Local SEO Guide 2018
Here is my Local SEO Guide 2018. Google’s aim has always been to make the UX (User Experience) enjoyable, convenient and easy to navigate, this is why the changes did not come as a surprise to most of us, instead seemed like a logical move towards improving the search engine’s mobile device UX.
These changes have thus become permanent, meaning those business owners who previously ranked between 4th and 7th on the previous system will have to up their game if they want to appear on the front page of Googles SERP’s for their target keywords. And how about the business and establishment owners, especially those who usually ranked 4 to 7 on Google’s local searches?
If you are one of those businesses, don’t worry, just follow my Local SEO Guide 2018 to get your business into the Top 3.
So without further or do, her are my top Local SEO Tips to get onto the front page;
Local SEO Guide 1. Make sure you have a physical address in the town you are targeting
It is essential that you have a consistent physical address in the location where you wish to appear. Additionally, the specific address that your premises is located in should be within, or as close as possible to the area that you are targeting. A great way to do this if you don’t work from a physical office is to invest in virtual offices, these are usually located in central city locations and work perfectly. Why not try Regis, I used them when at the beginning set up Sigma Digital and they where great!
Local SEO Guide 2. Get some reviews
One of the easiest ways to get your business noticed and tell google that your for real is get some great reviews from customers and clients. Lots of companies run small campaigns with their customers such as “Leave us a review to be in with a chance to win a”… then add in your prize, a bottle of bubble, luxury hamper or something along those lines usually works. Be careful though as this is against Google’s Latest Review Policy Change.
Local SEO Guide 3. National Directory Optimisation
So getting yourself onto directories is great, its basically link building for Local SEO. My favourite tool for this is Moz Local where you can “Check my Business Listing” to see how complete and consistent your business listing appears across the web. Once this is complete then you have 2 options. Firstly you can pay Moz around £80 to submit you to all of the directories, once this is done you will get feedback continuously to let you know what information is needed for each directory to completely optimise it. Alternatively if your low on fund or have an intern in the office that needs some time filled, then they can take the information from Moz and submit your businesses details to each directory manually.
Warning – Once you have submitted yourself to these directories you will inevitably get a phone calls from directories such as Yell.com trying to up-sell you to the premium service, don’t be tempted to take this! If you want to know why check out this blog on the Money Saving Expert website.
Local SEO Guide 4. Local Directory Optimisation
Step 2 of Directory optimisation is a very manual process and involves more research if you want to do it correctly. Firstly you need to search for local business directories online. For example, if you where a Warwickshire based business you may want to try adding yourself to some directories such as;
Local SEO Guide 5. Optimise Google My Business (GMB)
Naturally Google+ and Google my Business are products of Google, so we don’t need to go into too much information apart from to say “Complete your profile to 100%”. This is a no brainer, remember you are trying to rank on Google.
Google has increased it’s importance on GMB (Google My Business) meaning that any information you add about your business will reflect on not just Google Search, but Google Maps and Google+ as well. Google have done this to make it easy for users to find you regardless of their device.
When building your GMB for local SEO, make sure that you have completed all of the following steps:
- Your GMB is completely filled in and accurately with as much information that GMB allows, use as much of the character count as possible.
- Owner-verified you GMB location, this us usually done by either phone or a postcard from GMB with a code sent to your physical address.
- Make sure to include the specific city and town that you are targeting in the GMB landing page title.
- Ensure your GMB primary categories are consistent with your product, and ensure you use the same category in all directory locations that you submit across the web.
Local SEO Guide 6. Think about your Bounce Rate
One of the key factors in placing your business in the Top 3 search engine results is your WEBSITE! If your website is not up to date, mobile responsive or built by a professional then stop here and don’t bother. If you are wanting to sell your services online then make sure to invest in a website that represents your business and how amazing you are! If users are clicking the button to go to your website, then jumping strait off as soon as they turn up to your self built GoDaddy or Wix website, then this will increase your bounce rate and tell Google that people don’t like this result, meaning that google will demote your business to the second page of Google (which may as well be the 10th page). If you need a great new website, feel free to drop me a line, my team at Sigma Digital are ready and waiting!
“The Best Place to Hide A Dead Body? Page 2 of Google.”
Page 1 SERP (Search Engine Result Page) sees roughly a whopping 95% of all traffic, leaving only around 5% who actually click to the 2nd page. The very first organic result sees around 33% of overall search traffic in terms of clicks, 2nd place 17.6%, 7th place 3.5% and the 10th place (bottom of page 1) seeing a mere 2.71%!
Local SEO Guide 7. Social Proofing
This is day one week one of digital marketing and if your reading this then your more than likely already doing this! Social proofing is identifying the social media platforms that work best for your business from the big 6…Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube and you guessed it Google+, if you think we have missed one then I’m assuming you are thinking Pinterest, I personally don’t rate it but if you are a very visual brand or in the Food or Wedding market then I would seriously recommend it. One you have set your social media platforms up then its time to get a content strategy together.
Local SEO Guide 8. Consistent Content
Getting great content out their is easier than you think and there are some great tools on the market that will really help you out. One of the greatest social media scheduling tools on the planet is Hootsuite. Hootsuite allows you to pre schedule your social media on all of the big 6 meaning if you are finding it hard to be consistent with your posting then this is perfect for you. Set a day or so aside to do your social media for the month, write your posts and then schedule them all in Hootsuite, if you have a Facebook Business page you can also pre-schedule posts directly through the Facebook business interface.
Local SEO Guide 9. Unique Website Content
Google absolutely loves unique content! When it comes to creating a unique website, it goes without saying that unique content is the key. Once you have it on your website you need to focus on getting that content out there and driving traffic to your website. Once traffic is on your website then make sure its mobile responsive, fast and engaging! Find out more about the advantages of unique content on the “Is automated content marketing worth the risk?”
Local SEO Guide 10. Link Building
To grow your page authority online as a local business, you will need to build high quality links from other local websites, this is an extremely powerful tool when done correctly.
There are a number of ways for local businesses to get links. When I was working with a great brand called Top Flight Helicopters (TFH), the strategy i developed was to approach all hotels in the county and ask to be put onto their contact or directions page. With hotels that have a Helicopter landing pad they always give the coordinates, I asked the hotels to add a small link next to that if people require Helicopter transport bookings.
In repayment for this we created a page on the TFH Website with all recommended hotels, all hotels that agreed where added to that with a link in return.
Think about this strategy and think about what would work for your business, for TFH this worked incredibly and shot there GMB and Organic positioning through the roof!
Local SEO Guide 2018 Summary
OK, thats enough from me on Local SEO, if anyone need more assistance please feel free to get in touch using the contact form below!