In order to obtain optimal results for local SEO, you need to ensure that your SEO location pages are flawless.
In today's digital marketing world, appearing in the SERPs 'Map Pack' is highly desirable by all 'in-the-know' digital marketers.
Contrary to belief, business owners seem to have the ideology that in order to optimise their local SEO, they need to keyword stuff "Near Me" within their content.
This is far from the truth.
To ensure you give yourself the best opportunity to reach local audiences, you need to look beyond keyword stuffing.
Ranking in local map packs, it takes many factors. However, the most imperative factor lies in the success of the location page that you curate.
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So what makes killer location pages?
As a digital marketer, I am often finding myself preaching and singing from the rooftops that a successful SEO strategy has the ability to pleases search intent.
Therefore, it poses the question of why don't we transition this login within our location pages?
My comprehensive local SEO location pages checklist is tailored to the salient questions that a visitor may have during their experience with you.
NAP is an acronym for:
- Phone number.
Your NAP should be consistent throughout the internet. It should be an exact match on your website, Google My Business profile and external citations.
However, the exact match concept is subjective. Many SEOs argue that consistency isn't everything like how it used to be. Whereas, other SEOs counter-argue that consistency is key.
Nevertheless, I believe that you should implement the exact match concept as you are not going to harm your SEO. Remember Google keep their algorithms close to their chest, so we are not 100% sure.
Example: If your company is called ABC Services Ltd, you may have a mixture of your business name posted across the internet. Different variations may consist of: ABC Services Ltd, ABC Services, ABC Ltd or ABC.
It is not a hidden secret that photos certainly aid the consumer decision making process while reducing the emotions of pain and risk.
In fact, this article by Jamie Pitman that was published on the Search Engine Land, shows that there is a strong correlation between photo quantity and search performance within Google My Business (GMB).
Although, many businesses are foregoing opportunities to enhance their local SEO prospects from not optimising images. Either on their GMB profile and/or their location pages.
Interior images should be one of the fundamentals of your location pages. However, I have personally witnessed many location pages that do not take full advantage od interior photos.
From implementing exterior images onto your landing page you can set the tone of what your business is about.
It is crucial for location page optimisation.
Your exterior photos should include:
- Signage and logos.
- Parking (if applicable).
Exterior photos are meant to help new visitors find your business upon first arrival and can also be a decision-making factor for new business.
3. Useful Call-to-Actions (CTAs)
Implementing CTAs should be the fundamentals of your website design.
What is the point in people visiting your website if you cannot convert them?
Which surprises me when I see websites/location pages that overlook CTAs.
When you do opt to add a CTA, you need to ensure that it makes sense to the user and optimises the UX (User Experience).
You can opt to use the following CTAs:
- Get Directions (link to Google Maps).
- Reserve Table.
- Request Appointment.
- Shop Now (if online shopping is available).
4. Directions to your Business
Embedding a Google Map with the inclusion of directions to your business can help the user to find business. However, it can additionally support the SEO of your location page. It will naturally aid any geo-specific keywords and targeting that is evident within your location page copy.
A general rule of thumb is to focus on how to get to your location from at least two directions (East/West or North/South) from major motorways. Mentioning major junctions
Embedding a map can help users more precisely figure out if your location is the one nearest to them.
If possible, use the Google Maps API to develop a custom map solution to include your other nearby locations.
5. Structured Data
You may have never heard of structured data (Schema) or be using the typical LocalBusiness markup.
You can be more specific in your LocalBusiness Schema.
Check out Schema.org for a list of more specific business types to find the type that best matches your business.
Alternatively, you can use a structured data generator that’ll aid you in building your Schema and highlight the most specific LocalBusiness that is relevant to your business.
I would urge all local businesses to venture beyond the standard LocalBusiness markup.
6. Title & Meta /Description for Location Pages
Implementing well-optimised meta titles & descriptions is SEO 101. In fact, it should be the fundamentals of any SEO campaign.
I hear you asking, "Why should I worry about my meta titles & descriptions when we just want to concentrate on ranking within the map pack?"
However, what you may not know is that local business still obtain traffic from organic searches.
Therefore, you should ensure that you are covering all bases when it comes to optimisation.
A well-optimised meta title should should encompasses of 60 characters plus the following three basic elements:
- Geo-specific keyword (city or local area)
- Brand name
Electrician & Plumbing Services | Manchester & Liverpool | ABC Brand
Electrician Manchester | Plumbing Services Liverpool | ABC Brand
Meta descriptions do not hold as much SEO weight as it used to. In contemporary times, it is thought by leading SEOs that they do not directly affect rankings.
However, they do act as a key selling space within the SERPs
Make sure you include the same three elements from the title while adding some extra selling flare: such as USPs.
Utilise that extra real estate to help establish your key selling features.
7. Internal Linking your Location Pages
Internal linking is a way to pass linking juice down your pages, to distribute equal or similar weightings to your pages within the SERPs.
There are numerous ways to add relevant internal linking for your local landing pages.
Not all may be relevant to your business, but you can try some ideas from this list:
- Link to other nearby locations.
- If your location offers specific services, link to informational pages about those services.
- Link to location-specific social media profiles.
- For medical clinics, link to doctor profiles.
- For restaurants, link to menus.
- Link to your company about page.
- Have a space for recently published blogs.
- For stores, link to any available online shopping.
8. Location Pages Load Speed
Your website's loading speed is a critical ranking factor, especially when it comes to local SEO.
If you have a fast loading location page, it can make such a difference in your website being position 1 or 2 within the map packs.
Utilising Google PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix can help you diagnose issues with the load speed of your webpages. As such, this can reinforce your decision making on how to speed up your website.
Is it time to optimise your digital marketing strategies?
The common issue that I find with business owners is their lack of time to devote love to their SEO & digital marketing activities.
As such, I am awaiting on your contact to help you build high intent leads while you focus on the operational side of the business that you love.
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