We’re going to start with an example. Imagine you are looking for a record shop. Type ‘record shop’ into your phone or tablet and Google will come up with a nice lot of results for you including some high performing shops nationwide. However at the very top, alongside key images of the businesses you will find three of the best record shops most local to you. Why is that? This is because search engines place great emphasis on your location when you search for information on any business. Ensuring that your business takes advantage of this is local SEO. Let’s take a look at some top tips when it comes to maximising your local advantage.

  1. 1.     Whatever you do, make use of Google My Business (GMB)

Your GMB page is the best free local SEO you can get. You can create a superb profile that represents your business, entering multiple locations if appropriate, choosing an image that shows your business at its best and writing something attractive really helps. It also displays your reviews and * rating, which as we know is so important. Get GMB right and you could soon take pride of place in the much vaunted number 1 spot in your local area’s search results.

  1. 2.     Make sure your location is referenced in the right places on your site

Make sure that your home page and other pages that reference your service and products reference your location in the following:

  • Headings
  • Title tags
  • Meta descriptions
  • Footers
  • Main copy

It is also prudent to add your location in the URL wherever possible and relevant. Returning to the record shop analogy, if you have two stores in distinct locations, say Witney and Oxford, you could use:

www.recordshopname.co.uk/witney-records

www.recordshopname.co.uk/oxford-records

It is, of course, always important to ensure that each distinct page is unique and there is no content duplication as the search engines do not like that, one bit.

  1. 3.     Submit to local directories (quality ones only)

By submitting your business information to local directories like Yell you will open your business up to wider recognition online and improve your chances of ranking higher in local search results. There is also the possibility of earning backlinks (more on this below) as a secondary benefit. Just make sure you only submit to reputable, quality directories as to do otherwise is counterproductive.

  1. 4.     Try to gain backlinks

Backlinks are very important for SEO, and local backlinks for local SEO. If you can be mentioned by local news sites or community sites that tie in with your geographical area you can shine a local spotlight on your business and reinforce your local SEO strength.

  1. 5.     Seek out and nurture reviews

For almost 90% of customers, an online review is as important as a personal recommendation. This offers an enormous possibility for your business should you be able to nurture your online reviews, particularly on Google and achieve a consistently high rating across a large number of satisfied customers.

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