If you are looking to attract more potential customers and boost your sales, Local SEO is definitely something you should consider. If your business serves local customers, this digital marketing strategy can generate huge benefits, particularly if you have a physical store, office or establishment. One of the advantages is that it will bring your company to the attention of local customers and enable you to promote your goods and services to people who might need your help.
Designing Your Site for Local SEO
Unlike ordinary SEO, local SEO takes account of the location of your business. This approach involves making sure that your store/office is both relevant and visible to potential customers in a specific area (e.g., Northampton). However, just as with organic SEO, you need to observe the best practices to ensure that you will achieve optimum results.
Here is some advice on what you should do in order to succeed with local SEO.
1. Perform keyword research
Keyword research should be the foundation of your online marketing campaigns as it will help you determine the search terms your prospects use in their search queries. If you have a good grasp of what keywords your target audience is using, it will be easier for you to optimise not only your website, but also your ads, blogs and other marketing materials for search engines.
Here are a few pointers to consider:
- Compile a list of topics that are related to your business.
- Identify the keywords that are relevant to these topics.
- Determine the local variations of these keywords. For example, rather than merely targeting the phrase “roof repairs”, you should use “Northampton roof repairs” instead.
- Research some pertinent details about these local keywords, such as their search volume and popularity.
- Include these local keywords when optimising your site.
- Try to utilise long-tail keywords as people who use these search terms in their queries are usually looking for more specific information and are likely to make a purchase.
- Create location-specific landing pages, particularly if your business serves areas beyond Northampton.
- For maximum convenience and the best possible results, consider asking a Northampton SEO agency to conduct the keyword research on your behalf.
2. Claim and optimise your GMB listing
Google My Business (GMB) is a tool that can manage your presence on Google, as well as on its other platforms such as Maps. Free to use, GMB will also help your prospects find you in the real world.
To claim your GMB listing, you will need to provide your business address and prove that you are the owner. Once you have created a GMB account, you should optimise your page by:
- Adding a business description
- Choosing the right category for your business
- Uploading photos
- Providing your contact details, operating hours and other useful information
3. Obtain local citations
You gain local citations whenever someone mentions your business online using a combination of your name, address, phone number and URL. These citations are a vital ingredient of local SEO because Google uses them when ranking businesses in its local search results.
To obtain lots of local citations, make sure your name, address and phone number (NAP) are consistent on all of your online listings. It would also be advantageous for your NAP to have the same format throughout.
4. Optimise your site’s on-page elements
On-page SEO allows Google and other search engines to have a better understanding of what your website is all about. By optimising the various on-page elements of your site, you can convince the search engine giants to give you a higher ranking.
To make your site more local SEO-friendly, you should ensure its various elements are optimised, especially the following:
- Meta titles and descriptions
- Heading tags
- Alt tags
5. Build high-quality local backlinks
Link building is the process of persuading other websites to link back to your site. When numerous renowned and high-quality sites are linking to yours, it gives Google the impression that you are a business that can be trusted. This will in turn help convince the search giant to provide you with a better search ranking.
There are many strategies you can use to encourage local websites to link back to yours. Here are just a couple:
a. Create resources with a “local” flavour
Add a local flavour to the content you create. For example, let’s say your company trades in the tourism industry. One way of persuading related websites to link back to yours is to compile a list of the best restaurants, pubs and tourist attractions in a particular location (e.g., Northampton). You could also write about local events that your target audience might find interesting or useful.
b. Write a guest blog
Guest blogging is an effective way of building high-quality links. It will also allow you to generate exposure for your Northampton business. If you do intend using this strategy, make sure you conduct some research before you submit a guest post to a particular site. You must also ensure that the website has strong authority, is trustworthy and is related to your niche and industry.
6. Make your website more user-friendly
Consider improving the overall web design of your site to make it more user-friendly. Not only will it help boost your local search rankings, but it will also encourage your visitors to keep coming back. You can do this by:
- Enhancing page loading speed
- Optimising your site for mobile devices
- Making your site more responsive
- Improving navigation
- Using images wisely
If you own a small or medium-sized business that wishes to target Northampton customers, Local SEO can play a crucial role in helping you achieve your marketing goals. If you adopt this approach, you will undoubtedly attract more prospects and in turn your business will grow and flourish. Follow the advice outlined in this article to ensure your site is more Local SEO-friendly.