What is local SEO?
Local SEO is an effective way of targeting customers in your country to engage your business. It is becoming an essential part of any digital marketing campaign to ensure businesses stay visible online.Local SEO is favoured by Google, as seen in the rise in local search results when we search for information related to a geo-location.For more information on local SEO, visit our article on local SEO and how it can benefit your business.
How to get started with a local SEO campaign
The picture above is a result of typing “Digital marketing agency Singapore”. Google tends to rank differently for local SEO results than traditional SEO results. To rank well for the above search result, we will usually rely more on local NAP citations, local reviews and My Business signals.Local SEO is about optimising your digital presence specifically to target local searchers, with the intent to search for local businesses or solutions. With local SEO, you will be getting traffic from both organic SEO as well as from different web sources.Question now is, how can we precisely target these sources to optimise our traffic?
Google My Business
The straightforward and easiest way to optimise is through Google My Business. Google My Business is a free listing tool by Google to help local businesses with their visibility. For more information, you can find out more from Google My Business page.There are a few tips on optimising your results using Google My Business, we will share a few of them below:
- Include a long, unique description about your business in Singapore. The more specific and the more information you give Google, the more helpful it will be for your business.
- Choosing the correct categories for your business as it tells Google more about your business and help them rank you correctly.
- Show as much relevant pictures about your business as possible.
- Add a local Singapore phone number to your listing so local searchers can contact you.
- Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo.
- Add your opening times/days (if relevant).
- Get real reviews from customers, as many as possible
With a strong result on local SEO, you can beat competitors who are ranking well organically but do not have local SEO. Google tends to put local listings above the fold, so your business can actually “rank” higher than the organic ones.This can be an extremely, valuable tool for your business to get listed above bigger businesses with more resources to spend to win you in SEO ranking.Again, for more information how you can appear for local SEO, find out from Google My Business page.
Having a good review about your company is always helpful in marketing — its even better with Google reviews.Focusing on gathering reviews can help tremendously for your online results and rankings. Other ways to get reviews include getting reviews on your Yelp page, along with other local directories. For a good list of local directories, check out this comprehensive list from Hubspot.Getting Google reviews will be the main priority as it can yield the most results for the same amount of effort, such as gaining visibility and SEO at the same time.The first thing you can do is to ask your past customers to review your business on Google, after you have created the business listing on Google. Let your customers know that you’re on these sites and persuade them to leave their feedback, and do everything you can to increase the number of positive reviews you receive.The following article from Search Engine Land is useful for you to create your more in-depth strategies for review acquisition.
Business Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP)NAP tells more information about your business to both customers and the search engine.It is crucial that you use the exact same details/format when you mention your business information on other websites (i.e. local citations, directories). Having different business NAP tells Google mixed information about your business, resulting in mixed results and ultimately reflects bad on your business.When it comes to business details, you want to ensure you build a consistent image.
Local Link Building and Citations that will affect local SEO
Link building is fundamental to a good SEO campaign. To optimise for your local SEO, you have to start building local links from local websites, preferably ones that are relevant to your business.This implies that when it comes to local SEO, the nature of the link is more important than the authority of the incoming link (though equally important, but not in this context). Local directories, forums, Q&A sites are thus useful resources for link building, especially when it comes to building citations.
A citation can be described as an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP).As mentioned above, local citations must be listed as accurately and appropriately as possible. These citations tells Google more about your business, and they crawl through many of these sites and backlinks to “determine” your business profile. Having citations containing different information can be disastrous.Make sure your name, business and phone number (NAP) is consistent throughout the web, and all reflects the real information about your business. If Google notices a small difference in citations between two different sources, your local authority could drop.Bright Local offers local SEO services and is a great tool to check out any existing citations you have. You can use Brightlocal and update them so that they’re all consistent as well, and also use the tool to track your competitors’ citations and add your own to the same websites.
Local content and link building
Lastly, you want to embark on a local link building campaign to help in your local SEO.As a guide, churning out useful, 2000-3000 words content are the best for SEO — you can use them for multiple purposes. Why 2000-3000 words? Research from SerpIQ has shown that the top 10 results are usually made from pages that have such a keyword range, as shown in the picture below.With a cornerstone piece of content, you can then approach various channels and parties for backlink building and traffic building. Below are a few ways you may want to use to generate backlinks for your webpage:
- Leveraging on local events and local information articles
- Get published on local news outlets with your latest press releases
- Line up interviews and columns within relevant online publications.
- Share it with other bloggers and authority in the relevant industry to generate more traffic and readership
- Run regular competitive link research and capitalize on any new opportunities that your competitors have gained.
- Getting online and offline coverage
Local SEO can greatly boost your search engine visibility, and good news is Google is favouring local SEO as the benefits it bring to their users can be much more valuable than the traditional ones.As Google continues to evolve, with the introduction of rich snippets, rich card and featured snippets etc, we need to evolve consistently and implement an ongoing strategy for local SEO.Another are of importance for Google right now is mobile SEO and user experience, which we will talk about more in-depth in our future articles.