About two years and nine months ago, I was house hunting. To help me make a more informed decision, I came up with a checklist that comprised several considerations. One of the deciding factors that made me move into my current house was having a nearby Sainsbury local, Tesco express, local off-licenses, local dry cleaners and a local swimming pool, though I still can’t swim for the life of me. All of these places were local because they were within touching distance of my residence. Major search engines like Google have borrowed a leaf from this which has led to the trending concept of ‘Local SEO.’
Why Local SEO?
Have you ever found yourself in a new city, with a flat phone battery and asked a stranger for the closest coffee shop, and you were directed to one about a mile away, when there was a family run coffee shop, with a special touch to how they roast their local beans, 100 metres away? The stranger meant well but was unaware of the local family coffee shop. This is where Google and other search engines intervene with the idea of Local SEO. At the core of Local SEO is the principle of ‘Relevance’ and ‘Convenience.’ The search engines like Google are interested in providing users with relevant search results that save time and provide a better experience. Whilst for a business, local SEO helps ventures like a local family-run coffee shop attract more users within the area. Local SEO is important for searchers, search engines and businesses. It’s a win-win situation for all parties involved.
5 Quick tips on Optimising for Local SEO
1) Title Tags and Meta description text: To optimise for local search, it is important to have the name of the town added to the title tags and Meta description text. A search for plumbers in Reading returned this result for Thomson local plumbers. The interesting point is that the page served was not the home page (index page) but an internal page.
2) Claiming your spot on Google my business: It is essential that businesses register on Google my business by adding the right information like opening times, business address and business category. The relevance and quality of images added is also critical to how Google search algorithms add these to its carousel. It is important to add as much information as possible to aid search engines.
3) Encouraging Google reviews: It is also important to encourage your customers with a Gmail account to leave reviews as this helps to build online credibility and enhance your local search presence.
4) Yelp with some help: Registering your business with Yelp and having customers leave a review is also a very good way to build your Local SEO presence. A search for dry cleaners in Leeds produced a Yelp page of a dry cleaning firm based at Leeds city centre.
5) Optimising the URL and HI tags: It is very important to have the location of a business on at least one of a website URLs. Also having the main header of the page bear the name of the town is very important in optimising for local. A search for jewellery shops in Brighton returned T.H Baker as the first on the organic search results. TH Baker has Brighton included on one of its URL and main headers
Local SEO is all about providing relevant results to searches for products and places closest to them. It is geared towards benefiting businesses, search engines and users.
Need some help with your Local SEO? If so then don’t hesitate to pick up the phone on 01992 582824. If you’d rather pop into the office and talk face to face then feel free to pop in for a cuppa and slice of cake – we’d be more than happy to chat about how we can help your business generate leads locally.