Local SEO can be beneficial to any business but is particularly useful to a services-based business. People like to hire a local and are increasingly using suburbs within their keywords when they search online.
Implementing the tips on this list will improve your business online search visibility dramatically.
#1 Google My Business (GMB)
GMB is a free tool provided by Google, which can get businesses displayed within Google Maps results. Towards the top of any page, Google will often display a map pack of three GMB pages.
Each page of Google search is dynamic, and they may not always reveal the map pack. However, it is more likely to be shown when a user shows local intent. To create your free GMB listing, you will require an active Google account.
#2 Include Photos
The primary purpose of having a GMB page is to help drive more traffic to your business. However, once a user has landed on your listing, this is only half of the job. The other half is ensuring that your page is appealing enough so that the visitor turns into a customer by contacting you.
Most businesses use stock photos, so make sure you take advantage of this gap in the market. Hire a professional photographer and get a variety of high-quality shots of the team in action. Doing so will improve your conversion rate and, thus, more money in your pocket.
#3 Encourage Reviews
You should implement a process of asking all happy customers to leave you a 5-star review on your GMB page. People read reviews from others to help them decide whether they should connect with your business. It is against Google guidelines to provide financial incentives, but by asking everyone, you will increase your chances.
#4 Respond to Reviews
If a person has taken the time to leave you a review, it is always good to respond for three reasons:
– The customer that left the review will appreciate it.
– It shows other customers that you care about them.
– Google likes it when businesses actively monitor and respond to their reviews.
Do not make the mistake of copying and pasting the same response to every customer as this could appear lazy and unthoughtful. Try to respond in a way that is individual and responds to the reviewer’s feedback.
#5 Avoid Fake Reviews
It can be tempting to create a handful of alias names and create fake Google accounts. You can then leave yourself glowing 5-star reviews. However, this is not a good idea for several reasons:
- People are not stupid, and when they realize you have been self-promoting yourself, they will assume that all of your reviews are fake. There is no need for a genuine business that looks after its customers to do this. It will take a little more time and effort, but it is worth it.
- To leave a review, you need to use a Google account; therefore, Google is able to quickly analyze if a review is genuine. When an account has been created and leaves your business a 5-star review only to never get used again, it is fairly obvious what has happened.
#6 Make Your Website Local
When people first land on a website, it can be difficult for them to know the business’s location. By reinforcing that you are a local to them, it helps to establish a level of trust that will encourage them to select you.
- Ensure that your address is visible on all pages by adding it to the header or footer.
- Add the suburb name within the main content.
#7 Update Images
Similar to your GMB page, update all the images on your website. Showing pictures of you and your team in action is a thousand times more valuable than a stock photo used all over the web.
#8 Create a Video
Not many businesses bother to take the time to do it, so take advantage and increase the conversion rate on your website. Although this will probably not be a cheap exercise, once completed, they can be used for many years to come. Here are a couple of ideas to use:
– Show a video of you and your team, all working together as a close team. People love working with others that are in a positive frame of mind.
– Create a testimonial video from some of your best clients and try to let them do the talking because this way it will appear more natural.
If appropriate, ensure your employees are in their uniform as this will help to build brand awareness and trust.
It is important to research the local market and know your competitors. A local agency will make sure that your strategy is customized and targeted towards the local audience. For example, the team at Only SEO Gold Coast, will use tools such as Google Keyword Planner to research what customers in your area are searching for.
Once you have selected the appropriate keywords, you will need to map them all to your website. Keyword mapping is the process of grouping your keywords and assigning them to the most relevant page. You may need to create additional pages if you don’t have a page available.
#10 Location or Suburbs Pages
These can be particularly useful for a services-based business such as plumbers and electricians. Many customers want a local and will often add a suburb to their keyword search, for example, Plumber Suburb. Often, these keywords will have a relatively low search volume; however, if you target multiple within an area, it can all add up.
Here are some tips for creating location or suburbs pages:
– Unique: Do not create one page, then duplicate it and simply alter the suburb name. Doing so may cause duplicate content issues for your website, so take the time to do it correctly.
– Content: Google is all about content creation and wants to deliver the best answer to a user’s query. Therefore, try to create as much as possible but aim for at least 500 words per page.
– Add photos of the area to the page, to make it more localized, which will also help improve the page’s conversion rate.
#11 Online Directories
Submit your listing to high-quality online directories such as Yellow Pages and Yelp. Doing so will help to build more local signals, which can help improve your search visibility in search engines.
It is essential to make sure that all your companies’ data across all websites is consistent. Having multiple variants of contact information can send mixed signals to search engines.
It can also create a negative user experience if the address is incorrect or the phone number does not work when they try to call.
Be sure to keep a record of all the logins and usernames for every website. Because if you need to change your information at a later date, it will be easier to update it.
#12 Mobile-Friendly Website
More than 50% of all searches on Google are done using a mobile device. Therefore, your website must be optimized correctly; otherwise, it will create a bad user experience. You could be lettings customers slip through your fingers, so ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
Here are some helpful suggestions:
– Ensure your website speed is fast! Ideally, the quicker, the better, but you should aim to have it load in under 3 seconds.
– Make sure your font is easy to read; you may need to increase its size.
– Try not to overuse images and videos as these can dramatically impact a website’s speed.
– Your website should be easy to navigate, so make sure it is user friendly.
Because of the rise in customer user behavior such as mobile, local search is now more critical than ever. Taking advantage of the tips on this page will help to drive more qualified traffic to your business.