Location based SEO, also known as geo-targeting, is the practice of optimising your content to appear for your target location. It is fair to say that Google is getting better and better at creating location-based search results on more generic topics, where searchers are looking for something.
if I’m sat in our Web Design office in Sutton and search “Tesco ” – Google knows to display me local results. A desktop search will return Tesco in the wider local area, as whereas a mobile search will show Tesco in the close vicinity. Google believes the intent is different between desktop and mobile search; those on a desktop are more likely to be researching whereas those using mobile search want immediate results.
This, however, does have its limitations. For less commonly searched terms, such as “SEO agency”, Google tends to display mostly national results.
Although location-based search terms have far fewer search volumes, they carry a lot more intent and can deliver traffic to your site that is far more likely to convert. Those searching locally are far more likely to be in the consideration or purchase stage of the buyer’s journey.
3 tips to get started with location based SEO
1). Target location-specific keyword
The most powerful way to get around keyword competition is by targeting location-based keywords.
This is a strategy that almost any company can leverage and is simple to execute. Think about keywords that take into account location, such as:
- Your postcode
- Your town
- Your area in general
Let’s say I was tasked with improving a Sutton Web Design presence in local search. I’d initially create content optimised for keywords such as “Sutton Web Design”, “Web Design agents”, “Web agents in Sutton” and then include variations of these for my regional SEO strategy. A good example would be to write a blog with the title: “How to make the most of your Sutton Web Design”.
2. Make use of Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool for businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. To optimise your GMB for local SEO, ensure that:
- Your GMB is accurate and filled out completely
- Your location is owner-verified
- The specific town/city that you’re targeting is mentioned in the GMB landing page title
- The GMB primary categories are consistent with your service/product offering
As well as GMB, there are also lots of other regional online directory services that you can use to help build local authority. It’s important to appreciate that Google cross-references these listings to determine your business’ credibility – consistency is key!
3). Use a targeted Top Level Domain (TLD)
If you solely operate in the UK, it’s probably of your best interest to have a “.co.uk” TLD, as you will perform better in UK searches. For global businesses wanting to target several countries, this method may not be viable.
Can you optimise your website’s SEO for multiple locations?
Yes! As you’re aware, duplication of content is a big no-no in Google’s eyes. In order to rank for different locations, you must create unique content that is specific to your target areas. For each different location, you should almost create a “mini homepage”, which provides an overview of services you provide in that area with links off to relevant subpages. It’s important to make sure that the location is included in the slug.
Remember – those searching with local intent are usually ready to buy. Your landing pages should include a prominent call-to-action that reflects this.
This content sources inspired by https://www.toastinbound.co.uk/location-based-seo/
Here are some tips on maximizing your local potential
1. Set up a Google My Business account
Many business owners are unaware that they can directly control the information Google displays about their business. It’s simple–just set up a free account in Google My Business. This mother-of-all-listings site allows you to upload your location, contact info, website, and hours of operation. You can also upload professional photos of your location to make it look more inviting. This can help prevent some less-favorable customer-generated photos from cropping up on your profile. (For example, think of the last time you looked up a restaurant only to see a close-up of someone’s half-eaten food.
2. Create location-based site content
Once you’ve set up your location pages, remember to return to your Google My Business account to add those new URLs. Don’t just add your home page or domain URL; adding location-specific pages will help Google’s search crawlers index your page and give you higher rankings. It’ll also give your customers a better user experience. For instance, it’s much more convenient to check out happenings at your local coffee chain than search through all 1,600 locations.
4. Make sure your NAP info is consistent
NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number. When Google performs a search, it cross-references your NAP information across a variety of websites–like Yelp, Yellow Pages, et cetera – to ascertain that you’re a real, legitimate business. It’s incredibly unlikely that a spam website would have consistent NAP information across multiple sources. Therefore, help Google out – and improve your rankings – by making sure that your NAP information is correct across the board. If you’re not a developer, and you don’t know any, don’t worry – we do.
5. Create location-based Google Ads
Running location-based ads will increase your reach and competitiveness for your targeted areas. You can even use geo-targeting to ensure that your ads only within a specific geographical radius. If you’ve set up a Google My Business account, it’ll be easy to integrate your information right into Google AdWords.