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5 Ways to Optimise a Website for Local Search?

If you have a local business which offers products and services to customers near you, then you will benefit from optimising your website for local search queries. If not, you could be missing out on new business or returning customers.

Is there a local demand for your product or service? If so, we would recommend having a local search campaign in place. Not only would it create more business, it would also keep you ahead of your competitors.

This article will explain how to optimise and improve local search for your website. It will help your business become more visible to existing and new customers in your local area.

Before I run through the 5 ways to optimise a website for local search, I’ll explain what local search is.

What is local search or local SEO?

First things first. What is local search?

We’ve all used Google to find something, right? Well, if you are searching for something which is in a town or just around the corner, then this is classed as local search. You could be searching for a barbers in Milton Keynes so you would put ‘barbers in milton keynes’ into Google. Or, if you have location settings enabled, you would type ‘barbers near me’ and you’ll be served with the best results.

You might also be visiting a town for the first time and are wanting to find some local amenities. This is where local search becomes extremely useful.

So, if you have a shop or offices which customers will be interested in visiting, then you will want to feature as high as possible in Google SERPs ( Search Engine Results Page) for a localised search.

The more information there is about your business, the more user friendly you become, which Google loves.

I’ve worked with many clients, helping to optimise and improve local search for their websites. Here are 5 key points on how to go about optimising your website for local search.

1. Create a Google My Business (GMB) listing

A local search using Google will utilise Google My Business pages to gather the most relevant information to the user searching for a product or service.

Having a GMB page is vital for local search as it incorporates your location on Google Maps. Please click the link below for a more in-depth tutorial on how to create a Google My Business page listing.

How to create a Google My Business page listing?

Here’s a quick overview of creating a Google My Business page listing.

how to set up google my business pageHead over to the Google My Business log-in page and click green START button in the top right and go through the quick and easy process of filling out all your business info e.g. location, opening times, website url, logo, office location photos, etc.

Once this is completed you will remain unpublished until you activate your account which is a super easy process. Google will send you a unique code via post to authenticate your listing with them. They do this to make sure you are the owner of the business.

After you have authenticated your Google My Business listing, you will now start to appear in local searches based upon the information you provide on your listing.

Keep on top of any changes to your business e.g. phone numbers, address and opening hours. Be vigilant about Bank Holiday dates as you don’t want to be showing as open if your shop is closed on these days.

2. Optimise your website pages with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

The next big tip for making your website local search friendly is to optimise your website information pages using on-page SEO.

Using on-page SEO will make sure your pages are structured in the right way. This allows Google to pluck useful information from your website when it crawls your web pages. If you’re unfamiliar about Search Engine Optimisation, please read ‘What is SEO?’ here.

This information will be an indicator to Google that your website is local search friendly and you stand a good chance of ranking higher. To make sure you have the right information in place for Google to crawl or fetch, your website needs to have carefully structured meta data.

This is a tricky task for someone new to SEO so it’s best to get some advice on how to do this. The meta data consists of things like the meta page title, meta description and keywords in the body content. If you have access to your website Content Management System (CMS), then you can implement these actions straight away.

web design by SO provides a great SEO service for local companies in Milton Keynes, helping their website to become more visible. Please contact us here to find out how we can help you.

Search phrases or questions using Google need to be specific to your product or service so if you are florist you will need to add keywords like “florist near me” or “nearest florist to me” in your meta data.

All the above need to have carefully researched keywords so that when a user/customer searches for a query or search phrase your listing will appear. If you need assistance with this, we will be more than happy to help – just give us a shout.

3. Use off-page SEO techniques

This is another SEO task which help to expand the visibility of your website. Once you have your on-page SEO optimised you can now look at authoritative domain backlinks.

Reach out to other websites and ask them to place your url link on their website, preferably a high-traffic webpage.

It is key to target websites which are in the same industry or at the very least relate to what your business has to offer. In doing so, it is another indictor to Google that your website is worth visiting. This will bump up your rankings to hopefully feature on page one.

We always find the best way to achieve this is to do some local search testing for your industry and see which websites come up. You will find that a lot of the search results will be competitors but there might be some directories or information pages which are very useful to you. Approach these websites and see if they will allow you to place a url on them.

Another sound way of getting quality backlinks to your website is to write guest blog or article posts for industry-related websites. This is also a chance to get your business heard as well as generating quality backlinks and traffic. This will all have a positive impact on your local search results.

4. Provide review services for your business

We are firm believers in review services for businesses so if you’ve not set up a platform for your customers to leave reviews, then this is a gentle reminder to do so. Not only will it be a great way of collecting useful information about your products and services for improvements, but it will be beneficial to your local search results too.

Take Google reviews. Have you noticed that when you type a search into Google e.g. ‘nearest barber’ it not only shows the nearest barber to you but also the ones with the most positive Google review ratings. The more positive Google review ratings and Facebook ones for that matter, the better this is for your online visibility through local search queries.

The more positive reviews your business, product or service has, the better your local search results will be. This will increase footfall (if you have a shop), improve traffic to your website and improve your brand awareness.

5. Make sure your website is mobile friendly (responsive)

Another must-do, which Google recognises as a good resource for local search is making sure your website is mobile friendly. A mobile friendly or ‘responsive’ website allows users to clearly and easily digest the information in front of them. This coupled with page load times being fast will provide a flawless and informative experience for the user.

These factors are becoming more prominent with Google’s search algorithms so if your website is not mobile friendly or it takes a while for pages to load, then you need to start your improvements as soon as possible.

You can check to see how your website performs by entering your website url into Goggle’s PageSpeed Insights tool. Here you will see your website score and more importantly ways of improving the performance with suggestions from Google. You might want to hand these suggestions over to your website developer for speed and optimisation improvements.

Once you have run through all our key points on how to optimise your website for local search, you will then start to see traffic gains both online and also through the door (if you have a shop location).

If you are struggling to utilise the points above for your business, please get in touch with us and we’ll be able to help or manage your SEO campaigns to improve local search.

Please contact us here and we’ll be more than happy to help you improve your website visibility.