It is early June 2020 and many businesses are just starting to peer out from behind the rock which they have been hiding for the last few months. I don’t need to harp on about what we have been going through as we have all been living it!
Suffice to say, as businesses start to reopen and try to get back to a new normal, their websites should be something that they take a long hard look at. Have you looked at yours lately?
Never again will an ‘OK’ website be sufficient to pull in new customers for you. It needs to be top-notch if you really want to master local SEO.
So, here are some local SEO tips for the rest of 2020
Let’s start at the very top of your website.
Time after time we see websites that are trying to rank for the word Home! They aren’t trying to on purpose, but because they are not optimising their Home Page properly you see this.
This is the most basic SEO and you should be aiming to optimise for your main keyword or keyphrase. If we take one of the competitors of the company above you will see what I mean.
This company is attempting to rank for the search term ‘Roofers Exeter’.
So, let’s move onto some more in-depth local SEO training.
How Are Your Title Tags?
The individual page titles are one of the most important ranking factors in our local SEO tips 2020 as this immediately tells Google and the other search engines what your page is about. You should always try to make your page title about your keyword and your town or city. This is especially important for local search engine optimisation.
If you are going to have several internal pages like Service pages, for example, it helps to compile a list of your main keyword phrases first before you start building the pages. You can do this in several ways, but this ones works for us:
- Make a list of the areas you cover and also the products or services that you offer.
- Using Google Search Console find out which search queries your pages are being found for. This quite often throws up some interesting data.
- Using a free keyword tool like https://keywordtool.io/ run an analysis of related keywords. If you really want to go all-in there is a fantastic paid tool which gives you all the analysis you could ever need – SEMRush.
- Use all this data to start to create page titles that people are actually searching for.
Here is a really useful example of how to build out page titles for your pages:
Another great free tool for creating SEO’d page titles is the Yoast plugin. If your website is built on WordPress (62% of all websites in the world are built on WordPress!), you can download Yoast as a plugin and in our honest opinion it is much better than the All In One SEO tool.
How does your Home Page Look?
This is still by far the biggest mistake we see businesses making when it comes to local SEO. They spend a great deal of money on snazzy looking websites that look lovely but perform terribly!
When a visitor lands on your website you have less than 8 seconds to entice them to look further.
So, if your website is not clear about what it is that you do, they will hit that back button asap. There is an old marketing erm called ‘above the fold’ which dates back to old newspaper days. Those big old newspapers that you had to fold in half. This is where the term comes from. Basically ‘above the fold’ is what your visitor sees upon arrival at your website without having to scroll down.
Too many websites have a huge header image or an image slider in the top half of their website taking up the most, if not all, of the area above the fold. These are a huge mistake.
You need a great headline, telling the person who you are and what your product or service is. You also need a call to action in this area too. For local businesses this is usually a telephone number or a sign-up form to request a quote. If you can make these tap to call this will increase the number of calls you get from people on mobiles.
Why is this page important for SEO I hear you ask? Well, you need to craft the words on this page to include your main keywords/phrases with your service area in there as well.
Your Home Page, with its super optimisation, should be the page that you link to from your Google My Business listing. This is because the 2 work hand in hand and it can enable you to rank in the top 3 listings in the Google My Business listings. This is prime real estate on the Google search results.
Make sure you have good links to your internal pages on your Home Page too. Also a good use of keyword tagged images and videos is advisable. Customer testimonials and social proof is also great for inclusion on your Home Page.
All of this, not only works for local SEO, but has a knock-on effect in that it keeps people on your website for longer. This increases your bounce rate which is another huge ranking factor.
How Fast is Your Website?
Just in the last few months, Google have hinted that page load speed is one of the biggest ranking factors. A slow website WILL mean lower rankings in the search results. Fact!
This in turn will also harm your conversions – less calls, less sales, less quote enquiries.
Our favourite free tool for checking your load speed is GTMetrix.com
This is a great tool as it shows you just what is slowing your website down. Our experience shows us that it is usually the size of your images. These take a ton of time to load if they are too large and is easily rectifiable without having to reduce the visible size of your images.
It is extremely important that your website loads fast on a mobile and also is mobile friendly – that is that it looks useable on a mobile device.
Google My Business and The Effect on SEO
Having a well optimised Google My Business listing coupled with a well optimised website does wonders for your local SEO ranking. But they both have to be good, not just one or the other.
The GMB listing ranks based on many factors but the proximity to the searcher is a major one. So you need to make sure that you not only show the areas you cover in your listing settings but also have these areas mentioned on your website – prominently.
Try to get local backlinks and also reviews through your GMB listing.
Hopefully as you were searching for local SEO tips 2020, you found some useful information here. If you need any help or advice on how to improve your local SEO, get in touch HERE
Also, we are experienced in optimising Google My Business listings so don’t hesitate to enquire about our GMB Optimisation services too.