2019-05

How to attract more customers through local SEO

by Marvin Fathi
 | 
14 May 2019
How letterbox marketing works in the digital age
Local SEO must be at the heart of your marketing strategy to enable your customers to find your business online.

Why is local SEO so important?

Did you know that of the 100 billion queries each month on Google, 46% of searches have a local intent? (25% in 2012) (source: Nick Wilsdon)

This is why local SEO matters. For search engines, especially Google, the constant sharpening of algorithms gives increasing importance to geographical criteria. Therefore, the location of the user allows personalised and local related results. Google is smarter than ever - So someone who lives in Sydney, searching for “Florist” or “local SEO company” is still executing a query with Local Intent.

Today's high level of relevance, such as ranking results by user location, is an excellent opportunity to generate qualified traffic. Any business or organisation with a local catchment area must look after its local search results. Instead of trying to rank for general search terms related to your business, local SEO allows you to focus on more specific queries, even if they are fewer, they are more qualified!

Competition is also more dispersed. Focusing activities in a specific local catchment area only limits the influence of competitors. In addition, it allows focus on a specific and targeted audience that will quickly see the existence and dominance of a particular offer close to the audience’s location. According to Hubspot, 72% of consumers who did a local search visited the business within 24 hours. (Source: Hubspot) Local SEO is still a new concept.

Right now, it is the perfect time to jump on the local SEO optimisation in order to give you an edge over your competitors.
 

How can I improve my local SEO results?

  • Research your Local SEO keywords
  • Local SEO Store Optimisation
  • Optimise your Google My Business
  • Bing Local Optimisation Is Still Important
  • Take Advantage of Online Business Directories
  • Optimise your social profiles
  • Guest posting
  • Go mobile

How to find local SEO keywords

Let’s take the case of a Pizzeria restaurant in North Sydney— it’s called Pizza Momo (this is an example only). It would be great to appear as number one for searches like:
 

  • "Pizza near me”
  • “Pizza North Sydney”
  • “Pizza in my area”
  • “Pizza Momo”
  • “What time does Pizza Momo close”?

But how do you get to this result? – By optimising your website with Local keywords! For a local business, you would generally seek to position on searches such as "business’s name + city". For example:
 

  • North Sydney pizza
  • Pizza North Sydney
  • Pizza in North Sydney

It’s really easy. Just make sure to create a list of all your business’s services and the area you serve. In order to create a list of potential keywords, here are a few strategies:
 

  • Brainstorm with other people
  • Use Keyword Ideas tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush
  • Find the keywords your competitors use

Tip: Having your keywords in the first 100 words and in the last 100 words of your content is essential to improve your rankings.

Local SEO Store Optimisation

The rules that apply for standard SEO are the same for local SEO. If your website is not properly optimised, it will be difficult to place yourself in the SERPs. The first thing you need to do is to create a custom contact page for each location.

How do you create a local SEO landing page?
 

  • Content is king when it comes to SEO. Some sources suggest having at least 350 words of content on local pages. Nowadays, people want more information and details about your business. Give them what they want! Title tag, meta description tag and H1-H6 Heading Tags do still matter so make sure to optimise them with your local keywords.On your location page, be sure to clearly indicate your "NAP" (Name, Address and Telephone).
  • Add a map on each location page in order to increase the user experience on your site.
  • Add Testimonials on your pages. Google looks at testimonials as a trust signal.
  • A good website structure with sitemap
  • Logical and smooth navigation
  • Internal links
  • Clear URL structure
  • Using schema markup for local SEO could help to improve your search engine rankings.

Google My Business

Signing up on Google My Business is the essential place to start. This account allows you to manage your presence on Google's search engine and more specifically Google Maps. By completing your account and collecting the reviews, you'll improve your rankings.

Here are some tactics to leverage your Google local SEO:
 

  • Verify and complete at 100% of your Google My Business ListingBe sure your NAP Information is consistent (Name, Address and Telephone)
  • Add a description on GMB is useful
  • Choose the right Business category
  • Actively manage GMB reviews and questions to ensure potential customers are serviced. According to a study, 30% of consumers say they’ve judged a business based on its responses to reviews. (Source: brightlocal)
  • Stand out with original and quality photos (At least three exterior photos, three interior photos, photos of the most popular products and services you sell, three management and team photos)
  • Optimise your images: rename each image and add tags and descriptions to your images whenever possible
  • Offer a 360 ° virtual tour of your business to attract even more customers
  • The new menus/services feature on Google My Business is a great new addition. Use it!

Tip: Add Images Regularly! Google improves the visibility on Google SERPs for the business listings that are constantly updating their GMB.

Bing Local Optimisation Is Still Important

Why Register Your Business on Bing Places?

You might think that you don’t need to worry about Bing because their Worldwide search market share is far smaller than Google's. That’s wrong. Bing is bigger than you think! Although most of the research is still done on Google, Bing could see their market share grow due to new contracts with companies like Apple or Facebook so do not disregard Bing.

When it comes to Local SEO in Australia, Bing Places is more important now than ever - why?
 

  • Lower competition
  • Cheaper advertising than Google
  • Useful tool for local service

Take Advantage of Online Business Directories

Online Business Directories strategy can be classified as off-page optimisation. These online directories allow you to create and claim all listings for your business.

Advantages:
 

  • Indicate your business name, address, phone number or website (NAP + W)
  • Local focused backlinks
  • Citations represent 13% of the components used in the ranking algorithm by Google

Make sure the information across your website, your GMB listing and local directories are the same. Search Engines look for these consistencies as a source of truth. This should boost Map Pack inclusions & local traffic.

Tip: Find local Businesses or communities around your area with a good Domain Authority (DA) is the best way to improve your local search ranking.

Optimise your social profiles

Social media is more important now than ever so it shouldn't be neglected. Pay attention ot hwo main criteria:
 

  • Content shared on social media
  • Reviews on Social media

In regards to the second point ‘reviews on social media’, Google is now adding “Reviews from the web” at the bottom of some knowledge panel. These reviews are user-generated content from third party sites. (e.g Facebook, Yelp…) It looks like having a “Reviews from the web” helps the local SEO strategy. Do not hesitate to reply to your customers, Google loves interactions!

Guest posting

“Guest posting” means writing and publishing a post on someone else’s website or blog. Google loves fresh and valuable content so feel free to use it as a local SEO strategy! It’s one of the best ways to get high-quality backlinks. Objectives:
 

  • Good Quality Content (500 - 1300 words)
  • Original Content (No duplicate content)
  • Page Headings: H1,H2,H3
  • Bold, Italics
  • Text is split into small paragraphs
  • Link Anchor Text (links to your local business page)

Tip: Write about the region and the history of the company in this region. Specifying your exact location will tell and show people (and search engines) where you are in their vicinity.

Go mobile

Did you know that 91% of people in Australia use a mobile device or smartphone and 56% of mobile queries have local intent?

If you are not aware of this situation, this is a major reason why it is important to r optimise your website for mobile. Furthermore, back in 2015 Google updated his algorithm and included the ‘mobile-friendliness’ signals. The term “Mobile-first indexing” means that the mobile version of a website becomes the starting point for what Google include in their index which then determines the website’s ranking.

You need to optimise your website for mobile in order to compete in the local search results!

Get in touch with Salmat to find out more about our local search SEO services.

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About the author
Marvin Fathi

Marvin Fathi is the SEO Operations Manager for Salmat. He has more than three years of digital agency experience and has worked for strong brands in competitive markets across Australia. Specialising in local SEO operations, Marvin is passionate about continuously improving and automating processes to accelerate the optimisation and organic growth of his clients’ websites.

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