Following on from last month’s post, I’m going to look at a few more in depth ways and savvy ways in which you can optimise your website, social media and copywriting to benefit your local SEO strategy. If you haven’t read the first instalment of this blog post read it now.
Google has made some huge changes to its algorithms in recent years and this has had an effect on the ability of local businesses to rank well in the search results. However, the dark days of local SEO seem to be a thing of the past with Google announcing it is currently working on a “softer” Panda (Google algorithm) update which is set to benefit small businesses.
Anyway, back to mastering local SEO. In this post I will give a few hints and tips that all add up to ensure your website is ranking well for localised search queries.
Website Footer: Ensure your business address is written in the footer of your website. Having your address with your target location (e.g. Manchester, Leeds, London) in the footer of your website will go a long way to helping you rank better for localised search queries. Google will see your address, with target location, on every page and will relate this to the users search query. Remember though, Google cannot read text as part of an image so your address must be indexable.
Structured Data Mark-Up: This is for the more experienced webmaster and probably not something you should try if you’re not familiar with HTML or PHP editing. Structured data is a snippet of HTML code that you can add to certain areas of you website. As a result, this code help search engines better comprehend the elements of your website. There are a couple of ways in which to mark-up the structured data on your website. The first is using schema.org templates and the other is using Google Webmaster Tools Data Highlighter. Keep your eyes peeled on future blog posts for more information on structured data mark-up.
Social Media Profiles: As we mentioned in the first local SEO guide, having a presence on social media is key for local SEO strategies. There are a few small and quick, but easy to miss, tricks you can use to ensure search engines rank your business for the desired localised search query. Firstly, in Twitter ensure that your target location is included in the biography section of your profile and the location description. Similarly, on Google+ include your location within your introduction. Finally, on Facebook don’t forget to specify the location of your business rather than only listing your address.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is such a versatile tool for extracting data to help improve your local SEO. When it comes to mastering local SEO you need to make sure that not only are you making the right changes but you are analysing the right data. Under the Audience section, your visitor demographics (language, location etc.) can be found. There are a number of advanced techniques that can also be used for local SEO data analysis, however these are only recommended for experienced Google Analytics users.
So there you have it. Four tips for ensuring you are getting the most out of your local SEO strategy. Some of the tips mentioned, in hindsight, might seem a little obvious but making these little changes can go a long way to ensuring your website ranks well for localised search queries.
If you’re still struggling with your local SEO strategy then complete the form on the right or contact us directly.