Although more and more consumers in Ireland are shopping online in 2021, they are also searching for local products and services more than ever before. It isn’t enough to optimise the content on your website, you must also optimise the contact information.
What follows in this article is a basic guide to local SEO, designed specifically to help you optimise your business to attract a local audience.
What Is Local SEO
Local Search Engine Optimisation, or local SEO, reflects how visible your website is in search results related to your product or service within your geographic vicinity.
Optimising for local searches involves a variety of steps, including claiming important profiles such as your Google My Business listing and social media accounts, and ensuring that your location is effectively connected to your online presence in all ways.
How Does Local SEO Work
The more effort and strategy you can dedicate to local SEO, the more frequently your business will be prioritised in the search results for searches conducted near you. It will also help your business be displayed for searches containing local indicators, such as your city or postcode.
Search engines rely heavily on the information you, as the owner of your business, provide to connect your business with the proper local audience.
Just as high-level SEO practices help search engines display your content in the most relevant searches, local SEO help search engines display your content to the most relevant local audience.
How to Do Local SEO Strategy
Even if you have a business that operates online as well as locally, it’s important to maximise the quality of your local SEO. According to Ahrefs.com,
- 30% of mobile searches are location-based
- 76% of smartphone users who use their phones to search for a nearby business will visit one of those businesses within 1 day
- 28% of local searches culminates in a purchase
- 45% of shoppers worldwide order online and pick-up in person
- Multiple variants of the search term “near me” have grown by more than 200% since 2017
To get you started, here are 7 strategies that can help improve your local search visibility.
1. Optimise Google My Business Listing
Claiming your Google My Business (GMB) listing is one of the most important steps to ranking in local searches. This one step can help your business appear in search results in three different ways:
- As a Google Maps listing
- Within local business results for NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
- At the top of the organic search results for local-based searches
This is such an important step in local SEO ranking that we’ve explained how to manage your listing in more detail in a related post, Google My Business.
2. Include Local SEO Data on Your Website
To improve your local SEO, your website should have an easy to find Contact page that includes your physical address, phone number, and other pertinent information about your location. You can include a Google maps image, add descriptive terms to help people navigate to your business, and include multiple locations if applicable.
Adding a clickable link to email and/or call your location via phone also improves the user’s experience, making it valuable to your local search engine optimisation as well.
3. Use LocalBusiness Site Schema
LocalBusiness site schema is a way to use behind-the-scenes markup to tell search engines what type of local business you operate, as well as information such as locations, departments, ratings and reviews, hours of operation, and contact information among a few other details as well.
Using this specific style of markup will allow search engines to present your information in a way that is easily accessible and informative to users. The more user-friendly your site is, the more search engines approve and will share your information.
- Keep Your Local SEO Consistent
When you’re sharing your business information, do not try to expand your virtual territory by using multiple locations that don’t exist or inconsistent descriptions to make your geographic locale seem vaster than it truly is.
If you try to trick the search results, what you are more likely to do is confuse search engine spiders. If this happens, they will simply show less confusing competitor’s results rather than yours.
Be consistent and honest in your local SEO to achieve the best results with search engines.
5. Claim Social Profiles
The more frequently you can claim and share your local business information the more strongly search engines will be able to connect your content to local results. Adding your contact information to as many social media profiles as makes sense for your business is a good way to generate awareness for your local business consistently and with the user in mind.
The more your content is shared, especially if that contact includes your local contact information, the more relevant your business will look to search engines.
6. Build Backlinks through Directories
There are many different types of directories that you can submit your business information to that will help develop your local SEO. Consider adding your business to general online directories, such as Foursquare, as well as industry-specific directories that apply to your niche. You can even look for community-specific directories to make sure you are listed within your city or even the BBB for your area.
7. Participate in Your Local Community
Whenever relevant, consider participating in community events. This will not only increase awareness for your business within your community but is also likely to lead to relevant local digital PR. Having your contact information associated with local tradeshows, charity drives, educational experiences and more will generate links and local traffic to your website, improving your local optimisation.
You may also want to consider sharing content with local digital publications like newspapers and magazines.
Get Your Local SEO Done For You
Ensuring your business reaps the benefits of local searches can make a significant impact on your web presence and overall business success. The 7 tips discussed in this article are a great place to start but need constant attention and dedication. Riordan SEO can help make and keep your site locally relevant, optimising your local SEO so you can focus on taking care of your new, local customers.
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