Post Contributed by Digital Freak
Many companies are investing in SEO as part of their digital marketing efforts. SEO services work to get websites ranking higher up relevant search results. This is one of the best ways to reach new clients online as well as increasing brand awareness. However, many companies are neglecting local SEO efforts.
Globalisation has changed the concept of space and distance in our world. Today, even small businesses can serve international clients with ease. For these companies, the Internet is crucial. Reaching people across the country or even the world is a powerful business tool. But it is important to remember there are also clients in your back yard.
Search engines use a searcher’s current location to deliver the most relevant results. Large, international companies often rank well in searches made anywhere in the world. Small businesses often struggle to gain visibility for generic search terms. But they may see a boost in search results in their area with local SEO efforts.
There are many different ways you can improve your local SEO. Here are some of the most important steps to take.
Set Up Google My Business
You can create a business listing for your company on Google. You can add information, your address, contact details and a link to your website. If someone searches for your business or industry, Google can then display your company for searchers in your locality.
Since a Google algorithm change in 2015, only three local results are shown at the top of search results. This means it is vital you invest time and effort into local SEO which lands you high up the results. Include as much information as possible in your business listing. It is also important to update the information whenever anything changes to ensure it is always current. You must always be findable and contactable.
Don’t forget to do the same for Bing (Bing Places) and Yahoo (Yext). Google may have the lion’s share of the search market but it is important other engines are not neglected.
When choosing your keywords (yes, this is still a valid SEO technique), include your location in some of the phrases. For example, Digital Freak is a Melbourne-based digital marketing agency. We promote SEO Melbourne as one of our keywords. Of course, most of our work can be done online. However, we have discovered that clients prefer to meet with us face-to-face. As a result, we work to appear in local search results as well as wider ones.
Other on-page local SEO tips include:
- Make sure your NAP (name, address and phone number) is always correct.
- Add a map to your page (located in the footer or on the contact page is ideal).
- Highlight your multiple locations if applicable.
We all know how important reviews are for business. But local reviews are more important than others. When a potential client is looking for information about your business, local reviews carry more weight. These reviews also come up in local searches; another reason why it is important to rank well locally. Local SEO not only makes you more visible but also improves your first impression on new clients.
Reviews are also taken into account by Google. Businesses with more reviews (more, rather that higher) tend to rank at the top of results pages. If you gather many reviews for your company, you are more likely to appear at the top of localized Google results.
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Always keep an eye on your reviews. Bad comments may impact your credibility but are uncontrollable. Dealing with complaints professionally can make a big difference to your reputation.
You can list your business for free or for a small fee on a number of online directories. Some of these are localised, others are national or global. By listing your company here, you may appear in searches specific to your industry. This means you reach potential clients specifically looking for services or products you offer. Each directory entry will include your address and appear in local search results.
Local SEO should be part of your overall SEO work. Digital Freak provides SEO services for customers in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and internationally. That means we could serve clients all over the world, in theory. But we continue to focus our efforts on SEO Melbourne to reach our local clients too. Remember, when you are looking to optimize a website or company’s online image for a search engine, you need to first think about the searcher. Who are they? What do they want? What are they looking for? And, don’t forget to ask … Where are they? Never neglect your local SEO.