Is your website ready for Local Search Engine traffic?

When it comes to SEO we hear a common question repeating itself from local Cambridge business owners “How do I optimise my website for local search?”

The SEO reasons to keep website and page content optimised and updated

If you need to flourish in an online marketplace, your white hat link building, affiliate marketing, social media marketing, and influencer marketing strategy needs to be strong. But for your website to survive in the same amongst a busy local marketplace, in the first instance, it needs to be optimised and updated.

With some level of understanding of the online marketing and SEO domain, you may know that NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) is an important form of inbound marketing and the most influential of local search ranking signals.

Extensive studies conducted around local SEO state that more than half the internet users are likely to turn to the information provided directly by a business rather than other (third-party) websites or popular listings like Google My Business. People expect your website to be updated and appear on local SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).

Google determines local ranking based on relevance, distance, and prominence. As for NAPs, Google expects you to enter complete data, verify your locations, keep your hours accurate, manage and respond to reviews, and add photos.

5 steps to a better Local SEO presence

( 1 ) Localising your website

Website localisation is a powerful means to get your page on the first local SERPs and global SERPs just as well. You can achieve website localisation through optimised NAPs, proper use of the names of your region, city, or country within the content, management of reviews from customers, and optimisation of H1 tags and meta-tags, to name a few.

If your business functions from several locations, it is highly recommended to create dedicated pages for each and to use different content silos. For more information can refer to our article on local content for more.

( 2 ) Mobile-friendliness is SEO-friendliness

Mobile phone search is today giving PC browsers a run for their money. It follows that your website should be extremely mobile-friendly while it would help to have a mobile app for users to come to your business too.

Statistically, about 50% of smartphone users are likely to convert into customers and Google likes that.

As per Google’s new Core Web Vitals update, search engines like ‘champion’, fast-loading, and stable pages (onto that in a while).

( 3 ) Loading speed is vital

NOTE: Google loves to deliver what people want – since we are impatient people, we love fast-loading pages – so Google loves fast-loading pages. As per Google, the page load time of 1 to 3 seconds increases bounce rate by 32%, and page load time of 1 to 6 seconds increase bounce rate by 106%.

Google developers even offer free plugins such as Google Lighthouse, so that you can measure your scores including those of loading and response speed. Google wants you to grow and rank better just as we love helping you to.

Briefly mentioning the few ways in which you can improve your site’s speed:

  • Good cache management (including preload cache)
  • Asset Optimisation
  • In-site media management and placement
  • Removing redundancies

( 4 ) Effective link-building to milk SEO

Although local links do not need to strictly be ‘dofollow’ links to create traffic for your website, they can be extremely powerful in the phenomenon. You can use other HTML attributes such as ‘nofollow’ links with low-priority links to direct more traffic to your high-priority links, for example.

There are many such link-building SEO techniques your local SEO agency can do for you. For clients looking for Cambridge local SEO success, we tend to amass links of locally high-ranking websites and communities for our clients. Brands of all sizes report better reputation, traffic, and conversion once link-building SEO tactics are in play for them.

Sponsoring and offering scholarships locally, using paid search, hosting or participating in locally relevant events, and thus building local reputation are unfailing ways to improve your business online and offline. Lead generation again is a sure-shot way to boost your SEO.

( 5 ) Google matters!

Any business – digital or ‘brick and mortar’ – works the best when it understands the mind and heart of the target end-users. Google is a strong advocate of catering to the needs and demands of the public. This is reflected in the latest updates Google has brought forth and is rolling out these years.

The latest ‘Core Web Vitals’ updates by Google demands that webmasters (website owners, developers, managers, etc.) take good care of the website’s loading speed, interactivity, and visual stability. Webmasters are also advised to stay updated and in the know as Google plans to evolve the ‘best practice’ guidelines they call Web Vitals.

Google has begun using these data, numbers, and metrics (namely LCP, FID, and CLS) as important ranking signals as of 2021.

It is easy to conform to these guidelines as Google is transparent as to how to optimise your website to improve user experience and hence get better visibility and traffic.

Why you should optimise your website right away

The prime reason – surveys show that about 56% of retailers have not claimed their free listing on Google My Business. The popularity of other listings (from Yelp, Bing, and Better Business Bureau) also seem surprising and disappointingly low.

The numbers, of course, leave the ‘SEO ball’ in your court. Carpe Diem – It is your game to win if you grab this chance, be on the ball, get listed, and optimise your website.

This article is meant to give you a general idea of the importance of local search engine optimisation and the different ways to achieve the same.

To keep things comprehensive, we need to mention that:

  1. getting your business on Google Local, local listings, and local directories,
  2. being consistent with NAP, maps, and other information,
  3. asking and responding positively to reviews, and…
  4. optimising your social profiles

are equally important as the key points we discussed.

Google Maps is a dominant platform through which about 86% of people search for local businesses. While this is not a surprising fact, the eye-opener is the statistic we discussed before – not many of your local business competitors have a strong online presence.

Are you ready to discover the power of Local SEO?

If you’re a local Cambridge based business looking for “local SEO in Cambridge” then why not reach out to us and see what One9Seven6 can do to assist your business dominate your local SEO results. Please use the form below to let us know more about your requirements, your product or your target market.

    Author: Graham Paffett

    A seasoned luxury goods & services digital marketer with over 20 years Exp. A specialist in developing "disruptive" digital campaigns and strategies for FMCG brands both within the UK and International. • Paid Social (inc. Facebook/Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn & Pinterest) • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) • PPC (Pay Per Click) • CRO (Conversion Rate Optimisation) • ASO (App Store Optimisation) • Direct To Consumer & B2B Digital Strategy Specialist • Social Media Marketer