Hello! In our latest Swift 6 video, we’ll be looking at a crucial aspect of online marketing for many small businesses – local search engine optimisation (SEO). If you’ve never heard of local SEO before, don’t worry – we start with the basics and then go on to explain the steps you need to take to boost your business in the local search listings.
You’ll also notice I mention a tool called Local Listing in the video. Now you don’t need to worry about exactly what it is right now, but it really is a crucial bit of kit for local SEO. So watch the video, learn the basics and then I’d strongly recommend you check out Local Listing and take advantage of the free report.
Finally, I also mention a link building guide which you can find here.
Ok, here’s the video.
So what is local SEO?
If you’ve ever searched for a local business such as a hairdressers or a plumber, then you will have probably seen local search results.
But to refresh your memory, here are the results for the query “hairdressers ealing”.
The three results directly below the map are the local search results. Appearing in these results is likely to send more customers your way, because they’re often the first results searchers will see. This is of particular importance to businesses with a physical outlet, or that serve a specific local area.
Local search optimisation is the process of ensuring you appear as high as possible in local search results. So let’s look at how you can do that.
The first thing you need to do is get on Google My Business.
If you’re not on Google My Business, then you won’t show up on Google Maps and you won’t show up in local search results
The good news is, Google My Business is free. All you have to do is add your business, verify that you’re who you say you are and then ensure all the details about your business are correct.
And that last point is absolutely crucial, because any incorrect details on Google My Business will be carried through to Google Maps and local search results, which could make it harder for customers to find you.
The next thing to do is to ensure your business’s name, address and phone number, or “NAP” for short, is the same everywhere it’s mentioned on the web.
If your NAP differs from website to website, then you run the risk of confusing potential customers as well as search engines.
So make sure your NAP is 100% identical everywhere it’s mentioned because a mistyped phone number, or even a missing hyphen could damage your chances of topping local search.
Once your NAP is sorted, you need to ensure your business website is listed in high-quality, relevant online directories such as Yelp.
Not only will these listings drive potential customers to your site, they’re also a ranking factor in Google’s local search results.
Now, finding and manually submitting your business details to tens of directories is extremely time consuming, that’s why we’ve created Local Listing to help you submit your business details to crucial listing sites. It’ll also help you monitor reviews of your business. Plus, there’s a free report that will identify any issues with your local listings, so you’ll know exactly what problems you face. I’ll include a link above this video.
Once you’ve sorted your listing submissions, it’s time to ensure that your webpages themselves are optimised for local search.
Now, onsite optimisation is a huge topic and we can only skim the surface here. But essentially, what you need to do is identify the key phrases people will use to search for a business like yours, and then make sure these key phrases are included on your website.
The most important places to include your key phrases are:
Your page titles and descriptions
Headings in your on page content
The on page content itself.
Remember though – every page on your website should have a unique title and description, and that stuffing your key phrases on to a webpage won’t help you rank higher in search engines, but will annoy and confuse potential customers.
Once you’ve got the basics covered, you can concentrate on building links and mentions from local, relevant websites.
Quality links and mentions are still a big factor when it comes to search rankings. Getting positive coverage on local news websites will not only send more customers your way, but it will also help signal to Google that your website and business can be trusted and that can translate into better search rankings.
Link building is a huge topic that we can’t cover in full here, so I’ll include some links to helpful guides on the topic above this video.
Ok, so that was Six Steps to Get Started with Local SEO, and I’ll see you next time.