Local SEO Checklist 2018: SEO Small Business Tips!

In our local SEO checklist we share everything you need to place you at the top of Google. And, keep you there.

Local SEO has a lot in common with “traditional SEO services.”

However, there are some essential differences to note. One of the major differences between the two is the targeting of local customers. The way people search is forever changing, and now more than ever, local search terms are growing in popularity.

If your business doesn’t show up when someone performs a local search on Google, that’s a missed opportunity. Your competitors are taking potential customers – and money – from your pocket.

Fortunately, you can fix that problem with local SEO services. Yes, it may take some time, but it’s definitely worth the effort.

Ready to start winning more local customers? Time to get started with a local SEO checklist to give you that much needed rankings boost.

What is Local SEO?

More and more people use local search (especially on mobile devices) to locate businesses. The popularity of local SEO has escalated in recent years due to the rise of smartphone use and voice search.

Local SEO focuses on providing results for people based on their location. If I perform a search on my smartphone for ‘best Italian restaurant in London,’ Google will provide me with the following results:

SEO for local business in search results
Local SEO in SERPs

The majority (80-85%) of consumer engagement with brands happens through local search, local listings, or local landing pages. This makes sense as more people are using a mobile phone to search for locations, such as restaurants, retail outlets and grocery stores.

“OK Google, how do I optimise my website using Local SEO?” No need to search for this one, we have the answer right here:

1: Setup Google My Business Listings

First things first.

Claim your Google My Business listing. You will need information to hand about your business, including opening hours, address and contact details, as well as optimised images. Consistency is key here, so keep your NAP (name, address, phone) listings the same across all online communications. A Google My Business listing essential if you ever hope to rank in the local search results.

Google My Business listing

2: Google Reviews

Don’t be too shy to ask your customers for positive Google reviews. Provide your customers with a link to your Google My Business listing. This will help boost the reputation of your business with customers and will assist in improving your local SEO results.

You can also integrate your Google reviews into your website to encourage interaction and make it easier for customers to leave reviews. This will build trust in your business and give it a major boost in the search engines. All good.

Don’t just ask your friends and family to leave reviews. It will almost always be flagged up by Google and result in a negative decline in rankings.

3: Create location specific landing pages

Want your business to come out on top for multiple locations? If so, you should focus on creating separate landing pages for each location. Sound too much like hard work? Well, get used to ranking in second place behind your competitors.

Remember to optimise your content with local terms related to your industry. We currently rank on page one for ‘SEO London’ despite our Barnsley base. This has allowed us to grow our customer profile, as well as demonstrate our abilities to conduct successful local SEO services.

4: Schema Markup

Schema markup gives businesses all kinds of options to make their site’s listing on SERPs look all snazzy and relevant to their business. It’s the difference between this Google listing…

Schema markup google listing

And this…

google search results for a recipe

It’s basically a rich snippet of HTML that is added to your website that shows detail underneath your results, such as images and tags. As you can see from the above, if you search “chicken recipe” then you are presented with these results.

We know which result we prefer – do you? You’re far more likely to get clicks through to your site if you include an image, star rating and various tags to increase trust and visual appeal.

5: On-page local SEO

When you’re optimising local SEO pages on your website, it’s important to include the full address (in a consistent format) and the location where you’re based in the content as well as the meta information. The URL, page title and H1,H2, H3 tags should all include some variant of your focus keywords.

Embedding a Google map on your contact page will further boost your rankings, as it gives you more relevance for that location.

6: Hire a local SEO company

Looking for top notch local SEO services? Well, you are in the right place. We’re a number one ranking digital agency, so we know a thing or two about local SEO. Our clients enjoy the same great results. Don’t believe us? Our client testimonials tell you everything you need to know.

Conclusion

If you have reached this point in our local SEO checklist, then we can assume you’re interested in boosting your local rankings. We hope some of this information has been useful and helped you optimise for local search. If you would like more local SEO tips to help improve your online presence, then we’d love to hear from you. Call: 01226 720 755.

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