Performing well online is a key objective for many businesses these days but how can small businesses compete with the large?
Making sure that you are prominent within your local area can be the difference between success and failure.
So, how can a small business take advantage of its location when promoting online?
What Is Local SEO?
Whilst the internet offers a potentially global audience for your business, it is also important to target your local area. This online marketing tactic is often referred to as Local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimisation).
Local SEO is a practice that aims to place your business’ website on Google’s coveted first page when people are searching from within your surrounding area. This tactic is particularly important for local service-based businesses such as accountants, solicitors, electricians, hairdressers, restaurants and many, many more.
The main benefit of appearing in the top results of the local listings is that you can attract potential custom from your surrounding area, the area that matters most to your business.
When Does Local SEO Come Into Play?
Google is able to evaluate the phrase entered into its search engine (e.g. “electrician Yeovil”) and recognise when it is appropriate to display local business listings.
It will then go in search of the most relevant local businesses and display them accordingly.
Wouldn’t it be great for your business to be displayed to local customers?
The First Steps
In order to make your website appear relevant, it is important to provide Google with the details it requires.
Firstly, you must first make sure that your business is listed to appear on Google Maps by claiming your Google My Business page.
At this stage, I won’t go into the details of how to do this but it is important to provide as much detail as possible including a long, unique description, plenty of photos, a local phone number and opening hours.
Receiving positive reviews via your Google account will also push you higher up the local listings. This is especially useful as, once you have received five reviews or more, five stars will be displayed alongside your website showing your average score.
This really helps you to stand out from the crowd!
What More Can Be Done To Boost Your Website Locally?
There are many other ways to boost yourself locally including signing up to respected directories, creating area specific content on your website and, here comes the technical part, making sure your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) is wrapped in schema mark-up code throughout your website.
Signing up to respected directories is probably the most important part of this. There are some well-known directories such as Yell.com and Thomson Local that are vital to be a part of but it is also important to focus on smaller, niche-specific directories.
For example, we recently signed Gromedia up to Web-Development.com as it is specific to the market we operate in and, therefore, carries extra relevance compared with the more generic directories above.
Starting with these tips any small-medium sized business can begin to compete with larger companies.
David really can defeat Goliath.
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