In 2019, local SEO was important, but in 2020, it is essential!
With people locked down in their homes and unable to go anywhere much outside of their immediate community, companies need to focus on targeting customers who live close by. They have a captive market – quite literally.
Local SEO is something of a dark art, but also a skill you can master, so long as you practice the following techniques.
Encourage Customer Reviews
Local businesses live and die by their Google and TrustPilot review scores. Therefore, you must encourage your best and happiest customers to leave reviews online about your business.
A few years ago, Google changed its algorithm to prioritize reviews in its search rankings, promoting companies with excellent performance. The more positive feedback you can generate, the better.
Create Listings For All Your Locations
YEAH! Local recently did some extensive research on the importance of using services like Google My Business to create online listings. Companies that sign up get preferential treatment because Google is able to confirm that they are, indeed, genuine enterprises looking for customers.
The smartest companies list ALL their locations so that users can see their nearest option.
The more listings you have, the more visible your site becomes.
Reference Keywords In Your Page Titles
Search engines are smart, but they still rely on keywords to inform them of the content of a page. Smart firms, therefore, include relevant local keywords in their page titles.
Here are some examples of how you might do this:
- Honda Dealership in Swansea
- Car Mechanic In Boston
- Logistics Company based in New York
- Atlanta Hairdresser
- Music teacher in Cincinnati
You get the picture. It doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler you can make it, the better.
Optimize Your Page Copy To Reflect Your Target Geography
It is not accidental that most businesses include the name of the local area in their page titles. They do this because they know that SERPs will pay attention. The same, however, is true of page copy too. You want the text also to mention the local search terms you wish to target.
Keep Your Address Format Consistent Across The Web
How you write your address online matters more than you might think. Search engines want to have confidence that they’re presenting their users with the correct information about your company. Thus, they scour the web for data relating to your email address, telephone number, and physical location. If the algorithms are confident enough that the information is correct (because it is consistent across the web), they will present it to customers and boost your ranking. If it isn’t, then Google can punish you.
It is vital, therefore, to check all your social media accounts, directories and websites to ensure that the data is consistent.
The coronavirus pandemic is making local SEO more important than ever before. If you can provide services to local people, your business will be in a much better position to thrive once the dreaded lockdown comes to an end.