So you want better results on Google? Here are some Google local SEO tips that can help you make your business more visible online and get you more customers through the door. If you’re not too familiar with SEO (search engine optimisation) or even search and how it works, you can find out more about this in my previous post: How Search Works.
Google Local SEO 8 Quick Tips
- Without a Website
- Get a Website
- Domain Name www.yourbusiness.co.uk
- Server Location
- Google Local SEO
- Mobile SEO and Accessibility
- Phone Number and Address
- Social Media
Hold on, how can I be found on Google without having a website. It is simple, claim your business on Google Maps and Google places, there is also Bing local, Yahoo local and a range of other local sites you can get listed on.
This is where the real fun and real business begins. There are many types of websites from free to template based, to blogs, most of these will be better than not having one, but the best solution is without a doubt one where you or someone on your behalf have control over all aspects, this is commonly known as a “self-hosted” website.
If you are a targeting just a local area or the UK, you will be better off with a .co.uk domain name than a .com. If you are elsewhere get a local TLD (top level domain) i.e .pt for Portugal, .sp for Spain and so on.
If available, you should also get the .com for your business name, this avoids someone else getting it and compete with your site or try and impersonate you.
It is normally a good idea to find a good hosting company based locally as well, at least within your country or as close as possible, the logic behind this is that the further away the server is the longer it takes to serve your pages, Google has recently made public that site speed is now an SEO contributing signal and their obsession with speed is also well known.
In addition to claiming your business page on Google places, you can make sure that your listing maximises your chances by providing an accurate description of your products and services and listing them in the correct categories.
Make sure that your website works both on desktops and mobile phones, this last is increasingly more important take a look at this stats on mobile devices. If your website appears and loads fast for anyone searching for your type of services and products within a few miles radius and the site is mobile optimised and easily accessible, i.e. loads fast and is de-cluttered in order to enable easy navigation, some of those searchers will walk into your door. If that’s not the case they may well just move along to your next competitor.
In the spirit of making life easier for the users and enable them to make contact via different means, it is a good idea to have a telephone number normally at the top of the page and site wide. Some would argue that the same applies to the address for example in the footer, but at least in a good contact page and if possible and suitable include a Google map with your address pinpointed on it. Yes, you can’t see these on this site (thanks for noticing) it’s coming.
Social media is also a great place to provide further “doors into your business”, each social media platform that you claim your business name on is one more potential page to show up on Google for your services. Google with their renewed social effort (Google+) is giving ever more importance to social on the results they return for searches, even more pertinent in local search and local SEO. For the more tech and social media savvy there is a host of creative options using Twitter, Facebook and even Foursquare. Use with moderation and be aware of time sink.
Doesn’t all of this cost lots of money? Can do, but doesn’t have to, you can do much of it yourself once you get your website up and running and done most of what’s mentioned above, you should then be able to maintain it with as little time as an hour or two a week, depending on the size and nature of your business.
Increasingly your website is an extension of your menu and shop front window and the web the first point of contact for many potential customers.
Need help with your local SEO?