If you are a local restaurant, retail store, plumber, painter, butcher, baker, or candlestick maker – implementing the correct local SEO strategy is essential to your business being found online by local searchers. Here are 4 important factors that will help you rank for local terms:
First things first; claim your Google Local listing! If you are a home-based business that doesn’t have a physical premises (and you aren’t prepared to make your home address public) things can get a little bit tricky here as Google will need to verify your address by sending you a postcard. You will have the option to hide your address later, but you may not get the full SEO benefits when you link the Local listing to your website.
It is also important NOT to attempt to optimise the title of your Local listing for keywords! For example, if your business name is “John’s Canoe Shop”, do not use “John’s Canoe Shop and Cheap Canoe Sales in Brisbane”. Use your exact business name.
Once your Local listing has been confirmed, you need to get your onsite SEO right! If you have a single business premises you can add your address (EXACTLY as it appears in your Local listing) to the footer of the site.
If you have multiple locations, you should have an individual Local listing for each location and each address should be added to the site footer. Doing this will help you to rank for local terms, for example, it is beneficial for Search Factory to rank well for terms related to SEO in Brisbane.
If you are a national company with stores Australia-wide, you probably don’t want to create the world’s largest footer and add each individual location! You will need to link to state pages or individual store pages and link each Local listing to the corresponding page that features the same address as the Local listing.
The most important thing to remember is to ensure that the exact address from your Local listing appears on the URL you have added to your Local listing. It is also a good idea to use Schema markup on your address to give search engines a better understanding of what they are looking at.
A citation is an online mention of your business name, address, and phone number – exactly as it appears in your Local listing. When looking to build citations it is important to remember that all citations are not equal! Only choose high quality directories and websites for citations.
The Whitespark Local Citation Finder is a great tool finding local citation opportunities.
One of the most important local SEO ranking factors is getting reviews on your Google Local listing – preferably positive! Quantity and quality play a large role, so encourage your happy clients/customers to leave a review!
DO NOT try to pay for fake reviews on your Local listing! Google is very smart and is getting better at identifying and deleting fake reviews and there could be negative consequences for your local SEO.