In a mobile first world such as ours, consumers want immediate gratification. How do they do this? Using their mobile phones. Nearly a third of all mobile searches are related to a location (Search Engine Land.) The foot traffic we used to be concerned over has transformed into mobile traffic. You can spend thousands on a store front but what good is it if people are too busy looking at their phones to appreciate it? From optimising your local branch pages to designing ads to target ’near me’ searches, a lot can be done to move forward with this change. By integrating local SEO into your digital marketing strategy, you can take a massive step toward being present for those micro-moments in your customers lives.
What should I consider when designing a local SEO strategy?
Be user friendly
First, a huge mistake many businesses are still making, ensure your location pages on your website are user friendly. By optimising these and making them easier for the user to find, you’ve already taken a step towards becoming more locally focused.
The importance of location pages on your website
Creating location pages will provide consumers with the information they need to find your store. Location pages on your website will also provide users with an authoritative source for details about your store such as NAP data, hours and a unique description of your store. Ensuring the content of each location page differs is really important to avoid any negative SEO implications.
Providing location pages will then in turn boost the visibility of your business on search engines such as Google. Creating individual location pages gives Google unique information about your store, signalling its importance and allows your store to appear for searches in relevant areas.
NAP (name, address, phone number) data is a critical part of being local friendly. This is the core information customers want to know when finding your company. Because of this, it’s vital to ensure your NAP information is consistent across your website and any listings on the internet such as Google my Business. Not only will inconsistent information negatively impact your local rankings it will also lead to confused customers which could cause them to go to a competitor.
Build local citations
Building citations will add references to your business listings across directories such as Google, Bing, Facebook and Foursquare. Doing so will also give you more control over what information is out there about your business. Managing your listings will also require you to ensure information is accurate across the different directories to avoid conflicting information. This may be hard for large businesses, as doing many changes manually across all different directories will be time consuming. In this case the best plan would be to get a local listings management service.
The directories I mentioned above are the core vendors for managing listings. Without a Google My Business account your local SEO is likely to never reach its full potential. It will also give you data insights on how customers are finding your business.
Local citations will also give businesses a platform to interact with customers. Responding to reviews will attract customers by showing meaningful engagement through replies.
The increase in use of mobile searches has resulted in an increase in “near me” searches. Because of this you need to ensure your website is locally optimised so your business listing’s city name is in your-
- Meta Title
- Meta description
- H1 tag
- Content on page
- Alt text for relevant images
Build a responsive mobile friendly website
As a large majority of local searches are conducted on mobile devices while people are on the go, it is key that your website design is responsive for these users.
This is most definitely not the complete list of things you can do to improve your local SEO. If you are interested in moving with the change, take the first step and get in contact today!