SEO for local business owners: The Lowdown

Updated: August 9, 2021
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SEO for local business owners: The Lowdown

Starting a local business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, it can also be daunting and full of challenges, especially as you compete with other local businesses to establish a solid customer base.

When there’s a world full of noise, being heard is the biggest hurdle of all.

Luckily, SEO for local business and smaller fish in the sea allows for those with less of an authoritative presence to still be found online against the bigger players.

Why you need search engine optimisation in the first place

Your website is one of the most important aspects of your business. It’s what people use to find you in search results, or as a way to verify business info.

From your name, address, phone number and other crucial details, as a business owner, having a website up and running is more important than ever before.

The problem with that is that having live landing pages up and running is only one part of the equation.

You still need to compete with the local businesses and give your brick and mortar location enough attention too.

Luckily, that’s where local SEO strategy comes in handy, allowing you to launch your local business up to the top position on Google.

Use this guide to local SEO as a starting point

In this guide to local SEO, we’ve got some great tips on how to build and optimise a website that will naturally grow your local business.

Using the power of local search tactics, you as a business owner can reel in more conversion than ever before.

It just starts with the right way to use Google My Business and SEO to your advantage – which you’ll learn right here in our guide.

What is local SEO?

Local SEO is the process of optimising a website to rank in search engines for local keyword research. It’s essential to have a strong presence on Google My Business and Google Maps – as well as other online directories – so that people can find your business when they search for it.

When you’re competing with other local businesses, this is even more important, and your SEO strategy needs to cater to these details.

Local SEO helps generate more traffic to your site by ensuring people find you when they search for goods and services like yours, right near where they live or work.

It also makes it easier for them to contact you with just one click with features located in Google My Business. And finally, this SEO strategy can help improve customer retention rates because people feel more connected with businesses that are close to their home or workplace.

Local SEO search results are different from the regular Google feeds because they use different ranking factors. If you want to rank well in both, it’s essential to understand how each one works and what you need to do differently for each.

What is the difference between normal SEO and local SEO?

If you’re looking for a way to rank higher on Google, then SEO might be the answer. But what is it? And how does it differ from local SEO?

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s organic results—often referred to as natural or earned results.

The goal of local SEO is to have your site show up first when someone searches for something related to your business right in their own vicinity.

It can take time and effort, but it can help boost traffic and lead generation if your local SEO strategy is carried out correctly.

Local SEO differs from traditional SEO because local businesses need more than just an optimised website; they also need citations on other relevant websites for their industry and location.

Local businesses want to be found by people in their suburb, city or town, not nationwide.

When done right, this SEO strategy will increase customer conversion rates and higher rankings on Google My Business, Google Maps and other map-based platforms like Yelp.

What are the ranking factors for local SEO?

The most important ranking factor is your Google My Business Profile, which makes up over 25 per cent of all signals used by Google to rank local businesses.

Google My Business Profile is the easiest way to manage your online presence on Google.

You can create and edit your business information, respond to reviews, see insights about how people find and interact with your business, share photos of what’s happening at your place or offer deals to customers in real-time.

With an account, you can upload photos of your goods and services, update information like hours of operation or phone number – all in one place.

You’ll also be able to see how many people are utilising local search to find a business like yours on Google Maps.

How to set up Google My Business

If you haven’t already set up your Google My Business page, it is imperative that you do so – adding as much information as possible – lie your name, address, phone number and more – to your listing.

Log into Google My Business to get started; you will need a Google account, so set one of those up if you haven’t done so already.

You will be prompted to enter your business address, but you also have the option to choose a service area if you don’t have a physical, brick and mortar location.

Next, you select your business category, your phone number and the URL of your website.

Other ranking factors

While Google My Business is the most crucial ranking factor for local SEO, there are many others that Google receives. Knowing these ranking factors and optimising your online presence to send these signals will be vital for your success.

These include:

Links

The more links you have, the higher your site will rank on Google and other search engines. This in turn increases your search engine visibility. There are many different links, such as social media shares, backlinks from other sites, or even blog comments.

All these factors contribute to how high your website ranks in local searches.

