1. Use local keywords
Using local keywords on a business website can help optimise the site for local search engine results by increasing its relevancy to local searchers.
According to a study by BrightLocal, Google’s own figures reveal that almost half of searches now have a local intent. This means that including local keywords on the website can help improve its visibility to these local searchers.
Local keywords are words or phrases that are commonly used by people in your area when searching for your products or services. By including these keywords in your website’s content, you can help your website rank higher in local search engine results pages (SERPs) and attract more local customers.
To find the right local keywords for your website, start by researching the terms that people in your area are using to search for businesses like yours. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool or WordStream to identify popular keywords and phrases in your region.
Once you’ve identified the relevant local keywords, be sure to incorporate them into your website’s content in a natural and meaningful way. Avoid overusing the keywords, as this can make your content sound spammy and hurt your search engine rankings.
For example, if a business is a restaurant located in Bristol, using local keywords such as “Bristol restaurant” or “dining in Bristol” can help the website appear in search results for these specific terms. This can be especially useful for businesses that rely on local customers, as it helps attract the right audience to the website.
Some examples of locally optimised keywords for a business in Bristol might include:
- “Bristol hair salon”
- “Bristol plumber”
- “Bristol dental office”
- “Bristol fitness studio”
- “Bristol web designer”
By including these local keywords in the website’s content and meta tags, a business can improve its visibility in local search results and attract more local customers.
2. Claim and optimise Google My Business listing
Google My Business is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including in search and maps. Claiming and optimising a Google My Business (GMB) listing can help a local business rank well in local search engine results by providing relevant and accurate information about the business to Google.
By claiming and optimising the GMB listing, a business can provide important information such as the business name, address, phone number, and hours of operation, as well as photos and reviews. This information is used by Google to determine the relevancy and credibility of the business, which can impact its ranking in local search results.
According to insightland.org, businesses with complete and accurate GMB listings are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. In addition, GMB listings are shown more prominently in search results, making it more likely that a business will be seen by local searchers.
Some specific actions a business can take to optimise its GMB listing include:
- Providing accurate and up-to-date business information
- Adding photos and videos to showcase the business
- Encouraging customers to leave reviews
- Responding to reviews, both positive and negative
- Adding business categories and services to the listing
3. Build local citations
Building local citations can help a business website rank well in local search engine results by increasing the relevancy and credibility of the website to local searchers. Local citations are mentions of the business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites, such as local directories and review sites.
Having numerous local citations can help improve the visibility of the website in local search results, as search engines view these citations as a sign of the business’s credibility and authority. According to a study by BrightLocal, businesses ranking top 3 in Google’s local search results have an average of 85 citations.
In addition to improving search engine rankings, local citations can also help attract more local customers to the website. Many local searchers turn to local directories and review sites when looking for businesses in their area, so having a strong presence on these sites can help drive traffic to the website.
Some examples of local citation sources for a business in Bristol might include:
- Bristol Chamber of Commerce
- Bristol Yellow Pages
- Bristol City Council Business Directory
- Bristol Chamber of Commerce Business Directory
- Bristol Yelp
By building local citations on these and other relevant sites, a business can improve its visibility in local search results and attract more local customers.
4. Create location-specific landing pages
This is a great strategy to enhance your business’s local SEO. Building distinct landing pages for each location can offer local customers more detailed and relevant information, boosting your chances of ranking higher in local search results.
When creating location-specific landing pages, it’s vital to include the following:
- Location-specific details: Make sure you include the local address, phone number, hours, and all relevant information on each location page. This information should remain the same across all online directories and listings.
- Localised content: To amplify your local SEO, add content that’s relevant to the local area, such as information about nearby events, attractions, history, and news. This can establish your business as an essential part of the local community, making it more likely for your business to rank higher in local search results.
- Testimonials or reviews: Adding unique testimonials or reviews from local customers can establish your business as a trusted and respected member of the local community. This social proof can also be beneficial to potential customers and improve your chances of ranking higher in local search results.
- Call-to-action: Don’t forget to add a clear call-to-action on each landing page, such as “Visit us today” or “Schedule an appointment at this location.” This can drive more traffic and conversions to each outlet.
By crafting location-specific landing pages for each of your business locations and including these key elements, you can enhance your visibility in local search results and attract more local customers to your business.
5. Get involved in local community events and sponsorships
Active involvement in local community events and sponsorships is an effective way to increase your business’s visibility in the local area and improve your reputation as an engaged and trusted business. Getting involved in local events and sponsorships can provide opportunities for backlinks and mentions on local websites and social media, amplifying your online presence.
Here are some ways to get involved in local community events and sponsorships:
- Volunteer at local events: Volunteering at local events can provide opportunities to connect with members of the local community and showcase your business’s values and commitment to the area.
- Sponsor local events: Sponsoring local events, such as charity walks or community festivals, can provide exposure for your business and show your support for local causes.
- Host a local event: Hosting a local event, such as a grand opening or charity fundraiser, can provide an opportunity to connect with local customers and establish your business as a part of the community.
- Partner with local organisations: Partnering with local orgs, such as schools or non-profits, can provide opportunities for mutually beneficial collaborations and increase your visibility in the local community.
- Participate in local business associations: Joining a local business association or chamber of commerce can provide networking opportunities with other local businesses and provide opportunities for involvement in local events and sponsorships.
By actively engaging in local community events and sponsorships, you can improve your business’s visibility and reputation in the local area, attract new customers, and strengthen your connection to the community.
6. Use schema markup
Schema markup is a type of code that helps search engines understand the content on a website. Using schema markup in a business website can help it rank well in local search engine results by providing additional context and information to search engines about the website’s content.
One type of schema markup that can be particularly useful for local businesses is the LocalBusiness schema, which provides information about the business’s name, address, phone number, and other relevant details. This information is used by search engines to understand the content on the website and to provide relevant results to local searchers.
According to a study by Moz, websites with schema markup are significantly more likely to rank higher in search results, including local search results. In addition, using schema markup can help improve the visibility of the website in search results by providing additional information, such as the business’s hours of operation and reviews, which can be displayed in the search results.
To use schema markup, a business can add the LocalBusiness schema to the website’s HTML or use a tool like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
Some examples of the types of information that can be included in the LocalBusiness schema for a business in Bristol might include:
- The business’s name, address, and phone number
- The business’s hours of operation
- The business’s categories or services
- The business’s payment methods
- The business’s ratings and reviews
7. Optimise website for mobile
More and more people are using their mobile devices to search for local businesses. When people conduct an internet search using a mobile device, search engines are more likely to show them results related to their location. This is because people on mobile devices are more likely to be out and about, looking for somewhere to visit in person.
However, search engines only want to serve links to websites that are compatible with mobile devices, so it’s important to optimise the website for mobile to improve its visibility in local search results. Optimising a website for mobile can help it rank well in local search engine results by providing a better user experience for mobile users.
According to a study by Google, 61% of users are more likely to leave a website that is not mobile-friendly, and 40% of users will go to a competitor’s site instead.
To optimise a website for mobile, a business can use responsive design techniques, which allow the website to adapt to the size and layout of the device being used. This can include things like using a responsive layout, using larger font sizes, and designing for touch screens.
By implementing these strategies, a business can improve its visibility in local search results and attract more local customers.