Are you looking to optimise your business website for local searches but not sure where to start?
When marketing your business online most people start with search. Kraken has helped many SMEs grown their reach through targeted SEO marketing strategies. We have come across so many local businesses that have been stung by experts giving no real value and charging a lot for what they did. This has led to many people believing that SEO is a scam and phrases like growth hacking to come about (rather than saying SEO).
Because of this we wanted to write a post about local SEO and things you can do for FREE that will boost your presence locally on search engines extending your business reach.
So why local SEO?
Why is it important to look at local SEO? What makes it a good idea to invest in local SEO for your business? To put it simply people use search engines to find local businesses they want to buy from. Here is proof from google (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/how-digital-connects-shoppers-to-local-stores.htm).
So what does this mean to you? People are searching locally and they are taking action when the search. If you build a strategy to help promote in your local area and increase traffic for related search terms you will drive more traffic. Now if your website functionality is good then this means you will increase in sales. THIS CAN ALL BE TRACKED! Use analytics to track all this progress. Take the myth out of SEO and use stats.
Tip 1 – Focused local content
When talking about local SEO most people will talk about citations, local directories and maps. These are all important but not the full plan. What will give you the edge is great quality localised content.
So what is localised content you say? This is content that is based on your local area that educated the user on specific issues/problems/wants. Sharing local content can have a massive benefit to your business.
Easiest way to get this content out there is a blog on your website. On your blog you can create niche content that is very specific to your local area. This content can also be good to share on social media platforms to help boost awareness and traffic to your website. Share the content on local community and how your product aligns with local values. You started your business for a reason get that reason across to people (quality of your work, work ethic, enjoyment of working with local companies, etc).
Make sure that is your content you reference areas you want to be picked up for. So for Kraken we are based in Bridgwater, Somerset. These are some of the key words we want to be picked up for.
If you are struggling for ideas for content and need some inspiration a great place to start is interviewing your customers. Share their stories about interactions you have had.
Localised content created a personal connection with the local area and also gives reasons for local sites to connect with you and link to you.
Tip 2 – Get on Maps, Directions and Use Citations
For your business it is important that you are on Google Maps. If someone is searching for you its daft not to give them directions!
We talk to a lot of businesses that haven’t claimed their business on Google My Business (https://www.google.co.uk/business/go/). This is a great way to get more exposure for your business as it puts on google maps! This also allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Maps. So do this! Make it happen! Get more reach!
This is only one wat to get your site out there to make it easier to find your business. Our goal as business owners is to be on listings for legitimate business directories and maps. We want to have relevant business information to help benefit traffic to your site, phone calls and getting to your location.
Some of the big directories to look at are:
- Yahoo business
- Yellow Pages
Here is a list of directories to get on: https://moz.com/learn/local/local-search-data-us
Things to note is that putting this information out there will mean an increase of calls from bots and emails. Most will be telling you that they can grow your business for a free. IGNORE THESE. After a while they will stop.
Tip 3 – Linking building locally
Link building is one of or if not the most important factor for most SEO experts. Having links to your site is very important but not all links are equal in how good they are. For instance directory links are great but when looking at organic search don’t carry much weight when looking at backlinks.
For backlinks research is important. Locally run sites for the town/city are great places to start. Many of these sites will have a local directory on.
Other places to look at are local clubs and organisations. Joining a business club and having a backlink on their site is a high-quality backlink. These links are very important as they show you as part of the local community.
What we need to do as businesses is look to build backlinks from sites we want to be associated with. Making sure that the links make sense contextually and please NEVER PAY for a link. Link building is about building relationships.
So now you have these local SEO tips go out and do them! Make sure that the backlinks are good for you. Write blog posts about working / selling solutions products with your customers. Claim your place on directories and use that power to direct people to you (website, calls, lactation).
Get more traffic and use that to get more sales!
Make sure you use analytics to track this to know its working for you! (THIS IS AN EXTRA STEP BUT IT WILL HELP)
These are 3 free tips for things you can do to improve local SEO.