Optimising for local search can give any small business an advantage over national chains with established websites and big marketing budgets, whatever industry you are in you will benefit by optimising your website to rank locally. People don’t check the phone book or local newspaper anymore, in this day and age when they want to spend money or need something fixed the first place they look is online, usually via their smartphone or tablet so if you are not optimised for local search you are losing business. This post will show you how to optimise your website for local ranking success.
Checklist for Local Search Success
As we said above many people will use their smartphone when they need something locally. According to ofcom, 93% of UK adults have a mobile phone and 66% of those have smartphones. In April Google altered their algorithm to give more weight to reponsive websites in mobile search and Bing are planning change their algorithm too so you need to make sure your website is responsive.
You need to add some Geotags to your websites head or header.php file if you are using WordPress, see the below screenshot:
Dublin Core helps search engines index and catalog the web creating a “library card catalog”. The Dublin Core Metadata Element Set is a vocabulary of fifteen properties for use in resource description, see more about it here.
Next you want to create MicroData and add it to your contact page. What’s MicroData? Web crawlers, and browsers can extract and process Microdata from a web page and use it to provide a richer browsing experience for users, learn more on Wikipedia.
Create citations from local business directories such as Yelp, Scoot, etc.
Create some Google maps for your business and add a map to your own site.
Create a Google+ page for your business, link it to and from your website. Here is a post I wrote a while ago about G+, Facebook and Twitter pages, some of it is still relevant.
Increase your overall domain authority by building quality one way links to your website, see the Panda SEO guest blogging service for this.
Panda SEO is glad to help clients with all of the above and we have achieved numerous first page rankings for our own and client sites, see our local optimisation page for more.