Optimising Your Site for Local

Andrew Birkitt

Lead Technical Engineer
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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hello everyone. I’m Matt, digital marketing manager at SEO Traffic Lab, and today we’re going to look at some local SEO tips. Often new clients come in to us asking us how they can improve their ranking locally. They often have issues and they think they’ve done everything perfect, and they can’t see what they can improve. Now, the first thing you need to look at and make sure you’ve got is a Google “My Business Page”. Once you’ve got that, you need to look at how you can optimize on your own site in order to rank well locally.
Lots of people have tried different techniques and quite “spammy” techniques in the past that did work, but they no longer work. An example of this is having their own title so that’s the business name and adding their location at the end of it so it’s part of the business name. Well, that will actually get you hurt, especially since all the local updates have been going off, people have been talking lots around the Pigeon update. For more on that, check out our blog.
First tip is to make sure that your business name matches that of your website and also your address and your phone number, so actually NAP list the name, address, phone number. You’ll often hear it referred to as NAP listings, and an important thing to do with that as well is make sure that matches across any local directories, so your Google “My Business Page” needs to have the same NAP as your website and HTML and then needs to be the same on local directories. Everything needs to match. We often see sites that have different postcodes, different phone numbers, and everything doesn’t quite match up. Well, Google doesn’t have trust in that, so you need to build this trust. This always comes back to trust and consistency. With local, you need to make sure you’re really consistent.
Another thing to make sure you do is actually get your location that’s mentioned in “My Business Page” in the page titles on your site. Towards the end of your page title, you could almost put it as part of the branding on your page. So it might be, for instance, “dentist in location” at the end of your listings, and optimize the first part of it for what the page is specifically about. You also want to make sure this carries across for your H1 headers. Often we don’t see location mentioned in your H1 headers. You want your business and, potentially, your location mentioned in there. That will help reinforce that you’re all about local, your business is local, and it’s a strong local business.
Now that leads on to looking at structured data, so that schema.org, for instance, gives you the outline of structured data. You need to make sure this structured data has your NAP in there so it’s enhancing that listing, enhancing your business name, address, and phone number. And, on top of that, you need to look at Google reviews. Google reviews on “My Business Page” – how can you earn those? One thing we do with lots of clients is email. If you have an email list of previous clients, email them. Ask them for reviews on your Google page. That helps build trust.
Moving on from there, we actually then look at directories. What local directories are actually ranking for specific terms? Like if you type in “dentist in location”, what directories come up and are you in all those directories? You need to build up these local citations in directories, build up these listings.
Another great tip I’m about to lead in to now is using YouTube. How many of you’ve got YouTube videos? We often find clients with YouTube videos, but they’re not taking full advantage of this to boost their local rankings. Now, what you can do is when you’ve uploaded a video, it comes up as basic settings. Well, there’s an advanced settings tab, and in there you can actually geotag, pinpoint where the video was actually created. What you need to do with all your videos is tag them to the same location your business is in. Tag them to your business location. This helps reinforce things.
Another thing that you can do with YouTube is actually include your name, address, and phone number in your description and a link back to your site. Add this in the description of the video. This will really help as well. On top of that, what else can you do to that? You can actually add your tags to videos on YouTube. In the tags, add your business name and also as one of the tags, add your location. So these are some of the local tips that will help you. There’s lots more, but what I want to get across today is it’s so important to get consistency.

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