The biggest challenge for many local businesses is figuring out how to rank high in search engine results. As online search becomes increasingly prevalent among customers, businesses are finding the need to incorporate an effective marketing strategy that guarantees top visibility on local search results. To boost traffic to their sites, it has become necessary for businesses to perfect the art of search engine optimisation. Any business seeking to increase their exposure in local search, interact with the local market or just remain competitive in today’s business world cannot, therefore, afford to ignore the impact local SEO can have.
Some of the top reasons why local Wolverhampton businesses are finding it essential to improve their SEO include:
Local customers are switching to the internet to find local businesses
According to a Jupiter Research, a Forrester Research Company, 81% of users utilise online search engines as the main way of finding a local business. Long gone are the days when people would use old paper directories as their preferred source of local information.
Local SEO offers a better spot on SERPs
A visit to a Google or Yahoo search engine results shows just how local results are prioritised, meaning that only those listings that are optimised will appear at the top of the page. With increased visibility, you are much more likely to get clicks than the regular organic search.
It offers a level playing field
Local SEO provides an equal opportunity for small business to compete with larger companies as you will be competing with others who are trying to optimise for the same local search queries. It’s more likely for you to rank at the top because the overall amount of competitors is much lower than on a national level.
Here are some of the tips on how you can get started.
Identify a Strategic Keyword
Researching for appropriate keywords is quite crucial to ensure you are not caught up in a guessing game that only slows your returns. You should get inside the minds of your audience and figure out what it is they are searching to find. Though this may not be easy, there are helpful tools that can analyse search behaviour and identify appropriate keywords. Tools like Google AdWords can be used to help you determine the popularity or competition of each keyword or phrase.
Creating fresh content and updating it on a regular basis is an excellent way to increase your local search visibility. Blogging provides visitors with information and the longer you can keep them reading articles on your site, the better chance you have of converting them into a lead. Always make sure you write relevant, compelling content while using city-specific keywords throughout the piece.
Optimise your Google My Business Page
Optimising your Google my Business listing ensures customers have an easier way to access accurate information. Businesses must fill out as much information as they can on their Google My Business page including a unique description with 2-3 links to your business website, photos, accurate product/service categories, contact information, location, hours of operation, address and real customer reviews from verified Google+ members. This will increase the likelihood of your business showing up in the Local Pack.
Citations/online Business Directories
List your business with reputable directories, preferably those that are relevant to your industry to ensure you get backlinks and citations. Local citations from online directories like Yelp, Foursquare, Citysearch, etc. are significant local rank factors that put your business in the running with local competitors.
Ensure NAP Consistency
Ensure that the information you provide relating to Name, Address and Phone Number is correct and consistent across all the websites including your landing pages, directories, apps, social profiles and other digital platforms in which your business information is listed.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Customer reviews are a sure way to build a brand’s trust and credibility. Most search engines especially Google prefer user generated content. Request customers to leave reviews on your Google + page by providing step by step instructions on how this can be achieved.