Local SEO – 5 Tips
- Localise your titles, headings and content
- Make sure you state clearly where you are, what you do and what you offer
- Include what you do and where you are in the very first words of your content
- Start by focusing on a key local area
- Separate individual services, goods and areas onto their own pages
SEO Tip 1: Localise your page titles, headings and content
In an ideal world even your website name will include your location as in ‘locksmithcambridge.co.uk’ or ‘locksmith-cambridge.co.uk’, however, if you already have a name there are other things you can do to ensure your material is localised. There’s the page title, shown as <title> in your website page code. This shows up in the Google results listing and at the top of your browser when the page is active. This might be ‘John Smith Decorating Painter & Decorator Cambridge’ or better ‘Cambridge Painter & Decorator | John Smith Decorating’.
(Ideally the title should be no more than 60 characters but do use all of your character ‘allowance’ as best you can.)
It is recommended good practice to chunk the content of your page into easily read paragraphs. Doing this offers the opportunity to use sub-headings, which Google likes. So your second paragraph might be headed ‘Decorating Services Offered in Cambridge’ and then the third ‘How Our Cambridge Service Works – Estimates’ and so on.
For the content, it is important to include your location in the text of your page, however, don’t overdo it. Including it too many times just to get a better listing is a no-no with most search engines. Although difficult to define, the general guidance is to include the place name as if you were saying it. So it wouldn’t be in every sentence but it would be mentioned a few times throughout the text.
2: Make sure you state clearly where you are, what you do and what you offer
One of the big mistakes even corporate website pages sometimes make is that they are not clear about where they are geographically or where, regionally, they operate or offer their services, and what exactly they do and what they offer. If you ask a number of people to read one of your website pages, what do they say the key message is, what is the page about? If they say something different to what you intended, or they are a bit vague or confused, you need to revisit the content to focus and sharpen it.
Be aware that Google will read it just like they did and if it is unsure about where you are, what you do or what you offer, they will not give you a quality listing.
3: Include what you do and where you are in the very first words of your content
To help Google tie up your page title, your headings and your content, make sure that your opening words at the top of the page content mirror what you said this page is about and where you are. It is so easy to waffle on with general chatty conversation and forget what it is you said this page is about.
As an example, you might start a page:
“Cambridge painting and decorating business, John Smith Decorating, have established . . . . ”
Here, Google can see immediately what this content is intended to be about and will support this page.
One key point on page content. Do ensure there are enough words for Google to understand what the page is about. It is generally recommended that you have between 200 and 400 words relevant to what you said the page was about.
4: Start by focusing on a key local area
If you are a local business we sometimes miss the point that the local communities we are based in or work in, contribute massively to our turnover. As an example, using John Smith, above, if he checked out where his business comes from he might find that to a large degree he tends to only work in and around Milton or the Shelford’s, two areas near Cambridge. When looking at focusing his web pages, John, might get far better Google listings if he included ‘Milton’ in his titles, headings and content. As in:
‘Milton Painter & Decorator | John Smith Decorating, Cambridge’.
We’ve still got that he is a Cambridge decorator but now we have tightened it geographically to a specific area of the city. The benefit of this is that he will still get listed for a ‘cambridge painter and decorator’ search which is a huge, general search term, but now he should also come up very well for ‘milton painter and decorator’, a much more localised search.
6: Separate individual services, goods and areas on to their own pages
Bearing in mind that we are looking at local promotion of your website, another important piece of website structure good practice is to have well written, focused, individual pages defining the different services or sections of what you offer. With our decorator, above, he might have pages for Interior Painting, (Interior Painting | John Smith Decorating, Milton, Cambridge), Exterior Painting, Wallpapering, Special Finishes and Timber Repair Treatments. Equally, he might want to have pages for his Milton service and his Great & Little Shelford service.
The critical point to be aware of is, that Google does not like to see repeated or copied text so it is important to avoid copying and pasting but writing new, focused content for each page.
- You have an active website
- You have checked that you are listed on Google
- You have already set up an active Facebook page, linking to your website, specifically for your business which you or someone else keeps updated
- You have letterheads, business cards, sign boards, vehicle signs and local adverts, as appropriate, which all clearly show your telephone number and website address
- You have Google Analytics running on your website
- You have a Google Business / Google+ profile for your business
Neil Ford – Ely Website SEO