SEO is dull. There, we said it. But boring as it may be, it’s a necessary evil when it comes to your business.
There’s 3 key areas in SEO:
- Organic – Natural placement on page without PPC or Local
- Local – Displayed under map with business details including star rating, contact details and directions
- Paid – Marked as an ‘Ad’ with highest placement on the results page.
In our previous blog, we looked at boosting organic SEO which you can read here and soon we will be looking at paid SEO too.
Below is an example of the difference between the three areas:
Today we are going to be delving into the world of local search… (stick with it, there ‘s lots of great stuff here to help you grow your business).
So What is Local Search Optimisation?
Basically it’s the process of getting your website found by prospects and customers in your local/ target area more easily.
Once you’ve optimised for organic search (which obviously you’ve done from our previous blog?!), you’re ready to go local.
Before we start going through the individual steps, we’d recommend downloading the document below and filling in all of your details. It’s important all of your information is consistent across all listings, so keep it somewhere safe.
Here’s Our Step-By-Step Guide To Local Search Optimisation
1) Claim Your Business on Local Listings
Claiming your business on local listings verifies that you’re a legit business and you are the chosen one responsible for your online presence.
You need to claim your business on platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp and Yell. You should also list yourself on other sites that may be relevant to your industry or geography. Checkatrade is a perfect example if you’re a tradesperson, or TripAdvisor if you’re a hotel/ restaurant owner.
Google My Business is one of the most important platforms to get on. Here’s some best practices and pointers from Google on listing your business: https://support.google.com/business/answer/3038177?hl=en
Listing your business is sometimes referred to as a structured citation. (The difference between listings and citations confused me to start, so thought I would point it out!)
2) Build Your Unstructured Citations
If your business is featured in any website that isn’t a local directory, this is an unstructured citation. These could be a blog/ social post, news feature etc. Generally they’d include your business name, number, address and maybe your website URL.
Getting people to feature you can be tedious unless you’re an absolute wizard at networking and making new friends. But time consuming as it may be, unstructured citations are great for local search, especially when the website linking to you is high quality.
3) Ask For Genuine Reviews and Handle Negative Reviews Like a Pro
Kindly ask your existing clients to review your business on their chosen platform. If they review you on Facebook, they don’t then need to review you on Google too.
Reviews are powerful as they are written testaments left directly by someone who has actually used your service.
It can be a little scary leaving the reputation of your business in the hands of your clients (trust us, we know!), but you can take control. It’s good to have a variety of reviews.
The clever robots over at Google just seem to know if you’ve asked all your mates to review you, although it’s pretty obvious when they are all 5* and written on the same day… If you’re caught doing this, you may be penalised for it. Staggered reviews with a mixture of star ratings will work well in your favour.
In other words, if you get a mean or bad review, DO NOT DELETE IT! It’s down to how you handle the criticism. If you deal with the complaint like a pro, most new prospects researching your offering will overlook the review. If you get defensive and argumentative, it’ll just make you look bad.
4) And Finally… Optimise Your Social Profiles
Ensure all of your social profiles include your location, business name, and a link back to your website. If you list your Facebook page as a local business, people can check-in at your location which can help with Facebook search optimisation as well as organic and local SEO.
Remember, the key to local search is consistency of information!
Way to go, you made it to the end! We hope we haven’t made
you feel like this?
If you’d like some help mastering SEO, get in touch with the Juicy team. We’d love to help…
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