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The On-Page SEO Checklist for Local Business Websites

The On-Page SEO Checklist for Local Business Websites

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The On-Page SEO Checklist for Local Business Websites

1. Optimize your logo

Use your business name and city in logo file name and image alt tag. For example,if you own a coffee bar named Baans in Campden, name your logo file logo-baans-coffee-bar-campden.jpg

Your logo is in the most prominent position of each webpage, and an important website component – don’t neglect the opportunity it presents.

2. Position your website NAPs in prominent position

Ensure that your business name, address and local phone number (NAPs) are displayed in a prominent position throughout your website. As a minimum include your NAPs in your footer and contact page.

Wherever your display your NAPs, make sure that there are no other addresses present on the page, as this could confuse a robot enough to undo much of the effectiveness of your local SEO work.

3.Include a Google Map and driving directions on your website

Offer a Google Map with directions on your contact page. This helps to further reinforce the idea of where you are located, whilst also proving helpful to your clients in finding you.

4. Include your city and region in titles and descriptions

Add your city and/or region to the meta titles and descriptions on important pages to further reinforce your business location.

When you go head to hear with a local competitor on search engine results pages (SERPS), inclusion of your location in the title or description could be enough to encourage the search engines to rank you above them, as well as persuading customers to click through to your website due to the additional location information. Simple but highly effective.

5. Use your location naturally in your content and link out to leading local website resources

Refer to your location throughout your website content and link where appropriate to other important and relevant local businesses, places and events.

As with any webpage built with Semantic Search in mind, content writing should be done in a natural way that adds value to your website and user experience.

6. Use correct language and region tags

This is one is a no-brainer yet generally overlooked by web designers. Check that your website uses the correct language and region tags. The abbreviation indicates to search engines your audience language, and when present, the second abbreviation indicates the target country.

For example, “en” should be used for an English language website without a specific target region; “en-GB” is for an English language website targeting users in Great Britain; whilst “en-US” is for an English language website targeting users in the USA. You can find more information on Google Webmaster.

7. Use Schema.org for local business

Schema is a powerful yet still massively under-used SEO tool that allows your website to stand out in search (incredibly just 0.3% of websites currently use Schema). Instead of a standard listing with title, and webpage description, Schema is used to enhance your listing to include product photos, ratings, product prices, dates and (importantly here) your business address.

By making your website stand out against competitors, Schema can greatly improve your click-through-rate from search rankings and hence website traffic. Our blog “the perfect search engine listing” demonstrates visually the advantages of Schema.

Use the Google rich snippet tool to find out if your website has Address Schema implemented correctly. You can find out more about local business schema here.

8. Implement Google Authorship

Important note: As of June 2014, Google has removed Authorship from search ranking. I have left it in this post for information purposes.

Setting up Google Authorship on your website can improve your click-through-rate from search engine ranking pages. This is all the more true if you are well-known locally.

9. Increase your reach by presenting your team on your website

If you have local people working for you, consider (with their consent) showcasing their talents on your website and social networks. If your team have an expertise, you could even involve them in the website blog. Be sure to use Schema for individuals.

It can be beneficial for both your employee and yourself to link between their professional social network profiles such as LinkedIn and your business website. As well as adding the real-company real-people touch to your website, the more interactive your website is and the more people you get involved generally the better.

10. Invite local publicity

Organize local events and initiatives through your website. This is a great way to generate local press interest.

Again give yourself the competitive advantage by using Event and Offer Schema where possible

Links from local news sites and micro-blogs send out a strong signal as to your influence and presence within your local community.

Next steps

Your website should now be optimized and set-up to attract visits from local search.

The final step towards local domination of search engine listings, is to go through our Off-Page SEO Checklist for local business. This looks at creating profiles on geo-localization websites with your business name and address, customer reviews and local press to reinforce your local presence.

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