How do you optimise a website for localto improve search engine rankings? Well, you will find all sorts of advice online; from information on link building and guest posting to advice on optimising profiles and encouraging customer reviews. However, whilst all of these will undoubtedly contribute to improving search engine, they will only ever really be useful if you’ve already got the basics right. If you have the right building blocks in place, then you can always tweak your local SEO at a later stage to improve ranking. So what are the basic rules for local SEO? What guidelines should business look to follow for better local search engine ranking? Well, here’s our advice.
Register with Google and claim your business listing page
You would think that this advice would be obvious to most people, but it’s still surprising just how many local businesses fail to do this simple task. If your business hasn’t already done so, then do it now – register with Google. It will only take a few minutes, but it will definitely repay you over time. To get the best results in local search, make sure you choose the right business category.
If you have already have registered with Google, then make sure you claim your business page. It is important to ensure that your business page contains up-to-date details, contact, and location address information.
Make sure your keywords are still relevant
Keywords are still fundamental to effective SEO, regardless of what anyone might tell you, but from a local SEO perspective they are vital. However, to rank properly on search engines you will need to ensure that your keywords are industry-related. Try using Google AdWords’ keyword planner if you’re struggling. If you have already done this, but are still failing to rank as well as you would like, check the keyword metrics to see if anything has changed. To help with your analysis you might consider using metrics tracking software. This type of software will make it easier to adjust your keywords to maintain position and momentum should the metrics change again.
Optimize title tags
Title tags are the single most important piece of content on each page of your site. Why are titles so important? Well, simply because Google doesn’t rank sites: it ranks pages. If you want to get the greatest impact from your local SEO, you should ensure you include your hometown or local area in the page titles of each section of your site. To avoid repetition, vary the wording on each page slightly. This will not only minimise the risk of becoming too generic or stale; it will also boost your local SEO ranking too.
Focus on content
At one time when you wanted to get noticed by the search engines, all it seemed you needed to do was post a blog that was stuffed with keywords. Thankfully those days are now long gone. To get attention these days, what you need is quality content. So it’s important to ensure that any information you post online, be that blog posts, infographics or pictures, are relevant, interesting and useful to your customer base. As far as blog posts are concerned, it’s fine to keep the tone conversational, but you’ll need to ensure the content itself carries some authority. If it has that kind of appeal, people will return to find out more. What’s more it will improve your local SEO ranking, as great content is the life blood of search engines. If you can win over the search engines your organic traffic will increase.