Enhancing the online visibility of your business in your local area ensures you attract more qualified visitors. In order to achieve relevant rankings you need to ensure your website is optimised for the keywords potential customers are using when researching your products and services. On-page optimisation is the process of ensuring your website meets current best practice of the ever evolving search algorithms, and is crucial to a successful local seo strategy.
Strong local rankings not only increases website visitors, it helps build trust and credibility in your field. Mastering on-page SEO for local pages is the key to building more customers in your local marketplace.
Structuring URL, title tags & meta descriptions
The structure of your website, often referred to as website architecture is central to ensuring both visitors and search engines can find your content. This, alongside the creation of optimised title tags and meta descriptions are crucial to the foundations of any SEO strategy.
In regards to URL (the page links) structure, think about how you want them to be displayed. They should be logical and provide clear information as to what the page is about and where a page sits within your website.
For example, you could own a Cumbrian law firm that has 3 offices spread around the county, one being in Kendal. The creation of your URLs in this instance needs careful attention, as you’ll want a page on your website representing each location. You’ll should look to use a page address such as www.mylawfirm.com/offices/kendal, this approach instantly tells search engines and users the geographical location and that you also likely have more offices.
Just as important are title tags and meta descriptions as these are the words that occupy the prime real estate on search engine results. They could be the difference between a visitor clicking to visit your website over a competitor. You’ll not want to get a reflection of your target keywords in there, and include engaging wording to entice people to click.
Optimising header tags with local keywords
All pages on your website should have a clear heading structure. These serve not only to structure your content to make it easier to read, it also serves as a technical means of telling search engines what the content is about. All pages on your website should utilise a H1 heading, which will be the title of the page. You can then utilise sub headings split by H2, H3, H4 etc to structure the content. You can have multiple instances of H2, with further sub headings below that.
In the above location page example, the local office page H1 could be “Local Solicitors In Kendal”. There should then be subsequent H2 headings that provide further information such as “Our Legal Services In Kendal”, which could include a list of services offered from the Kendal office. Below that could be H3 headings that introduce each legal service such as “Conveyancing Solicitors” and “Will Writing”.
Each heading reinforces the local presence of the page and organises the page into a logical flow for both visitors and search engines.
Naturally including local keywords with the page content
Including local keywords into your page content is an effective strategy for websites wanting to target a specific geographic area. It can be especially effective for relatively small local businesses to compete with larger or nationally focused ones.
This can only begin with your researching what specific keywords you need to target. A “local keyword” would usually consist of a generic term related to the products and services you provide, followed by a location. For instance, if you’re a solicitor based in Cumbria, a relevant keyword might be “solicitors in Cumbria” or “property solicitors in Cumbria”.
Remember, SEO isn’t just about attracting any visitors, it’s about attracting the right visitors so research is key. It might also be tempting to cram as many local keywords as possible into your content, but this will likely only do more harm than good. Search engine crawlers are smart, and only getting smarter. They prioritise well written and engaging content that humans will find easy to understand and learn from. A well written block of text about your business should offer many ways to naturally include our target keywords in a way that also adds value to the reader.
Using local schema mark up for enhanced visibility
Schema markup further helps search engines understand the local relevance to your web pages. It adds an extra layer of data that can lead to increased visibility. It’s code you insert into your website that give context to your content, telling search engines what it’s about. Local business schema explicitly tells search engines your business name, industry you work in, your address, opening hours and products you provide. It can also pull in other details like reviews, social media links, business owner details and images.
If you’re unfamiliar with website code you will need expert assistance to both create your schema markup and apply it to your website. There’s an excellent Google Guide on created markup code. There also some free tools available that will create the code for you once you’ve inputted your business details.
Adding location specific information on contact pages
Depending on search a user performs on Google or other search engines, they will often prioritise local services near them. So if your business specifically serves specific areas, it’s beneficial to include this on your contact page. It gives visitors and search engines clear information about where your business operates.
What you could include:
- Business address – keep this consistent anywhere you list it online
- Embed Google map – Add a Google Map widget with a pin drop where your business is located
- Local phone number – Use an area code that corresponds to your target location. It will reassure visitors
- Opening hours – Especially useful for businesses that rely on face to face interactions
- Local landmarks – Mention some well known local landmarks, this could be just part of giving directions to people that are less familiar with your area
- Public transport option – If your business is easily accessible via public transport, providing this information could be very helpful to potential customers
- Testimonials – If you have reviews or testimonials from local customers, include these
- Multiple locations – If you have more than one physical location where you serve customers, create separate pages for each. This will help search engines to understand you serve multiple local areas
Whether you’re bakery, plumber, coffee shop, personal trainer or anything in between, you can significantly increase your online visibility by following some of the strategies above. On page SEO for local pages is the key to boosting your web presence in search engines. Strong search engine rankings not only boost website visits, but also builds trust in your business as it’s a clear sign you are a leading local provider or supplier.