Reviews

Reviews and ratings can be a powerful tool for your business.

They’re the best way to show potential customers that other people like your products or services.

And they’re not just about getting more sales, either – reviews also help you improve your product or service over time by listening to customer feedback. Reviews are a way for Google to determine the quality of your business.

On-page

On-page SEO is a type of search engine optimisation that focuses on the content and structure of your website.

It’s about ensuring that your site has all the right local keyword research, meta descriptions, and page titles to rank higher in Google.

We will take a deeper dive into on-page SEO a little bit later in this guide.

Citation

Citations are a way to measure the authority of a website or how authoritative it is in its niche industry. This can be done by looking at how many other websites link to that site.

These citation measure how often your business is mentioned in other sources, such as news articles or blogs.

So if your business is mentioned in an article or another website uses your content, reach out to them and get them to link back to your site.

Behavioural

These are behaviours like how long people stay on your site or what pages they often visit. Google can use them to determine how relevant your site is for specific queries and whether it should rank higher than others in the SERPs.

Behavioural signals are vital as they can tell Google how users feel about your site and whether or not they trust it.

Personalisation

This is the process of adapting a product or service to meet individual customer needs. It can be as simple as adding your name at the end of an email, or it could involve tailoring a website experience for each visitor.

It’s all about understanding your customers, their preferences and what they need from you. When it comes to marketing, this means tailoring your message to resonate with each person uniquely.

Social

So you know how many people like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter? How often they interact with you online?

All it takes is one glance at the dashboard for a quick overview of where things stand.

These metrics will help guide decisions about future content strategy, customer service and more.

The better your posts are performing on your social media channels, and the more people are funnelled through to your website, the better it will perform in local SEO.

Is it that important?

If you want to rank high in Google’s SERPs, it’s essential to know what these ranking factors are so you can optimise your site, social media and marketing strategies accordingly.

Is my business eligible for a Google My Business listing?

If you have in-person contact with customers during your stated hours, then you are eligible for a Google My Business listing for your local business.

There are some exceptions, though. For example, ATMs and video rental kiosks can be listed on Google as long as they provide customer service information.

This will allow potential customers to find your local business easily online and enable them to see what services or products you offer before coming into your store or contacting you for your services.

How to add local business structured data (schema markup) to your business website

Schema markup is way to provide additional information about your website and its content. It’s an easy-to-implement, cost-effective way to make your page more visible on local search results pages (SERPs).

Schema markup is a set of tags used to provide information about your website content in searches.

Its code helps engines to understand what the page is about and display it in rich snippets, which are those little boxes you see when you do a Google search with lots of results.

The more accurate the information on your website, the better chance you have at ranking higher in organic searches.

Examples of schema can include videos, product descriptions, reviews and other snippets of information about your business, products and services.

The benefits of implementing SEO local schema are wide-ranging. You can increase the number of visitors to your site, improve customer conversion rates, and rank higher on SERPs for keywords you want to target.

Plus, it’s free – all you need is some time and effort. And if that doesn’t convince you, there’s also the bonus of increased visibility for mobile users who rely heavily on Google Search Results Pages (GSRP) when making purchase decisions or looking for competitors.

Implementing schema will help grow your business by increasing traffic from engines like Google or Bing while simultaneously improving user experience with rich snippets in SERPs.

So how do I implement schema markup for my local business?

The good news is you don’t need to be a coding, design or development expert to use this process to improve your business page.

Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper is a free, open-source tool that helps you add a markup to your web pages so they can show up in results and maintain visibility.

This tool will help you make sure your content can be found on the web, and it’ll also give you tips to improve the way Google indexes your page.

You can use this tool to add markup for things like business reviews, business events, products or recipes. It’s easy and free.

The Google Local Pack: why your local business must be included

When you search for local businesses on Google, the Local Pack appears at the top of your results. The Local Pack is an easy way for people to find what you’re looking for and get in touch with a company near their location.

They can also click on any of the businesses listed to see their website or call them directly from Google Maps.

