6 Tips to Improve Your Local Search Results by Optimising for Local SEO

Local search optimisation is crucial for all any business that wants a strong local online presence

Local search engines such as Google and Yahoo have become more popular in recent years because people want to buy locally and they use the internet for that! However, without focusing on local SEO strategies like NAP Consistency, local review building, local link building, optimising Google My Business listing or Improve your local click-through rate you are missing out on potential customers who don’t even know you exist!

This blog post will talk about how to improve your local website ranking with these 5 tips so that you can reap the benefits of all those new potential customers.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO refers to optimising a website so that it ranks higher in the search engine results and local pack for local keywords.

Local businesses may use this type of marketing strategy because people are more likely to buy from companies based near their location if they can find them online!

The benefits, however, go much deeper than just being able to sell products or services on your site – you’re also increasing your online presence and building trust with potential customers who will be willing to try out new places (especially those recommended by online reviews).

The most common types of searches usually involve queries like “local restaurant” or “find me a local plumber”- make sure you rank well for these key phrases and incorporate the following local SEO strategies and tips into your business.

How does local SEO work?

Local SEO is a type of search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps you rank higher in local searches.

Local businesses may use this type of marketing strategy because people are more likely to buy from companies based near their location if they can find them online!

Local search optimisation is the process of taking local search ranking factors such as Google My Business, business name address and phone (NAP), specific local keywords on your website and optimizing them so that Google and users can find your business for people searching local products and services.

The simplest way to look at local SEO is Google needs to know that it can trust you and your business.

You build trust by providing Google with consistent signals that you are a legitimate business that users would want to interact with.

The signals Google look for include Google my business, a website with a high-quality score, consistent NAP, social media pages, verified reviews, directory listings, inbound links, local specific landing pages and other local ranking factors.

Over time all the ‘signals’ you have created will help Google understand that you are a legitimate business and before you know you are appearing for local search results on the search engines.

Why is local SEO important?

As a business, we work with clients all over the world. However, many businesses in our local town of Chesterfield depend solely on trading within the geographical area of Chesterfield.

So, if you are a local business that only delivers within Chesterfield you might want to rank well for a keyword like “Pizza Chesterfield”, “SEO Chesterfield” or “flower shop near me” then it’s important that your website is optimised for Local SEO.

Google and other search engines know that local search is incredibly important to small companies. Having a clear local search optimisation strategy is crucial if you want to appear near the top of local search engine results.

Google uses user location information and uses it to promote nearby companies that it believes can service that need.

Local SEO is important for local businesses because it clearly tells Google where your business is located, how to get directions and what you offer. This all creates a good user experience from the start of their search journey which can lead to more sales.

Businesses that rank well in Local searches are also likely to have higher click-through rates, as people searching nearby will be driven by curiosity or impulse rather than choice.What is a local SEO strategy?

A local SEO strategy is a process of optimising your business for search on the Internet and it has been proven to be more effective than traditional advertising campaigns in engaging consumers who are within close proximity of where you operate.

Without a clear local search optimisation strategy, your business can miss out on local search traffic.

A successful local SEO strategy drives more footfall to your store through organic traffic from Google searches and increases conversions, while also improving ranking in organic search results for keywords that are relevant to where you operate.

A local SEO strategy may include the following:

  • Optimising your website for local SEO by using keywords relevant to the area you operate in
  • Creating a Google My Business page and optimising it with accurate information about your business, such as opening hours and prices
  • Listing on other directory sites like Yelp or Facebook so that people can find out more about your business
  • Linking to your website from other local sites that are relevant and popular in the area you operate
  • Sharing local content on social media with a local focus, such as what’s happening nearby or trending topics
  • Keeping an eye out for changes in Google algorithms so you can react accordingly
  • Regular posting on Google My Business
  • Local specific landing pages to promote your local business

How can I improve my local SEO?

You can improve your local SEO by implementing these six steps into your business;

1. Claim your Google My and local pack listing

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business is a free and useful tool that Google provides to help you manage and control your online presence and improve a local business local rankings or search rankings for searches with local intent.

Google My Business is an account you create that allows you to add your business information like address, phone number, website URL, and hours of operation for customers searching on your area.

You’ll also want to include a profile picture for people who search with image results

Google my Business helps local businesses with their local ranking.

What is the local map pack?

