Offsite optimisation is known as the activities that a business may do away from their own website to achieve improved search engine rankings. The first step to great offsite SEO is to know what strategy is going to work best for your business.
We at Sprout online find there is one distinguishing categorisation that determines the strategy a client’s campaign must take more than any other, and that is whether a business is targeting local keywords or national keywords.
Local vs National SEO
A local strategy is any SEO campaign that targets suburbs or districts, as revealed by one’s selected keywords. When a business is targeting keywords like “Doctor South Melbourne” or “Travel agent Carlton”, they are targeting local keywords and therefore require a local SEO strategy for their keywords to rank well. Small to medium sized businesses in the service industry or those with a visible store front generally tend to benefit more from a local SEO strategy.
Conversely, keywords that do not have a location within their phrase are non-local or national keywords. These keywords are selected out of a desire to outreach to users from all across the country. Ecommerce businesses and larger organisations that manufacture or mass-produce tend to be businesses were a national strategy might be more suitable to go for.
Local and national strategies will generally involve different strategies. This post will cover what is needed for a local strategy.
Building Citations and Local Listings for Local SEO
For a local SEO campaign, creating local directory submissions is essential to strong rankings. These local directory submissions are also known as citations. Citations are mentions to your website that have your business name, address and phone number on a website away from your own site even when there is no link. These details could be listed on the yellow pages website, or a local chamber of commerce or business association website. Because they make a reference to your business, they are therefore regarded as “citations” in the SEO sphere.
Make sure that your citations are consistent
Ensuring that you have these citations and that there is 100% consistency across all the citations that you make when it comes to your details is significant. The more of these citations that you have, the more it will help your SEO.
Your actual business location matters
Where your business is actually located counts. If you are targeting a location that your business is not located in or that targeted location (usually a capital city that you’re wanting to rank well on) is not even close to where your business is located, you will struggle to rank well for that key term. This is particular the case if that keyword is a competitive one (e.g. web design Melbourne).
Google and other search engines see the location(s) you are based in when it observes all your citations and thereby determines your address. Google then, being quite phenomenal at geography, will once having identified the suburb your business is located in will then identify the neighbouring suburbs it is close to and rank you well only for those locations and not a location that is 50 kilometres away, or worse still, in another State.
You may possibly be thinking “can’t I just say my business is based in a region, say a Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane, to rank well when people type in keywords with those suburb extensions into the search engines?” While this may sound like a bright idea, Google has a way of verifying a business address. When you enter your details into Google+ Local (A listing which is extremely important and a must-make for Local SEO), Google will ask for the addresses where your business is based. To confirm that these really are your addresses, Google will send you a verification PIN to the mailboxes of these addresses. Once these PINs are accurately entered into Google+ Local it will only then accept those addresses as being valid. This is Google’s method of checking that businesses are located where they say they are.
Places to create citations
Here are a few places that we at Sprout Online recommend you create directory submissions if you’re struggling to identify some suitable directories.
Get some reviews on your key listings
Make sure that clients submit reviews on some of the important listings you have created.
You want to do your best to get over ten reviews submitted for each of the important listings, and that those reviews are good quality. Google has ways of detecting reviews that may be contrived, so be careful here. We advise that you ask friends and clients that have used your business previously to post a review. Having your clients submit reviews after a job to get feedback can also be handy both to improve your local SEO results and obtain feedback of the job.
To view this series on How Search Engine Optimise your website from the very start, click here to go to the start of the series – How Search Engine Optimise your website: Part 1 – An Introduction to SEO.
To check out the previous post in this series check out – How Search Engine Optimise your website: Part 5 – How to do good Onsite Optimisation.
To check out the next post in this series check out – How Search Engine Optimise your website: Part 7 – Strategy for national (non-local) keywords.
Our to use Sprout Online to SEO your website and get effective web rankings that provide a return on investment, just check out our SEO page.