Local search is becoming an increasingly important part of the SEO industry as more and more users are turning to their smartphones when they want to find information about things online. Mobile users tend to have strong searcher intent, convert better, and are a highly valuable audience. The challenge is reaching them.
Both Google and Bing have become quite adept at identifying websites that are targeting a local audience. If you are looking for website designers in London for instance, you are unlikely to find a national web design company at the top of the search results for this reason. The search engines use a number of factors to determine the targeting of a page including the location of the hosting, addresses and phone numbers on the page, a presence on Google or Bing Maps, and more.
Improving Your Local Rankings
Ranking well in local search takes a similar strategy to ranking well in the broader search results. Substance and on-site optimisation are key. The first thing you need to do is invest in good content – write geo-targeted content that includes things like case studies, local events, and even complementary (not competitive) local services.
Using the Long Tail
Optimising for long tail keywords is important here. People who are looking for London web design by Vizion Online for instance may be based in greater London, Soho, or a specific district. An important part of optimising your website is figuring out which areas in particular you want to target, and writing about them specifically. Also, not everyone will search for ‘web design’, or similar key related phrases.
Update Your Profiles
If you tend to serve one specific geographic area, make sure that your business is listed in as many local directories as possible. Add your site to Bing Maps, Google’s business listings, Yelp, Tripadvisor (if that makes sense for your company), and any local listings sites that serve your area. Even if most users don’t visit those sites directly, having a presence on them will help to raise your rankings.
Having a site that is mobile-friendly and that loads quickly will serve you well regardless of whether you are serving a local, national or international audience. There are no secrets when it comes to search engine optimisation.