Local Search Engine Optimization
A short guide to help businesses that have low marketing budgets improve their position in search engine results pages. (SERP)
With the majority of searches undertaken in Google this guide will refer to hints and tips relevant to Google.
It is also worth noting that there are many articles on this subject written by experts such as Neil Patel and Brian Dean and a good strategy would be to read some of their articles as well.
What is local search engine optimization or Local SEO.
Basically, it refers to optimizing your website so that it appears in search results when a local reference is used. For example, you may enter into your search engine “dog boarding near me” or “dog boarding in Salisbury”.
Using the “dog boarding near me” search term Google will return the three nearest boarding establishments to your location displayed in the “Pack” as well as paid advertisements and businesses ranked by relevance.
Using the search term “dog boarding in Salisbury” Google will return the “Pack” by relevance but also taking your location into account, paid advertisements and businesses ranked by relevance.
What you should be striving for is to appear in the “Pack” and the first page of the search results for the search term “business/service in Salisbury.
An example of this is shown below where the search term used was “dog boarding in Salisbury”. You will see in the “Pack”, Sue’s Doggy Day Care and also in the general search results.
What is the pack you may ask and how do I appear in it. The Pack is the three businesses listed in Google as shown in the image. The first thing you should do is to register your business in Google My Business which is a completely free service.
Once you have done this your potential customers will be able to find your website using local search terms and keywords. The key is to ensure that your website is optimized for this service.
As part of the service provided by Build The Website we will help you with what you need to do to ensure that you get listed or you can simply follow the comprehensive guidelines provided by Google. Remember that this is a free service provide by Google.
Ranking - Keywords
Apart from focusing on Google My Business in order to appear in SERP you also need to understand some of the other factors that affect how high up in Google’s rankings your site will appear.
Google will look at the prominence of your business in the offline world, its relevance and location.
What you should be concentrating on is the relevance of your listing to the user’s query. You can do this by ensuring that you have an accurate and concise description of your business that can be found by using keywords.
If you look at the example below the focus is on the search term “Salisbury dog boarding” the term that a lot of people in Salisbury will use for seeking dog care.
The first thing to notice is that the domain name is salisburydogboarding.co.uk which includes the keywords used for sourcing. You should ensure that your domain name has at least one keyword.
The title that is set up within the website contains the keywords dog, boarding and Salisbury. The next thing to focus on is the META Data which describes the business and also includes the 3 keywords. Below is how the business is displayed in SERP.
Google’s search algorithms will look at the user’s query and match it to your website’s listing. However, as it is very smart, if you used kennel instead of boarding the results will be more or less the same as Google associates boarding with kennel in its algorithm.
Having understood the importance of keywords you need to consider some of the other major factors that can impact on your site’s rankings:
Backlinks – these play an important part as the number of sites that link to your site tells Google how important your site is. So the more backlinks you have the better your site will rank. One way to obtain backlinks is to get listed in directories such as Yell.com. This link will help you to do that Whitespark
Content – it goes without saying that the more content/pages that you have in your site the better it will rank.
Google My Business reviews – always encourage your customers to put a review in GMB as this will impact on its position in SERP
Can we help?If your website is not ranking as well in search engine results pages as you would like, contact us now as we may be able to help you improve the amount of traffic your website is getting.