How to use local SEO techniques

DSM Digital School of Marketing - seo

Local SEO is all about getting a company or organisation in front of the people in its surrounding community. Most of us make use of search engines like Google or Bing to find the businesses offering the services or solutions we need or want. A plumbing service customer in Durban doesn’t want to see Johannesburg-based plumbers come up in their search feed. When a searcher types ‘plumber’ into their search engine, it will bring up plumbing organisations that have listed their business online (website, local listings, etc.) and are in or near the customer’s location. This article shares four steps any business owner or website manager can take to improve their local SEO presence:

Google My Business

Claiming your business listing through Google is one of the easiest and most important steps to take when implementing local SEO techniques. Google My Business (GMB) listings appear to the right of the screen when searchers browse for something on Google. It lists a company’s name, services, and links for telephone numbers and websites.

Online Directories

GMB is an important online business listing to improve local SEO, but it certainly isn’t the only important one. Before forgetting about local SEO once you’ve set up your GMB listing, continue searching for other local business listing sites that serve Internet users in your industry. Websites like the Yellow Pages and Gumtree will feature your business address, and owing to their online authority, should receive attention from the search engines. The more online sources which say a business is in a specific location, the better the chance that search engines will serve the business listing to local searchers.

Titles and Meta Descriptions

Headings, body copy, and other factors tell a search engine what each page of your website is about. Two elements many people forget about are the meta data items called title tags and meta descriptions. These are automatically added by the search engine if nothing has been specified. Businesses can add local information to these sets of data, giving the search engines locational information about their organisations. For example, plumbers who add phrases like ‘plumbers in Pretoria’ to their websites’ main-page meta data are likely to show up for Pretoria-based plumbing services.

Online Reviews

Here are two statistics that should convince you that online business reviews matter just as much as in-person, word-of-mouth reviews. A whopping 84% of people trust online reviews, and 70% will leave a review for a business if asked to. The more local online reviews, the more impactful your local SEO will be in attracting new customers. Using content marketing tools like Hootsuite allows marketers to monitor any mention of the brand anywhere online, and they can step in at any time to take remedial communicative action should any negativity comments arise.

It is clear that multiple local SEO techniques exist for marketers and website managers to attract local attention.

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