Cloudrovia’s 10-step guide on how to dominate search engine results pages in your city.
We are now in a time where you can create a website that effectively does your job for you. Well, the hard parts anyway. Generating business, selling, getting people in the door, that’s the hard part of most businesses. A local website can capture all types of customers for your business, in your area. We think it’s time you let your website do the local leg work for you. Door-to-Door is dead, phone calls are dead & it really doesn’t matter what your business does. Optimise your site for local search & the phone will start ringing with an endless stream of opportunities in your city.
Local SEO is very important to small businesses that need to generate income from a regional audience, as opposed to national scope. National SEO focuses on ranking across a nation which can be highly competitive, whereas local SEO prioritises appearing in SERPs for a geo-specific location.
When you’ve created your local business website, optimising it for Local SEO means it will generate traffic, leads & sales. It’s a great way to compete with national brands who have tonnes of cash. By focussing on local search terms you can nullify the advantages of a big company.
35% of all traffic is from local search. Without local search optimisation your small business is definitely losing out on big traffic.
Lets take a look at 10 ways you can develop Local SEO, so your site can work for you.
1. Get listed on Google My Business
This is the #1 most effective way to rank higher in google & gain visibility in your city. You’ll need to create a google my business account & claim your business listing. Go to the link above, enter all the requested information. Your business will appear in Google Search local results, Google Search Knowledge Panel & importantly, on Google Maps.
To make the best out of your listing, make sure to:
- Verify the ownership of your business
- Provide legit information
- Say what service/product you provide
- Ad logo, working hours, payments accepted, plenty of images
- Encourage reviews
- Respond to every review
- Use Google My Business dashboard to publish posts.
2. Interact with customer reviews
Double whammy. Reviews from customers increase your search ranking & help future customers to make their decision. 85% of customers see reviews as personal recommendations!
A few ways to encourage customers to review:
- Ask for one in person
- Send an email/text
- Respond to every review in a professional manner. Even the negative ones.
Google loves it when you ask customers for reviews.
3. Brainstorm for Voice search
Voice search is rapidly gaining popularity & will continue to grow over the next decade. It’s key that you create your search terms based around how/what people say into their phones. It can be very different to how they type a search query.
Basically people say longer-tailed keywords when they speak compared with how they type. Adjust your text to become conversational. Use who, what , when, where, why & how. During your brainstorm, take not of the voice search intent. If they need a quick answer, give it to them.
4. Develop Local Content
Authentic content shines through on the web. Local content is an area that can be relatively easy to dominate.
Do stuff like:
- Blog posts referring to local events
- Create videos with local businesses/charities
- Location specific webpages
- Collaborate with local businesses
Let’s say you’re a local construction services business. You can create webpages for your work in each location in your given city. Hyperlocal content will attract the attention you need. You can get ranked for each area/suburb of your city.
5. Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
Basically mobile viewers across the internet make up around 70% of traffic. So make sure your site looks good & works fast for mobile visitors. Speed is the key metric for mobile devices. If you want to understand more about speed/mobile visitors, check out a this article we previously wrote.
As well as being 70% of internet traffic, a crazy 75% of mobile search engine queries show local intent in their search. Meaning mobile searchers are looking for something nearby most of them time. It’s clear cut conformation that you NEED to be made for mobile if you are creating a money making site in your city.
Make sure of the following:
- Your website content loads inside 3 seconds (More information)
- Use larger font
- Use images & infographics
- Have a great user interface & user experience
6. Focus on local keywords
Your keywords need to be local to locals, capiche?
Use Google Keyword Planner to filter search terms in your given region. It not what you would typically search, it’s about what the people are actually searching. Listen to the people. You gotta give the people what they want!
Include region-specific landmarks & hotspots. Imagine you are talking to tourists. Think “Dining by the X” or “Bakery near Y”.
7. Be Location Specific
Imagine that you’ve got more than 1 location in a given city. That’s how you need to describe your location. Provide at a minimum:
- Name, Address, Phone
- Opening Hours
- Google Maps
Location pages are a must if your business has more than one location in an area. These pages need to provide the following, at a minimum:
- Store hours
- Name, address, and phone number
- Individualized descriptions
- Parking availability
- Google Maps attached to each location page
If you actually have multiple locations, be sure to create different pages for them. Your “About Us” page is important to what google thinks of your site.
8. Directories = Visibility
Online directories like Yelp & Foursquare are a great place to list. Don’t expect these listings to generate business alone but what they are doing is boosting your online presence for the google scraping bots!
List all of the information that you listed for Google My Business as well as a backlink to your website. Don’t forget the backlink. Never forget the backlink. A thorough description of your business will also help.
9. Build Local Links to your site
Connect with local businesses, guest blog for their sites & engage with influencers. Quality over quantity. This is how you gain technical popularity over competitors in your city. This is the “prominence” area of google’s ranking methods.
You basically need to get authentic links to your site from solid reputable websites in your city. It helps to connect with people in real life for this area.
Your SEO needs these links to keep developing, but their quality is the most important. Links from bad sites can be detrimental to your business.
A few ways to gain high-quality backlinks:
- Create high quality content that makes people share it
- Guest blog on reputable sites with a high domain authority
- Connect with local influencers
10. Each service/product you offer needs it’s own webpage
If you put them all on one page, search engines will not see you as an authority in any one area, this lowers your ranking possibilities.
If you don’t have many different things to offer. Make sure to create pages for the different parts of your city. Make suburb specific webpages for your service.
SEO is always changing. Stay on top of Local SEO by implementing all the 10 steps we have detailed above. It will give you the advantage in your city. If you don’t have the time to do these things, hire someone to do them. Don’t skip them. The effects compound over time & you will win.