Did you know that local searches are becoming more & more relevant in the Google search engine?
All the more reason for you to improve the Local SEO for your business on the internet, right?
The evolution is unstoppable, not only small businesses but also brands with different locations are clearly betting on positioning strategies based on local searches that customers make.
The fact that 46% of all searches made on Google are local is not insignificant.
The potential is enormous & now, more than ever, we have the tools to make it much easier for us to achieve better positioning in Local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO, or local positioning, includes all those actions that we carry out to position the activity of our business on the internet for a specific physical location or geographical area.
Of course, these actions can be carried out focusing on positioning for Google (used in the UK for more than 90% of all searches) but also for other less-used search engines such as Bing.
In short, it's all about optimising the internet presence of our business so that it's shown for certain search intentions that a user makes.
And yes, the key is to satisfy search intentions, in this case, local ones.
Is Google My Business The Only Tool For Local SEO?
Google My Business is the most important tool you can use, because of the great advantages in terms of visibility and positioning that it offers businesses to connect with customers.
In this post, we'll show you how to squeeze the full potential from Google My Business for your business.
Even so, and despite the importance of having an optimised listing, it's not the only thing you should concentrate all your efforts on.
There are a whole series of actions that are also necessary and that in some cases will also help you to position yourself in GMB.
You must understand Local SEO as a set of actions that add up & complement each other to achieve better positioning.
On the other hand, actions carried out separately will not achieve a better result.
Actions To Improve The Local SEO Of Your Business
Below we are going to detail some of the actions (apart from the use of the GMB file) that are key to improving the local positioning of your business.
Registration of local data information in social profiles
There are social networks that are great for improving your online presence based on physical location.
The main ones we recommend you to have a presence on are:
70 million businesses are already registered on it thanks to the important database that is Facebook.
In this app the customer can find all those events & businesses that are close to their location, it also has reviews and recommendations from nearby contacts.
Another fantastic app that allows local & proximity businesses to connect with customers.
It's clearly focused on types of businesses that offer services and products in a physical location.
For example, restaurants, bakeries, hairdressers...
And of course, in addition to being able to manage a company page & reviews from your customers, another of the great advantages for businesses is that its free.
This is the most specialised app of all, in this case in the tourism & hospitality sector, but also one of the veterans, most used & with the most power in the customer's purchasing decision.
Their reviews & recommendations are the keys to this social network.
Having a profile with information about your business, managing customer reviews & other functions are free, although if you want to promote your business or have access to more interesting options there is a cost.
These are the main apps that we recommend, however, in your geographical area, you may have access to other apps or directories that could also be useful from private initiatives (e.g. merchant associations) or public (e.g. city councils, communities or other public bodies).
The important thing is that you do not miss these opportunities & that your business has a presence in them.
Do Keyword Research With Keywords That Use The Location Of Your Business
When we talk about Keyword Research, what are we referring to?
Basically, it's the process of defining a series of general & most important keywords for which we try to position our business within the search engine results.
This is a necessary and common practice in any SEO strategy.
The difference is that our keywords are linked to our business location.
Let's say your business is a flower shop in Manchester.
In that case, you need to position it for search intentions such as:
Where can I buy flowers near me?
Where can I buy roses?
For this type of search intent, it will not be enough to try to position for general keywords such as "florist", "florist", "buy roses", "buy tulips", or "florist".
You will have to try to position yourself for keywords such as "florist in Manchester", "buy roses in Manchester", "buy tulips in Manchester".
That way you are responding more directly to a local search intention.
The procedure to carry out general Keyword Research is practically the same for local SEO & thus you can use the same tools to find those local keywords:
- Google Ads Keyword Planner
- Google Trends
- Google suggest (autocomplete)
- Google Related searches
- Keyword Surfer
Register Your Business On Bing Places & Apple Maps
There is a saying that goes "don't put all your eggs in one basket", and this certainly applied to your online SEO efforts too.
Entrusting all your efforts to Google My Business & thus Google alone is not a good idea.
That's why there are other tools that are beginning to gain relevance & your business should take them into account.
It's a tool very similar to GMB in what it offers us in terms of functionalities for our business (visibility of the listing on maps and Bing search engine, management of the listing, etc.).
To register is as simple as this:
- Register your business.
- Check that it's not already listed, if it is you can claim it, and if it's not you can create it from scratch, even adding several locations at once.
- Complete your profile.
- Add information about your business, photos, opening hours, services and products as well as any other valuable information for your customers.
- If you already have a Google My Business listing you can import all your data automatically, just by clicking a button!
- Verify your business You can do this by phone, email or physical address, so they can't remove your business listing.
The iPhone in the UK already has a market share of 20% of the total number of smartphones sold, and it seems that the trend is upwards.
It's quite reasonable to think that a large percentage of these users are also going to use Apple Maps.
You may be thinking that even iOS users prefer Google maps, and you may be right, but there are still users who do use it, and that alone gives you a powerful reason to register your business listing.
Define Structured Data schema On Your Web Pages
Structured data are a bit of a mystery for most people when it comes to integrating them into a website.
They are nothing more than the way in which Google helps us indicate what type of information, or content, we are publishing on our website so that we can show this information in an adapted way in the search results.
In this case, we are interested in all those structured data snippets that are related to local results.
To implement the markup you can use Google's structured data markup wizard and select the local businesses option.
Then enter the URL you want to start tagging & fill in all the information requested by the wizard.
Once completed, you will be able to check the code provided in the test tool that Google provides us with.
If everything is correct, you can add the code to the "head" section of the relevant page of your website.
Optimise The NAP Of Your Business
The NAP is a reference to the words Name, Address & Phone number.
A NAP is one of the most important Local SEO ranking factors.
If the NAP is displayed consistently & repeatedly on different websites, social networks, apps and tools it provides a greater number of signals that reaffirm the local positioning of a business.
Conversely, NAPs that lack consistency, are incomplete or have mismatched data do not help a business local positioning.
Therefore, it's important to differentiate between the two ways in which a NAP can be found:
Structured: all data is structured in one location, for example in a business directory.
Unstructured: the data is separated. For example on a company website where the company name is in the header and the physical address in the footer.
Our advice is to do a thorough analysis of how your NAP is displayed on the web, not only on your own websites, social networks or apps but also on those of third parties to check that all the data is correct & if not, to correct any errors.
But don't just stick with the ones you already have, also take advantage of this to increase the number of NAPS that refer to your business.
Perform On-Site SEO To Your Business Website
As we have seen throughout this post, it's necessary to optimise our website for certain local keywords & this is something that also affects the structure of our website in the same way.
But first of all, we must differentiate between two types of business:
Businesses with a single location
Businesses with several locations
For businesses with only one location, we can optimise the homepage for local keywords, as well as the services, products & contact pages, and we can even use our local keyword on the latter.
Here are some examples for a plumbers website:
As you can see in the URLs above, local keywords are used & optionally you can choose a domain that also includes the location of the business.
For local businesses with several locations, it's a bit different.
On the home page, you try to rank for general keywords, and on the other hand, depending on the home page, you create a page for each location.
On each location page, you try to use local keywords related to that location & at the same time other pages of services & products related to that location depend on this page.
This is the structure we propose:
Throughout this post, we have reviewed the main actions that will help your business to be more visible to more customers & therefore also get more sales.
All of them are actions that do not require a large amount of money, nor are they complicated to implement, but rather require a certain amount of time to implement them all.
Therefore, we recommend that you do not leave it any longer & start now to improve the Local SEO of your business.