SEO does not end at search engines, there is the geographical aspect to consider as well. Follow this guide to get yourself on the map, literally!
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation to give it its full title, is just about the most important practice for a business which operates online. It can also be useful, however, for those businesses which have a more localised and somewhat combined customer base. In this area SEO is very useful to both attract new clients and also to improve visibility online.
Knowing what it is and keeping ahead of the game however are two very different things as the main search engines such as Google are constantly changing and updating their search algorithms to give users the best possible results from their search. While this is great for users it can be a nightmare for those behind the scenes who have to be on their toes to not only keep abreast of these constant changes but also to make the most of them and make sure that your business is as high up the ranking as possible and is visible to those seeking what your sell or what service you offer.
As a company who works with SEO every day to give our clients the best results from their website we’ve put our head together and come up with the following 10 best tips for not only improving your SEO but also for getting yourself listed in Google Local.
Use Keywords Which are Geo-Specific
Rather than using the same old generic keywords that not only relate to the products or services you are offering but hundreds of others as well aim for keywords and phrases which are specific to a certain location. An example of this is rather that using the phrase ‘leading web designers’ use ‘leading web designers London’. The intelligent algorithms on Google will pick up on the location data, as well as the other information, and display the listings closest to the searchers location. Even with the ever changing rules keeping geographical keywords prominent in your web content will help you in attracting new, local custom.
Utilise the Main Search Engine’s Local Listings
Google + Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Places are 3 of the most essential tools when it comes to local SEO. You must ensure that your small business gets featured on all of them, along with photos, a good description, your opening time and your contact details. It’s these local listing that are used in order to source the local businesses which you will often see displayed with a map and contact details at the top of a Google search.
Placement of Keywords
One major change in SEO is that less is now more. Rather than overloading your web content with albeit relevant keywords use them carefully and make sure they are in keeping within your text. You need to also include keywords in areas that are of particular interest. These include the URL of the website, your page titles and any of your on screen headings. It’s also advised that keywords be used in both the very first and the very last sentences of your copy. This will not only catch the attention of the readers but will also form an integral part of the search engine algorithms.
When one of your customers is satisfied with your services or products encourage them to leave an online review. You could drop them a friendly email asking them to leave an honest review on Google + Places etc. The chances of them leaving a review greatly increases if they can easily locate and access the review site you are sending them to so always send a direct link.
Unique Content Is a Must
The use of unique content is a highly effective way of boosting SEO for every size of business whether you be a start up or a multi national corporation. Content rich is clever keywords will see your SEO ranking rise and you can share this like crazy all over the social media platforms. Organic bank links are another major benefit as these increase the viewing times of those pages which boast engaging content. Keep focused on stories and issues which are directly related to the line of business you are in as well as the local community as this will attract much more attention from that said community.
It will come as no great surprise that Google’s latest research says are smartphone users are the most likely to make a purchase at the end of their research. Making sure your website is fully optimised for all mobile devices as if those prospective customers browsing on the bus or train come across yours and its poor quality or unresponsive they will swiftly move on.
Consistent Contact Info
You must make sure your name and address and contact number is the same across every site on which you appear. This consistency not only improves your visibility from SEO but also boosts your chances of your business being associated with any of those searches performed in your local area and including the names of your nearby cities and towns.
Reduce Those Loading Times
Web pages which take ages to load can have a particularly detrimental effect on those small local businesses. A long load time also affects your search engine ranking as does the fact that many people have come to your site and left again after a matter of seconds. Top end web development and optimised images are the way to counteract this.
Staying Up to Date
Search engines such as Google will very often update or replace their search algorithms without any kind of major announcement. A prime example is the Hummingbird update which had actually been implemented for several months before Google actually revealed this new technology. In order to maintain your online presence you have to constantly adapt to these chances and the best way of doing this is to have a dynamic company on board who will broach the changes as they arrive. This is really the only way your can ensure that the online presence of your business stays ahead of the game and doesn’t start dropping down the rankings.
or call us on 01206 588 603 to have a chat!