Looking for a plumber near you? Or wanting your favourite takeaway’s number? Or maybe find something from your local hardware store? We’ve all done these searches, more and more our online queries are being answered with business names, numbers, and locations.

That is because many businesses are implementing SEO. When you use this guide’s strategies and resources, it will help you to get your business found online by your local customers by increasing your online visibility.


What is Local SEO?

Gone are the days of yellow pages and telephone directories. Online search engines have taken over and will remain, evolve and grow bigger. Local Search Engine Optimisation is the platform for local businesses to be found, online, by a local audience.

If your business profile is ranked higher, the chances are your business will have higher sales than your local competitors. People trust Google to display the best website for them, so to rank your business website to position 1-3 in Google is GOLD!

This effective way to market your business and promote your services and products challenges you to optimise your local business better. Any search with “…near me” added are immediately recognised by Google and the options listed will be on the basis of location.


Your Website Design – Technical On-page SEO

Your small business website design is one of the most important vehicles of communication with your customers. It is a vital part of your marketing strategy over which you have total control. With the variety of devices that can connect these days with the internet, it’s necessary to design a responsive website – an approach that enables your website to resize and change according to the screen’s resolutions of the client. Make sure that the Google spiders are able to easily crawl through your website to store the contents appropriately on its database.

Also look at how visual and functional the aspects on your website are arranged.

Is your contact information easy to find on the page?

Have a separate contact page with the exact same information that’s on Google My Business, with a hyperlinked email address and telephone number so customers can easily get in touch. Also, make sure to have a map or directions to the shop site. And don’t forget… Make your website mobile friendly – it is projected that 70% of the next 2 years’ searches will be done from a mobile device.

It will also be absolutely beneficial if your website can load quickly as customers quickly lose patience, it also is an important factor to Google – if your site is slow Google will penalise your web ranking. Use GT Metrix to check your page speed and Google’s Mobile-Friendly tools to help your website adapt to your mobile customers while making it easy for them to contact you at the top or bottom of all the pages.

Your web content must show exactly what services and products your offer and where to find your business. If customers don’t know what you do and where to find you they’re not going to come! Finally, keep your website fully relevant and contextual to your customers’ needs.


Google My Business 

Google My Business is your business information and profile on Google. It was previously named Google Local, or Google+ Local. Google My Business allows you to add your business to local business searches and listings.

In 2019 and beyond, your Google My Business Page is paramount to your business. Google presents the top local 3 options for customers in the “local pack” which can be found at the top of customers Google search page.

You can add a lot of information about your business to your GMB account, including the services you offer, opening times, contact details and business description. It is important to know that reviews, Q&A’s, and attributes on GMB are all created by consumers with experience of your business.

One important factor of a GMB profile is keeping it up to date, accurate, and detailed, as to keep it relevant. It will also have a greater possibility of appearing in local searches as a trustworthy and appealing option that invites searchers to see more.


Using Social Media For Your Local Business

There are quite a few social media platforms on which you can advertise your business (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snap Chat, etc.) Your first step is to find out from existing customers which social media platforms they frequent and then work from there. If your business is highly visual then Instagram is a great platform that you need to be all over!

Find out where your customers hang out most and get on it! Do a quick survey this week and then get started.

Find inspiration by looking at what similar, successful small business nearby are doing, what they are posting, and how they are reaching their consumers.

Find out what the demographic, or target audiences are, and form your posts according to it. Your basic idea is that you want to attract customers and prospective customers and to invite them to interact with you. Engage them and make them a part of your business by asking their opinions. Encourage them to share what your products or services have done for them.

It is, of course, highly encouraged to share posts with visual content: Photo’s, GIFs, and videos. All these help attract the eye and reaction from consumers.


Earning Reviews

As we’ve encouraged you to interact with your customers, here are a few tips and tricks on how to earn reviews.
The best way to encourage customers to review your business is by providing the best experience possible. In short, make effort to surpass the expectations of your customers. Consider visual encouragement in the forms of banners, window clings and business cards. Another way is to collect customer contact details at the time of service. Follow up after a few days by asking them to write a review on possible platforms.

Responding to reviews is, of course, the key to gaining more. The more you reply to reviews, the more likely new customers are to leave their review as well. A simple “thank you” is common courtesy to customers who take time to leave a positive review, though a personal response is much better. Even replying courteously to negative comments makes a good impression on customers.


Citations And Directories

Citations, or your business’ address and city name, are very necessary for business. You need to make sure it is accurate and up to date so that a customer is able to locate you offline. A citation is any place your business’ NAPW (Name, Phone Number, Address, Website URL) appears online. They help consumers discover your business online as well as impact local search engine rankings. They may appear in local business listings, websites, apps, social platforms, or even in local articles. These are quite important to get into place, as competitors who have them may otherwise overtake you in business.

Businesses without accurate information in local directories often lose customers because of it, from a large firm SEO in New York to any small business SEO in London. For this reason, it is essential to clean up and update citations regularly.

Need help? We can help you manage your business citations.


Importance of Search Keywords

Don’t use the jargon of the industry, but rather use the terms of a layperson. You have to use the relevant keywords that your customers frequently use when they do searches. Listen attentively when speaking on the phone with your customers or when you’re reading their emails. Look attentively at the category points when Google My Business shows you any related keywords.

If you do a Google search, go to the end of the page and see the related terms of what you’ve searched for. Include your metropolitan area, state, and city liberally as part of the key phrases. Craft your keywords or key phrases in your Title Tags. This isn’t just a “plug-and-play” moment, but it takes time. Remember your prospective clients are going to see these as they’re searching. Lastly, keep in mind that your keywords must be linked into some of the text in your website (anchor text).


Content Marketing

To share essential information freely is content marketing. When one is sharing information, you are most likely attracting your audience and beginning to form your brand. One of the most familiar ways of content marketing is blogging. When you share information, your clients will conclude that you are an expert and your service or product will sell so much easier.

Why is writing content so important? When you write your content correctly and Google reads it, your ranking will be higher, because your content will be full of the keywords used by your customers’ search terminologies.


Regular Website Audits 

When you review your website look out for anything that you obviously can improve. Look if the colours used on your web page are appealing. The focus should always be on the content and the colours should accentuate it. Headings and links should be apparent. Make sure all the links are still working. If you’re using videos or images make sure that it’s relevant. Your page layout must be clear for visitors to understand where exactly they want to go next. Keep the proof, reassurance, or testimonials of the quality of your product up to date. Check the relevancy of your keywords. Look at your site structure.

Is it sensible?

Are the main pages included in the menu?

Is it reachable from a menu at the foot of your pages?

Have a quick look at your introduction.

Is it clear enough for Google and your customers?

Has every page a specific focus or topic?

As you have got this far, just to let you know we conduct FREE SEO audits for our readers – click here to run your FREE SEO audit and get the results immediately.

Thanks for reading!

We are passionate about helping small businesses succeed with digital marketing – get in touch today for a FREE consultation on how we can help your business grow.