8 tips and tricks – Local SEO for small business 2019
Many people are considering local SEO for small business in 2019.
Perhaps you are asking, what is local search optimisation and why should you care?
Many online companies are exercising SEO. SMB’s and local businesses largely rely on local SEO to create an online presence and increase visibility to attract more customers.
In this post, you will discover how to employ proven local search optimisation strategies to kick start your local search campaign in 2019.
How we use search engines and the content we find is always changing.
However, one thing for certain is that search engines are able to present users with the most appropriate results for the given query, based on location, search history, and browsing behaviour.
The result is that local search results are more important than ever, and if your business appears at the top of Google you will gain more leads and sales from organic search and also recieve a massive boost to your local advertising efforts.
Local competition is heating up and more and more business owners are catching on to local search engine optimisation. If you are not on top of your rankings yet, it is time to get on it. These eight effective local SEO strategies can help your small business rank higher. So here we go!
1 Titles And Meta Descriptions
Title and meta descriptions are the HTML components that allow you to describe your content that appears in the search results.
You need to make use of this and use it sensibly to increase your business visibility. Be sure not to go too long or your titles and meta descriptions will be trimmed in the results. Always put your keywords at the beginning of the sentence rather than the end.
Make your meta descriptions unique and descriptive and try to make your title and meta description powerful. Remember every character counts.
This is important and known as localisation….. remember to include the name of your location!
2 Online Directories Improve Local SEO
Tip 2 for local SEO for small business is about online directories. Google conducted research and discovered that four out of five consumers use search engines to make local searches.
However, many small businesses have not claimed their local company listing online. This is a massive error!
It is imperative local businesses get their business listed accurately and keep the information consistent.
Often referred to as a NAP – name, address, and phone number must be the same for every listing you make. If not Google could distrust your business and we really do not want that to happen.
Before publishing, don’t forget to check the spellings as misspellings, abbreviations or incorrect phone numbers can cause chaos when Google cannot determine which information is accurate. When search engines are uncertain, they could display incorrect information or nothing at all. A brilliant tool to do this is Grammarly
3 Claim Your Google My Business listing
It is very important for all local business’ to claim their Google My Business page. This is a free platform, and you can get incredible visibility!
If your business is already on Google My Business you can always claim your business. There is a verification process that you need to go through but it is pretty straightforward.
Once you get access to your GMB page you should make sure that every relevant section of your listing is complete. If you run into any issues, contact Google My Business Listing Support.
4 Optimise ‘Google My Business’ For local SEO
Once you have claimed your Google My Business you need to optimise each section.
A study by Gybo showed that users are more likely to contact or visit businesses that have a complete listing.
When optimising your Google My Business listing, pick the correct match of your company category. Many businesses think that choosing multiple category listings is better, but the truth is, it isn’t.
Google prefers businesses that classify their listing under the most relevant category. E.g. if you are a Spanish restaurant, you should pick the category “Spanish restaurant” instead of ‘restaurant.’
Other elements that you must do to optimise your GMB listing are:
- Compose a comprehensive description of your business
- Register your business in the appropriate category
- Update your business opening days/hours.
- Populate the kinds of payments accepted
- Add your logo and a photo of your business
- Attach at least ten good quality images of your products or services
- Be sure to use the new Google Posts feature to stand out
5 Get More Reviews From Your Customers
Local SEO for small business relies heavily of social signals and reviews from customers are an essential component of any successful business. A survey done by Search Engine Journal said, ‘88% of people trust online reviews’.
More than 80% of people are engaged in social media, so it’s not difficult to get in touch with your customers and collect reviews or testimonials.
There are many social media management tools out there like Hootsuite that allow you to observe your social media accounts all in one dashboard. Then whenever you get a review from customers, you can reply to it right away.
Regardless if it is a positive or negative review, answer it because it shows your customers that you value their feedback and take on board how your customers feel about your business.
The two most important places to focus on collecting reviews are your Facebook page and Google My Business page.
Google itself has said that positive reviews from customers improve your business visibility. Local ranking factor right there then!
6 Use Local Structured Data Markup
Schema markup or structured data markup is important and it should be added to your website. Structured data gives search engines more information about your business. Data such as reviews, opening times etc…
If set up precisely, you will have a much better chance of ranking higher than your rivals. To check if your markup is executed successfully, use Google’s testing tool. This allows you to see if you have done it right and it identifies any errors in your structured data.
Voice search is becoming even more important in 2019 and schema markup can help to optimise your website for voice search.
7 Publish More Locally Optimised Content
As we know, people use search engines to look for more knowledge. If your site can provide them with the answers to their questions, and at the same time Google will be more likely to present your site at the top of search results.
Search engines love new content, and this presents an excellent opportunity to publish content and provide answers to problems that people are searching for. When creating your content don’t forget to include your keywords in your:
- Page titles
- Meta descriptions
- H1, H2, and H3 tags
- ALT text
8 Have A Mobile-Friendly Website For local search
Since 2007, mobile users have been increasing and now mobile has exceeded the number of people using desktop. One of the most important local SEO for small business tips is to optimise your website for mobile.
In response, Google has said that mobile-friendly sites are more likely to rank highly in their search engine. If your website is not mobile-friendly, give yourself a kick and consider how many potential customers you could be missing out on.
Page speed is another vital factor that should be addressed if you want to rank well on search engines.
Be sure to optimise your images, allow Gzip compression, and eliminate all unused plugins. If you are not sure what’s keeping your website slow, use the PageSpeed tools by Google Developers to find out.
So, there it is!! Hopefully, your local SEO for small business campaign will get a boost by implementing these tips and tricks.
Let me know how you get on in the comments below.
My name is Danny, I am an experienced SEO consultant. Need more info or advice? Please get in touch.