By Lucy Bradley
If you have a business that serves locally, within a specific town, city or region you really need to put some serious thought into your local SEO. Local SEO refers to a range of practices, tools and techniques that help to better market your business online to local customers at the time they need your products/services most. There are a variety of ways you can do this, such as through your Google My Business profile, review generation, consistent NAP (name, address, and phone), use of local directories and local link building. If you need some help building your local SEO profile check out our handy guide for some tips!
Whilst you hear a lot about the methods mentioned above, you don’t see so much about the use of structured data mark-up in the use of local SEO. How can schema be used to aid your local profile? Take a look below for the answer!
Nowadays when it comes to using Google, more often than not users can get data about your business within the search results, without actually having to navigate to your website. These rich results (or rich snippets) include an alternative result in the search engines, they show carousels, images or other non-textual elements.
If someone was searching for our phone number, they could get the answer without having to do anything other than perform a Google search.
How does that happen? With the use of structured data – that’s how. This universal language called schema.org was created by the search engines back in 2011 and has grown in importance and popularity since. In using this language, you’re able to mark up various elements on your website to help search engines better understand the content that’s on it. Not only this, but when you start using structured data your information can appear as rich results – giving local customers access to information at the time they need it.
Rich results aren’t limited to phone numbers, they can show users alternative places you can be found, your address, contact details, opening hours and reviews. Not only is this helpful for the user but it solidifies your brand as a reliable and respected authority. You can find out more about the impact of structured data and how to implement it in our previous post.
So when it comes to using schema to mark up elements of your webpage, what properties should you be using to boost your local SEO profile?
Schema Property: address
This property will mark up the physical address of your business. This means that if a user is looking for your location, they can do a search for “[Your Business Name] address” and your address will appear as a rich result. This provides them with the answer to their question as fast as possible, rather than them having to crawl through your entire site.
Schema Property: aggregateRating
Aggregate ratings refer to an overall rating based on a collection of reviews or ratings, this could be through your Google My Business profile. This rating could be in relation to your business overall, or for a particular product or service. You’ve probably seen something like this in the search engines before:
Schema Property: email
This allows you to mark up the company email address, not only will this make it as easy as possible for users to find your email address, but it also allows Google to associate this email address with your company going forward.
Schema Property: event
Are you running an event associated with your company/company address? Why not mark it up to gain more exposure in the search engine results. If someone is googling your business, they likely have an interest in your offering and subsequently any events you’re running.
Schema Property: logo
You can specify the image that Google uses for your organization’s logo in the search results to ensure consistency across the web. However, remember the image must be at least 112x112px, be crawlable and indexable and be in jpg, .png, or. gif format.
Schema Property: openingHours
This property will mark up the general opening hours for your business. You can do this by day, and then by times per day.
Schema Property: paymentAccepted
Let your customers know how they can make a payment, is it by cash or card? Don’t catch them off guard.
Schema Property: telephone
Mark up your business’ phone number so that users can access it as easily as possible.
Despite the positive impact using structured data can have on your local SEO profile, not many websites or businesses have made full use of it. Why not get ahead of your competition and outperform them in the SERPs? If you need some help getting started on your local SEO, why not get in touch with our team of digital experts today?