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Local SEO

Optimise your site for local search

On-page local SEO implies optimising your website for keywords that:

• Are related to your business. What do you do, in simple terms? Let’s say you are a carpet cleaning company. There it is, your first keyword. However, prospective customers will use various similar terms to look up what they need in Google, so you can’t stop at a single keyword.

• Are location specific. If you want to bring in customers from London, you need to mention London on your site – and in the same context as your main keywords, too. Examples: carpet cleaning in London or carpet cleaning near me (both work).

• Have a high search volume. Some search phrases are used by people more often than others. Therefore, keywords with a high search volume can bring more users to your site.

The next step is where you work out everything about the content on your site. On the Internet, content is your most important asset. It helps your site rank by meeting the requirements of SEO and it convinces customers to do their business with you.

Create your content:

• What is your content about? Obviously, it should be closely related to your business. If you are selling carpet cleaning, the content on your site must be about carpet cleaning. In other words, content representing who you are and what you do.

• Who will you create your content for? Your potential customers belong in a certain audience that’s unlike any other. Your content needs to be addressed at them and solve their problems.

• How will you relay your message to the audience? Does your content need to be straight to the point, or is there room for creativity and longer articles? Find the approach the audience will appreciate the most.

Where are the places to publish your content?

•  Your own site. This goes without saying; your content should bring you rankings and traffic, first and foremost.

• Social networks. Platforms like Facebook and YouTube have billions of users, which makes them good for attracting new customers with your content.

• Other people’s blogs. Guest posting is a mutually beneficial practice of exchanging content for traffic from other sites.

• Other local sites. A good piece of content in the right place can bring you users that are already interested in becoming your customers.

Linking:

If you want your site to rank high, nothing is more effective than backlinks. But for the purposes of local SEO, backlinks from just anywhere won’t be very helpful. Your website – and, by extension, your business – will benefit most from links built on local websites, where your potential customers visit. For example, if you run a shop in London, you need backlinks from other London websites. Local backlinks are a signal to your target audience: this site is trustworthy, it’s safe to do business with them.

Create a Google My Business Listing

Google My Business is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. That includes adding your business name, location, and hours; monitoring and replying to customer reviews; adding photos; learning where and how people are searching for you

Step 1: Log into the Google Account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).

Step 2: Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.

Step 3: Enter your business name.

Step 4: Enter your business address.

Step 5: If you go to your customers’ locations, rather than having them come to you, check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” And if you work out of your house or another address you don’t want publicly shown, Check “Hide my address (it's not a store) Only show region.”

Finally, select your Delivery area.

Step 6: Choose your business category. Try to choose the most accurate category possible - you’re essentially telling Google which type of customers should see your business listing.

Step 7: Add your business phone number or website.

Step 8: Choose a verification option. If you’re not ready to verify your business yet, click “Try a different method” → “Later.”

How to Verify Your Business on Google:

There are several ways to verify your listing:

Postcard Verification

Step 1: If you aren't already logged into Google My Business, sign in now and choose the business you want to verify. (If you're already logged in, you'll be at the verification step.)

Step 2: Make sure your business address is correct.

Optional: Add a contact name - that's who the postcard will be addressed to.

Step 3: Click "Mail." The postcard should reach you in five days.

Step 4: Once you've received the postcard, log into Google My Business, select "Verify now."

Step 5: In the Code field, enter the five-digit verification code on your postcard. Click "Submit."

Phone verification

Google lets some businesses verify their location by phone. If you're eligible, you'll see the "Verify by phone" option when you start the verification process.

Step 1: If you aren't already logged into Google My Business, sign in now and choose the business you want to verify. (If you're already logged in, you'll be at the verification step.)

Step 2: Make sure your phone number is correct, then choose "Verify by phone."

Step 3: Enter the verification code from the text you receive.

Email verification

Google lets some businesses verify their location by email. If you're eligible, you'll see the "Verify by email" option when you start the verification process.

Step 1: If you aren't already logged into Google My Business, sign in now and choose the business you want to verify. (If you're already logged in, you'll be at the verification step.)

Step 2: Make sure your email address is correct, then choose "Verify by email."

Step 3: Go to your inbox, open the email from Google My Business, and click the verification button in the email.

Instant verification

If you've already verified your business with Google Search Console (a free tool that lets you manage your website's search performance and health), you might be able to instantly verify your email.

Step 1: Sign into Google My Business with the same account you used to verify your business with Google Search Console. (Some business categories aren't eligible for instant verification, so if you don't get a notification asking you to verify the listing, you'll have to use a different verification method.)


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