The search engine optimization is increasingly widespread discussed in all countries. Especially on the Internet, SEO is the most important strategy for every webmaster to reach a specific target local audience. Understanding just SEO does not necessarily know how to start local SEO correctly. So, if you want to seize a market share in a particular city through SEO, know the basic tips to start local SEO properly.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the efforts to optimize a website or blog on search engines using geographical area keywords in the keyword strategy. For example, SEO Specialists in the UK, Web Design Professional in the UK, Property Photographers in the UK, Wedding Photographer in London, Logo Designer in London, etc.
The next question is whether your business requires local SEO? If your clients mostly come directly from the nearby areas, the answer is yes.
Moreover, the concept of local SEO can also open the opportunity for online business owners to add more clients.
The box preview at the picture above shows the local search results for “Local SEO Specialist in London.”
Assume that you have a dental practice clinic in a city. On the Google search result, your dental clinic brand appears along with the ratings, reviews, address, phone number, and photos. The searchers on the city prefer your dental clinic rather than which does not appear, right?
The Difference between local SEO and Other SEO techniques
Before continuing reading this article, if you don’t understand about SEO, It is better to learn SEO skills from scratch.
All other SEO techniques are also applicable to the local SEO technique. But there are some additional settings on the on-page SEO optimization.
On-page Local SEO
All elements from the basic SEO strategies need to be applied to your business website. As the geographical area local SEO is extremely powerful, so the location of your business becomes a significant keyword. Therefore, including the geographic keywords in the title and meta description of your business website. If possible, you can also add the geographic keyword in the URL and content.
No less important, you need to include your business name, description, address, and phone number on every page of your business website. If you know HTML coding, include the markup for local business by Schema.org.
To show a good business identity placement to show it on all of the pages, one of which is on the footer of your website. Placing the business identity at the top would be better, but make sure it’s not to interfere the main function of the website.
Local SEO Optimization for Mobile
Based on the data released by Google, 80% of local searches are coming from on mobile devices. Considering such large percentage, it’s no wonder that nowadays Google prioritizes mobile-friendly websites. If your website is not mobile-friendly, the prospective customers will be bothersome to get information from your website.
Nowadays, to create a responsive web design is not difficult. So, there is no reason to not making a mobile-friendly website.
Google My Business
If you want to optimize your local business on Google, then you can use Google My Business. It’s a service from Google to ease your local business to be found in the search result based on the local geographical area you are targeting.
To optimize your business with photos, reviews, etc on the search engine result, you must first register your business on Google My Business.
To register, visit the Google My Business page, click start now and then fill in your business details. Search with the name of your business, if it’s live on the search result, means you are in the step of claiming the ownership and adding some information. If your business is not live yet, you may register by filling in your business details.
After registering at Google My Business, your business is not necessarily immediately appearing in the local search result. There are other determinant factors to show up your business in the local search result.
External Excerpts of Your Business
Another important factor the external excerpts of your business. To get external excerpts for your business, you can register your business in business directory sites. By registering your business on business directory sites, means you are telling Google that your business website is real.
A good business directory site is the Yellow Pages.
Business Reviews and Rating
The reviews and rating of your business will be displayed in the search result in the form of stars. The higher the rating, the more review stars owned by your business to be displayed by Google.
Besides that, the potential customers will certainly prefer to deal with company that has decent reviews and rating.
Four Indicators of the Right Google Reviews and Ratings
The following are four indicators of the review that you need to consider:
- The total number of reviews – It means the more reviews you get, the better your business website local SEO.
- Consistency – The total number of reviews is necessary. But if today you got 10 business reviews, and then in the next days you get no review, so then it’s could such a suspicious for Google.
- Rating Diversity – It would be suspicious too, if your business always gets a 5 rating, or always getting the same similar sounds of review entirely.
- Novelty – The new reviews and ratings are more valuable than the ratings and reviews from a few months ago.
From those four indicators above, it can be concluded that buying reviews is not a good way of local SEO. Also, don’t make fake reviews by exchanging reviews with other business owners. Avoid these bad things to keep your business reputation remains good permanently in the eyes of Google local search.
So, how to get the right review? Remain in mind that, a good review and the right review is different. You can buy good reviews, but Google is more value the right reviews. So the right way to get the right review is by putting the link of your Google My Business on your website (or FB, Twitter, etc.). This way makes your customers can quickly reach and leave a review. You can also ask your loyal customers to leave reviews, attach the link to your Google business page on your email signature, and there are many other creative ways.
Backlinks to Your Website
Just like SEO in general; external backlinks towards your site is also an important factor.
Social Media Optimization
Although it may not be a direct impact on local SEO, social media like Facebook also provides a feature like the Fan page for your local business. Take the advantage of this feature to create a special page for your local business. You can also include your business identity on the Facebook Fanpage of your business.
Google can index status on Facebook, tweet on Twitter, and pin on Pinterest. Thus, all the three can be “external quotations” which can boost the ranking of your local business website.
The following image is the percentage local search ranking factors.
Blog for Business
Today’s businesses those want to expand the market through online media should have a niche blog. Google, as a search engine, love informative and useful content to the readers.
If you have a business website, by creating its blog may convince people about your business presence through the Google search results.
Suppose your business is as a web developer. So, make a tutorial blog about web designing skills. If your business is as an architect, create a blog that contains tutorials about the tips in designing a house or an interesting collection of architectural art photos.
A blog for your business can be the content marketing means in the effort to reach more customers online, and can also increase the authority of your business website.