Local Search Engine Optimisation or “Local Search”
Local Search Engine Optimisation(SEO) has become crucial to any business that carries a website and who wants to attract work from their local area. Google has made huge improvements with how they rank businesses in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
You will have noticed the change in search results over the past 6 months with an additional 7 location based results (or google places results) being found on page one of the results page. Then more recentlythis being dropped back to a 3 pack. If you are based in the local area searched then it’s optimal to be found in these results along with being found organically on page one. With Google giving more credentials to Google Plus and reviews it’s essential you have fully optimised your Google My Business account. With over 50% of searches now incorporating a location attached to them – being found by your local clients can be easier than you first thought.
The top search marketing sites have a ton of information about local search and the importance of being found in your back yard. SEMRush have excellent guest bloggers that allow you to gain a few sneaky tips. Ryan Johnson recently gave away 3 Tips.
How consumers changed their local search patterns:
As Google or Bing have more businesses optimising their websites to be found more easily, it has flooded the search result pages. Consumers, or your prospective clients have cottoned on to this. They have found the more generic search terms such as ‘Local SEO‘ don’t necessarily give them the results they are after. Instead consumers attach a locality like ‘Auckland‘ to their search, for example ‘local SEO Auckland‘, will now show companies which perform the service, ‘Local SEO and also companies which are in or around the location of Auckland. This change in search pattern has opened up the possibility for the smaller local businesses to be found on page one of Google or other major search engines. As consumers continue to change the way they search, Google will change it’s algorithm to keep up with the change. At this point in time; It’s a win for Local Businesses in New Zealand!
Google My Business
This is the foundation of any Local Search Engine Optimisation. Complete your profile to the full extent including all business details, logo, photos and ensure your address is verified.
Google verify your business by sending a postcard to your business address containing a PIN code, input the pin into your Google My Business platform.
Once you are verified you then have the chance to be found in the top 3 Google places results on the first page. This is only the first step, Next, Reviews:
Contact a Local Search Expert
Contrary to what most marketing companies say, Reviews carry huge weight in regards to Local Search Results. And so they should.
A MOZ study shows a weighting of 8.4% in 2015, expect this to increase throughout 2016 and into next year.
Reviews are the voice of past and present clients. The new form of Word of Mouth. They can entice the consumer to navigate to your website instead of a competitor’s. Google have realised this and promote businesses higher in the search results which carry more reviews. Yelp – as much as they don’t admit it, are a review site which more and more consumers turn to when looking for a local business to hire. Ensure you claim your Yelp profile and optimise this so it is complete. You will be surprised at how highly the Yelp site is ranked in local search results. Although you cannot pay or offer discounts or additional services in exchange for reviews, encourage your clients and family members to leave as many reviews as possible – optimally these will be great reviews with 5 star ratings.
Are citations important for local businesses rankings? The answer is yes. Both social media mentions and local directories that confirm your place of business still hold weight in regards to your site ranking high in search results.
Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Google+ and Yelp are all avenues consumers turn to when looking to hire a local company. The search engines take into account how often your are engaging with clients via Social Media via these platforms and how often you are being mentioned.
White Pages, Yellow Pages, Localist and Hotfrog all confirm your locality and place of business. This reinforces the Google My Business listing are all credible Local Listing sites in googles eyes.
Contact page of your website:
Your contact page needs to clearly identify your business. Include your full address, geo-localised map, all your contact details and links through to all your social media profiles.
Have a clear layout and ensure your contact form is easily accessible and can be completed with ease.
Advanced Marketing Ltd are experts in Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). We know how to ensure your website is being found locally and by the right type of clients.
Contact us today to arrange a time to discuss your Local SEO requirements.
Arrange an appointment with a Digital Strategist