Optimising your local business with SEO will ensure that your business stays on top of Google and other digital platforms. It’s important that you go the extra mile, as this is undoubtedly what your larger competitors are doing to keep them on top. Following the steps below will have a major impact on your presence, both online and offline, leading to an increase in sales, website traffic and foot traffic.
Even with a well built, and beautifully designed website, you may find your online and local impact severely lacking if you don’t invest time into SEO. If you don’t know where to start, read our guide to learn how to perform your own local SEO audit.
Check your business’ name, address and phone number on all platforms
Each online platform that your business is on should have a space for your name, address and phone number. Local businesses often make use of social media and having consistent information across every social platform is key when it comes to optimising your local business for Google. A solid local SEO strategy will ensure that this is checked before beginning on the more intricate aspects of SEO. First check that your own website contains the correct details, then check all of your active social media accounts. Review all information on your profile (both your business bio and organic posts) to ensure that everything is accurate.
Also, don’t neglect to check all the online business directories, review sites as well as Google My Business to ensure that all is correct. It is worth going through the effort, so if you’re not sure where your business has been listed in the past, try searching for “[your local business’ name] reviews” to find them on Google.
Google sees incredible value in businesses who can provide current and accurate information, and rewards these sites by giving them favorable positions on Google. This ensures that users get the best possible online experience. Incorrect information will lead to a poor user experience, which is why you will find that it is harder to rank.
Look over your Google My Business Profile
Having a Google My Business profile can put your information at the top of Google’s search results page without much effort on your part. You can consider this a quick win, which means that if you don’t already have a Google My Business listing set up, you should make one ASAP.
Firstly, you should check whether you have a profile set up, if you don’t you should make one as soon as possible. Then, fill out every information box with the correct details to maximise the likelihood that you appear in the Local Pack. You should enter as much information as physically possible to give you the best possible chance for success with this tool.
Check your social media platforms so ensure it’s up to date
List each and every one of your social media platforms (facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Tik Tok, YouTube) and check through each one individually. SEO and social media go hand in hand, so it’s important that you ask yourself the following questions:
- Is your name, address and phone number correct on each platform?
- Have you filled out your business’ bio?
- Are you posting regularly with high quality content?
- Have you used the best possible images for your profile?
- Are you responding to as many messages, comments and reviews as possible?
The more you fill your website and social media with valuable and well-organized content, the more presence you’ll have on the web.
Manage your review websites such as Feefo, Trustpilot and Google
Reviews can be game changing when it comes to SEO for your local business. Using reviews to your advantage can easily put you a step above of the competition. If you know that your local business has many trustworthy and positive reviews, you can embed them on your site with a plugin as this is likely to impact a user’s decision to work with your company.
Good reviews also demonstrate to Google that you are a trustworthy business that people have positive experiences with.
When checking reviews, make sure you take a look at your Google My Business profile as well as 3rd party review sites. Check that the reviews you’ve received are both unique and positive, if they aren’t, then you should work on a strategy to remedy this. Adding review management to your SEO strategy in the form of email marketing, will push you up the rankings, as Google values trustworthy local businesses.
Check your onsite content for potential improvements
Now comes the general technical audit on your website. If you have lots of pages on your site, this can be overwhelming, so your first step should be a site crawl. If you’re not using paid SEO software services such as SEMRush or Moz, we recommend using this free tool: https://www.sureoak.com/seo-tools/seo-website-crawler-tool
After entering your domain, this checker will scan your website and look for top level technical SEO issues. The fewer issues that the scan detects, the more friendly your website is to Google.
Fundamentally, keywords determine the overall strength of your website and webpages. No matter what SEO strategy you decide on, it must include keyword analysis as a top priority.
- On your choice of platform (Google Search Console, SEM Rush), input your website URL and find out what keyterms you are already ranking for.
- Check which competitors are ranking for said keywords. Simply enter the keyword into Google and check out the pages that are rankings above you. Then, you can do the same, but add your location after the keyterm. This will show you who is above you on a local level. These are your digital competitors.
- Following this, perform some analysis on your competitors. Scan the webpages that are ranking above you, and figure out what it is that puts them above you. You should be checking the amount of times the keyword was used in their content, the structure of the page title, structured data, and the number of backlinks they have.
Secondly, you need to check whether your local business’ site has a clear hierarchy of pages. This is often more difficult for eCommerce websites as they generally have hundreds of pages to look through, however, it is vital that you take your time with this process. A website that is difficult to navigate will not only struggle with ranking, but potential customers will have a hard time too. A basic navigation structure should have 1 home page, linking to multiple main pages. These main pages should have subcategories underneath, giving your website a clear hierarchy.