As Google’s algorithm prioritises hyperlocal results, it’s more important than ever for businesses to ensure that local search is a part of any marketing strategy and plan.
The types of business that benefit from local search include professional services such as solicitors and accountancy firms, health and beauty services including doctors, dentists, hairdressers and tanning studios.
As well as tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians and not forgetting the food and beverage industry, think of the trendy coffee shops not being discovered if it weren’t for SEO.
Amongst using traditional SEO, there are numerous local SEO ranking factors that businesses big and small can take advantage of to battle against competitors and not be buried amongst the search engines.
Ranking factors include
- Business name citations and consistency
- Domain Authority
- Google My Business
- Keywords in business
Image Credit: Advice Local
“If more small businesses managed to crack local SEO, the value it could bring to both their online and offline presence could be enormous” – 123 Reg
We’ve put together a checklist of everything you should be doing if you’re not already, some businesses depending on their nature weigh more on certain ranking factors than others, but all should be considered for the best results.
The 2021 local SEO checklist
- Now more than ever, your website must be mobile-friendly, Mobile accounts make up for more than 52.2% of all web traffic worldwide as well as Google prioritises mobile-friendly websites.
- Make sure you optimise your Google My Business listing – this is vital for local SEO.
- Ensure content is optimised, Google has said that one of the top three ranking factors for organic search is “content” but not just any content, it’s essential to create high-quality material which is a combination of research, SEO, and design.
- Keyword and user intent research should always be at the forefront as it’s vital to find out what the audience is searching for and what content they want to see, after all, if no one wants to read your content then why are you doing it? The design is also another critical factor, and the use of large video and images should be considered, as these can often slow down a website.
- Embed or include Google maps
- Ensure that the business address and contact details are easy to find and are marked up with Schema for search engines to understand the information better.
- Optimise title tags as well as headings; to be found in local searches, it’s essential to include locally relevant terms such as town or street names, etc.
- Ensure meta descriptions are clear, using relevant local keywords.
- Manage your online reviews, Oberlo shared a stat from Bright Local indicating 8 in 10 consumers consult online reviews for local businesses in 2019.
- NAP Consistency: Your name, address and phone number should be on each of your site pages.
- Build local citations as well as regional and industry directories.
- Build quality local links for link building (this includes locally relevant, industry-relevant and highly authoritative sites).
Local search should be a vital part of any marketing strategy and is especially crucial for smaller and independent businesses where local footfall and online engagement is even more important for the company to grow.