SEO has become a quintessential marketing process in recent years, which is mainly due to the ever-increasing size of the internet. Its sheer depth makes it nearly impossible for small businesses to get noticed on the web. And this is where SEO comes in; the main objective of an SEO campaign is to increase the visibility of a business/website by presenting information in a search-engine friendly manner.
In this article, I will be going into some of the most effective and efficient strategies employed primarily in local SEO.
Why go for Local SEO?
New businesses misunderstand the applications of an SEO strategy. A normal SEO strategy is meant to draw in traffic from global searches and will affect International keyword rankings while a Local SEO strategy is meant to draw in traffic from local searches and will affect the keyword rankings of a given geographical area. For example: If I were to search for “The best mattresses” in U.K. and U.S.A, the results for the two locations would vary considerably.
When I say the above, I am by no means saying that a Local SEO Strategy is more effective than any other form of SEO strategy. I just mean that if you’re not an international business, your resources would be better spent on Local SEO strategies as it is more likely to bring in traffic that converts. Now, here is a breakdown on some of the more effective local SEO strategies
Local SEO strategies for a Startup
1. Accurate Local Citations
Simply put a citation is an online reference to your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number). A citation is very much like a link but does not actually link back to your business, therefore, they are mostly put up in plain text. Citations are used by search engines to try and evaluate the authority of your business. Here is an example of a full citation (Full citations are made of the complete NAP while Half citations have, well, half a NAP): 17 Drive, East Midlands, A81 2EL (0330001152)
The thing you need to be conscious about when working on citations is that the format and information of your NAP must remain the same in all listings. This is because search engines examine NAPs in order to root out fake businesses, and if your NAP is the same on multiple directories, Google will be convinced that yours is not a fake business. There is a general misconception that citations are only put up on business directories; the truth of the matter is that there are numerous websites except, business directories that take citations. Here is a list of sites that allow citations for the U.K region.
2. Online Reviews
This strategy is perhaps the easiest to plan and implement. A good review on the internet can work wonders for your business and pull in heaps of business for you. There are websites that are dealing with nothing but reviews for businesses from the same city/country. Here are a few examples of websites that work with local reviews: Yelp.co.uk, brownbook.net, reviewcentre.com, and bview.co.uk
Not only do reviews help you climb the keyword ranks but they also play a serious role in a consumer’s decision-making process. How do you get good reviews? Easy, ask for them. A happy customer will be more than willing to lend you a hand in building up your business. Every time you think a customer is pleased with your service, ask them to go online and leave you a review. Like last month, I went to a restaurant that had just opened up recently, I was quite pleased with their service and I guess the manager saw that. After finishing up my meal, I decided to leave behind a tip. This led to me being told that the house was actually refusing tips and in its stead asking for Yelp reviews. I was more than happy to abide.
I recently read an article that said 72% of consumers trust an online review as much as any personal recommendation. Maybe that ought to prove the importance of a good review.
3. Location, Location, and Location
In local SEO strategies, your location is one of your most important keywords and is an active part of your NPA. You need to make sure that your address and all are present on all pages. There are certain on-page elements that ought to include your location, and they are Meta descriptions, Title tag, and Headings.
This does not mean you ought to stuff the keyword in where it isn’t relevant, but it ought to be prominent. And if you happen to be a franchise and have multiple offices, then you will have to make sure that each office has a web page of its own, this is really important as slacking off in this area may cost you quite a bit of traffic. And be sure that the web pages for the different branches have their own unique and relevant content. Google like other search engines tends to penalize websites that duplicate content. Using similar content seriously endangers all your SEO efforts.
4. Longer and more meaningful Keywords
The changes in the recent search engine algorithms (especially hummingbird) have changed the way Keywords can be used. According to most SEO experts, the new algorithms allow the search engine to sort through web pages faster and a little more efficiently. They are able to find relevant WebPages while discarding those that are not despite keyword density and all.
Go back to the drawing board and chalk up a new keyword strategy. You may want to consider keywords that are in a question format, as the search engines tend to favor those as much as (if not more than) the robot-friendly counterparts. Figuring out your Keyword’s rank accurately has always been a little tricky, and more so with the updated algorithm. But there is a new and reliable method which allows you to check the keyword rankings (source: personal experience).
Those are only some of the many strategies used in Local SEO, but they are quite effective. A thing to note down is that all these are quite incomplete, you need to combine them in order to come up with the strategy that fits your website.