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The Basics of Local SEO

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Recent statistics showed that a large percentage of customers who searched for local businesses online made contact with those businesses in some way within 24 hours of the search, suggesting that local search engine optimisation is extremely important for businesses in terms of visibility.

There is, after all, a market for local searches; people often want access to services close to home but don’t always have the information readily available to them, and as a result the answer often comes from a search engine. What, then, can businesses do to master the art of local SEO optimisation in order to create leads for their company?

Getting the Basics Right

First, businesses need to ensure that the right keywords are being used in their web content. As your aim is to get your company appearing in local searches, these keywords should be geo-specific, such as the town or city the company operates from. So when searching, for example, ‘PS3 repair Newcastle,’ a tech company that has used Newcastle as a keyword will pop up in the search. Local search rankings are also affected by phone numbers, so make sure that the businesses phone number is highly visible, appearing at least once on every page of web content. This is good for customers generally as well as playing a part in local SEO optimisation, as many customers often feel put off over poor web design, especially when finding the phone number is difficult.

Blogging

Another method is to consider is starting up a company blog. This will obviously vary depending on your area of business, but generating fresh content is one of the top ways to improve on ranking. A static site that never changes its content is a sure fire way to turn away potential customers, though passively. While you might have a fantastic-looking site, it will be forgotten about if you don’t keep it updated. Hosting a blog on your URL will keep you relevant in the search rankings as well as providing a new way to attract customers. It also gives companies the opportunity to sell its services through means other than standard advertising, not to mention in a much more cost effective manner too.

Going Mobile

Capitalising on the rise of mobile phones is also a must for local SEO optimisation. Around half of people use their phones to access the internet, but over 60% use their phone specifically for local searches. This isn’t particularly hard to believe either; a smart phone is incredibly useful if you’re out somewhere and want to find a certain kind of shop or service last minute. To ignore the potential of the mobile phone market would be extremely unwise, not to mention alienating, so companies need to make sure that their websites are compatible with and accessible from mobile devices. That way, users can easily access your site on the move, which might just be the reason you get your next customer.

These are only a few basic tips on how to make the best of local SEO optimisation, but they are sure-fire ways to improve on your ranking. It’s vital for companies and businesses to make use of local SEO in order to encourage local customers. While a business may be attempting to expand and grow, it’s crucial that they don’t forget about the customers they already have and could have from where they’re actually based.

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John Jackson

Search Marketing Consultant
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