The map pack is where Google ranks the businesses in search results based on their location, initial relevance and quality “credibility” factor.

By default, Google will only list about three or four of these but by claiming your google my Business account you will have a better chance of being in one of the top positions.

What are Google posts?

Google Posts are a new feature introduced by Google which allow businesses to share messages directly with their customers. These posts can be seen in the local listings on Google Maps or in the quick view panel of Google search results for your business.

Google Posts is a feature which owners of Google My Business accounts can use to make posts directly appear in search engine results pages.

Google posts can be used by local businesses for;

  • new products announcements
  • upcoming events
  • daily specials and special offers
  • changes to opening hours

Claim and optimise your Google My Business listing

This is the most important step. You need to claim your listing, make sure it’s correct with all contact information, photos and opening hours

Once you’ve done that, optimise for local search by adding a NAP Consistency statement in the “description” field (including business name, address and phone number) so Google knows which properties belong together for easy indexing

You also want to add as many verified reviews as possible – see where they are on page one of their dashboard under “business details.” If there aren’t any yet then ask existing customers or people who have visited your site if they would be willing to leave feedback.

Finally don’t forget about images! Make sure to include both those taken from within the store and outside so that local customers can clearly recognise the physical location.

How to claim your Google My Business listing, a quick guide

Start to finish, claiming your Google My Business listing is a relatively simple process that will not only help you rank higher in local search results but also give your business an online presence.

You can add your local business information such as brick and mortar address and phone number to Google Maps, Search, and other Google properties with Google My Business.

Create or get access to a Business Profile on Google and manage how your business information appears across Google Search and Google Local Pack

The below instructions are provided by Google at this link;

Add your business through Google My Business

On your computer, sign in to Google My Business.

Sign in to your Google Account, or create one. Then, click Next.

Sign up with your business email domain since this account will be for your chain. Enter the name of your business or chain. If you have a chain, you can also select it from the suggestions that display as you type.

Enter your business’ or chain’s address. Then, click Next.

You may also be asked to position a marker on the location of your business or chain’s branch on a map. If your business doesn’t have a physical location but operates within a service area, you can list the area instead. Then, click Next. 

You may also be asked to position a marker on the location of your business or chain’s branch on a map. If your business doesn’t have a physical location but operates within a service area, you can list the area instead. Then, click Next. 

If you serve customers at your business address:

Enter your business address.

Click Next. If you also serve customers outside your business address, you’ll have the option to list your service areas as well.

If you don’t serve customers at your business address:

  1. Enter your business address.
  2. At the bottom, click I deliver goods and services to my customers  Next.
  3. List your service areas, then click Next.
  4. Search for and select a business category. Then, click Next.
  5. Enter a phone number or website URL, then click Finish.

You’ll also have the option to create a free website based on your information. It’s recommended that you provide the individual phone number or store page for each location, rather than a single centralized call centre.

Select a verification option. It’s recommended that you review your information before you request verification.

  • To verify now, at the top, find the red banner and click Verify now.
  • To verify later, click Verify later  Later.
  • If you’re not authorized to manage the Business Profile for the chain, find the person in your organization who’s authorized and continue the process.

Tip: If you get an onscreen message that someone else has verified the business, Request ownership of the Business Profile.

Add your business through Google Maps

  1. On your computer, sign in to Google Maps.
  2. You can add your business in 3 ways:
  • Enter your address in the search bar. On the left, in the Business Profile, click Add your business.
  • Right-click anywhere on the map. Then, click Add your business.
  • In the top left, click Menu  – Add your business.

Follow the on-screen instructions to finish signing up for Google My Business.

Claim your business through Google Maps

  1. On your computer, open Google Maps.
  2. In the search bar, enter the business name.
  3. Click the business name and choose the correct one.
  4. Click Claim this business – Manage now.
  • To choose a different business, click I own or manage another business.

Select a verification option, and follow the on-screen steps.

How do I optimize Google my Business for local SEO?

Google My Business is one of the most important aspects of local SEO.

An optimised Google My Business profile can improve your rankings in Google’s search results pages.

