Regardless if your business is in a single location or nationwide, you need to be aware of how important it is to improve your local SEO results to increase traffic and sales. When you improve and optimise your business’s website through an SEO agency you are increasing the chances that your website is displayed in the local search engine results when a consumer searches for the services or products that your business sells.
Importance of Local SEO Results
Google uses links, website content, local listings, local citations and business listings to return the most relevant results to their users. If you want to learn how to improve local SEO results through an agency, this is the strategy they will more than likely advise you on three steps:
1. Link Building & Citation
Link building will always be an important aspect of local SEO results, so there will always be a need to focus on earning inbound links. Citations are occurrences of your business name, address and phone number on other websites. You should focus on increasing both your links and citations to increase and strengthen your local search results.
2. Earn Local Links
It’s important that your business is blogging and outreach, as it will give you a great opportunity to create content that targets specific local keywords. If your blog content is high quality and proves to be useful to the visitors of your website it increases the chance that other websites will be willing to link to your content, thus creating inbound links to your website.
Now, link building to improve local results is going to be a little different to that of a national campaign. You will want to build relationships with local community groups, organisations, and even the local school system. There are many schools that have a sponsorship or donor page on their websites and a small donation can help to get exposure within your community, but also earn a link that will help improve local results.
3. Submit to Local Directories
While identifying national directories is important you will want to identify local industries as well as industry specific industries that will give you a high quality listing. Try to avoid low quality directories that are created solely for SEO. You will want to make sure you only include your listing on directories that have frequent traffic to maximise your chances of acquiring links.
4. Local Listing Pages
It is important that you create your local pages for Google+, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places for Business. These are often referred to as the top 3, so make sure you create and verify each of them, and if your business is in multiple locations make sure to set them up properly so each location is represented.
5. Delete Duplicate Listings
Businesses will have duplicate local pages, so using a service such as Moz to identify and remove any duplicates is important. Duplicate listings occur when a company lacks organisation and has multiple people working on marketing. It’s important that you continue to monitor your listings once you have removed the duplicate listings to ensure that any more listings aren’t created.
6. Attract Local Reviews
Reviews help with click through rates and play a large role in local SEO. This is due to the fact that consumers will always be engage listings with a lot of reviews. However, you have to approach this naturally and not force your customers to leave a review so you need to apply the ‘gently, gently’ approach. Let them know that you would appreciate their feedback, and direct them to where they can do so.
7. Optimize Local Pages
Partially completing local listing pages appears to be common practice on Google, Yahoo, and Bing won’t get you the results you want. Every section needs to be completed and all available space needs to be used to maximise your results. Try and fill your local pages with as many videos, images and text as the listing will allow.
8. Get Your On-Page Optimization Correct
On-page optimisation needs to be done correctly if you want to achieve the highest possible local search rankings. Many business owners either don’t know enough about on-page optimisation or are so scared of it they won’t do it. That’s why employing an SEO agency is a good decision as they will be able to take care of all of this for you.
9. Include All Locations
In the event that you have multiple business locations then you will want to create a page on your website that is dedicated to listing all of the information for all locations. You should include the address, phone numbers, locations hours, and a brief description.
10. Publish Regular Content
You will need to create useful information about your business and industry that your site visitors will enjoy reading. This gives your business a voice and an outlet and, if the content is topical and informative, will position your company as a leader in the industry thus increasing the likelihood that visitors will be converted into customers.