Last year, Google introduced the ‘Pigeon’ update. It was a change to its algorithm that focused specifically on local search results. It changed the way that small, local business were represented. You might notice, for example, that if you search the words ‘plumber’, it will automatically bring up a plumber in your area. Google have become very good at representing results that are local to you (when appropriate). Implementing the right local SEO techniques will help your business grow bigger than ever.
So, if you’re a local business, what can you do to improve your search rank in the local area? Let’s start by saying that some of the older techniques are no longer appropriate. In fact, you could get a penalty for continuing to use them. Throw out your old tricks, and keep reading to get up to date.
1. Customer Reviews And Ratings
If you search for ‘Indian restaurant’, Google wants to make sure you get shown the best Indian restaurants in town. To do that, they dive into rating and review sites to see what people recommend. The likes of TripAdvisor suddenly become very important for restaurants and cafes. The better your customer rating, the higher Google will rank you. The same goes for tradesmen on Yelp, and service reviews on Google. You can no longer hide from poor service, so start focusing on your customers.
2. Keywords (Including Locations)
Location based keywords have now become much more important, but only on your site. Start by placing your full address on every website page you have. We recommend placing it in the footer; that way it will register on every view. Most importantly, put it on your ‘about’ page in a prominent position. Secondly, make sure you include relevant keywords about your company. If you’re a baker, make sure you include the words ‘baker’ and ‘bakery’ in your text and content. Ideally, put it into your domain name. Getting this right can be tricky. It’s often worth using local SEO services to help define and implement the best possible keywords.
3. Third-Party Listings
If you follow SEO practices carefully, you’ll know that Google scans other websites for links back to your site. If you’re listed on other websites, it shows that you have a certain amount of authority. It’s easy to do this when you have a local service, as there are plenty of resources to approach. List your company with local tourist information sites. List it on Facebook, Yelp, and Dexknows. Again, remember to use your keywords here.
4. Media Coverage
Third-party support sites are easy enough to register on. But, every local service can do that. It’s up to you to go above and beyond. By securing additional media coverage and reviews, you’ll extend your link network. Start to get local and national newspapers and magazines to review your product or service. It will get your name online with another targeted link in your local area.
5. Register With Google Maps
It might seem like an obvious suggestion, but many businesses still haven’t done this yet. Register your business location on Google maps. Then, Google knows exactly where you are and what you do.
Now, your business will pop up whenever anyone searches for your service. Just make sure you keep those customer reviews high!