With more than one billion searches per day, searchers must quickly find what they need with a Local Pack. That’s why Google shows up-to-date information about each local business in the Local Pack so people can make decisions faster and easier.

Local packs are designed for businesses that have physical locations, such as restaurants and retail stores. They’re also perfect for service providers like plumbers or contractors.

The key to getting your business in those top three listings through the Local Pack, prominently displayed across local search, is optimising your Google My Business page and your website content or landing pages.

Having content that is accurate, complete, and engaging is crucial to your success. Add things like case studies and other web content to persuade the user, too.

In addition, you want to have keywords in your content and headings that clearly state your business activities and location.

The information on your Google My Business profile and website should include:

Complete and up-to-date web content

If there are any changes to your business, including location, contact details (name, address, phone number), services or products provided, then you need to update these immediately, so you are not sending Google false messages.

Your Google My Business profile and landing pages should include your physical location, phone number, business category, and business attributes at the bare minimum.

Ensure your location(s) are verified

When prompted to confirm your business details, especially your location(s), make sure that you do this immediately.

There is a red banner located at the top of Google My Business where you can click ‘Verify Now’ to ensure your details have the most impact on Google searches.

Input correct business hours

If people searching for your business see that you are open on your Google profile but arrive at your premises and are closed, they will be very disappointed.

It means they are unlikely to return to your business and result in poor word of mouth recommendations.

Ensure that your business hours are accurate and updated if they change, including any special hours (like limited trading or closure on public holidays).

Respond to reviews

It is essential to foster engagement across all channels, including in your reviews. If a customer has taken the time to post a review, negative or positive, you should take the time to respond appropriately.

It shows that you value their feedback and act to rectify any issues a customer may have experienced. These reviews are just as crucial as other aspects of local SEO like keyword research or landing pages overall.

Ensure your page is mobile-optimised

Google’s Mobile-Friendly Tool is a free service that helps businesses and web admins understand how well their websites perform on mobile devices.

If your URL is not mobile-friendly, this tool will help you identify and fix the issues so Google search results can index them.

If your website is not mobile-optimised, it will show up as “not mobile-friendly” in search results, which will deter potential customers.

Those who click through will be frustrated as well because the page will not fit their screen, and the elements will be small and hard to read.

When you consider that the number of unique mobile internet users stood at 4.28 billion in 2020, it becomes clear that this is an audience that cannot be ignored.

Moreover, more people will search for your business on their smart device than their computer, so your website has to be optimised for those devices.

Gear up your new page with mobile-friendliness

If you are building your page ready for launch, consider using Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project. AMP is one of many open-source SEO tools and initiatives that provides a framework for publishers to create web pages that load instantly on mobile devices.

This means your content will be more accessible and engaging for readers increasingly going online with their phones.

Consider developing an app

Finally, you should also consider creating an app for your business that is specifically geared towards mobile devices like smartphones and tablets.

Apps are the most popular form of mobile technology, and they offer an excellent opportunity for businesses to reach their customers on the go. They can be used as a marketing tool or an interactive guide that provides information about products and services.

The best bit is that it’s not difficult at all to create apps. There are many companies out there who will help you design your app with no coding required (like us).

All you have to do is provide them with some basic information about your company, what kind of app you want, and how much money you want to spend.

Accessibility is essential so that all users can interact with your website

Many factors affect how high your business ranks on Google through local SEO, including keyword research, landing pages, competing local businesses, search authority, backlinks and social media shares. However, one factor that often goes overlooked is accessibility for people with disabilities.

If you want to rank higher on Google and increase your engagement from users who use screen readers or other assistive technologies, it’s essential to make sure your page is accessible to everyone.

How to make your website more accessible in search and on-page

It’s essential to make sure your page is accessible. Accessibility means that people with disabilities can use the page without any barriers.

It also means that search engines can find and index your content more easily. Some of the ways you can improve your page’s accessibility include:

Use local SEO alt text for all images

This is a factor that can be easily overlooked. When you hover your mouse over an image and a description comes up, that is your alt text.

While it might not seem like much to the average user, this alt text is converted to speech for those with visual impairments. Without alt text, they are not going to be able to understand your imagery.

