If you haven’t already heard, the single most powerful online tool for brick and mortar companies to compete online is local search. In fact, statistics suggest that four out of five consumers are using local information online to connect with businesses, so if you’re not already optimised for local search, you could be missing out on more than 75% of your potential customers. Optimising for local is absolutely essential if you want to stay relevant, but it can be a difficult task. In fact, many companies just like yours hire a local SEO agency to handle the task for them, and with good reason. Working with a professional team means real results that you can count on. What exactly will a local SEO team do for you, though? Most deploy these five tactics almost immediately.
- Optimise your Google My Business Listing: If you haven’t already claimed or optimised your Google My Business listing, this is going to be step one for any local SEO agency. London companies like yours need to know that step one always involves this listing. Google holds more than ninety percent of the market share when it comes to search, so optimising your listing there has to come first. To do this, they’ll either create or claim your My Business page, then help ensure that everything is correct. From verifying the name, address, and phone number to listing your store hours, this is one space you absolutely want to get right immediately.
- Build Better Internal Links: External links that point to your site undeniably help your page rank. Most optimisation professionals will tell you that without hesitation. What you may not realise, though, is that internal links are helpful too, and that’s where you’ll find a start for a local SEO agency in London and UK companies don’t always realise that internal linking helps support overall site navigation, give the site a stronger information architecture, and distribute page authority among the pages on a website. That’s why it can be such a powerful local optimisation tool.
- Add Location Specific Content: Beyond simply enhancing your current site, you’ll find that adding location specific content is typically at the top of the list for many local optimisation companies. That means that anyone searching your site will find exactly what they need most – information about each store, parking info, and even promos for that specific store. Keep in mind, though, that each of these pages will be individual, as duplicating content could damage your overall optimisations strategy.
- Check for Mobile Friendliness: Local search has to go with mobile search because your customers are typically using their mobile devices to search for places like yours. Any good agency will help ensure your site is already mobile friendly. That includes a responsive design, smaller images, and other key factors to help your pages load and be easy to navigate on anything other than a desktop computer.
- Standardise Name, Address, and Phone Listings: All agencies that specialise in local search work to make it easy for individuals to find exactly where you’re at, but that can’t happen if your name, address, and phone number are different in every directory. To ensure that doesn’t happen, a local optimisation company will search the web far and wide for online directories that might contain a reference to your location, then work with that company to create a consistent profile across web boundaries. For example, if you have a listing on Yelp with one phone number and a listing on Apple Maps with another, that will become a key priority for a local SEO agency. UK businesses can benefit from this service greatly, creating consistency across the web.
Not every local optimisation company will do all of these things for you. As you search for the right team to meet your needs, make certain that they’re at least willing to do these five things at the minimum. After all, without these key components, your local SEO goals are certain to flop almost completely. Before you ask about anything else, make sure these five things are part of any local SEO company’s search plan for your company.
Hitesh is a digital marketing strategist and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in digital marketing, start-ups, branding, and customer acquisition strategies. Hitesh is the CEO and Founder of Reposition Group, which encompasses a number of companies in the digital sector including SEO.co.uk, Reposition.co.uk, and Bouncezap.com, amongst others.