Local SEO can often be totally different from your average SEO campaign, and therefore the local search results are changing faster than any other.
Before you think about going ahead and beginning chasing links, there’s lots of up-front work required on your website to make sure that you’re able to get the most effective as possible results, particularly if you would like to rank within the local pack listings.
To rank within the above the page types of listings, you’ll rely less on the link building side of things, and more on on page optimisation, Google My Business, business address optimisation with scheme markup (citation code) and page load speed.
Google My Business
If you haven’t already, you’ll have to claim your Google My Business page.
Once you’ve set it up, you must include the following:
- Add an original, long, unique description that’s formatted properly and includes links.
- Choose the right categories for your business.
- Upload as many photos as possible.
- Add a local telephone number to your listing.
- Add your business address that’s consistent with that on your website and local directories.
- Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo.
- Add your opening times/days (if relevant).
- Get real reviews from customers (I’ll return onto this).
NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Consistency is vital here. You should to make sure that you have your full NAP across your whole website (i.e. each page). Moreover, you need to use the exact same details/format when you mention your address on other websites (i.e. local citations).
You’ll additionally want to use schema markup (citation code) on your NAP to provide the search engines all they need to show your company information properly.
Local On-Page SEO Factors
On-page SEO for local businesses conforms to some pretty old fashioned SEO techniques. There’s quite a big weight towards the on-page content in the local search listings, therefore it’s necessary that, wherever attainable, you squeeze the most value out of your content.
Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, among your landing page title tag, H1 tag, landing page URL, page content and page image ALT attributes.
You can additionally embed a Google map together with your business marker into your landing page.
Local Link Building & Directories
Link building within local SEO campaigns is incredibly necessary and it’s also one thing that’s often overlooked.
The core work of any local search marketing campaign is the creation of local business listings. A local business listing is an online profile that contains your business name, address, telephone number, and alternative details. There are thousands of websites and directories on which local business owners are allowed to make free business listings.
Compared to the typical SEO campaigns, local SEO depends way more on links from alternative local websites that are very relevant to your business. It’s less about obtaining links from high authority websites (although that clearly helps) and more about obtaining links from websites local to you that are talking about similar things to what you are doing.
This means that local directories are a helpful resource for link building, particularly when it involves building citations.