5 Simple Local SEO Tasks

no barking for local seo

SEO

26 May, 2020

If you run a local business that relies on selling products or delivering services to people in your local area and/or have school-age kids, we have the perfect solution to give your business a boost while keeping the kids busy over the summer holidays.

After 3 and a bit months of “homeschooling,” many parents will be dreading the next six weeks. At the same time, local businesses such as hotels, pubs and restaurants will be hoping that families get out and start spending again soon.

Next week more businesses including gyms will be allowed to open, while Boris and his chums are also trying to give the high street a badly needed kickstart. We’re also here to help with 5 easy ways that local businesses can give themselves a boost with local SEO.

Each of these tasks could easily be achieved between dusting off the dumbbells and ordering extra face masks. But why not kill two birds with one stone and keep the kids out of mischief at the same time?

All your kids need are some basic computer skills, i.e. have they spent the last 3 months glued to TikTok, Fortnite or Youtube? Children between the ages of 10-12 are ideal, teenagers are too grumpy in my experience. 

Here’s what to do. 

Claim Your Google My Business Listing

When you search for a local business such as “campsite near me” you are presented with a map of local businesses in a really prominent position immediately after the Google Ads results. The information you see there is pulled from each business’s Google My Business (GMB) profile page. 

Which means that if you haven’t set up your Google My Business page you are missing an opportunity to be featured ahead of the organic search results.

Creating your GMB page is something you can easily do yourself and it’s free. Once it’s done, make sure you verify your listing. Google will send you a postcard with a verification code to verify that you are the owner of the listing and only you can make changes. 

Add Your Company Details To These Citations Sites

Adding your businesses details to business directories is one of those undemanding jobs you can do with you’re eyes closed (not literally). It’s best done in small junks of 10 or so at a time. Start with these ones:

Adding your business to Scoot and Central Index will ensure that you are listing in The Independent, The Sun and The Mirror as well as regional newspapers such as The Bristol Post. Get in touch if you would like a full list of directories that you should submit to including a list of local citation sites for businesses based in Bristol.

Before you start, skip ahead to the next recommendation because it’s really important to get your citations right the first time around. This will save you time in the long run.

Make sure your name, address & phone number (NAP) information is consistent

People are much better at forgiving inconsistencies than search engines are. Take a look at the 3 examples below. To the human eye, these are all the same address (pedants will point out that the county of Avon ceased to exist over 20 years ago).  

100 Wells Rd
Totterdown
Bristol
BSX ZRL
100 Wells Road
Bristol
Avon
BSX ZRL
100 Wells Rd
Bristol
City of Bristol
BSX ZRL


To Google, each address is a bit different. Since Google treats consistency as a sign of trust, these differences can hurt your chances of ranking for your chosen local search terms.

To judge how trustworthy your business is Google scans the internet for all instances of your name, address & phone number and compares it to your website and Google My Business listing. Sometimes you can’t help being inconsistent because some business directories will, for example, insist that Bristol is in Avon.

At the very least ensure that your Google My Business name, address & phone number is the same as the details on your website. Try to be as consistent as possible with regards to other business directories. To check the consistency of your businesses NAP info, BrightLocal provides a useful tool.

The trick is to start out with a simple spreadsheet with all the of the details about your business so that you can copy and paste the details into each directory in step 2 above. Get in touch if you would like me to send you a template.

Get Some Google Reviews

Study after study shows that reviews are not only great for business, they are also great for local search rankings which are in turn great for business. It’s one big virtuous circle, so start getting reviews today.

What’s more, according to this study published by the Association for Psychological Science, they don’t even all have to be good reviews. People tend to trust websites with lots of reviews more than the average review rating. In fact, we get a little suspicious if every review is a 5-star whoop-de-doo rating. If you ask enough people you’re bound to get the odd 3 or 4 stars, that’s life.

One of the easiest ways to ask for a review is to get your customer to search for your business on Google Maps. All they then need to do is scroll down to the reviews section and click on “write a review”. Alternatively, go into your Google My Business listing, go to your reviews section and you’ll find a link that you can share via email, social media or text.

Remove Duplicate Google My Business listings

Duplicate GMB listings can occur for a number of reasons. Your listing may have been set up by a colleague without you realising or you may have gone through the process a long time ago and forgotten about it. Sometimes people set them up with the wrong details and then set up another one instead of amending the existing one.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to fix it because it’s confusing for people searching for your business. Also if you have two listings competing for the same spot, Google may not show the one that you want it to. This becomes a problem when you have one listing that has lots of detail about your business along with plenty of reviews and another with just a few details and no reviews. You don’t want the second one showing ahead of the first.

To solve this issue, take a look at this post that goes into each scenario for the proper way to deal with duplicate GMB listings.  

If you are still having trouble enticing the kids off the couch with these handy tips give us a shout and we’ll do it for you, the SEO I mean, you’ll have to sort your own kids out.

 

 

Need help with local citations, Google My Business or Google Reviews ?