Local Search & How To Optimse Your Site For It

So you’ve got yourself a snazzy state of the art website and now you’re starting to wonder about search engine optimisation. BUT WAIT! There’s something more important than that, the actual real-life customers walking past the door, how will they find you? Well, dear reader, the answer is pretty straightforward : local search.

The idea of local search or local SEO is pretty simple really – some is looking for something in a particular geographical location. Hairdressers in Newcastle, for example.  You might have noticed that Google has started to integrate maps and places into some of there search results? Yes? Wonderful. It’s not going to get any more complicated than that.

So What Do I Have To Do To Rank For Local Search?

Good question. Glad you asked. Well, like a lot of aspects of SEO, there are a lot of factors that contribute but if you stick with us we’ll teach you the main ones you’ll need for local search.

First of all you are going to want to claim your page on Google Places.  Not sure what that is? Let me google that for you… Now off you trot to the Google Places homepage.  That’s it… it’ll open in a new tab so you can keep flicking back here and I’ll keep you right.  Now the more eagle-eyed of you will have spotted that there’s ‘Add new business’ link. Once you’ve clicked that you’ll be prompted to find your business through the phone number.

If you find your business, you can claim it as being yours, alternatively you can add a new one if they haven’t got on on their already.

The most important information you’ll need to provide is:

  • Name of your company (this shouldn’t present too much of a challenge)
  • Address of the business (no worries here either, I’d say)
  • Phone number (make sure you double check it’s correct)
  • Website address (if you haven’t got one of these then I despair, I really do)
Your address and your phone number are particularly important because Google will use this to help rank you in terms of local search. So include the city or town you’re in and make sure you’ve got the dialing code in there for the phone number. It might sound stupid but they’re important.

When you click ‘next’ you’ll reach another, just as important area. The page which contains the category. And this page is certainly not to be sniffed at. Finding the proper category for your business is pretty straightforward but get it wrong and you can kiss goodbye to decent local search engine optimisation.

The good news is Google will try to help you so go with it, add up to five relevant categories that you want to be found for and that apply to your business and once you’re happy you’ve got your categories right you can fill in the other areas like your hours of business, etc. and submit the whole shebang.  In order to prove that you are indeed the business owner, Google will usually send you out a postcard within a week or so with a code on it. Whack the code into your Google Places account and the page should be live pretty soon after.

It may not be the fastest process in the world but, hell, it’s better than some looney spammer claiming they own your business isn’t it?

Okay, Okay, Google Places is important but is there anything else I can do?

Another good question. This isn’t your first time is it?

You can further improve your local search engine optimisation by making sure that:

  • Address and phone number of your business is the same as your Places listing
  • Address and phone number are on every page of your site (not just your contact page, you tinker!)
  • The city and region are in the title of the landing page of your website (META tags, darling)

Local SEO’s an absolute doddle then?

Well, not quite, there’s plenty more you can do but that is another blog post for another day. And don’t forget, all this is very easy if you’ve got the time and the inclination. But if you haven’t, you simply can’t be bothered or you want to take your Search Engine Optimisation to the next level then get in touch, we’d be happy to come to your rescue.

Tags: , , ,