to a 140 per cent bump in requests for driving directions and a 360 per cent increase in visits to your website from Google.
Dont be daunted. Customers often welcome the chance to give a review, sometimes they just need a bit of nudging. Contact them via email, social media or hand them written instructions when they leave your premises.
Continue reading more local SEO tips on page two…