Ranking in local searches on Google is every businessman’s target. Instead of reaching out to people who may live to far away to qualify as customers, they want to reach people who live nearby, are likely to walk in the store or order online and receive the products as soon as possible.
And since everyone wants to rank for local search, competition is high. To get a competitive edge, you need to do cover all the aspects you can control. Claim your Google My Business listing, focus on local content, conduct a local keyword research and optimise your website – these are some of the key actions you can take.
Is Your Website Optimised for Local Search?
When looking for good matches for searches, Google looks at a lot of factors in a website. Basically, what Google searches want to establish is that your web page:
- is a good answer to the user’s intent,
- belongs to a business with good reputation, and
- is located close to the user.
To help Google pick your website, you need to optimise it and include all the pointers that match the three criteria above. And, since you should review and refresh your websites periodically, now is a great time to perform this review.
How to Make Your Website Local Search Friendly
Here are the key elements you should analyse, edit and add (as applicable) if you want your site to rank for local search:
1. Add NAP Citations and Keep them Consistent across the Website
NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. This information is the basic element that Google verifies to indentify proximity. In order to make it easier for the Google spiders to find this information, add it to the footer of your website and make sure it appears on all the pages.
Next, make sure that the NAP citation looks exactly the same on all pages, including on the contact page and on various business directories where your company is listed. Google interprets addresses written in a different order (for instance, with or without the floor or the entrance number) as different addresses. Thus, you may unwittingly become your own competitor.
2. Add City/Province Name to Your Website Metadata
The metadata include the page title, the meta tags and the meta descriptions, among others. These are elements that identify the website and give a basic description of what your website is about.
To make sure that Google picks it for local search results, add your city/region name to all the metadata. For example, instead of “vegan food delivery”, update it to “Adelaide vegan food delivery”. The more instances that verify your location, the higher your chances are to be found by consumers in your area.
3. Create Pages for All Your Locations
If you operate in different locations, for instance, run several stores in different cities or even different neighbourhoods, you should create web pages for each of them. Include all the relevant information, from business hours, to the Google Maps API that helps users identify it.
Add any special events hosted by these locations on their corresponding website pages, and don’t forge to add them as anchor text in blog posts or articles where you write about these events.
4. Add Reviews to Your Website from Outside Sources
If your business receives ratings and reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, social media platforms or Google My Business, make sure they appear in your website as well.
Google relies on these reviews to evaluate the reputation of a business in the process of determining local search results.
5. Create Content with Local Interest
Last but not least, adapt your content plan to include topics related to events and news taking place in your local area. For example, if the local council is running a project about helping elderly citizens get groceries delivered and you participate in it, then write about your experience as a member of this initiative.