Boosting the visibility of your small business on the search engine results page has become a key advertising tool for many. The aim is to boost and grow your online presence with local SEO, which involves optimising your website so it appears as high as possible on the results page.
The results you see appear based on the attributes of certain pages, including:
There are plenty of simple methods to improve your online presence. We show you 8 ways to optimise your business website for local SEO.
Keywords and phrases are the foundation of search. When a user enters a query into the search bar, they are entering what they think is most relevant term for what they want. The search engine results display what it believes are the best pages related to that query.
You need to research and build a list of keywords that relate to how your demographics talks about your industry. You also need to understand the value of each keyword based on search volume, competition, conversion rate and value per lead. Discover relevant keywords and create a keyword planer with Google Adwords.
Long-tail keywords are longer search phrases that combine common keywords and unique ones to create more valuable leads. Read this guide to long-tailed keywords and discover how to create your own.
Title and meta description tags reflect the content of your web page that is displayed in the search results. These HTML elements are carefully crafted to compete with vast amount of other results options, and have strict character limits. Also make sure to use one targeted keyword that’s as close as possible to the start of the tags.
Adding or optimising your business on local directories such as HubFind are great ways for your businesses to be found. Each listing will create a citation, and these are used for the ranking algorithm that Google and other search engines use.
Listings help to establish your business online so that people are more likely to find you. They also help to add value and credibility to your business for individuals considering your products or services.
If you haven’t already, claim or create your business on Google My Business page. This free service creates a digital representation of your business for everyone to see. It boosts your visibility in Google Maps and Google Search, allowing you to reach local people.
You need to make sure that your information on My Business is correct and written well. Images can also be added to your Google My Business page. Not only will pictures make your business stand out, but they can also help users find your business easier.
You need to make sure that your name, address and phone number (NAP consistency) are the same across all your business listings. This includes your website, citations on directories, and social media platforms.
NAP consistency is great for local SEO. Search engines are detail oriented and, if they detect variations between your company information, it can negatively impact your online presence. Accuracy also makes your brand feel more trustworthy.
It may be handy to create a style guide so that you and your colleagues can maintain consistency and keep your SEO score high.
Reviews on local directories are essential for the growth of small businesses. Not only do they help in gaining the trust of your potential customers, but they also boost your SEO presence in local search engine results (SERPs).
People need reassurance that their actions are the right ones, and their trust in your brand depends on the type of feedback your company has received.
Get in touch with previous customers and business partners and ask them to leave reviews on your Google My Business and directory pages. Pace yourself with how many people you ask, though – if search engines see that you’ve suddenly got lots of reviews in one go, they will become suspicious.
Your website copy needs to be filled with high-quality content that your readers will find engaging. Remember that you need to generate pages for humans, though there are things you can do to get noticed in the local search results.
Regular, updated content such as blogs and new stories provides key indicators to search engines of your site’s relevancy. If you want to improve your writing skills, read our article on copywriting.
Link building is a way for websites to gain more online presence and authority. Getting external websites to link back to yours will help drive referral traffic to your site.
Google gains a better understanding of websites by ‘crawling’ them. They gather information from webpages to help organise online content in the search index. If you frequently update, the more opportunity you’ll have to rank higher. Plus, your site will benefit from having extra keywords.
Read this guide to backlinks for more information.