Doing SEO is not just about increasing traffic or getting on the top of the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It could also mean optimising your business to be seen locally. This must be the initial step in doing search engine optimisation. When your business is listed in local directories, customers will know that your business indeed exists. It will then be easier to find your business locally. General SEO can then be applied and easily done when there have been initial local SEO efforts.
How is local optimisation done?
Local optimisation, must be done side by side with on-site SEO. This means that the website must be checked whether it has the right meta tags, headings, the right keywords and keyword density. Google and other search engines index websites that have satisfied all these aspects. It would then be easier to optimise the website.
Local directories are the main resources when it comes to optimising the website in the local level. They work the same way with phone book directories only they are found online and could even provide maps and more descriptive locations. These directories could either be free or paid. Tapping the biggest fish in the sea like Google Places, Yelp, Localese and many more could provide endless benefits to your business.
Benefits of Local SEO
As mentioned earlier, the benefits of local optimisation could be endless. Below are some of these benefits described in detail.
• It would be easier to optimise the website – When the website has been optimised locally, SEO on regional level is a lot easier to do. Ranking on generic keywords wouldn’t be that difficult. Initial marketing efforts is already done, customers will already have an idea what the website and the business are all about.
Ranking for local keywords can also be done with ease. For instance, the keyword “Web design Sydney” will have a comparatively low competition than just the keyword “web design”.
• It could gain local customer base – Tapping customers locally is a lot easier than doing it in a bigger market. With a good local following, it would be easier to increase your customer base by the time you decide to go national or even global.
• It would make your website or business more visible – When your business and website are listed on local directories, it means that when someone searches for them, Google can give local search results. It is noticeable that when a website has been optimised locally and in a general manner, local search results (maps, listings) appear on the SERPs first before the organic results.
• It could build customer trust and business credibility – Local directories such as Yelp allow customers to leave reviews and give their ratings on how they perceive your business based on services and products they have availed. These directories then rank business listings of the same category (steakhouses, bars, DIY shops, recreational parks) according to ratings and customer reviews. Those that have better reviews (more stars) are listed first on the site and receive better exposure.
When these benefits are availed through local optimisation, higher sales and income can then follow. Your business will undoubtedly succeed.