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Local SEO tips to improve your search rankings

We've known for a while now that even the local brick-and-mortar businesses need to get good at the whole search engine optimisation game. The need really is self-evident, and it's been tested and repeated more times than anyone would care to count. But it's still very important to understand it.

If you're someone who is new to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), and you're just finding out that those people you see on the street with their heads in their smartphones might be your potential customers, it would be best to understand just why local optimisation is such an important thing before proceeding toward the most important local SEO tips.  We offer SEO Services if you just want the work done.  Feel free to contact us.

How Do You Know Local SEO Really Matters?

Here's how it goes. 2016 will go down in history as the year mobile devices finally overtook desktop computers for web browsing. This means that people are increasingly browsing on the go and that they are searching for things located near them.

Anywhere between 30 and 50 percent of all Google searches might be local, and around 69% of smartphone owners use their devices to help them shop. 82% of them search for things using the phrase "near me."

Of course, you can find different studies that came up with slightly different numbers, but the overall picture they paint is the same. Local business needs good local search rankings because as many as three-quarters of these searches end with a visit to a store.

Let's sum it up. People who have clear purchase intent might look for the things you sell while they're close enough to pop for a visit. You get qualified buyers looking for your products in the area where your store operates. If it sounds too good to be true, you should know it isn't, mostly. It is true. It just has a bad side, too. 

How Serious Do You Need to Get with Local SEO?

Local SEO isn't something you should get into over a weekend and think you're done with it. Local search optimisation is a highly competitive area, and the way Google's been managing only made it more so.

The top of the local search results page features a Google map and three listings. If you're trying to optimise your business' online presence for local SEO on Google, your goal is to appear in that "snack pack," the three results that are displayed prominently on the results page.

If you don't get into these select results, your business will still be findable via a local search. It's just that the person searching will have to make one extra step to access the much larger listing where your business will appear. As you can see, getting into that "snack pack" has clear advantages. 

 How to Improve Local Search Rankings in Five Steps

There isn't one single thing you need to do for your business to have a good place in local search rankings. Plenty of factors contribute to a good ranking. Taking care of each one of them is more of a process than something you just sit down and do over an afternoon or two.

Still, some things are more important to address than others. Let's see what are the five things you should do first, and that will have the most impact on your rankings.

1. Claim and Optimize the Google My Business Page

You won't get anywhere in Google's local search results without a My Business page. That's where you tell the search engine that your business exists, that it has a physical location, working hours, payment methods it accepts, and things like that.

Claiming the My Business page will literally put your business on the map. It will also give you an opportunity to create some content, which is something you should strongly consider. Most importantly, though, it will allow you to receive and answer to customer reviews.

2. Create a Mobile-Friendly Website

While a lot of local optimization is aimed at doing what Google wants you to, you should never forget that it's really about customers. The customers you're trying to attract are increasingly looking for a decent mobile viewing experience.

There are a couple of ways you can go around making your website mobile-friendly. Any one of them is perfectly fine if it helps your website display well on small screens and is easy to navigate with thumbs alone.

That's why our web design in Perth puts mobile experience first to provide the best user experience.

3. Localize Your Website with Local Keywords

There are plenty of local signals you can pack on your website. Not that the name of your neighborhood should be every other word in the website's copy. But you should make sure that some terms of local importance find their way in there.

One thing you can do is create a local "about us" page for every business location you're running. Next, you should spread mentions of local toponyms around. If you have a knack for it, you can also create content around the keywords that are related to your location.

4. Use Online Business Directories

Whether you're selling locally, regionally, or globally, you should get your website listed on online business directories. You don't need to get your business on each and every one of them. But you should sign up for as many as you can follow regularly.

Business directories can improve how easy it is to find your website. Besides the visibility boost, these websites usually provide a platform where you can get reviews and answer them. This is an incredibly important part of doing business online.

5. Get Good at Linking

Links are generally regarded as an important component of SEO. Just how important they are changes with each new Google algorithm update. Still, it's a good idea to pay attention to the links that go to and from your website.

Follow the good old linking practices: try to have high-quality links going from your website. Use guest blog posting on websites with high domain authority to get links leading back to your website. It's as simple as that.Talk to your supplier and add your website to your page. 

When you're running a local business, you want to attract as many customers close to the proximity of your business.  

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