5 Free SEO Tips to Boost Your Local Listings

By | February 29, 2012

For many SMEs, optimising for local keywords can provide access to a smaller but more lucrative and attainable market, especially for firms that offer direct services or are a specialist supplier of a particular type of product.

Verify your Google Place Listings

Verifying a listing is akin to taking ownership of it and will allow you to make changes to it, as detailed below. Even if you have no plans to amend the listing, it is well worth verifying it as more weight is given to such entries and they usually appear higher in search engine results pages than those that have not been claimed by the business to which they refer. Companies can verify their listing by phone, SMS or postcard.

Add content to Google Places

Once the verification process has been completed, it is possible to enhance a listing with the addition of videos, photographs and special offers. Updates can be made on a regular basis to notify local residents of any promotions that you run and directions can be included in the entry to make it easier for new customers to find your business. It is a good idea to include basic details such as opening times and the specific services that you provide, to make sure that consumers have all the information that they need.

Target local websites in your link building campaigns

Details of sites that have many links from other websites run by companies that operate in the same geographical location are often displayed to local computer users when they use a search engine to find products and services in their area. This is obviously beneficial if your business depends on walk-in custom and making contact with local firms could have other benefits as well. It can be easier to generate links from local website owners, as it is sometimes possible to visit them in person.

Add address citations to directory listings

Ensuring that the name, address and phone number of your company are mentioned in relevant online business directories can help to boost your position in search engine results pages too. Although they may not be quite as effective as inbound links, these citations are believed to be taken into account by major search engines and used as one of the factors that determine a website’s relevance to local searchers. It is also worth adding your business details to local blogs as well as online portals that collate data from a wide variety of sources.

Optimise location specific pages on your website

In order to improve the position in which subpages from your site appear in search engine results for local services it is important to optimise them properly. Effective use of title meta tags and header tags can help matters, as can the inclusion of maps and other images that are relevant to the area in which you are located. It is also very important to ensure that the content of such pages is relevant to the local community, both to improve rankings for local searches and to make them truly useful for potential customers.

About the Guest Post Author: Emma Tomlinson is the Head of Retail at Smart Traffic, a leading SEO company based in Bristol delivering successful campaigns to both SMEs and major brands