How to rank well in local search in 2015

Man holding binoculars searching

At Wagada we love working with local businesses, and we understand that small companies want to actively entice local customers to use their service or product. If you are a company which travels to customers to deliver a service, you will want to target those customers in the local area first. This cuts down on travel time for you and makes ranking for your key terms much easier.

Local companies often need to tweak their SEO to ensure that their website is as effective as possible for attracting people in and around their area. The more niche the keywords that are being targeted, the easier it will be to achieve a page 1 ranking. There are a number of key actions to bear in mind when planning your local search SEO. Here are some of the main strategies to consider if you want your site to rank well in local search in 2015.

Make the most of Google My Business

Google My Business is the latest development from Google which aims to help small businesses online, and making sure that you use it correctly is vital for helping you to get found in local search. In 2015 you should aim to keep all your details such as name, location and website up to date and get rid of any duplicate pages as they can have a serious effect on your rankings. Google also really likes images so add some good quality photos to your page. It can be a great idea to use a Google photographer to provide a 360 tour of your venue. As well as being a draw to potential customers this validates to Google that you do have an actual business at that location and gives you more credibility.

Take a look at your citations and reviews

Citations have been shown to be a key factor in ranking in local search. They are basically a listing that you have on recognised sites or online directories such as Yelp and Foursquare which detail your business information. It’s a good idea to take the time to check that you are also listed on any industry relevant sites and that all of your details are correct.

Recommendations and reviews can also help (or hinder) your rankings. You should aim for a minimum of 10 reviews on Google My Business. Remember to ask satisfied customers to leave a review on your site or on relevant sites such as Trip Advisor. Even if you have good rankings, a bad review can really damage your business so make sure that you respond to all reviews.

Make sure your landing page is local search friendly

As always, content is vital for ranking high in local search and there are ways to make your pages more local SEO friendly. It’s important to include your business name and address on every page of your site, and you can also add landing page for the main locations that you serve. In the same way that a large supermarket will have a page for every store in order to capture these local searches, you can have a coverage section, with a page for every main town that you cover. Keyword research can come into play here as you can research which locations have the most searches. Interestingly, counties often have less searches than main towns, so it is worth researching which terms your customers are searching for.

You can also make the most of local keywords in your text, based on your location and area. You could write some blogs about your area and think about including the search terms customers may use that would include your location i.e. “good restaurants near St Albans”.

Utilise your social media

Getting Google to see the right signals coming from your social media is also important in helping you rank in the search engines. Make sure that you have “check in” enabled on your Facebook page so that customers can show their friends that they are using your service. You can also make the most of any local hashtags so if you are a restaurant in St Albans you might want to use #visitstalbans when you update your Twitter status.

Wagada is a St Albans-based SEO agency. Find out how we can help your business achieve a page 1 ranking for local search engine optimisation.

Content tips to boost your clicks

Retro Rocket in sky

If you are a regular on Facebook you will probably be familiar with the new viral posts that seem to be appearing everywhere and filling up your newsfeed. They usually have titles such as ‘This lady takes a jar of jam and some tea – you won’t believe what happens next…’ or ‘What this little boy does next will move you to tears…’. Whilst they can be annoying it is human nature to be tempted to click on them and once we do we then go through to the Buzzfeed site where they make their money from advertising – so the more clicks they get, the more revenue they make!

This new form of click boosting content marketing has proved really successful, and last year it was estimated that Buzzfeed attracted more than 10m users in a single day!

So what can you learn from these adverts to help get your website content read and shared in the same way? Here are our top tips for how to boost clicks to your site.

Get Your Headline Right

With this style of marketing, the content of the article is less important than the headline. This is because it is the tantalising nature of the headline that really draws you in and encourages you to click. In fact the less the customer knows about the content matter the better.

For example a personal trainer might write an article about ‘The 5 fruits you should eat for better health’. However, using that title may make people less likely to click as they could feel they already know what foods are healthy, or maybe they don’t even like fruit so they won’t be interested in finding out about it.

A revamped headline using Buzzfeed’s method could be “These 5 tips will change your life and health forever”. This clever headline will pique people’s curiosity and it also promises the consumer a big revelation if they do click on the link, making it much more appealing.

Make The Most Of Facebook To Share Your Links

We often feel that we need to get people liking and sharing Facebook content for it to spread so quickly. However the reason that these links spread so well on social media is that Facebook assigns a higher status to the posts that get the most clicks. This means that the more people that click on the links in the post, the more they are likely to feature in other people’s newsfeeds.

This shows that it is worth making the most of your social media sites to share your content, and it can be a good idea to share links with a specific call to action for customers to click on your post.

Keep Articles Short And Sweet To Keep Customers Clicking

The aim of these articles is to lure customers to click on them, so the content behind the headline is often short and not particularly detailed. The mantra of these sites is definitely quantity over quality and so they put out lots of short articles that grab people’s attention. They then keep people on their site by linking to other articles that the customer may find interesting so that they stay on their site for longer.

Linking to other articles that may be relevant to your customers is a great way to keep your customer on your website, and it encourages them to find out more about what you have to offer.

No one knows how long the success of these sites will last, but this trend of encouraging clicks with engaging headlines is certainly working its magic at the moment. Whilst most companies will still want to keep to the traditional content creation route it’s important to look at what you can learn from the success of this phenomenon, and take some of these ideas to help increase clicks to your own websites.


Find out more about Wagada’s content marketing service.