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5 ways SMB’s can focus on local SEO

May 9, 2018 - Fifteen

An SMB is a small to medium business. But, what is local SEO? Well, let’s find out…

Two acronyms in one title is a bit much, isn’t it? Perhaps. But the goal of it is clear: I want to appeal to small to these SMBs that are not sure about local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and give them helpful tips to implement it.

The title already shows this is not for large corporations. It’s not useful for international conglomerates. It’s for local, smaller sized businesses.

The title of this article is not linked to a location, but it uses the same idea: targeting only the audience likely to be interested in this content. The same goes for local SEO – target only those areas you want to reach.

In this article, I’ll detail 5 SEO techniques you can use to make your company become a local search hero.

1 Make your website locally relevant

If you are a smaller sized local business, working mainly in the immediate area, there is no use for you to target keywords on a national level. Not only will you not be able to rank as you are not relevant enough on a national level, the competition for these keywords is intense. If you’re targeting keywords on a national level, while you don’t service this area, you are not delivering on user intent. This means you could get penalised within the search engine result pages (SERP).

Make sure your website reflects the areas you work in. Mention it on the page where relevant. Adjust meta titles to include your location, but make sure you don’t start location stuffing!

This will allow you to rank for your keyword, but only in relation to the area, you operate in. Either because people search for the keyword and their location, or because they are physically located in your targeted area. Google likes to serve up relevant results based on location, after all.

2 Make your content locally relevant

If you have a blog or write content on a regular basis, apply the local angle in some of your pieces as well. As a car hire, you can consider the best day trips within your area. Perhaps your flower shop is providing decorations at a big local event.

Whether it is something you do in the area or information that you can contribute about the area, it can be turned into a nice piece of content. Use your local roots and industry expertise to link your company to the area and provide value for surrounding (possible) clients. 

3 Make your backlinks locally relevantLocal links such as sportsclubs and charities are very valuable for local SEO

Now we are heading a bit more into the technical SEO side of things. Perhaps you already know about backlinks or referring links. If not, our article ‘Is Link Building Dead?’ will give you a quick intro (hint: it’s very alive).

After content, the second most important ranking factor is links.

Quality is important in link building. However, not all tools measure quality equally. As Greg Gifford stated at Brighton SEO in April 2018, most tools will find a local church site a very poor link source. However, if your local church is willing to link to you, it does not only link you to the area; it helps you get in front of a purely local audience!

Think about local link opportunities not just as a link, but as a relationship. A link on a good local site will get you some traffic, but a relationship with the owner of the business behind the website can lead word of mouth, partnerships, and who knows what else. Also, you don’t want the exact opposite to happen.

Make your company locally relevant

Do you sponsor a local sports club? Is your next team building event in aid of a local charity? There are many opportunities to get yourself seen, both online and offline. It’s not just about sponsorships. Perhaps you run drop-in sessions where you share your knowledge. Or you help out in the local community by giving people your time. Leverage these possibilities to establish your company and brand in the area.

5 Make your source code locally relevant

…. What? I’m sorry, I just really wanted to stay within the title structure for my five points. What I mean is:

Add local business schema markup

Schema or structured data is a summary for search engines with your business details, event details, author details… You name it, there is probably schema markup for it.

One of them is ‘local business’ schema. This consists out of your business address, phone number, opening times and more. Don’t fret – there are many schema generators out there that will help you generate the correct code.

In Summary

As a small or medium-sized local business you should embrace local SEO, and if you follow these tips you are well on your way to becoming a local leader.

  • Make your website locally relevant
  • Make your content locally relevant
  • Make your backlinks locally relevant
  • Make your company locally relevant
  • Add local business schema
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