Last time I talked about some SEO basics and how SEO can get you more bookings. This time we’ll look more closely at local SEO.
What Is Local SEO?SEO is the process of moving your website higher up the search engine results in order to increase your web traffic.
Local SEO is the same thing but on a local level.
There are many factors that go into achieving a strong position in local search results. Luckily for you, I’ll tell you exactly what those factors are in this post.
Hint: It’s not just about high rankings!
Why Is Local SEO Important for Children’s Entertainers?If your business relies heavily on a local audience, then this is going to be extremely valuable to you.
In theory, when someone types in “magician Orlando,” the most relevant websites will appear higher up.
However, people don’t always include the town, city or state in the search query. So how does Google know which websites to show you?
If you head over to Google now and type in “party venues” (without a location), you will be presented with a list of venues in your area. So even though you didn’t use a location when searching, clever Google knows where you’re located. This is based on a number of factors such as your previous search history and your IP address.
People prefer to deal with local businesses which means Google prefers to show you local listing in search results.
The good news is this: being at the top of search engine results is no longer just for big businesses. It’s now easily achievable for smaller businesses too.
4 Easy Ways to Improve Your Local SEOSo how do you improve your local rankings, and how can you get Google to display your website in their local search results even if someone hasn’t specified their area?
1. Create a Listing with Google My BusinessHead over to Google My Business and check to see if you have a business listing with them. A listing looks like this in search results:
If you do have an existing listing, then great! I’d recommend you spend some time going through your company details to ensure that the information is correct.
If don’t have a business page set up with Google, then create one and ensure that the business name, address and phone number are all accurate and up-to-date.
Using Google My Business is the only way to get featured in the map listings on the first page of Google.
You will need to verify your listing with Google directly before they add it to their database.
2. Use Your WebsiteYour website will play a vital role in your SEO efforts. There are lots of elements that go into making your website search engine-friendly. But there’s one key thing you can do right away that will have a significant impact on a local level.
- Phone number
You must ensure your name, address and phone number are listed on your website (preferably on each page). Make sure the information is as similar as possible to what is on your Google My Business account.
For instance, if your address is listed as the following on Google:
11 High Street
Don’t list it like this on your website:
Flat No 1
11 High st
3. Use Business DirectoriesGoogle relies on the help of other websites to show them how credible YOUR website is.
Think of it this way: when other websites ‘talk’ about your business and link back to your site, it counts as a ‘vote of confidence.’ The more votes from credible websites you have, the better.
You should also aim to build profiles with reputable online business directories. They will usually allow you to create a profile on their website and display your name, address and phone number for free. In some cases, they will even allow you to include a link back to your website. The more high quality websites that link back to you, the better.
As usual, you will want to make sure your information is as consistent as possible when creating these profiles. So make it the exact same address as what’s on your website and on Google My Business.
Then try to be creative. How else can you gain credible links? Think local press or local community groups you can get involved with! It’ll be beneficial for SEO and your reputation.
4. Get Online ReviewsOnline review websites like Yelp and Trip Advisor are really useful tools that will allow you to improve and manage your online reputation in your town or city.
Whether we like or not, online review websites are here to stay. If you search for any type of service online, you will likely find one or more of the online review websites showing up on the first page of Google. It’s not uncommon that they rank higher than standard website listings.
My advice is to manage your online reputation as much as you can. Be active on online review websites and reply to online reviews (good or bad!) in a positive way. If you can, try to encourage your customers to leave an honest online review about you.
Google also offers a star rating system for your business page so your potential customers will see your reviews before they even visit your website.