Why You Need Local SEO for Your Business Website

Google now place much more importance on local search results, which makes local SEO crucially important for businesses, even if it’s a national or global business. There are approximately 7.5 billion local searches per month, and 87% of people who search locally online will contact one within 24 hours. This makes the need for local SEO clear to see, as the important thing online is what people are searching for, how the internet responds and the actions people take as a result. Search engine optimisation has changed and continues to change.

This is why you need to get local SEO for your business. It can make the difference in the long run. 

At one time local businesses could get away with relying on foot traffic and more traditional forms of advertising to compete, but today many more people are using search engines to find local businesses. With the creation of Google+Local, local SEO has become a necessity. Even if SEO was already a priority for your business, the ranking factors for local SEO differ from traditional SEO. This is particularly true of link building.

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Updating Your Business Information Will Help Your Local SEO Strategy. But Make Sure It’s Perfect…

Updating NAP information (name, address and phone number) accurately and consistently on your website, but also across online directories and social media, is very important. This is not simply so that people can contact you, but also for effective local SEO. Something as simple as a typo in the name or the address of your business in a single directory can negatively affect your business’ ranking. That is why it is imperative that you take your time to ensure that you can manage your local SEO strategy properly. If you don’t, you risk the prospect of missing out on so many positives (which we will mention below for you). But we before that…

Update It As You Go. You Don’t Want To Fall Behind. 

If your business has ever changed its name (even slightly), moved addresses, or changed/added a phone number it can hurt the consistency within directories if this information isn’t exactly the same on your Google+ page, Yelp, Foursquare, etc. Other important aspects to include in both your website and online social media profile include hours of operation, forms of payment accepted, pricing, general product/service information, reviews/testimonials, links, and proximity to customer’s location.

You must focus on ensuring that your local SEO is up to the shape for your strategy. It can make the difference in the long run. So focus on it and focus on doing it right. There is one more factor that can also help: Google Maps. Which if you keep reading below, you’ll find out about it:

Local Maps Overview – How It Makes The Difference. 

In an attempt to appeal more to small and medium-sized businesses, the major search engines have all implemented a local map system that identifies and provides information on businesses from a local perspective. These local maps are integrated into the search engine. People can now search for a particular type of business within a particular locale. Search engines reward businesses who take the time to set up local profiles on Google Maps. Because the major search engines are all geared towards local search now, companies that perform well in local maps will also be bolstered in national and international search engine listings.

What Are You Missing Out On When You Don’t Have Local SEO? 
Without utilising all of these online strategies, your local Melbourne business will undoubtedly be left behind. Even the smallest local businesses and cottage industries are using powerful SEO techniques, and huge global companies are also competing locally with the latest search engine optimisation strategies. With this in mind, it’s clear that all business websites need local SEO even to get noticed. Yet with the right attention to detail, they can also be highly effective and will thrive.

Top 6 local SEO Tips

If you’d like to attract more local customers to your Melbourne business or website, if you want to develop your brand or grow your local presence, you will need to rank well in local search results. There are a number of factors that you must take into account in order to ensure your company ranks well in local search results. This article gives you the main points to consider.

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Your Nap: Your Name Address & Phone Number To Be Added On The website
The first thing to include is your NAP. This acronym is just a reminder that you must have included your name, address and phone number on your website. A phone number with a location specific area code will be recognised as that by the search engines.

On-Site: 
On-site search engine optimisation is crucially important. You can register your site with webmaster tools and Google Analytics, and then optimise key elements of your pages for local keywords. The ALT tag on your images, including your logo, is one of the things which should be keyword optimised. Service or location specific pages can also make a big difference. If you add the Google+ rel=publisher tag to your website, it tells Google where to find your Google+ and local page. This code highlights and promotes your website in search engine results pages (SERPs) bringing higher click-through-rates.

Google Your Business:
Register with ‘Google My Business’ and set up your business and local pages. Google My Business is an essential tool that helps you manage your online presence. It works across Google, encompassing Google search, Maps and Plus. If you discover your business already has a page, you can claim it as your own. You will have to go through a verification process, but it’s free and worth the effort. Make sure that your profile is 100% complete, that your NAP details match those on your website, and that you have listed your business under relevant categories.

Citations:
A citation is a mention of your business on another website or place on the internet. Citations can be local or industry specific, and are very helpful for your SEO. Having your Melbourne business listed in relevant, high quality directories tells Google where your business is located, and what you do. Quality is valued more higher than quantity, and your NAP details must match those on your website and your Google business and local pages.

Reviews:
Plenty of diverse reviews and other comments from various places online can help improve your rankings in SERPs. Google responds to user generated content, so make sure your website has plenty of options for interactivity. If you encourage people to review your services on other well-known websites then this is also beneficial.

The Markup:
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that you put on your website to help the search engines return more informative results for users. Schema markup can help search engines differentiate between places, people, organisations, events and reviews. It is a great tool for showcasing your reviews and testimonials, and it helps your website to stand out from your competitors in SERPs.