Did you know that almost half of all Google searches are local*? Or that 76 per cent* of local searches result in a phone call? Local SEO is crucial for small businesses. Whether you’re a tradie, butcher, baker or candlestick maker, not being found on Google is missing out on a huge opportunity.
Local SEO is different to traditionally SEO. It is more focused on building a consistent profile of citations, business listings, and reviews.
If you want your business on the front page of Google in local search results implement these tactics into your business strategy.
1 Google My Business
Have you claimed your Google My Business page? If you haven’t I suggest you do. This is a very effective way to get some quick wins in Google. You can create your own Google My Business page at Google.com.au/business.
To get the best possible results make sure your profile is completed. Include a long description, lots of photos and make sure your local phone number and address match your website exactly.
2 Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP)
Perhaps the most important part of local SEO is keeping your NAP consistent. You must have your NAP on every page of your website. The best way to do achieve this is to include it in your header or footer.
Importantly, you need to use the exact same details for every other mention of your business across the internet.
Best practice for NAP is to use Schema.org** markup. As this is quite technical, it’s worth working with a consultant to implement this on your website.
3 Local reviews
Nothing creates trust among potential customers and Google like positive reviews. Take the time to ask your customers to leave some feedback on your Google My Business page or any local listing you have.
A recent study*** revealed that local reviews directly impact your local Google rankings.
4 Local on-page optimisation
If you’re familiar with traditional on page optimisation techniques then you’ll be no stranger to this. On page for local business is simply applying the same best practices but with a localised twist.
Include your keywords in title tags, headings, URLs and throughout page content. For example, if your target keyword is men’s shoes, include your local area as well, such as “men’s shoes Sydney”.
5 Citation profile
Listing your business online on local directories is fundamental to any local SEO campaign. There are thousands of directories out there to choose from. Building a local citation profile gives Google signals that you’re a local business and, therefore, it is key to keep your NAP consistent
The citations you build don’t even require a link to your business for Google to understand them. Try to avoid spam sites like, “Linksforyourbusiness.com” and go for reputable sites such as Yellow Pages and True Local.
Local SEO is a huge opportunity to get new business and it is often an untapped market for small businesses. But if you follow this guide you will be dominating the local search results.
Tom Donohoe, Digital Marketer, Tom Donohoe Consulting