Choose the right CRM

Many things can affect accessibility, including colour blindness, low vision, deafness or hearing loss, limited manual dexterity or mobility issues.

Choose a CRM that caters to as many of these factors as possible to make your URL accessible.

Don’t forget to make your forms accessible

Forms can be complicated for people with disabilities to use because they often require typing or clicking on small fields and buttons.

Designing an accessible form means making sure the layout is easy to fill out, even if someone has trouble using a mouse or keyboard.

Use the correct headings structure optimised for local SEO

This is vital for local SEO anyway, but structuring your headlines correctly will ensure everything is in the right place and easily navigated.

The <h1> tag should be used for your page’s main title or headline and sub-sections organised with <h2> level headings. Those sub-sections can themselves be divided with <h3> level headings, and so on.

Carefully select your colour scheme

Avoid red and black combinations as these are difficult or impossible for those with colour blindness (or those who cannot detect red.

Avoid red and green varieties as some people cannot distinguish between these colours. Use high contrast colours such as white text on a dark background so that all users can read it easily.

Improve slow loading times for your landing pages

Website slow page loading is the bane of every owner’s existence. It can be frustrating to have your site visitors leave because they’re waiting too long for content to load, or worse yet, not even bother visiting in the first place.

Slow page load times can be frustrating for your visitors, and they can also hurt your search engine ranking. Luckily, you can do some simple fixes to speed up your page and make it more user-friendly.

Enable caching to enhance your local search ranking

Caching is a process that stores data on your computer so it can be accessed faster.

Websites must have this enabled because it helps them load quickly, improving the user experience. When you enable caching, you are also enabling search engine optimisation (SEO).

This means that when someone searches for something related to your website, they will find it more easily.

Get rid of any redundant plugins and add-ons

Plugins are a great way to add functionality and features to your URL that would otherwise not exist. But they can also slow down your page if there are too many of them installed at once.

This is because each plugin adds more code to the page, which slows down the loading time for landing pages.

Optimise your images

There are a few different ways you can optimise your images to load faster. The first is by reducing the image file size and saving it in a JPEG or PNG-8 format.

You can also use an online tool like TinyPNG, which will compress the image for you without losing quality.

Finally, if you have Photoshop installed on your computer, there is an option in Image Size called Save for Web, which will automatically reduce the size of any photo when exporting it from Photoshop.

Minimise your coding for best local SEO practice

Over time, the coding in your website can become cluttered and clogged, creating a slowdown.

Relax; you don’t need to be a coding expert to rectify this. Many plugins available will remove surplus or redundant coding and help speed up your loading times.

Use a CDN

A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of servers deployed in multiple data centres across the internet.

It’s used to speed up the loading time for websites by storing copies of content on servers worldwide. This way, when someone visits your website, they get served with the closest replica of your webpage from their location.

Create a contact page on your website for better SEO

If so, you need to make sure that your contact information is easily accessible. Potential customers need to find the right way to get in touch with you, and it’s also necessary for local search ranking factors.

They can be as straightforward or as complex as needed, but they should always include all the information someone might need when looking for your business online – like an email address or the service area businesses like yours are available in.

This will increase the number of visitors who come through your site and improve customer service by making it easier for them to get in touch with questions or concerns.

A note on building a contact page for SEO

Once you have built a contact page, you need to tell Google that it is a contact page. This is done through your schema in your content management system (CRM) like WordPress etc. Ensure that the page is set as a contact page so that Google and other search engines can quickly locate it and draw the relevant information from it.

Make sure your phone numbers are clickable on mobile devices

Have you noticed that your phone numbers are not clickable on mobile devices? This is a problem for many businesses.

If someone wants to call you, they have to copy and paste the number into their phone’s dialer or search engine, which can be time-consuming. It also means that customers who want to contact you via email or chat will have trouble finding your contact information.

To fix this, all you need to do is highlight the phone number or text you want to make clickable on phones and then click the Hyperlink button. Enter tel: followed by your phone number with no dashes in front of it. Apply the link, and voila, your numbers will be functional again.

