Improving Local Search Engine Optimisation

How Do You Get Found In Local Searches

As a small local business your website rankings might be more dependent on people finding you at a local rather than a national or international scale. For local results you need to look at both your website and your off-site endeavours to improve local search engine optimisation.

Where Do You Start?

Getting found in local searches starts with you actually identifying what your aimed 'reach' is. Do you service an area 10 kilometres from your location, 50km or a wider radius again? 

By knowing this you can start to list the most important suburbs and postcodes that fit within your target area. Combining locational keywords with the most important keywords for your business in the optimising of your web pages will help you increase your appeal to the search engines. 

Are you a plumber in Doncaster, Melbourne? Consider the varied search terms that people may use like

  • plumber Doncaster
  • plumber eastern suburbs Melbourne
  • plumbing Doncaster
  • plumber 3108
  • plumbing services Manningham
  • plumber Templestowe, Box Hill 

This list is just a starting point in your understanding of local SEO but it does show that different people will search for products and services in different ways. Be warned - you do not want to 'keyword stuff' your pages as this will only end in your site being penalized. Your pages need to work for both human visitors and search engines.

Show Your Address

When you have a physical address be sure to display it, preferably alongside a local phone number. Toll free numbers are fine (but display them as secondary phone numbers). A local number reinforces the 'local nature' of your business. 

An easy way to show your address is by adding a map (which you can grab from your Google Places listing- see below) – this shows exactly where your business is, and people can even create directions of how to get there from their current location. 

Supporting the Use of Keywords and SEO on Your Website

Adding geolocal keywords to your website is a great start to being found for local searches but it needs to be supported by some information that exists externally to your website.

1. Have a Google Places listing and (if it is not already) link it to a Google + page for your Business.

Seek out your existing customers and clients and ask them if they can make a recommendation for your business either with a review or a +1 (which is similar to a Facebook ‘like’).

2. Have Local Directory Listings

Most countries have local directories that are usually free to join- add your business listing and make sure to use the same information that is displayed on your website and Google Places listing. 

Nicole O'Reilly

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