Local SEO Tips & Advice

steve@seomark.co.uk or Contact Form or LinkedIn
These local SEO tips are for businesses who want to improve their visibility in local search results, which are those for which Google lists 3 local businesses and a map above their normal search results.

Depending on your business, and how your website is set-up, you might not be able to implement all of these tips, but implementing even 75% of them is enough for most local businesses to rank highly in the local search results.

Have an address in the town or city that you’re targeting

Without an address there, you can’t rank in the local search results for that location. You can, however, still rank in the normal search results for localised keywords, which are displayed below the local business listings.

Create and verify your Google My Business listing

After creating your Google My Business listing, verify your address (by entering the PIN code that’s posted to you) and email address (by clicking the link in the email that’s sent to you).

Remove duplicate Google My Business listings

If your business’s name, address or phone number are included on more than one Google My Business listing, then delete duplicate listings if you have login details for them, or report them to Google if you don’t have login details for them.

Fully complete your Google My Business listing

Include your address, phone number, website url, opening hours, business category, and at least 5 photos. Listings that aren’t complete stand little chance of ranking highly.

Decide what page of your website to list on your Google My Business page

Assess whether your homepage, another page on your site (contact, about us, services, etc.) or a newly created page is most relevant, in terms of on-site optimisation (title tag, header tag, written content, etc.), to include in your listing.

Use a local phone number

Include a phone number, with an area code associated to the town or city that you’re targeting, on both your Google My Business listing and on the specific page of your website displayed on your Google My Business listing.

Be consistent with your business’s name, address and phone number

Ensure that the business name, address and phone number shown on your Google My Business listing exactly matches the business name, address and phone number on the specific page of your website shown on your Google My Business listing.

Make it easy for people to contact and/or find you

Put your business’s address, phone number and email address in a clear, prominent position (that doesn’t require people to scroll down to see them) on every page of your site and add a contact form to your site’s sidebar or footer.

Add a map of your business’s location to your website

Search for your business’s address on Google Maps, click the ‘Link’ button to get the embed code for the map, and include that code on your website – ideally on the the specific page of your website shown on your Google My Business listing, but if not then on your contact page.

Include your location and keyword on your website landing page

Include the location and primary keyword that you want to rank for in the title, header tag and written content on the specific page of your website shown on your Google My Business listing.

Create a separate page on your website for each location that you want to target

If you operate in multiple locations, create a new page on your site for each of them, and optimise (title tag, header tag, written content, etc.) each of those pages specifically for that one location.

Create a separate page on your website for each product/service that you offer

Create one page that summarises all of your products/services and have that page link to other pages that each cover in detail the specifics of one of your products/services.

Write unique content for every page of your website

Using near identical text (for example, only changing the town or city name) on multiple pages of your site is more likely to get your whole site penalised than to achieve high rankings for multiple keywords.

Ensure your website looks good on multiple devices and screen resolutions

If your site fails to meet common user expectations (readable text, easy to navigate, no horizontal scrolling, etc.) on desktops, laptops, tablets and smartphones, pay a web designer to make the necessary adjustments to your site’s code.

Get your business listed on 3rd party websites

Get your business’s name, address and phone number listed on trustworthy and authoritative websites.

Get ratings and reviews on your Google My Business listing and on 3rd party websites

Ask customers to rate your business and leave reviews (mentioning specific services or products) on your Google My Business listing and on 3rd party websites (Yell, Yelp, Scoot, etc.). Ensure that ratings and reviews are spread out over a reasonable timeframe and are not fake.

Respond to new reviews

Whenever a new review is left on your Google My Business listing, sign in to your account dashboard and respond to it. If it’s a positive review, thank the reviewer for it. If it’s a negative review, address the points the reviewer made.

Build links to your website

Build links to your website (homepage and the specific page of your website shown on your Google My Business listing) from websites that are relevant in terms of topic and/or location.

Further Reading

2-Minute SEO Guide

100 SEO Tips

Homepage Optimisation

Should You Buy Backlinks?

30+ Website Content Ideas

steve@seomark.co.uk or Contact Form or LinkedIn