Local SEO is quite often neglected by many businesses who are either solely dependent on local traffic, dependant on both local and national traffic and even businesses that focus primarily on national traffic. There are two main benefits to local SEO; firstly if you run a more local business such as a restaurant you’ll be targeting people who are far more likely to be local customers, secondly you’ll have a competitive advantage over businesses outside of your local area even if they’ve developed a way stronger nationwide SEO campaign. This is because search engines are always trying to get their users to the most relevant websites possible and they understand that people like to go to businesses near them. In this blog we’re going to give you a quick guide to Local SEO as SEO Article Heroes is based in Cardiff this blog will focus on our Local SEO in Cardiff.
The first thing you’ll want to focus on is getting your business on Google My Business and Bing Places fill in all of the relevant details and you’ll then have a card sent in the post to your business with a code to verify your account. Once you’ve verified it’s time to start optimising your account.
Include relevant pictures, business hours where relevant phone number and address on both bing places and google my business. Once complete you’ll then need to focus on getting reviews on your Google and Bing places. If you’re a client based business try asking your clients in person if they’ll give you a review, if your a customer based business try and leave a link to your review page in your thank you emails or if you run a shop put a sign up asking people to review your business on Google. Reviews will have a massive effect on your brand’s reputation but they will also effect your local SEO. Google My Business and Bing Maps are important ranking factors in terms of local search traffic in the SERPs however it is even more important when looking on maps which is becoming increasingly popular not just as a way of finding your way around but finding businesses near you.
Citations have a massive effect on SEO and they’re really easy to do, all you need to do is focus on getting your NAP that it is your business name, address and phone number on various local directories. This will demonstrate that your business is based in the local area that you state. This can become an audacious task, but if you stick some music on and bring up a list of directories you’ll get through them in no time. It’s important to be keep an eye out for websites that use database exchanges such as central index, as once your website is on one of these directories it will usually be on all of them. The types of directories you’ll want to go for are the big main directories e.g Yelp, Scoot, FreeIndex followed by any relevant directories. Then you just need to make sure you’ve got your NAP in either the footer or header of your website so it’s on every page of your website. One added benefit of using directories for local citations is that many of them offer follow backlinks.
In the SEO agency guide we go into detail about how schema will benefit SEO. Take a look at how to set up an install schema, and you’ll find there is an option for local business. Fill all of this information in correctly.
The final piece of the puzzle of getting your website to rank for local search is to use local backlinks. You can develop these through building business connections via social media and in person. Offering to feature them on your blog is one of the best ways to do this by asking for their opinion on a subject and then asking them to link to your page. You could also offer to do a guest post for them requesting a link back to your website in the post. For example I recently wrote a guest post for business wales discussing SEO and how local businesses can benefit from SEO. Also being generally active in your local community and writing content about your local community will drive local websites to link to your website without you even outreaching.
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For further check out this post on local SEO