Although we are focused on local SEO in this article, always ensure that your phone number is in the international dialling format; that way, you can receive calls from anyone in the world.

The best part? Updating the contact number schema in your CRM will make your phone number clickable on your website and in local packs and other sections of Google search results.

Add a map to your website for better local SEO

Adding a map to your website delivers dual benefits. Firstly, it enables your potential customers to locate your business quickly.

Secondly, it sends the proper signal to Google so that you will appear in Google Maps accurately. To add a map to your Google compliant website, you can use the free Google My Maps tool.

You can add pins, photos, text and other items to make your map unique. And now, with the new Search Console integration in Webmaster Tools, it’s easier than ever to see how people are finding your page from a desktop or mobile device.

Google My Maps has additional features that are not included in standard Google Maps as well. For example, Google Maps will highlight your physical location, but Google My Maps will also allow you to include directions to other locations, like trade shows you have visited, markets where you have been a vendor or places where your products and services are used.

Any geographical information that you want to share with your customers can be included visually in Google My Maps, rather than boring text or lists.

All of this information will assist with your SEO and ensure that your location is accurate on Google Maps when people are searching for businesses like yours locally.

The importance of testimonials for businesses

Testimonials are an essential bit of your business efforts – be it in marketing or your local SEO strategy. They help people understand the benefits of your product or service and can be used to make claims about the quality, value, and effectiveness of what you offer.

Customer reviews are statements from someone who has used your product or service and can attest to its quality.

They’re often written by customers, but they don’t have to be.

Testimonials are powerful because they come from people just like you – real people with their own experiences and opinions about the subject matter.

This means that when you read them, it feels like someone is talking directly to you about their experience with your company or product. And this makes all the difference in how much weight we give them as consumers.

Testimonials will help build trust between you and potential customers, increase sales conversions, improve customer retention rates, and make sure that everyone knows what a fantastic job you do. Oh, and your local search campaign will love them too.

Testimonials are a great way to get more user-generated content on your website and improve SEO local rankings.

They’re also an opportunity for you to include keywords that will help with SEO. As a result, you’ll rank higher and be found by the right customers when you use testimonials on your website.

Get your social media channels working for you

When you choose your business name and website URL, you must check to see if the brand name is available on social media platforms.

Think about the platforms that your target customers are using and claim the title of your brand on them. You can build the pages later, but securing the names and URLs can prevent frustration down the track.

Social media is a powerful tool for businesses, even if you’re not trying to improve local search results. It can help increase your company’s visibility, create new relationships with customers, and drive traffic to your website.

Social media links will also improve your search engine rankings and help you rise above competitors in the same location.

This is because linking to social media pages on your website can help increase the number of backlinks pointing to it, which is a factor that helps determine how high a website ranks in local search results.

The more content you can publish on your website, the more content you will have to post on your social media channels, funnel traffic to your page and send SEO signals to Google.

You can also put links to your social media platforms on your website, so you have a two-way flow of traffic to boost all of your online platforms.

Focus on locally targeted copy

There are two reasons for creating locally targeted copy for your website. The first reason is that it will be relevant to your target audience and resonate with their wants and desires.

People like to discover new and exciting things about their local community, and creating copy relevant to the local area is more likely to attract their attention.

The other reason is that locally target copy is Local SEO gold. This is an invaluable way to weave more local keywords into your copy, which will boost your profile in Google searches. It also provides you with copy that you can share through your social media channels to grow those platforms and improve your standing in Google local searches.

This content has to be worth reading, though. Creating compelling and engaging local content can be challenging and time-consuming, so a good idea might be to reach out to local influencers in your area. They will already have their audience in your local area and help you with copy like reviews of your products or services.

Another simple way to produce quality local content is to write about local events that you have been involved in.

For example, does your business take part in local trade shows or markets? Promote them. These events may, in turn, cross-promote your business which is also highly beneficial for your SEO.

Local people and their experiences also make for quality, engaging copy.

You want your audience to view your brand as a natural person rather than just a name on a website. Using the experiences of real customers is a great way to inject some humanity into the machine.

