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If you have a local business and you want local customers to find you on Google, you need local SEO. This will help you get good keyword rankings for local search terms and can even help you achieve Google first page rankings for some of those terms.

It’s important to remember, however, that local SEO requires a different strategy to other types of SEO. This is because your customers are likely to have different objectives when searching for your business, and there are different SEO factors you need to consider.

Here are five of the most important of those factors that will help improve your local SEO rankings.

1.Optimise the HTML Structure of Your Website

This applies to all businesses, but it is particularly important for local businesses, not least because it’s easy to ignore these basic building blocks of an optimised website.

Crucially, you need to make sure Google can read and understand the content on your page. This means having text on your website properly structured using HTML.

One area where many local businesses make mistakes in this regard is in relation to an SEO term known as NAP. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number, three things that are crucial pieces of marketing information for most local businesses.

However, many local business websites include their name, address, and phone number in a format that Google can’t read, such as in an image. To improve your local SEO, make sure you keep everything in Google-friendly HTML.

2.Implement a Geo Keywords Strategy

Geo keywords are keywords that mention the area you operate in as well as the service you provide. So, some examples include:

  • Plumber in South Auckland
  • Emergency plumber in Waikato
  • Best plumber in South Auckland
  • Commercial plumber in Waikato

You get the idea.

You should create a list of these keywords and then make sure you use them on the appropriate pages of your website.

3.Add Iframe Maps to Your Website

Depending on the type of business you run, one of the main objectives of people searching for your company is to find your location. A map will help them achieve this, improving the user experience and delivering for your business.

Not all maps are the same, however. The best by far are interactive maps that visitors to your website can scroll, zoom, and manipulate in other ways.

The best way of adding an interactive map to your website is to embed a Google Map using a website development tool known as an iframe. An iframe lets you add content from another website – in this case, a Google map – to your web page.

4.Local Business Citation

Google uses a range of different factors to rank your business in search results. This includes factors that are specific to local businesses. One of the most important of these factors is local business citations.

Local business citations are mentions of your business on other websites. This could be a mention of your business in a news article on a local news website, a listing on a local business organisation website, or any other type of online mention of your business.

The citing of your business doesn’t even need a link back to your website to benefit your local SEO efforts. Links are still important, but citations alone help too.

5.Google Places

 You will have probably seen Google Places in action whenever searching on Google. It is where Google displays a map and details of two or three local businesses on a search results page.

This appears above the main search results so is in a more visible position, plus the listing has more information including telephone numbers, opening hours, and more.

You need to register with Google Places for your website to appear. Registration is free.

Implementing a Local SEO Strategy

As you can see from the above, local SEO is about ensuring Google understands you are a local business and where you operate. It’s also about making the user experience for visitors to your website as good as possible.