5 Tips to Dominate Local Search
If you’re a local business and looking for more sales, local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) needs to be a key focus of your marketing plan. Being featured or listed on Google is great but your potential customers need to identify that you are local to them so they can find and use your services.
For business’s that have a physical address it’s important to use local SEO techniques to optimise your listings on Google Search and bring customers to your business location, not just your website.
What is Local SEO?
When you type in a keyword phrase e.g. web design Cyprus in Google Search, at the top you will see sponsored listings and after that a map with three listings otherwise known as the 3 pack.
Each of the three listings will be linked on Google Maps, and include content such as opening times, photographs, business details and reviews. Needless to say, this is incredibly useful for marketing and incredibly powerful for local businesses. Google Search dramatically increases chances of new – and repeat – custom for businesses by positioning your business ahead of your competitors.
After the 3 pack comes the organic results and this is where your actual website needs to show up or at least be featured by one of the authoritative local sites such as Yelp or Yellow Pages.
Local SEO is the practice of optimising your business details so that they appear prominently in Google Search for either local searchers or users searching in your geographical area.
To effectively improve your local search visibility take a look at these 5 tips:
Encourage Online Reviews
Google Search features several key functions, one of which is reviews. When a search is made for a local business, any reviews they have received form part of the listing that Google makes visible to the searcher.
Therefore, if you encourage online reviews, especially via Google My Business, this will automatically increase visibility of your listing in local search.
Google is smart and realises that if a company has many reviews, especially high ratings such as 4 or 5 star, then the business is more likely to be of interest to searchers than an un-reviewed or poorly reviewed listing.
Complete all Local Pages
There are several local platforms including Google My Business, Bing Places, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages and Yelp all of which will align a geographical location with your business or company.
Ensure you complete all possible local pages for your business, on every platform available and you stand the best chance of being found for local searches. Just by having a Google My Business listing will influence Google Search to feature your business details more prominently.
Keywords are Still Important
Still one of the best tips to dominate local search is by using the correct keywords. Businesses can complete all the other aspects of local SEO, but if the keywords are not optimised for the business then the company may never be searched or found.
Keyword optimisation needs to work on two distinct levels: it needs to be a popular keyword that is not too competitive while accurately portraying the business, location and or the services offered.
For example, in a popular tourist city, there will be many searches for ‘hotel’ so this would be too wide a search, and too competitive a keyword. However, ‘luxury hotel Limassol’ or ‘budget hotel Larnaca’ will provide a narrower niche and not such a competitive keyword. However, if the hotel is a budget hotel and the listing is optimised for luxury hotel only, then it will not be visible to the correct audience.
Quality of your Back Links
When Google is assessing a site for visibility in it’s search engine, one metric they use is the amount and quality of backlinks to your site. This is because a site that has many links from other ‘authority’ sites suggests that the site is worth listing higher than one with less links or links of questionable quality.
Use Google My Business
One of the best 5 tips to dominate local SEO is to make use of Google itself by submitting a business to Google My Business, Google’s own directory of businesses.
It’s amazing how many businesses who seek visibility fail to submit their site to Google My Business. So, by submitting your site, you could already be ‘ahead of the curve’ from your competitors.
Google rely on a ‘claimed address’ to feature an accurate position for your business and will send a postcard to your business address with a code that you need to verify.
We hope that this post will help you on your way to improved local search rankings. If you need any help please get in touch via the contact form.