Steps for Optimizing Your Google My Business Profile:

  • Add a complete business name, address, phone number and website URL to your profile page on Google My Business;
  • Add regular stories or posts to your Google My Business profile. These might include details about recent business news or company events, special events or changes to your opening hours.
  • Add content to your Google My Business page. This might include text, images, videos and links for prospective customers to follow;
  • Claiming the right categories that match what you do is essential for effective local search optimisation. Your category should reflect the type of goods or services you provide

2. Optimise your website for local-specific keywords

For people searching on Google with local intent, ie ‘SEO Chesterfield” to have any chance of your website appearing in the search results you will need to have content relevant on your website to the search query “SEO Chesterfield”.

You would also need to be optimised for local-specific keywords, such as the address and phone number of your brock and mortar shop.

Identify local search terms and create local content to help with local search optimisation

This is where you need to carry out local keyword research and work out what search terms your customers are using.

There are many ways to do keywords research. The cheapest (free) way is what is know and the alphabet soup method.

Here is a super simple and quick way to do local keyword research for your local business.

Let’s say we want to find a local web design company in Chesterfield, our keyword might be “Web Design Chesterfield”.

Type “keyword phrase + a” in our case “Web Design Chesterfield + a” and you will see autosuggest pop up with ideas as to what you think will be relevant searches!

Repeat with every letter of the alphabet.

Then, go to Google and type “a + Web Design Chesterfield”.

Repeat with every letter of the alphabet.

Google will only auto-suggest search terms that it knows has been searched for before, which gives you a very good idea that many others have also searched for the same term, keyword gold!

If you need more ideas? Use words like “what” “why” “how” etc in front of your keyword phrase.

Use these ideas as a starting point and combine ideas if possible. Before you know it you will have dozens of potential local keywords to include on your website.

Add Schema Markup to Your Website

Schema markup is structured data that can enhance your search engine rankings by offering relevant information to help the search engines understand what type of content you offer.

Rich snippets can increase click-through rate in organic search results.

Schema markups can be used to indicate

  • Articles
  • Events
  • Products
  • People
  • Organizations
  • Local Businesses
  • Reviews
  • Recipes
  • Medical conditions

By adding these markup snippets to your site, search engines can better understand what your website is about. They then use this information to create Rich Snippets for the site in question, and if you are lucky the search engine may display your rich snippets in the search rankings!

The schema doesn’t directly affect your rankings in Google, but it can help to boost click-through rates from organic results as your data is better organised and may mean your data appears in the rich snippet results.

Here is a link to a great resource that guides you through the steps of implementing schema markup for your local business.

What are rich snippets?

Rich snippets are a special type of search result that Google can show when someone searches for your business.

They look more attractive, and they make it easier to find what you’re looking for with additional valuable information displayed alongside the title, description, and URL. 

The extra information comes from the schema or structured markup on the page.

Ranking high in search results is nice, but what will really get you noticed is the content of your snippet.

Rich snippets can be used to make your search results more enticing in the search results and hopefully entice clicks.

3. Ensure accurate and complete business information

What does NAP mean and why is it important?

NAP means the “Name, Address and Phone Number” of a business.

It’s important because it provides Google with all the information they need to list your company on their map for people searching nearby – without this evidence, you might not show up at all!

Local businesses should update their address every time there is an address change or annual renewal as well as when phone numbers are changed by adding those changes into any other directories where they appear.

It also helps to maintain accurate contact information in case it needs to be updated later if needed. This will ensure that no customers find out too late that your new location has moved further away from them than expected!

It’s important that your NAP is the same across all of your directories because Google and other search engines use this consistency to understand that you are the same company across different listings.

Consistency is key for building trust across the Google search network.

4. Get as many online reviews as possible

Reviews help with reputation management – they’re one of the most important factors in establishing trust online.

Google reviews are crucial if you want to master local SEO. Local review services such as Google reviews, TripAdvisor, and Yelp can boost your local search optimisation results.

Online reviews are the best way to show Google that you have a strong online presence and that your business is worthy of placed high in Google’s local rankings.

Why are Google reviews are important for local SEO?

All reviews that are left on Google, Yelp or any other review site help to provide a well-rounded snapshot of your business and help new customers make purchasing decisions.

How to get more google reviews from your customers

The best way to get more online reviews is by making it easy for your customers!

After each purchase ask your customer to leave a review by sending them an email with a link to your Google page to leave a review. Shorten the URL you send by using a service such as tiny url.

Remember, you need to reward customers for leaving reviews. You could offer a rewards scheme and offer extra points for those that leave a review online.

