Local SEO Woes
“I’m doing all this stuff and still can’t be found online, even for my business name!”
I hear it a lot from small business owners who are frantically Tweeting or Facebooking and generally chasing their own tail. When you look at their website you’ll often find one of two things:
- A fabulously designed website that looks gorgeous – but doesn’t work
- A “build your own website” that still often looks gorgeous – but doesn’t work
Local SEO all starts with your website
Yes, I’m going to talk Google (again!) Here in the UK, search IS Google – they have 89.12% of the search engine market share (May 2014).
For local searches, Google is your friend. Google will try to serve local search results for many queries – even if a town or city isn’t mentioned in that query. On mobile, LOCAL rules.
The above search is an example of a Google providing local search results for the term “counselling”. Although I am not logged in to Google and using a private browsing tab, Google knows where I live because of my IP address. In the interest of openess – Phoenix Counselling is a client and I am on their team of subscribers/advisors.
Your task as a local business owner is to ensure the pages on your website are relevant to search users in your area. On-page local SEO is how you start to grab the attention of Google Bots.
On-page local SEO is not about gaming the system. It’s clearly stating who you are, where you are based and what you do in a way that both search bots and users understand.
I found this handy infographic that gives you 10 tips to do just that…
On-Page Local SEO Checklist
Infographic courtesy of Jeyjoo.com
10 On-Page Local SEO Tips
1. Optimise Your Logo
Rename your logo image file before uploading it. Include your business name and location in the file name and alt tag.
2. Your Business Details
Prominently display your business name, address and phone number (NAP) – as minimum on your contact page and footer
3. Map and Directions
You want people to visit your business? Tell them how to get there!
4. Page Titles and Descriptions
Include your location in important page titles and descriptions. “Home Page” is not helpful to anyone…
5. Content and Links
Be useful! Include references and links to prominent local businesses, organisations and events.
6. Language and Geo-tags
Be clear that you are UK based. (I know you want to be lazing on a beach in Florida, but you are not en_US!)
7. Schema Rules!
On-page schema.org markup helps search engines understand the information you provide.
8. Google Authorship
Authorship won’t improve your rankings, but a pic of you next to your search results helps improve click-through rates.
9. Present Your Team
Be proud of your team – feature them on your website.
10. Local Publicity
New offer? Organising an event? Feature them on your website.
On-Page Local SEO Conclusion
You may not be able to implement all 10 tips and some are more important than others. As a minimum, do:
- State who you are
- State where you are based
- State what you do
- Use your location in page titles
- Rename your image files
And, if you can do that using schema.org, fabulous!
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