Local SEO & Online Marketing guide for 2015

man with globeMany business owners invest considerable sums, into websites that are unable in their current state to rank well locally. We are going to explore methods of Online Marketing and Seo that you can utilise to increase your local visibility.

We are Local Organic website SEO experts we carry out Online Marketing campaigns for numerous websites for our clients based in Bristol and Cardiff.

This guide will demonstrate our expert knowledge in SEO, and Local strategies that we carry out for our clients in South Wales and the South West.

Local Seo Cardiff and Bristol

Some business owners think that investing in flash looking websites, that this will be the ticket to securing improved visibility locally.

The fact of the matter is, no matter what form of website you currently have, there are simple methods that can help assist improve your Local Seo and search visibility.

“If you have a SME business in Bristol or Cardiff, then we have the knowledge to make sure we construct a winning SEO strategy for your business, talk to the experts today”.

We have decided to update our Local Online Marketing and SEO guide for 2015, as their have been a number of recent changes that affect local Seo.

The introduction of the Google Pigeon update

The Google Pigeon update now means that search engine results are highly targeted and highly focused in terms of local search intent.

Major search engines use among other techniques your IP address, to show local businesses, local to where you are making a search query.

For example, if you are looking for “Construction companies” and you don’t specify your location, the major search engines will now use methods to understand where you are located to return more accurate local search results.

For example Google, may understand you location through your I.P address, in Bristol for example and will then bring you back search results for local construction companies located close to that address.

What this means for Seo and online marketing is that search engine results have become a lot more locally focused. When you combine this with the local business listings, called the “seven pack” being reduced you can begin to appreciate that local Seo has become a lot more competitive, over recent months.

Local Seo and on-site optimisation techniques

If you can imagine when building a structure you must make sure that the fundamentals of the structure are right to ensure longevity of the building. Such as having a solid foundation and a properly supported roof. Your website is no different at all, you can use the same mindset you would use to build a structure as your website. You therefore need rock solid architecture to your website, good navigation, good quality content, quick load speeds and a website that can expand as your business does for example.

You need good Ever Green content as well, which clearly states where your principal place of business is. You may be asking what is Ever Green content? Ever green content is simply content on your website, which rarely changes and will not become outdated in a short amount of time. You therefore need to invest time into carefully crafting on site content which states where your business is located.

Bristol and Cardiff Local Search Engine Optimisation SEO services

We recommend that your address shown on your contact page matches up exactly with all your business information in terms of addresses across the web.

So for example your contact page address, should match up with all your business mentions on local directories for example. The address and phone number in the format that is shown on your contact page must match up precisely to your business information across the web. In online marketing and Seo we call this business citations.

Utilising Schema or other structured languages

We recommend using a Data Highlighter or Markup tool to clearly show the major search engines key information about your business.

Key information would be the businesses address name and phone number for example. This information should then match up exactly to other mentions or citations of your business across the Internet also.

Conflicting citations

If your business premises or location has changed in recent years, we highly recommend cleaning up your old business locations across the Internet.

For example if you had one location in Cardiff and then you went on to occupy an address within Bristol, you should look to remove all your Cardiff addresses off the Internet and update them with locations that your currently situated within in Bristol.

Local Internet Marketing and Seo Bristol and Cardiff

Why are business citations and the accuracy of these so important?

If you leave your old address on business directories for example stating you are based in Cardiff yet your website has been updated to your new address in Bristol, this causes conflicting citations. These citations of mixed addresses are sending out un- clear signals to the search engine to where your business is actually situated and where you are now located to now. This confusion causes the search engines to not have a level of certainty or confidence that they need to have, in order to accurately present search engine results.

To improve confidence levels and where your business is actually located therefore you need to make sure that all business mentions and citations across the Internet accurately point to one place of business.

How do I go about getting citations that will have Seo value?

It is important that you get your local business listed on quality local directories. If you have old directory mentions of your business it is important to keep these up-to-date.

Optimising your local business information within Google

When optimising your Google my business account is important to take the time to update the account with unique and accurate information about your business.

The more quality information that you can place within the description of your business description the better. This information must be relevant and accurately describe your business and what it can offer local customers.

It is of vital importance that you choose the correct business category on Google that best fits and describes your business model.

It is therefore very important to take the time to pick a category that best fits your business sector, as opposed to quickly choosing something which loosely describes your company or businesses sector.

There is an opinion within Online Marketing and Seo that it is better to choose a local phone number when filling out your Google My Business. Remember that the phone number that you use should also match up with all your business citations across the web, also.

It is important also to update your company opening hours and times, to show that you have a place of business within a local area that operates within certain times during the week.

It is also advised to update your Google My Business account with relevant photos that show your business or illustrate what your company is about in some way.

Virtual tours of your business

If you want to invest your time in the more advanced forms of optimising your Google My business account we would recommend investing the time in producing a virtual tour, of your business.

For example if you were a Online Marketing firm in Bristol, with new offices you may wish to invest the time in showing your prospective customers through a virtual tour of your office space within the area for example. A virtual tour will allow visitors to your Google My Business account to navigate their way around your offices in a virtual environment, which can if carried out correctly increase trust signals to your business.

Local Online Marketing Bristol and Cardiff

Trust signals can be created via virtual tours of businesses, as prospective customers can obtain a glimpse of the inner workings of a local business.

For example a local web design company within Cardiff which opens its business up to virtual tours, can provide an insight into what form of business it is. This assists prospective customers to make up their mind as to if they want to contact that business or not.

Therefore a virtual tour of a creative business, such as a web design or an Online Marketing company may increase a customers confidence in a business, that they are researching by seeing the business premises online.

To summarise

The Google Pigeon update has meant that search results have become much more locally focused.

The search results now present more local businesses than ever before, meaning that Seo and online marketing strategies have to adapt in order to take advantage of this change by the major search engines.

The local Google Businesses, such as the “seven pack” of local business search results has now been reduced in a number of instances.

This now means that local businesses in order to increase their visibility, should invest in Organic Seo or Pay Per Click to improve visibility due to the seven pack of results reducing, in a number of instances.

We have seen the importance of getting your business listed on local directories and making sure that business information is consistent throughout the web.

Due to the emergence of the Semantic Web it is also important to take advantage of structured data, that is to make sure that the information on your website is highlighted through a “Data Markup Tool”. You should utilise structured data highlighter’s such as Schema to markup key information about your business.

You should take the time to invest in your Google My Business account, by investing effort and time into accurately updating the business description categories, as well as also placing pictures which clearly depict what your business is all about.

Finally you should take the time to clear up old information relating to your business such as old addresses and phone numbers across the web. This can be achieved by updating your business directories as well as making sure that your name of your business address and phone number is consistent across all business mentions across the Internet.

 

Looking for more information about Local SEO? You can contact us here but we also recommend this great article by Search Engine Land about Local SEO.