7 Compelling Tips for Local SEO in 2020.

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A detailed insight into local SEO, with tips and advice for how you can get found in your local area.

Following these tips will help to improve your local presence in 2020.

7 Compelling Tips for Local SEO in 2020

A lot of people wonder how they can get found for their primary keywords in their local area. Our 7 compelling SEO tips will help to improve your local presence in 2020.

If you’re short on a budget and want to make changes to your website without paying an SEO company, you’re probably wondering what you can do. There are plenty of worthwhile things you can do yourself that will make a difference to your web rankings and overall visibility in the search engines.

Our top tips for getting found locally.

Our 7 compelling tips will help to improve your local presence in 2020.

Here’s what you can expect for the following article:

  1. Have a local address/postcode.
  2. Add local business schema to your website.
  3. Build a Google my Business page.
  4. Add yourself to local/national directories.
  5. Address the on-page SEO on your website.
  6. Build your domain authority.
  7. Make sure your website is mobile responsive.
  8. Have a local address/postcode.

Your name, address and phone number are key bits of information and will often be referred to as ‘NAP’.Ranking in any local area without an address or phone number is difficult as you won’t be able to build the authority you need without these key bits of information.

Here’s the cool part, though.

You don’t even need to be in an area to rank there; you just need to make it look like you are. Purchasing a registered address/virtual office (and a local phone number) in your target area allows you to build authority around these details.

Websites like https://www.registeredaddress.co.uk/ allow you to purchase registered addresses in local areas that you can build authority around. 

This is their website.
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As you can see, prices start from £24.95 per year, which is a fair price to pay for someone who wants to rank locally in one or more areas.

One of the best ways to get found locally is to be where you want to be found. If you have a local address, postcode and phone number, it signals to the search engines that this is where you are.

  1. Add local business schema to your website.

Schema is often referred to as structured data or schema markup and is a common language spoken by search engines. 

Adding local business Schema is just one of the things you can do once you have a local address.

The vocabulary, officially named schema.org, was created by Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex in 2011 as a global standard vocabulary to help the search engines better understand various types of web content. 

Here’s an example of local business Schema in action in the footer of Power SEO:
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In this example, the local business Schema has been implemented using the json method, which is the preferred method of applying any type of Schema according to Google.

The Schema is used as a way of telling search engine’s where the company is based (in this case Tyne and Wear). Applying local business schema will help them to rank higher for their primary keywords throughout Newcastle, Sunderland and Durham.

How do you put it into a website?

This article by BrightLocal will tell you everything you need to know about Schema markup and why it is important for your local business: https://www.brightlocal.com/blog/schema-markup-critical-local-business/

  1. Build a Google my Business page.

Google my Business is a popular product that is often referred to as Google Maps. It allows local businesses to position themselves (quite literally) on the map at the top of Google search results.

All you need to do to build a GMB page is sign up to Google and search for the Google my Business product online. Then you’ll need to fill out your page with as much information as possible, considering photo’s, key business information, products and services, FAQ’s and any other relevant information you think your customers would benefit from seeing.

The below example shows companies that rank in the top 3 places for the search term‘web design north east’.
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The top example is Design365 Solutions Ltd, a local web design company in the North East of England.

They have built a GMB page and proactively look for positive reviews from real customers. This has helped them to build authority in their local area, with trusty review signals acting as a vote of confidence from Google.

Building a Google my Business page is quick and easy to do. It is certainly one of the best things you do to start getting found in your local area in 2020.

  1. Add yourself to local/national directories.

Further enforce your strategy of telling the search engine’s where you are by adding yourself to relevant directories.

You should consider carrying out a citation audit before you add yourself to any directory. This will tell you where you are already listed and allow you to see if the details are correct. It will also stop you adding yourself to the same directory twice. 

The example below shows a company that has listed themselves twice on Yell under different addresses.
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The company should have amended the original listing to update their address, rather than creating a new listing. Having two listings will only confuse the search engine’s as to where they are.

You should always take the time to correct any wrong information involving your name, address or phone number. As we touched on previously, these are known as NAP details and should be uniform with any kind of directory building.

Adding yourself to relevant directories is an excellent way of building authority in your local area. However, you should always to extra care to make sure all details are correct.

  1. Address the on-page SEO on your website.

Becoming a local SEO master involves a lot more than having a local address and adding your business to a bunch of directories. You will also require the relevant pages on your website to help you rank and they will need to have solid on page optimisation.

There are 4 basic things you should consider looking at before anything else:

  1. Implementing page/meta titles.
  2. Writing thoughtful meta descriptions to encourage click throughs.
  3. Considering your URL structure.
  4. Creating compelling page content, optimised for local search.

A good example for a meta title can be found in the example below.

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The screenshotis taken froma web design company that wants to be found for ‘web design’ in the North East and Durham.

The page title includes all the relevant keywords and is followed by the company brand name.

This is a good structure to follow if you want to be found locally.

Keyword > Location > Brand Name

You should take the time to carry out thorough on-page optimisation to ensure your website is setup to rank for local search terms. Paying attention to the 4 points above will help to improve your local presence in 2020, for sure.

  1. Build your domain authority.

Domain authority is a score developed by Moz and is a prediction of how well a website will rank in the SERPs (search engine result pages). 

If you want to know your website domain authority score, consider downloading the Moz bar. 

This is what the Moz bar looks like when you view a website.

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As you can see, the Moz bar shows several bits of key information; DA, PA, number of links and spam score.

The Moz bar is a useful tool if you want to keep track of your DA and PA (Page Authority) scores.

A well-structured link building plan will help you to build your domain authority. This will help you to rank higher locally in the search engines.

Some would say that the best approach would involve looking for as many links as possible from other websites. 

The thing you would need to consider here is: Are the websites relevant?

If you think the website will provide value in linking back to your website, there’s a good chance it will increase your domain authority and your overall rankings!

Please note: You should always exercise caution and care with any kind of link building and be mindful that QUALITY and RELEVANCY are better than QUANTITY!

  1. Make sure your website is mobile responsive

Studies show people like website’s that work on mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop. Search engines also like website’s that work on multiple devices as it makes them more accessible to a range of users.

Ensuring your website is mobile friendly will make it much easier to use.

Google has created its own mobile friendly testing tool so Webmaster’s can check if their websites are responsive.

Here’s what the tool looks like once it has tested a page:
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As you can see, the tested page is mobile friendly. This means it is fit for use on a range of devices.

You should consider making your website mobile friendly and fully responsive if you want it to be seen and used by more people.

A good web designer will be able to help you make your website responsive.

Become a master of Local Search in 2020.

Following our top 7 tips will help you in your quest to become a local search master in 2020. Carefully take the time to work through this list and we are sure you will see your rankings increase next year!

About the author:

David Williams is the owner of Power SEO and SEO Account Manager at Design365 Solutions, one of the leading North East Web Agencies, with offices in Durham and Gateshead. In his spare time, David likes playing football and taking his dog, Luna, for long walks.