In an online world you can soon forget that a lot of businesses only operate with in a geographical area for example a shop in Aylesbury may only be able to sell to people who visit there premises, the same is true of restaurants, Garages and Pubs.
However lets not also forget about builders, decorators, consultants or advisers who may only be able to do there work with in a specific area.
With that in mind how can your company compete with other larger/national sized companies who perform a similar service on a much larger scale with outlets across the country who are not so restricted when it comes to advertising.
The answer is simple “Localise your SEO strategy.”
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Localising your search strategy means that you are trying to make your web pages appear higher up the Google, Yahoo or Bing search results, for example if you search for “MG Garage” in google normally the first thing you will be presented with is a map of MG garages with 3-4 garages being displayed as a list below it.
Getting on to this list is great for so many reasons.
- it shows where you are so people can see that you are with in walking distance or a short drive away.
- It appears before the main search results i.e. you are at the top of google for FREE
- If you have good reviews people will see that 4-5 star rating of reviews that your have received
- A link to your website assuming your business page on google has been set up
- A link to call you on mobile again if your google business page is set up
There are simple steps needed to make your website rank higher on google to make it rank higher on local searches.
Firstly lets go back to basics, generally speaking search engines rely on key words and phrases to return results, the more relevant a result the higher it will appear on a search, for the sake of this article lets say we want to find a candle shop in Aylesbury… What would you or your customers search for?
I would suggest the below would be popular searches…
- Aylesbury candle shop
- candle shop in Aylesbury
- candle shops in Aylesbury
- candle shops near me
Notice that in 3 of the above examples Aylesbury is mentioned, assuming you have a candle shop in Aylesbury it is vital that….
- Your address is on every page of your website as this will include “Aylesbury”
- On your content pages like “About Us” and “Contact Us” have terms such as “Out family ran candle shop in Aylesbury” or “Base in Aylesbury our candle shop” to try and claim this key word for organic searches.
- Your website is registered with directory websites such as yelp or 118 again wit its address
If you have not yet set up a website you could even set up your domain name to be AylesburyCandleShop.co.uk, as google uses domain names as an indication for what a domain is about putting real words and places in to it can really help in getting local people finding your company.
Going to https://www.google.com/business/ and completing the registration will get you on the google map at the top of local search results and would address searches like “Candle shops near me” or any search that is relevant to the content of your website so would also help with “Candle shops in Aylesbury” in that it would plot a point on the map and show your business listing.
When most people look at a website they will see a beautifully designed page with images and text telling them what they are expectin to hear however search engines and other websites also look at hidden information, this information is hidden with in the code of your page and is generally called “Structured markup data.”
Using tools such as Google’s structured mark up tool will show you what structured data google sees when indexing your website, this data lets google know your company name, its logo, address etc, to get the full benefit of this you may need a developer to go on to your website and make these changes.
As a short-term or cheaper alternative you can do this your self using the google “Data Highlighter,” this is a free tool available via the Google search console of which you need to have registered your website on before you can make the changes. The data highlighter essentially allows you to select text elements on your page and tell google what they mean for example you may highlight your address at which point you are promotes to tell google what field you have selected in this case address.
Normally you will then go through and repeat this exercise on 3-4 more pages at which point google will assume it now knows where to find each of these fields accross your entire website.
As a rule of thumb always include your address, company name and phone number, if there is additional information you can highlight obviously do but this should be enough to help google locate your business easier and potentially boost your ranking.
In this article I have covered a few easy to acheive objectives to promote your website to potential local customers in this case in “Aylesbury” however this would work equally aswell for Tring, Hemel Hempsted or High Wycombe.
More importantly there are even more things that can really help with boosting your company based on local search results which can include local targeted Ad-Words campaigns or targeting local social network groups.
The most important thing to take away is that if you are a “local” business you need to get local people or people who are able to travel to you to get your website; to achieve this AME WebTech can help by providing great advise but also by ensuring your website is set up in such a way that the world knows where you are.