To improve your business’s local SEO in 2024, you must optimise your company’s Google Business Profile.
Your company must also build backlinks, create high-quality content, and build many citations.
This involves an ongoing effort, but often, an agency is used to improve your business SEO every month
Written by: Ryan Walsh
Date: 1ST February 2024
When people need to find anything from a local plasterer to a company that can take them to the airport, they often turn to Google.
Whether they click the PPC ads or the local business ads (Google My Business) or the organic results, if a business is not ranked here, and you could be missing out on a massive number of leads and companies.
First things first, set up a Google Search Console & Analytics account (its easy to do)
Setting up Google Search Console account is an absolute piece of cake. Its important to set these Google accounts up because just as you rely on the instrument panel on your card to tell you important information such as speed, you will need both Google Search Console & Analytics to give you essential information on how your local SEO is improving.
Should we also buy SEO tools?
You can buy various SEO tools, some of which are expensive, as you have to pay monthly.
However, if you’re going to have a go at improving search engine optimisation, in our opinion, Google Search Console & Analytics are some of the best tools you can have. And the best part is they’re free, so do make sure that you get set up an account for your business.
This is really important part of the SEO process, and we recommend that you don’t automatically think that you know all the keywords you want to optimise for.
For example, if you are a hairdresser, you might want to optimise your website for “hairdressers, plus the name of your city”. This might be true, but you can usually optimise your company website for hundreds of variations, such as “hair highlights” and “hair straightening” keywords as well. It’s essential to optimise for as many as you possibly can so you bring as much business as possible.
Use your Google Search Console account to look for keywords that you want to optimise your website for Using the “Performance Tab” in Google Search Console, you can start to see keywords your website ranks for. Click on the “Average Position” then set a timeframe, say yesterday, the last week or month, then you can start to benchmark how your business’s local SEO is improving.
This allows you to benchmark performance and aim to continually improve your business SEO to get these keywords to rank higher on Google.
Create and optimise Your Google Business Profile
So, the next stage in improving your business’s local SEO in 2024 is to set up and optimise your business’s Google Business Profile accounts.
If you’re new to SEO, you might think a certain Google Business Profile will be difficult to set up, and perhaps you need an SEO consultant to do it?
However, it’s an absolute piece of cake; it’s a walk in the park, and you can probably set up a Google Business Profile in less than one hour.
However, if we were to give you a word of advice, that would be not to rush setting up your Google Business Profile. Instead, take your time, grab a nice cup of herbal tea, and set the account up, ensuring you add as much detail as possible. So sure, you could set up a Google My Business account in less than 20 mins, but why rush it? Its so important to your companies seo, so take your time, and add much information as you can, such as:
– Businesses opening hours – URL – NAP information – Company description – Company logo
You have to understand that there will be hundreds, potentially even thousands, of other businesses with a Google Business Profile in your city or your town.
Therefore, you want your company to have your business’s Google My Business profile appear as often as possible. To do this, you must ensure your Google Business Profile is complete and add as much relevant information as possible.
Keep your Google My Business profile up to date
You should make sure that you keep your Google Business Profile as up-to-date as you possibly can. So, for example, if your business hours change, let’s say that you extend your opening hours at the weekend, then you should make sure that you update your Google Business Profile to reflect this.
You also need to claim and verify your Google Business Profile.
This might sound like pretty obvious advice, but many businesses set up a profile and believe it’s complete and live when it’s not.
That’s because they still need to verify the account- yet this can be done often in minutes. Yet if you have to wait for a postcard, with a pin, it could take up to a week.
Sometimes, this can be done over the phone; it can also be done through a postcard with a pin- enclosed; sometimes, it’s done by just validating your email address.
However, this is a crucial step; otherwise, your Google Business Profile will never appear in the results.
On page optimisation
In this regard, local seo is very much like organic seo in that you need to do a lot of work to optimise the on-site seo as well. Here’s how you do just that
Let’s say you run a solicitor’s practice in Cardiff; you should add schema to your website.
Adding schema is really easy to do, and you can use schema markup to markup to your business nap information. For those that don’t know what nap means, it simply stands for the name of your business, company address, and company phone number.
Let’s say that you run a brewery in Cardiff. You might want to add blog posts about various music events you will be running across the city.
Perhaps it’s a music event, and you will set up a bar where you will sell your beer. Content marketing, such as blog posts should therefore, be written for people who will interested in your products, and you can keep them updated via the company blog on what your business is offering in the Cardiff area.
You want to build quality, relevant, white-hat backlinks. Ideally, it would be best for the backlinks to come from local companies relevant to your business. For example, if you run a shop that sells running trainers, you might want to get links from websites to do with running local marathons and gyms and perhaps also get backlinks from bloggers who talk about Ironman challenges, for example.
For example, if the picture shows a product that you sell, which is an electronic bike, why not label the alt text e-bike?
Add the product or the service you sell into the URL extension; for example, if you are selling luxury chocolate, and its made using 70% cocoa, then when writing the URL extension, write “70-cocoa-luxury-chocolate”.
Make sure that every product or service that you sell has its own separate main page.
Add internal links. This is a piece of cake to do, and it can help reduce your company’s bounce rate.
Make sure every bit of text, whether a product description, blog post, or main page, write it so the text is unique.
Gain business citations
Build many local business citations. This can be time-consuming, but it can help to improve your business’s local seo.
Build local business citations.
Business citations, also known as NAP simply help to confirm to Google where your company is based. It also helps to validate your company’s NAP information.
So, for example, suppose you have over 100 different business citations saying that your business premises is based in the city centre of Cardiff. And you have a CF 10 postcode in Cardiff, and all the citations also confirm this. In that case, you are likely based there.
You need to build a lot of business citations; this can take a lot of time, perhaps even multiple days. But it’s well worth it because it can help dramatically improve your business’s local seo if all the citations are correct and all of the same.
Respond to your business reviews
Whether the Google My Business reviews are positive or negative, you should respond to them. This shows good customer service, as you are responding to your customers, whether or not they leave a positive or negative review.
Partner with an SEO expert
You might be a start-up business here in Wales, and you don’t want to be paying a large fee to an SEO company to improve your business’s local SEO right now. So, instead you could hire a local SEO expert, A freelance consultant, who should be able to develop a marketing plan for you.
Then, your company can do some of the work, and the SEO consultant could do the rest. As your business grows, you might want to hand more and more of the tasks over to the SEO consultant, and as your business expands to start employing more people, you might need to move from an SEO consultant to an SEO agency.