5 Tips for D.I.Y Local SEO
Optimising your website for local SEO involves a lot of different elements, and will likely require an SEO professional to seriously boost your rankings in Google. However there are some steps you can take to optimise your website for local search yourself. This is especially beneficial if your services are limited to local areas.
The main aim of SEO is to make is as easy as possible for search engines to understand what your website is about. If successful, it can result in the search engine recommending you higher up the page to users who are searching for keywords that match your website. Search engines, like Google, use crawlers that crawl your website and draw data to form a conclusion about your site. Some of the types of data they crawl includes the URL structure of your website, the amount of other websites that link to yours, page content (header tags and keywords), image attributes, security certificates (now mandatory for Google) and meta tags.
It all sounds quite complex, doesn’t it? But there are some really simple steps you can take to make sure Google understands where you are and what areas you cover.
Put your address in your website footer. It may sound simple, but many websites don’t do this. Even if your business is internet only and you don’t have an office, still put your address in the footer. The purpose of this is not so customers can come knocking, but so Google crawlers can easily see this is your address and this is the area you service.
Register on ‘Google My Business’. With a Google My Business account, you can add your business to Google Maps, enable customers to leave Google Reviews, and add pictures to your Google listing. This dramatically increases the first impression a customer sees when they search for your business. Plus, you are literally telling Google where you are based, so it now knows the area you service.
Mention your service areas in your copy. That way, when a customer searches for your product or service followed by ‘in…….’ their search will match the local keyword in your copy and Google can confidently present your listing as a relevant search result to the potential customer.
Mention your service areas in your Meta Data. If you don’t have access to your CMS, you may need to get your website developer to do this for you. If you do have access, there is a really simple free WordPress plug-in called Yoast SEO that can help with Meta Data.
Register on as many citation sites as possible. Citation sites such as Yell.com are a great way to increase coverage and the more you are registered on, the better for your local SEO as Google will reference these to find out about your business. Be careful to make sure your contact information and address is exactly the same on all citation sites. Click here to see a list of the top 50 citation sites in the UK.
Following these tips won’t get you to the top position on Google but for those who don’t have the budget to hire professional SEO services, they can help boost the visibility of your business locally and make it clear to search engines what areas you cover. It’s worth mentioning that these local SEO techniques will only be beneficial if your service area is in the radius of your office/business address. If your office is in Glasgow and you offer services to customers in London, the conflicting addresses could be a hindrance to your SEO efforts. If this is the case please feel free to contact us for some advice.