Sorry to break it to you, but the days have gone when you could rely on an entry in the Yellow Pages to bring in local business. Most of us now search for local businesses, services and products on the internet. There’s also a fast growing trend for using our smartphones to search for local information while we are out and about. In fact, at least 20% of all searches done on the internet are looking for local information – which is why local SEO is so important.
You might think that local SEO isn’t crucial to you – perhaps you offer your services nationally and don’t see the need to focus on a smaller area. That may be true, but if you don’t use local SEO you could be missing out on potential customers right on your doorstep, because if they can’t find you online they won’t know you exist, and they will give their business to another company – one who is using local SEO.
If you want to make sure you capture local business you need to start implementing some of the local SEO tools that are available. It’s not a complicated process though. Here are some tips and techniques to get you started.
Think like a user
When planning your local SEO don’t think like a business owner – think like a regular internet user. What keywords would you search for if you were looking for your service or product, in your local area? Use those keywords – including your location – on your website to attract relevant visitors.
Display your address clearly
Make sure your address is clearly visible on every page of your website. Not only will it make it obvious to visitors where you are located, it will be picked up by the search engines too.
Use a local phone number
Many businesses use 0800 freephone numbers so that calls from potential customers don’t cost them money. That’s fine, but an 0800 number gives no indication of where you’re located, so make sure you display your local number too. Visitors in your area will instantly recognise the dialling code and realise you are local to them, and are more likely to contact you.
Use local feedback
Feedback and testimonials are really valuable, but feedback from customers in your local area is extra powerful because local visitors can relate to it – after all, it could be their neighbour that used your services and recommended you!
Build a local network
Becoming part of the local community can really help attract local business because people will recognise you more easily and begin to trust you. Join nearby networking and business groups, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, and submit your details to local online directories and websites.
There are lots of ways to increase your online visibility and improve your local SEO and these tips will help you get started. To find out how HodgesNet can help your SEO efforts have a look at our Pay On Results SEO packages or call us on 01793 608777.