Multinational corporations spend millions and millions of dollars in getting their products and brands featured highly in search engines using SEO. They have to: their products are sold globally and therefore must reach global audience.
But small businesses don’t need to compete on this stage. Small businesses can, and must, target their search engine optimisation locally to reach local consumers. Not only is it far cheaper it is also a far more effective.
The fact is when people are searching for local services they are quite explicit about it. In practical terms if I am searching for a pet shop in my local town of Nailsworth I will search for pet shop nailsworth. You probably do something similar. Makes total sense, doesn’t it?
What do we mean by local SEO?
It’s simpler than you might think. All you really do is target your optimisation against local terms. For example, if you provide plumbing services in London you’re going to optimise around ‘Plumbers London’, and if you provide electrician services in Paris, hey presto you’re going to optimise around ‘Electrician Paris’.
How are you currently optimised for local search?
There is a simple way to to see how currently optimised you are for local search. Do this:
- Open Google search.
- Type your domain (e.g. mysite.com) add a space and then type the name of your local town.
- Hit enter.
- What do you see?
It’s quite probable your contact page or about us page appears in the results – the reason why is your local town is probably in your address on this page. Are there any other pages from your site in the results? Chances are there are none.
This is because you I have not locally optimised your site.
How do I optimise my site for local search?
Firstly you’re going to add some local information to each and every page on your site. The good news is if you’re using WordPress, Shopify or other similar platform, these are template-driven and there is probably a section common to all pages such as a footer. You’re going to add your business address into your footer. What I also recommend is mentioning the surrounding towns, attractions and other places of significance in your footer using something like ‘we service Nailsworth, Box, Avening, Stroud, Cheltenham and Minchinhampton Golf Course.’ Get the picture?
Secondly, it’s quite probable you have a blog associated with your website. Here you want to be mentioning local places, towns, attractions, etc in blog posts. Be creative, and have fun, and mentioned lots of local places in your content. Link out to the websites of these places, if they have them.Thirdly, you really should be registered with Google My Business. This is a free service on Google that many local businesses in your area will have a presence. It’s very simple to setup. Why I like this is because you can add a lot of information about your business such as opening hours, helping local customers find your business and know when they can do business with you. It improves your Google SERP results too!