How to rank well in local search in 2015

19 February 2015

At Wagada we love working with local businesses, and we understand that small companies want to actively entice local customers to use their service or product. If you are a company which travels to customers to deliver a service, you will want to target those customers in the local area first. This cuts down on travel time for you and makes ranking for your key terms much easier.

Local companies often need to tweak their SEO to ensure that their website is as effective as possible for attracting people in and around their area. The more niche the keywords that are being targeted, the easier it will be to achieve a page 1 ranking. There are a number of key actions to bear in mind when planning your local search SEO. Here are some of the main strategies to consider if you want your site to rank well in local search in 2015.

Make the most of Google My Business

Google My Business is the latest development from Google which aims to help small businesses online, and making sure that you use it correctly is vital for helping you to get found in local search. In 2015 you should aim to keep all your details such as name, location and website up to date and get rid of any duplicate pages as they can have a serious effect on your rankings. Google also really likes images so add some good quality photos to your page. It can be a great idea to use a Google photographer to provide a 360 tour of your venue. As well as being a draw to potential customers this validates to Google that you do have an actual business at that location and gives you more credibility.

Take a look at your citations and reviews

Citations have been shown to be a key factor in ranking in local search. They are basically a listing that you have on recognised sites or online directories such as Yelp and Foursquare which detail your business information. It’s a good idea to take the time to check that you are also listed on any industry relevant sites and that all of your details are correct.

Recommendations and reviews can also help (or hinder) your rankings. You should aim for a minimum of 10 reviews on Google My Business. Remember to ask satisfied customers to leave a review on your site or on relevant sites such as Trip Advisor. Even if you have good rankings, a bad review can really damage your business so make sure that you respond to all reviews.

Make sure your landing page is local search friendly

As always, content is vital for ranking high in local search and there are ways to make your pages more local SEO friendly. It’s important to include your business name and address on every page of your site, and you can also add landing page for the main locations that you serve. In the same way that a large supermarket will have a page for every store in order to capture these local searches, you can have a coverage section, with a page for every main town that you cover. Keyword research can come into play here as you can research which locations have the most searches. Interestingly, counties often have less searches than main towns, so it is worth researching which terms your customers are searching for.

You can also make the most of local keywords in your text, based on your location and area. You could write some blogs about your area and think about including the search terms customers may use that would include your location i.e. “good restaurants near St Albans”.

Utilise your social media

Getting Google to see the right signals coming from your social media is also important in helping you rank in the search engines. Make sure that you have “check in” enabled on your Facebook page so that customers can show their friends that they are using your service. You can also make the most of any local hashtags so if you are a restaurant in St Albans you might want to use #visitstalbans when you update your Twitter status.

Wagada is a St Albans-based SEO agency. Find out how we can help your business achieve a page 1 ranking for local search engine optimisation.