LOCAL SEO TIPS FOR SMES

If you want to make your business better known and optimize your sales locally, you should do local SEO. Local SEO and its various ranking factors play an important role here.

WHAT IS LOCAL SEO?

Local SEO means taking necessary measures to be found in Google or other search engines’ local search results. Most search engines now have their own index for local search results. The ranking factors stand out from the usual search results. We tell you why you should pay close attention to local SEO.

How important is local SEO for the area search

Almost a third of searches on Google now have a direct local connection. So it is not surprising that regional SEO has become a highly regarded marketing tool for search engine optimization. It would help if you used it effectively, whether you offer a bar, a shop or a local service. The better your local SEO and the better you hit the ranking factors, the better you can appear in the local search. The result is more customers. In a nutshell: if you have a physical location that is supposed to attract customers, look after customers or sell things, local SEO is crucially important for you.

Some companies have already recognized how much sales and visitor numbers can be improved through optimized local rankings. At the same time, the efforts behind the optimization of small niches are too expensive for many large competitors. This is your chance for success.

Be the SEO king in your region and occupy the market in the best possible way.

RANKING FACTORS FOR REGIONAL OR LOCAL SEO

In addition to the advertising area in Google Search, there are exactly two areas that are of interest to local entrepreneurs like you. On the one hand, this is the generic index and, on the other hand, the local results. Different ranking factors play a role in both areas. Of course, as usual, these are not published by Google or the other search engines. A survey by the SEO experts from Moz among hundreds of specialists in the industry has shown clear ranking factors for local SEO. These are:

  • The company’s Google My Business page
  • Mention on external websites
  • The OnPage optimization for regional SEO
  • External links and backlinks
  • A company’s customer ratings
  • The effective embedding of social media in local SEO

The physical proximity to the requested location

The location of your own company is very important for regional SEO. As an entrepreneur, you often have an advantage if your business is near the city center or a certain metropolitan area. The proximity often brings you more walk-in customers. It is similar when someone searches for shops online in this region.

However, this does not apply to all companies. For example, a hardware store is very rarely in demand in the city center and can often attract more customers in the surrounding city regions. For your local SEO, you should at least take a closer look at the location factors and compare your location with the direct competition locations. This way, you can quickly see whether you have to invest a lot or little energy in your local SEO to be ahead of the search results’ competition. By optimizing the other ranking factors, you can often easily compensate for an unfavorable location.

NAME, ADDRESS AND TELEPHONE NUMBER IN LOCAL SEO

Name, address, and phone number are essential in Local SEO. This information must be the same on the company website and your Google My Business page, in business directories and all social media channels. It would help if you always considered the following ranking factors:

The full company name must always be included with the name. You can, however, supplement this with the services you offer and define it more clearly. Furthermore, you should pay particular attention to the address that there are no differences in the spelling or format. The address should be written identically in all of the above areas. Finally, the correct telephone number is also very important. It should also correspond to one of the common standards.

GOOGLE MY BUSINESS: LOCAL SEO MADE EASY

A Google My Business page  is vital to regional SEO because the content of the page is used for the ranking of the local searches and presented accordingly by Google. It means photos, opening times and customer ratings are displayed directly to the right of the local hits in the search results. You need a Google account for your own Google My Business page. For your local SEO, always make sure that this page contains all new and relevant information and is regularly updated.

Furthermore, when creating the Google My Business page, you should make sure that both the type of company and the possible categories optimally fit your company and categorize it perfectly. These factors are crucial for regional SEO. In combination with the short company description on the page, you can provide searchers with a comprehensive picture of your company.

By adding good, high-quality photos and specifying your opening times, potential customers can quickly get an idea of you and your company.

Customer ratings and local SEO

Reviews have an important function for both customers and search engines. But as an entrepreneur, you also benefit from the reviews if you use them to improve your service, for example. Google not only uses the ratings as part of the ranking factors but also shows them like stars in the local search from six ratings. It attracts attention and, with good reviews, also a noticeable increase in customers. If you get a lot of bad reviews, this can hurt your local SEO. You should take customer criticism to heart and optimize your company or your services in such a case.

In addition to the ratings on Google, other rating portals are also included in the local search. The most important portals are:

  • Google My Business
  • Yelp
  • Trustpilot

Local SEO can enormously increase the success of small businesses.

Local citation in business directories

Although business directories have lost much of their importance, they still play an important role for a regional company. The local citation refers to the naming of your company with all important company data on the Internet. Despite the dwindling relevance for healthy SEO, you can strengthen your presence in the relevant business directories with local citations. Depending on how big the industry and the metropolitan area are, such notes can also lead to direct traffic.

Optimizing for mobile devices in local SEO

A large part of the local searches is carried out on mobile devices. Your site must be optimized for local SEO for mobile devices. Websites without such optimization are no longer or rarely displayed to searchers. So if you want to improve your regional SEO sustainably, your site must at least have a responsive design.

ONPAGE OPTIMIZATION FOR LOCAL SEO

You can also do a lot on your website to support your local SEO. In addition to the factors mentioned above, you can optimize a few other points on your website for your regional SEO. These topics then fall under the OnPage optimization and only gain a local reference.

  • The main homepage heading should contain both name and location and the main keyword.
  • The meta title of the homepage should also include these factors. If space allows, you can add the district to this information.
  • Try to keep the local SEO in mind in the texts of your website and establish regional references.
  • The route description also plays an important role in local SEO
  • Publish your opening times on your website
  • You can also improve your regional SEO through regular content with a local reference and added value for the reader. Ideally, use a blog in which you can particularly work out the regional reference.

Use and integrate Schema effectively

Schema.org is a jointly operated project by “Microsoft, Google and Yahoo” and improves the understanding of information on websites. If you use these guidelines, you can optimally display all relevant information on your website for the search engine crawlers. These so-called “awards” are not visible to the normal user, but they play an immensely important role as ranking factors in local SEO. Labeling your pages according to Schema.org’s requirements is unfortunately not possible with all content management systems and often involves a lot of effort. In short, you should weigh up whether this work is worth it for you and your local SEO.

Use social media for local SEO

By integrating the various social media such as Facebook, Google+ or Twitter, you can have a lasting influence on your local SEO. All signals via these social media channels are also taken into account by search engines. It can be done with little effort and offers enormous advantages for your regional SEO.

Suppose you have your own social media channels for your company. In that case, the number of fans and followers and the channels’ activity also play a role in your local SEO. However, creating such a social media channel only makes sense if you actively operate it and connect directly with your customers. Pro forma solutions are recognized by the search engines and can even be detrimental to your ranking.

The checklist for your success in local SEO

Here is a summary of all the important factors for your success in local SEO.

  • A uniform presentation on all channels you use
  • The name, address, and telephone
  • The use of local keywords for the ranking factors
  • Encourage customers to give reviews and respond to them
  • Use negative reviews to improve your performance
  • Local SEO lives from good photos. Use this on your website and your My Business page
  • Keep all your online presences up to date
  • Create entries in business directories and keep them up to date
  • Use suitable categories in Google My Business for your company

If you consider these important points for your local SEO, you can benefit enormously from Local SEO and rank your company better in the local search results. On top of that, it will also bring you new potential customers and, in all probability, more sales.

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