By Steven Titchener
One of the best ways to start ranking on Google and growing your business is to look at local rankings, it’s a similar process to niching down and going after long tail keywords, but in this case, it’s all about being a local superstar.
Here are the top 7 ways you can increase your local search rankings on Google.
This is a little known trick to get the exact search terms your audience are searching for, no more do you need to pluck ideas out of the air or spend hours doing keyword research and analysis.
From that it might sound like it’s going to be some ‘hack’ that doesn’t actually work, but it really does. The reason it works is because when you run a Google ad, you get the search terms people have used to find that advert, it’s not the roundabout terms either, it’s the exact search terms used.
This means you can use that data to find out what people search when looking for a business like yours in a defined area.
What you need to do for this is to run an ad campaign for a week or two with a very broad audience, pretty much define to the type of business you are and your local area, nothing else.
This will mean you come up a lot and then can get to see the best results.
The best part is you don’t even need to put a lot of money into it, a small buy in will help you uncover those golden terms that you then need to target in your SEO strategy (keep reading to find out how).
These are one of the best ways to increase your local search reach and can give you a big local boost. What they are are the searches people use when looking for a business close by, for instance in our case a customer might search for ‘web design Derby’ or ‘SEO derby’.
But there are many other ways that people search, which is why I referred to the ‘near me’ terms. Examples could be ‘near me’ or ‘city name’ or ‘my location’. What we have found is that in different areas of business people tend to use different terms.
Like I said earlier, we find most people use the city name, but in food and drink they normally use near me.
Doing the above strategy can help you find these terms and what people are searching for.
One thing we see often is the lack of location tags on websites and social media. And yes, social media can help your local search visibility!
Let’s unpack the two different ways you can add location easily and boost your results.
The first is to do with your website and it’s images. You can add location data to your images that you upload to your website. It doesn’t increase the size at all so you will still have a small and fast loading website, but it is something that can give you a little extra boost to your local rankings.
We find a great tool to do this is geoimgr.com, it helps you add location tags to your images really easily. This way you can tag your location to these images so Google knows where you are!
The second way is on social media and this consists of adding a location tag to your posts on Instagram and hash tagging your location on any other platform. It’s a small thing that can help people in the area (or visiting) find you and where you are.
This is something that can really help with your rankings AND advertising, especially if you have multiple locations. Imagine being able to send Nottingham based customers to your Nottingham location and Derby folk to your Derby one, it makes everyones lives a lot easier.
So you really need to make specific pages based on a location or area, this will also allow Google to know where you have business locations for when people search for that ‘web design Nottingham’ or whatever it is – we have one setup already.
It’s all well and good having these pages setup and having images tagged to your location, but it doesn’t really mean much unless people are actually visiting those pages. That’s where local PR comes in.
You need to get some buzz around your business to get people visiting your website and showing Google that it is a ‘good page’ so to speak.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to do this other than getting in touch with local news outlets, bloggers or influencers to try and get them to do a piece around you. Maybe you have a new opening or new product launching that’s worth talking about? They can run a story on it and direct people to your main site or specific local pages.
One of the easiest ways to add local SEO to your business and should 100% be setup. If it isn’t, I give you permission to stop reading this and going to set one up now, it will take you 10 minutes to do and is totally free and worth it.
The reason I left it for last though is that it is talked about all the time so most likely you already knew about it.
But if not, Google my business is a tool run by Google to basically add your business locations to Google maps. You can add all of your business information, contact details, website links and photos to try and get those ‘near me’ searches.
There is a nice trick to getting to the top of the rankings in this tool so keep reading to find out.
So you have Google my business now, but you still don’t come up in that top 3, which is key to getting great results here.
So what do you notice about this list here and the rankings of it? The top result has by far the most reviews… and good ones at that.
That’s the trick, if you want to be shown on these rankings you have to have good proximity to the location searched, great website search terms and great reviews.
Ultimately Google is looking to provide the most trustworthy results for its users, the ones that if it was a person it would recommend. But it’s also not super smart (relatively speaking), so you need to show it how good you are and that you are worthy of being recommended.
What we recommend doing is to send an email to every customer asking them to fill out a review on Google and a link to where to do it. It’s always hard to get reviews, but worth it time over.
Now you know all of these tips and tricks to making the most of your local SEO, you just need to keep on top of them. Remember SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
Part of The Digital Maze Group