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The Secrets of Successful Local SEO

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The Secrets of Successful Local SEO

Perfecting SEO can be a tricky task, but if you pull it off then you can secure huge amounts of traffic. However, what if your website is coupled to a real address, like a store?

How are you going to convert that digital traffic into people scrambling to get through your doors?

To find this out we’re going to have to look a little deeper than SEO at a global (or even national) level.

Instead, you need to learn how to get to grips with successful local SEO!

What’s the Big Fuss About Local SEO?

If you can imagine, for one second, your site taking a megaphone and leaning out your window to declare “WE ARE HERE!” then that’s pretty much the basics of local SEO.

Local SEO may not be quite as vivd as that, but it paints a picture of fully optimized web pages which deliver your brand to the most direct market.

And it increases the footfall to your address.

And this increases your revenue.

And that sounds good, right?

Local SEO Can Make a Real Difference to Your Brand

Let’s take a look at what the ultimate local SEO techniques can produce.

Say you’re in London and you feel it’s time to relax after a hard day pounding the streets. I guess you could catch a West End show, but I’m a drinking man, so we’ll head for a cocktail instead!

You pull out your mobile device and tap in “cocktail bar London” into Google. The SERP loads up and you’re shown this:

cocktailbarSERP

Google shows the effect of local SEO in their SERP

The first result is a link caused by some no doubt excellent SEO, but the next three results are slightly different. It’s more a geographical result with the name, address, phone number and rating. And the top 3 are for the same chain.

The London Cocktail Club are obviously clued up on local SEO!

But wait, that’s not all that good local SEO can deliver!

You may not know the backstreets of London as well as I do, but don’t worry! Google Maps is right next to the SERP main feed to guide you to these watering holes.

cocktailbarMAPS

Google Maps help enhance local SEO efforts

How to Get Started on This Amazing Journey

First off, make sure the following details are listed on at least one of your pages (ideally a contact page):

  • Company name
  • Store address
  • Phone number
  • Opening hours

Ok, that’s a great start, but what Google really likes in local SEO -much like standard SEO – is consistency. To satisfy Google’s hunger let’s head to Google My Business.

Once here you need to create a listing for your business, but make sure the details match EXACTLY what’s on your site.

GoogleMyBusiness

Google My Business listing for an up and coming trendy bar

When Google matches your My Business details against your site details it gets excited. This fervor propels you up the SERP, so you can’t ignore this tip!

Start Cranking up the Google Love

With the main structure of your local SEO in place you can really start optimizing your site with the following strategies:

  • Local Listing Pages

It’s time to start linking your business all over the net, but we’re not talking about spammy link bombing.

We’re talking refined citation-based link building which is what Google gets up for in the morning.

One of the best places to create local citations is through major listing pages such as Yell, Facebook Business and YellowBook.

yellresults

Example of Yell listings for London cocktail bars

These outlets allow you to add pictures, details and generally make your business look as appealing as possible.

Placing your listing in the most fitting category is very important. If you mislabel it ever so slightly then Google’s search bots will pick up on this disparity.

One thing you want to avoid here is going OTT with your listing. It doesn’t need to be stuffed full of keywords and don’t be tempted to exaggerate. Google will smell a rat.

Make a good impression with customers, though, and Google will reward your hard efforts with ranking points.

  • Embed Google Maps

You know what else would look pretty swish on that contact page on your site? A lovely map showing exactly where you can be found. Customers would love that and Google would too.

Luckily Google are on hand to help with Google Maps. Just find your location and grab the ’embed code’. Add this to your website and it’s a quick way of improving your page rank in local SEO.

embedmap

Embedding a Google Map on your site can increase your ranking

  • Reviews

Five star reviews always refer to the very best things in life and your brand should be one of them!

For Google it’s a case of quality and quantity when it comes to reviews – one or two five star reviews are nice, but twenty are even better!

You need to start collecting reviews, but how do you start? A few methods to recommend are:

  • Include a link on receipts and add an incentive for leaving a review e.g. win a store voucher
  • Use a mailing list to target happy customers and encourage them to leave a review.
  • Got a Facebook or Twitter account? Then try a post/tweet asking for reviews

Get creative and exploit every opportunity.

Remember: your competitors are chasing reviews like they’re going out of fashion, so don’t fall behind.

googlereviews

Trusted, honest reviews can pay dividends in local SEO

Final Thoughts

Good local SEO is the ultimate way to convert visits to your website into visits to your store.

The most essential piece of information you need to nail is your location. It’s not difficult, but you’d be surprised how many people get this wrong.

The next step is ensuring that a good citation-based link building strategy builds your online presence. The more links, the more weight Google gives to your authority.

Finally, people need to know why they should click your link, so get to work gathering reviews!

Combine all these methods and people won’t just be clicking on you in the SERP, they’ll be visiting your store.

UK based writer with a strong background in website analytics and identifying web trends. Ben has worked with many top companies and written articles with a strong emphasis on internet marketing. He has an extensive knowledge of the SEO landscape and how to convert website traffic into revenue.

2 Comments
  • Ross Marchant
    January 5, 2015 at 11:21 am

    Great Local SEO guide Ben! As well as the citation sites you listed, I thought you might be interested in some niche citation sites for various small business categories:

    http://www.brightlocal.com/2014/10/09/top-citation-sites/

    Hope you find it useful!

    • Ben Ricketts
      January 6, 2015 at 4:37 pm

      Glad you enjoyed the guide, Ross!

      Thanks for the link to the niche citation sites. They look invaluable for a small business!

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