If you’re a local business you want to be found online, however the internet is a big place and sometimes the little guys can get lost amongst a sea of bigger fish. Clever and targeted local SEO can help you stand out from the crowd where it really matters. So here are our top 3 tips if you’re kick-starting your local SEO strategy:
Google is the internet’s favourite search engine, so it makes sense that it would create a community with an area dedicated for local business. A Google+ local business page is a great way to rank higher in Google Search as all of the information is verified meaning it is credible.
For example if you type in ‘Chinese food in Bournemouth’ you might see this:
The search results show local Chinese restaurants and takeaways alongside a map pointer relating to where the business is located. This is called a rich snippet as it is an interactive area of information related to a specific search. You can see that 4 out of 7 have a Google+ page, which you can click through to.
You can insert information in to your Google+ local listing including: address, phone number, opening hours and a short description of your services to provide a better picture for your business. You can also add photos and videos to you Google+ gallery to bring depth to your profile.
As the image above shows, ‘The Mandarin’ rich snippet is quite comprehensive, providing an outside photo of the premises with a Google Maps reference and written address for convenience. The phone number and opening hours make it easy for the user to pick up the phone and book a table after you have read a selection of reviews below.
Like many things, appearing on Google is a double edged sword; on one hand you appear to more people, raising awareness of your business presence, on the other you must take care to maintain the page and keep an eye on reviews. Too many negative reviews will work against you and the Internet has a long memory.
2. Build up citations
A citation is an online reference to your business using your business name, address and phone number (also known as NAP). Citations are a key factor in local search rankings, so make sure that you’re on local business directory sites.
The more references that Google can find for your business, the greater value your business and website has. However keep in mind that when you provide a description of your business, it must be unique every time, as Google punishes duplicate content.
iDorset is an example of a local citation website that would be a good place to mention your business if you’re based in this region.
3. Encourage reviews
In the old days, we trusted a friend’s recommendation on what was good but now the internet has given us access to an entirely new world beyond our social group. From books to places, restaurants to products, we can help online users know about brands with user generated reviews.
Some initial review sites include:
Tripadvisor – The umbrella review website for places around the world. Restaurants, hotels and experiences are all reviewed on here. A must have if your company falls in to one of these categories!
Yelp – A review site for local businesses, definitely worth checking out.
Give us a howl…
When it comes to boosting your local SEO, Upperdog has the sharpest nose in the business. As an approved Google Partner we’ll identify factors that need improving and help you become the top dog in search engines. Call 01202 798 820 or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.