Why you need a positive reputation online to be successful in today’s competitive market

We live in a world where online reviews can make or break you.

These days, it’s not only word of mouth that customers rely on, search engines offer the chance for people to check out what other people have to say on a company before they decide where to spend their money.

If you have no reviews and your competitor has 50+ reviews who do you think the user will choose when looking for a local business on Google search?

Tips on how to maintain a good reputation, including being honest and transparent with your customers

Be Honest and Transparent: If a customer had a negative experience let them know you’re sorry for the inconvenience and invite feedback so that they have an opportunity to improve in future interactions.

Every company at some point will receive some kind of negative feedback. How you handle that feedback is what will determine whether or not your reputation suffers.

If you’ve just received a negative review, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible so the potential for damage control is minimized. A quick response can also help improve customer satisfaction and strengthen company rapport on social media channels.

Negative feedback is also a way for your company to learn and grow. It’s important to take time and review all feedback, good or bad.

You may find that there are certain aspects where your company is lacking in customer service skills or knowledge of products/services ‍‍which can be addressed by a quick training course.

Local review building is a major part of Local SEO

Reviews for local businesses have an impact on conversion rate – so it’s important to make sure customers feel positive about their experience with your business, even if they didn’t buy anything from you!

Review sites like Yelp are only as useful as the number and quality of reviews there-so make sure yours has plenty! It also helps to respond (in a kind way) when customers leave negative feedback too.

Google reviews are great for building trust with new customers and they’re easy to manage through your Google My Business account.

If you have a chance, ask people for reviews directly on the site itself-for example by adding an ‘Ask us about our service’ button with review incentives like discounts.

Local reviewers can do wonders for your reputation too! But don’t just reach out to local bloggers or newspapers – get in touch with neighbours as well. They might not be able to write articles but their social media following could bring new visitors from far away (like relatives who are visiting).

Local journalists will usually only cover businesses that are larger than yours though so make sure it’s worth their time before reaching out.

5. Create and share content on social media with a local focus

This is a good time to mention that you should create and share content on social media with a local focus.

It’s not just about boosting results for your own business by asking friends and family to follow you, in fact, that can be counter-productive if they are unlikely to interact on your pages.

For example, you might have hundreds of Facebook likes from family and friends but if they are not your ideal customers then they are unlikely to interact with your page.

Facebook would see that your posts are not receiving much interaction and class your content as not relevant to your audience.

The FB algorithm would then decide to show your content even less to your audience, decreasing your reach further!

It is much better to grow your audiences organically. Create content that will encourage people to engage with you, ask questions, promote offers, talk about local topics, get creative, and always put yourself in their shows, what would you want to read about?

6. Submit your business to online directories

Next up we’re going to talk about Local Link Building through directories – This service works by generating high ranking links from different types of backlinks such as directory submissions, press releases, RSS feeds and much more.

There are many well-known directories that have millions of visitors every month. Directory submissions can cost a little to submit to, but if you want to rank for a specific local keyword this is definitely worth it!

Why businesses should submit their websites to local online business directories

Online directories are a great place for businesses to build their business link profiles and improve rankings. Some of these directories offer free listings (though you will need to use your website address) while others may charge an annual membership fee, but they’re worth it.

Make sure you use consistent NAP (name, address and phone number) information on the site of your business directory listing.

By having your business details submitted to local business directory sites, you’re helping your local SEO strategy by ensuring that the listings on these directories are consistent with what is found elsewhere online, which builds a stronger link profile and trust with Google

What are the best ways to find local online business directories?

Finding a way to be seen by new customers is an important aspect of creating a strong local marketing strategy.

There are dozens, if not hundreds of business directories to submit to. The quickest and easit way is to use a service like FatJoe (https://fatjoe.com/local-business-citations/) to submit local citations on your behalf.

The great things about Fatjoe is all the citations are 100% manually submitted to the search engines with a full submission report so you can check the validity and update details much more easily.

How to submit your site to a directory and what you need for it

Getting your local business’ NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information listed on directories and citation sites can help visibility and boost local SEO.

If you’ve added your company to a business directory, then make sure it includes the following information:

  • Consistent Company Name, Address, and Phone Number. If you add or update your business information to multiple directories provide the same company name, address and phone number.
  • A brief description of your company. Your business’s mission, culture, and values should be reflected in the details of your business.
  • Provide local customers a visual taste of your business with either video or picture content.

