Local SEO is one of the toughest nuts to crack and can require massive amounts of work, but if you are a local business and want to be seen online then it is worth every penny of your investment, Local SEO will not only get you seen online, but it can also help build your brand and your online presence at the same time.
The Jigsaw that is Local Search Optimisation.
Local search optimisation relies on many components both on and off-site from global and local data distributors to rich snippets on your website and of course locally relevant and geo-located back links.
It is only by bringing all of these peices of the jigsaw together that you can achieve consistent local top ranking search results.
Offsite Data for Local Search Results.
There are four main platforms that aggregate data throughout the web which directly effect UK local search and these have to be your starting point for any local search optimisation campaign
- Central Index
I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to ensure that your data on these platforms is not only complete but also consistent across all of the platforms, any inconsistency or omission from these platforms will cost you dearly in terms of ranking later.
Getting your business on the map.
There are many providors of data which feed into the many mapping applications on the web and you need to ensure your data is consistent across all of them if you want to get the best results and be seen on all the various mapping platforms.
The first place to start is with the mapping apps themselves,
Onsite Data Markup, Rich-Snippets for Local Search.
There are number of rich snippets and data markup options for local businesses to use on their websites which can be utilised to target local search and maps from your website.
Rich snippets can be utilised to represent data such as your business address, opening hours, delivery methods, there is also specific markup for businesses like resteraunts etc.
For a full list of list of available markup see Googles local business developers page.
Building Local Search Authority
In additional to your usual link building activties which will help build overall domain authority when promoting a local site you should look towards obtaining back links from other locally based sites, including but not limited by Local Newspapers
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews and More Reviews.
As with many other aspects of SEO reviews are hugely important with local search, and the platforms where they are collected are even more important to local search than with traditional SEO.
Unlike with an e-commerce website which sells nationally or internationally where you would choose a platform like reviews.co.uk or trustpilot.co.uk in order to collect customer reviews. Most local reviews are collected independently via local search sites like tripadvisor