Making your business visible to local geographical searches.
Google search engine results pages show a combination of paid, local and organic results. Local SERP results are based upon keywords that search engines relate to a geographic context. If your business sells products and services within the local vicinity, local marketing could be a key aspect of your online visibility.
While local marketing is a worthwhile activity for your business it should be considered secondary to devising an organic SEO strategy.
A little help from external sources.
Registering your business with local directories increases SEO rankings for local search. Increased rankings also correlate with the number of places that your business is listed. To qualify for local listings you business must have:
- A business name or doing business as name.
- A local physical address.
- A unique local phone number.
- Face to face contact with customers, the business should not be run virtually.
Reviews & Ratings
Reviews and ratings are becoming increasingly relevant to online business success. It is key for business owners to keep a close eye on their online reputation as bad reviews can have a big effect. At times it may be appropriate to join the conversation to maintain the integrity of your business. While reviews do not necessarily help to increase raitngs with search engines, they have been shown to drive traffic to websites.
Basic considerations your website should always accommodate.
This is the true core of online marketing and will ultimately determine your success. Content is where search engines will find your keywords; however, it should always be written for humans first and optimised for search engines as a secondary consideration. Content should be compelling whether it be one your static website, blog or social media channels. It is your chance to tell the world about all the great things that you do, it should also aim to answer all those frequently asked questions your customers have.
Your website should display hierarchy and organisation that is friendly to both people and search engines. Each page should have a clear focus and the appropriate tags should be used to highlight titles and images. Titles, images and the first paragraph should all contain the page’s focus keyword or keyphrase. Key services and products should always be clearly visible on the homepage. Navigation should be clear and simple.
Your website should be responsive, that means that content should be adaptable for different devices to ensure easy reading whether you are reading on your desktop computer on mobile. Only some visitors will find your site via the homepage, therefore make sure that the content of each page is relevant to search terms.
Here is a basic checklist of technical considerations for SEO.
Your website should be:
- Quick to load.
- Optimised for mobile devices.
- Linked to Google+.
It should feature:
- Metadata: tags relating to titles and descriptions that should be unique to each page.
- Indexable HTML content: such as written transcripts for video and audio and alt tags for images.
- 301 redirects:
- Robots.txt file:
- A sitemap: a file that lists all the pages of your website to help serch engines understand how your site is organised.
- Analytics: a tool to keep track of the visitors to your site.
Contact detail should be:
- Written in HTML so that they can be indexed by search engines.
- Easy to find on the footer of each page.
The main considerations for social media are knowing the right kind of content to post, how to attract followers and understanding the idiosyncrasies of each platform. Ideally, you should be using the platforms that your key customers will be using. People do not follow businesses on social media for a constant string of sales pitches, they want to be engaged, entertained and find out new things. Engaging with your customers is a fantastic way to start creating brand loyalty.