Anyone who is a genuine SEO expert will tell you that SEO is not one single set of skills and techniques that apply equally across the board. The truth is that each individual website is different and what it needs to be optimised for search engine ranking will be different from any other.
Those differences also apply at the level at which the website is hoping to rank with respect to its target audience. The SEO required for a business that has a global reach and only operates online will be different to the one which has a physical store and only targets customers within a certain city.
The latter needs what is known as ‘Local SEO’ and there are several ways in which this can be best applied. Here are 5 of the most effective:
Include Location Pages Within Your Website
If your business has more than one store, office, or other type of premises, then each of those locations should have a page within your website. Some people will be searching for those specific locations and if you have a page that is optimised for that location, it is more likely to show up in the results.
You should include address details, opening hours, telephone numbers, and even the parking information to make it as easy as possible for anyone landing on those pages to make the decision to visit.
Make the Content Local
Let us take the example of a local pet store that has a website and adds lots of great content about looking after pets of all shapes and sizes. While that is better than no content at all, if it is generic, then there is no appeal for anyone reading it who lives locally.
Instead, include examples of local pets and their owners and how they may have benefitted from a dog training course the pet store sells, or a cat which was found thanks to the chip locator service that the owner had the good sense to purchase.
Get Backlinks From Local Websites
By all means, get as many quality backlinks from websites across the internet, but to give your local SEO an even bigger boost, you want to try to get links from local websites too. By doing so you are showing Google that you should be ranking when local searches are made.
Look for opportunities to get backlinks from authority websites like the local council or local business organisations. These carry more weight and thus power your local rankings even more.
Generate Local Citations
Local citations are places where your website is listed such as online business directories. These include Yelp, Womo, Yellow Pages, and True Local, although there are many more.
Do not underestimate the power of local citations, as whilst they may seem extremely simplistic, they do give your local SEO ranking a boost.
Encourage Reviews and Testimonials
Whilst reviews and testimonials are important for any business, regardless of their location, when they come from local customers, they seem to carry more credibility.
It appears that reading that someone who lives in the next neighbourhood is praising a business influences people more than a positive review from someone who lives on the other side of the plant.
One other tactic is to try and get reviews and testimonials posted on other websites too, as the links to your website add to its credibility in the eyes of Google.