Make reviews a priority

While there are many factors involved in local search rankings, online customer reviews can be a solid signal for search engines that communicate trustworthiness and authority.

Google has its own reputation to protect so it only wants to promote websites that it knows are legitimate and trustworthy, which is why the local search engine places such high importance on its own review system.

How to get more reviews

The best way to get more positive reviews is by providing excellent service.

But you need to make it easy for customers to leave feedback as well. Ways that you can encourage people to leave Google reviews that will improve your SEO include:

  • Asking customers politely to leave a review in person, over the phone or via text
  • By adding an email signature with a link to your Google Reviews page
  • By having a dedicated reviews page on your website. This also helps by showing off positive customer reviews as testimonials
  • Using social media to request reviews with a link to Google Reviews. You can also request reviews on your social media page to help build trust and credibility on that platform
  • Adding thank you landing pages after checkout on your website with a link to Google Reviews
  • Including a request for reviews on all invoices and receipts
Get to work building your citations

Local citations are an integral part of local SEO that can catapult your rankings in the map pack. Citations are crucial to your local SEO efforts as backlinks are to ranking a website in the organic results.

They’re also just as easy to build and maintain by following these simple tips:

  • You can do it yourself by adding a link to your business on other websites.
  • It doesn’t have to be clickable, but it should include your company’s name, address, and phone number.
  • A proper citation would also include details about what you offer and where people can find more information about you online.
There are two significant forms of citations, structured citations and unstructured citations.

Structured citations are business mentions on directories that hold details of many businesses in a locality.

They can be found on Yelp, Google My Business, and Bing Places for Business.

These listings contain information about the company’s address, phone number, hours of operation and more.

This is all valuable information for potential customers who might not have been able to find this data otherwise.

Unstructured citations mention your business on other web properties like blog posts, websites, event listings, databases, etc.

You can find them by searching for keywords related to your company or industry in Google or Bing search engines.

These unstructured citations will help you rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPS) and drive traffic back to your website.

Add your business to as many quality citations as possible. Citations help show your business’s authenticity and credibility in a given city, state, or country.

As a local business, you should add your business to as many quality citations as possible.

Optimise your on-page SEO

We mentioned this earlier in the article; now, we will take a more thorough look at the copy on your actual website and how it can be improved to maximise your Local SEO.

There are simple tweaks you can make to your website copy, design, and internal linking structure that will help search engines better understand the value of your pages. These changes will also help users find the information they’re looking for faster and more efficiently.

At the heart of all on-page SEO is your keywords. The keywords you use on your website are the beating heart of all of your copy and optimisation efforts.

Search engines like Google use algorithms that rank websites based on the number of times a keyword appears. This is why it’s essential to include keywords in your site copy, titles, and meta descriptions.

We will show you how to find relevant keywords for your website so that search engines will rank it higher than competitors who don’t have them.

How to do keyword research for local searches

You should start by making a list of topics related to what you do or sell and any words people might type into a search engine when they are looking for something similar.

For example, if you own an ice cream shop called Ice Cream World, your list should probably include:

  • Ice cream flavours.
  • Best ice creams in [insert town or suburb here].
  • Ice cream for sale near me.

Once you have made the list of topics, go through each one and brainstorm some related words or phrases that could also be used as potential keywords for your website.

Write down these new ideas next to the original topic on your list so they are easy to keep track of later on when we write copy about them online.

There are many keyword planning tools available that can assist you in compiling this list and give you visibility on what terms your competition is using and which keywords are most popular with your target audience.

Discover user intent

Google has become more sophisticated in the modern world, and you will need more than just simple words and phrases to reach the top of the rankings.

For example, more and more people are using voice assistants like Siri on their mobile devices to discover local businesses, and Google’s algorithm has shifted to accommodate that.

This is why understanding user intent is necessary when crafting your keywords and phrases so that you are reaching your audience no matter how they are searching for you, plus matching their intent so they are more likely to make a purchase.

How to understand user intent

User intent is the reason, motive, or intention for conducting a search query. It looks into why and how users conduct search queries and use this understanding to formulate the appropriate keywords.

