Five ways to improve your local SEO to drive sales

A notable shift is happening in search. SEO that was once focused on keywords and content alone is moving to local results and mobile optimisation as more users look for physical businesses such as financial services or automotive dealerships while out-and-about.

Even if your highly optimised desktop site is currently ranking in the top three for a specified phrase, you could be in danger of being demoted below the ten local search results.

Clients that have a local, physical presence such as B2C financial services providers and automotive retailers especially need to keep this in mind when competing for visibility in an ever-more crowded online environment. If your potential customer is looking for their nearest branch or showroom, you need to make sure your locally-focused landing page is visible to them.

There are a number of ways website owners can optimise for local search, and when combined with segmenting the site effectively for mobile search crawls, can significantly increase mobile traffic.

The main methods for local search optimisation are:

1. Social media
Set up pages on a range of social media sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest to increase your brand’s visibility. Make sure you include links back to your website and company address information to increase local relevance.

2. Search directories
Increase your business’ local visibility by registering for inclusion on search engine directories such as Google Places or Yahoo Local.

3.Technical site structure
Search engines such as Google now recognise code that highlights on-page content as containing certain information such as company name, address or contact details. By including this code, your site is more likely to be more relevant in local search.

4.User experience
More users than ever are using mobile devices to access the web, and ensuring your website includes responsive design allowing simple and easy navigation for mobile users is key to drawing them to engage with your business.

5. Website content
Once your customers are on your website, good quality content focused on generating leads through strong calls to action – even more important on mobile – helps to drive real world interactions.

These simple steps will help to increase your site’s local SEO, and improve your online visibility to drive off-line footfall, and combined with continual monitoring and optimisation will help you maintain the advantage in this increasingly competitive market place.