Local Search is becoming one of the industry hot topics, alongside social media and mobile marketing. This has been spurred on by a number of things; the introduction of location-based apps, the local daily deals phenomenon and the addition of Google Places into the search results.

From an SEO perspective, this presents a number of opportunities for both local businesses as well as websites targeting local traffic such as accommodation providers or business directories. For this post we will focus on local businesses, with a follow up on sites targeting local business traffic to come soon.

SEO for Local Businesses

  1. Firstly, you need to add/claim your Google Places listing.
  2. Once you have established your Places listing, optimise your description, details, images and videos for the key terms you wish to rank for. If it is ‘brisbane hairdressers’ for example, ensure that you are targeting this and similar terms.
  3. Reviews are an influential factor when it comes to ranking your Places page amongst competitors. As a local business, ensure that you are listed with any of the sites providing reviews on your competitors Places pages. There are a few directories optimised for local reviews such as True Local, but you will find that the best source of reviews are from niche websites targeting your industry.  You should also ask clients to review your business directly within Google Places which is another option for Places users.
  4. Once you have begun optimising your listings on related directories, your overall SEO strategy also plays a role in delivering content to your places listing and helping to optimise it for search results. Ensure that you have a good strategy to begin with and you will benefit locally.

These are just a few tips when it comes to local search optimisation, with an endless list of things that can be done. Kick off with these and good things will come as you progress your SEO strategy.