To understand user intent, it is recommended that you use Google Trends. It allows you to see what people are talking about in your region and around the world.

You can find out which topics are trending, how they’re trending, and why they’re trending.

And it’s all free.

With this information at your fingertips, you’ll be able to understand better what copy will resonate with your audience, as well as know when to post on your website or blog about specific topics. As a result, your marketing efforts will become more effective than ever before.

Use Google’s Keyword Planner

Another vital tool for your keyword research is Google Keyword Planner. Keyword Planner is Google’s free tool to find out how many people are searching for your keywords.

It also provides traffic estimates and related search terms. You can use this information to help you choose the best keywords or refine your existing ones.

With Keyword Planner, you can get an idea of what other people are searching for on Google and see which words have the most searches per month. This will give you a better idea of what copy to create to attract more visitors to your website.

You will need a Google Ads account to access Keyword Planner, but it is 100 per cent worth it, and you don’t need to spend any money.

Once you have refined all of your keywords and phrases from your research, Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner, start incorporating them into your headings, website copy, and blogs.

Other on-page SEO tips

Weaving your keywords throughout your copy and headings is a sure-fire way to achieve SEO success. It may take time, but there are other strategies that you can deploy that will also assist the process and push your way up the local search rankings.

As part of your local SEO strategy, you should:

Constantly releasing new copy

Google loves new copy, especially when it is fresh and relevant to your industry. Blogging is the easiest way to achieve this.

Celebrate your successes, share industry news, be a thought-leader in your market. Incorporate your keywords into these blogs for maximum success.

Use external links

Just the same as Google rewards you when other websites link back to your page, you will get bonus SEO points for including external links if you have researched a blog post, link to the source material where you got the stats from.

Help become part of a local community by recommending and linking to other local businesses that are not competitors.

Doing this will also increase the likelihood of linking back to you, further improving your SEO efforts.

Optimise your URLs

When incorporating keywords into your website copy, don’t forget your URLs. Keywords are used as signals in these URLs as well.

Make sure your meta descriptions are full of keywords. Your meta descriptions are the words that will appear in SERPS, so having your keywords here is not only great for SEO but essential, so your potential customers know exactly what products and services you sell, where you are located and other important information that is relevant to them.

Black hat local SEO: how to avoid being penalised by Google

You may have read about other “easy” methods to boost your local SEO and standings in local search results. Enticing advertisements that promise results for a small fee.

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Google is awake to these schemes, which are called Black hat search techniques.

Black hat SEO is a term used to describe unethical practices that are used in local search. This type of SEO will get your page penalised by Google and other search engines.

Examples of black hat SEO include:

Spamdexing

This is a type of search engine optimisation that involves spamming the web with links to your URL through the use of bots or scrapers. To avoid being penalised for this, don’t buy links from other pages and don’t post duplicate copy on multiple pages across your site.

Link schemes

These typically involve creating links on websites with the intent of manipulating Google’s PageRank algorithm. This is done by building large numbers of links from low-quality sites and pages or using automated software that creates many thousands of web pages containing only one or two words to create backlinks for a target site.

Keyword stuffing

This is the act of deliberately inserting many keywords into copy to manipulate search engine rankings. You want to use your keywords liberally, but the content still needs to make sense. Plumbing Services from the best plumber in the plumbing industry is an example of keyword stuffing.

Cloaking

This technique can be used to hide the copy of a webpage from search engine crawlers. Web admins often use this technique to rank higher in search engines for specific keywords but don’t want their competitors to know what those keywords are.

It’s not a race to the finish line it’s a marathon

Remember, proper Local SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. There is no shortcut to getting you to the top instantly. However, through hard work and constant updates on your website, you can and will achieve results. So ensure you only use White Hat SEO techniques, and soon you will be the leading business in your local market.

If you are struggling to find time to manage local search and SEO strategies, it might be best to outsource to a digital marketing agency.

Your ROI will more than make up for any initial costs to get our business name out there in all the right ways.

Sean Clancy
Sean -
SEO Director
1300 558 659 - www.edgeonline.com.au

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