Local Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website (and certain external web properties you control) to increase your rankings on the major search engines, for a local audience.
SEO allows you to target the whole online world. If, however your target audience for your business is in a certain town, city or a specific geographical location, you don’t need to consider national SEO. In fact, if you do, your local SEO will probably suffer.
If a local business seeks to target a national or international audience, they will find it much harder to rank highly on search engine search results pages (SERPs). It therefore makes sense to target the people in the specific area you sell your products or services.
When you optimise your web properties for local searches, you’ll find that you start to show up for proximity-based searches. For example, if I googled ‘Law firm’ Google would be likely to provide me with a page of results which included some national results, some results near my location and a ‘3 pack’ of local Google My Business listings. I may even see a larger listing for a specific firm on the right-hand side of the search results page (if my search was on a desktop computer).
If your law firm were based near my location and you had optimised your site for local searches, you could potentially show up twice. Once in the natural ‘organic’ results and once with your Google My Business listing. Google’s local search algorithm is a great ‘leveller’ in that it gives smaller local firms the chance to compete with large national or international firms on a local level.
What can you do to improve your local search optimisation?
- Google My Business – Make sure your contact details, information and opening hours are all complete. This is the easiest way for your company to show up in google maps, the local ‘3 pack’ and right-hand side results.
- Link your Google My Business page to Google+ Local page.
- Reviews matter! When someone searches for your business, the reviews will show straight away. They also impact local search results.
- On page local SEO – Locally optimise your website’s title tags, header tags, meta descriptions and URL’s. Keep the location near the start of your title tags where relevant. When optimising local pages on your website –include the address in a continuous format on the page. Consider embedding a map on your contact page.
- Create website and Google My Business content with a local focus.
- Create, or seek to gain local citations (business listings on respected relevant local sites and quality industry directories). Ensure your name and place (NAP) listings use consistent information and formatting. Make sure they match the details on your website and Google My Business listing.
- Encourage local news sites and other local websites to link to your site by giving them something newsworthy to write about (or a piece of quality content).
If your law firm focuses on a specific geographic area, you should be optimising your site for local searches. To find out how we can help please contact us on 0800 133 7127 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.