We also recommend building links within your locality – for example, for a local business in Chesterfield they might ask other local businesses to link to them in exchange for a reciprocal link on their site, making sure what they add reflects the same locality helps give Google an understanding of where that page belongs within their indexing system.

Other local search ranking factors

On page SEO

What is on page SEO?

On page SEO is how Google determines the relevancy of a webpage’s content by looking at the words, phrases, and sentences on that particular webpage

On page SEO is the practice of optimizing content on the web page that is being indexed by search engines so that search engines can find your local business and content more easily and is a major ranking factor when the Google search algorithm crawls websites.

Optimizing title tags

What are title tags? The title tag is a single line description of your website which appears in browsers and search engine results pages.

A good example would be:

“Why Progressive Web is the best web design and marketing agency in chesterfield | Progressive Web”.

Best practices for optimizing title tags include:

  • Keywords in a page’s title both help users and search engines better understand what the page is about.
  • Make sure that your keywords are close to the beginning of the title and description.
  • Make your meta description short and informative without exceeding 60 characters.

Optimizing meta descriptions

What are meta description tags? The meta description is a short (usually 150 characters or less) textual snippet that appears below the title on search engine results pages.

A good example would be:

“Learn why Progressive Web is the best SEO company in Chesterfield for all your digital marketing needs. Call today to learn more!”

Best practices for optimizing meta descriptions include:

  • Use a brief, compelling description that matches what users are searching for in the SERPs
  • Include the local service area or location you want to rank, such as New York or Chesterfield
  • Include your most important or relevant keywords without stuffing
  • Try to include a strong call to action

Voice search

Voice search is an often overlooked when carrying out local SEO.

With the explosion of voice assistants (Alexa, Siri etc) voice search has really taken a foot hold in the way people do all kinds of searches, including local search.

Think of how your audience speaks about your business, products, and services.

More often than not when people search using voice they are asking questions.

Someone might be looking for directions to your brick and mortar shop, so your site needs to make sure that things like maps, clear address details and even directions are available.

I recommend starting your voice optimization keyword research with an SEO tool called Answer the Public.

This tool will help you find what people are asking about based on a keyword.

This will help you understand what questions people are asking about local businesses

With this data you could go and create FAQ landing pages on your website that answers all these queiries.

How to improve your click-through rate from local searches

Local reviews: a good way to attract attention and improve click-through rates is by building up your local review score.

One of the best ways for this to happen is by having a repeatable way to collect reviews.

Competitive and clear pricing: another great tactic for improving your CTRs would be offering competitive prices in comparison to other businesses within your industry/location.

If customers are disappointed with what they find when compared against others in the area then it may dissuade them from clicking onto yours which could lead to increased conversion rates as well as more positive feedback given that they found something worthwhile!

Finally, to ensure the best results possible, make sure you’re optimizing for local SEO. This will help push your content higher in search engine rankings as well as increase traffic and conversions!

It’s crucial that your business listing on Google My Business (GMB) includes accurate address and contact information – this is the first step towards obtaining reviews from customers who have visited your store or contacted you online about their experience.

Remember that having an inaccurate GMB can lead potential customers away from what could otherwise be a fruitful purchase decision if they read something wrong about where it’s located, how far out of town it may be, etc.

Chesterfield SEO services

As SEO experts, with our roots firmly in our home town of Chesterfield, we totally understand the importance of local SEO services

Even though we help companies all over the globe with global SEO strategies, our local SEO marketing still plays a major part in attracting new business for us, not just in Chesterfield!

If you would like to discuss SEO services or have an SEO and or website design project in mind then please fill out this short form to see if we can help you.

Summary

We hope this guide to local SEO has been useful. Local SEO is crucial if you want to appear for local searches. Follow the above steps, be methodical and within no time your business will appear in the local search engine results sending valuable traffic to your website and business!

Local SEO is just one component of a successful online marketing campaign. We implement local SEO as part of our Authority Accelerator Framework for building high converting websites. If you would like to know more about the Authority Accelerator Framework call us on 01246 461622 today.

Related article: Local SEO: how a local marketing strategy can increase sales, leads and customers

Related article: 13 Steps to Claim and Optimize Google My Business Listing

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