Mark Griffin
28 October 2023
6 min read

In this comprehensive guide, we unveil the top 5 local SEO tips meticulously curated to empower entrepreneurs and marketers alike in their quest for digital dominance. In the raucous cacophony of the online marketing world, where algorithms reign supreme and search engines dictate destinies, one thing remains clear: the pursuit of search engine visibility is a vital component to the success of your local business.

From optimising your Google My Business profile to strategically incorporating local keywords, each tip is tailored to help you establish a formidable online presence within your community. Fear not though dear reader, for we will arm you with the top 5 local SEO tips to elevate your business to unprecedented heights of digital glory. So, fasten your seatbelts, for we are about to embark on a wild ride through the twisted labyrinth of cyberspace.

1. Create a Google My Business profile

If you’re interested in local SEO, you’re likely interested in driving traffic to your website and ultimately to you business. Whether you have a high street store, restaurant or professional plumbing business, setting up a Google My Business page is a great place to start. You’ll need to do things properly, which means completing every part.

Once your business profile has been added and you are the confirmed owner you can see the edit box at the top of Google search.

Once your business profile has been added and you are the confirmed owner you can see the edit box at the top of Google search.

And when we say every part, we mean every part. Doing this will fix the location of your business to the local area and put you on the map. When local people search for services similar to yours it will allow your business to show up on the map and in the search results. As a result, Google My Business page set-up makes it into the top 5 local SEO tips.

2. Conduct local keyword research

Thorough keyword research is the foundation to ranking your website in the top results for local searches relevant to your business. Of course, you can make any number of assumptions, but they often do not tell the whole picture. For example; if you’re a plasterer located in Cardiff you can safety assume people will search for plasterer Cardiff to find services such as yours.

If you already have a website hooked up to the Google Search Console you can reverse engineer local keyword performance data.

Invaluable for local SEO, if you already have a website hooked up to the Google Search Console you can reverse engineer local keyword performance data.

But what you overlook in making these assumptions is people may also search for wall rendering Cardiff or plastering company Cardiff and so on. Furthermore, it may even transpire that the keywords you make assumptions about are actually the least popular, or least beneficial. As a result, it is necessary to conduct keyword research before you make content decisions or update your website.

As well as the search data from Google, you can use online tools that will generate relevant keywords related to your business. They do this either from a database or by using Google autocomplete. You’ll then need to group these keywords and use them to underpin the content on your website.

3. Update your on-page SEO

As local SEO tips go, updating your on-page SEO and content is in the top 3, nevermind the top 5. Of course, you need a website, plus you’ll also need to have conducted your keyword research. On-page SEO refers to optimising your individual web pages to improve their visibility in search engine results.

This involves optimising various elements directly on your website to ensure that search engines can understand the content and context. To get things done properly you’ll need a dedicated SEO copywriting document where you can add your keywords, meta title, description, headlines, images and paragraph text. You can then diligently write your on-page SEO before it gets added to your website.

If you’re using a CMS such as Wordpress you can also install a dedicated free SEO plugin such as Yoast SEO. This will help you finish off your web pages and uses a traffic light system to help ensure you’re content is on point.

4. Optimise your page load speed

Website visitors have short attention spans, and they are incredibly impatient. Page load speed is a critical aspect of website performance, local SEO and user experience. If you’re content is great but your website takes forever to load, your visitors will leave. Slow loading web pages directly impacts user satisfaction. Visitors are more likely to engage with and stay on a website that loads quickly, reducing bounce rates and improving your search positions.

Loading speeds are influenced by factors such as the size and complexity of the page, the hosting server’s response time and the efficiency of your website’s code. In the era of mobile browsing, visitors expect quick access to information, so fast loading pages are crucial for meeting expectations. To get you started you can use either GTMetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights. Entering your website URL will provide a report on areas for improvement.

5. Engage in local backlink building

Backlinks still matter for SEO. They are an essential component of search engine optimisation. Why? Because they serve as a vote of confidence from one website to another. Search engines like Google view backlinks as signals of a website’s trustworthiness, credibility, and popularity. Whilst this is not the most important of our local SEO tips, if you live in a large city, a decent backlink profile will give you the competitive edge you need to get to the top of the SERP.

For local SEO, we would recommend building local backlinks. You can do this with local business website directories, supplier partners and so on. You can also offer to contribute guest posts or articles to local blogs or publications. Additionally, engage with local influencers and community organisations to build relationships and explore opportunities for backlinks.

Other local SEO tips worth mentioning

  • Localised content: Make some efforts to create location-specific content on your website. Create city-specific landing pages or blog posts.
  • Online reviews: Encourage positive reviews on platforms like Google. Respond to your reviewers to show their opinions matter and that you operate in a professional manner.
  • Local citations: Ensure your business is listed consistently in online directories and citation sites. Keep your contact information up-to-date across all platforms.
  • Schema markup: You can implement local schema markup on your website. Portside provide this as part of our local SEO service. Schema provides additional information to search engines. Notably, it can localise your website so that search parameters such as your city name become less important.
  • Social media: Maintain an active presence on social media platforms relevant to your business. Share local events, promotions, and engage with your community.
  • Google posts: Regularly update your Google My Business profile with relevant information and posts.
  • Website analytics: Use Google Search Console data and website analytics tools to monitor local search performance. Adjust your strategy based on key performance insights.
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About the author
Mark Griffin
After studying Graphic Design at his local University in Newport, Gwent, Mark Griffin went on to work as Creative Director for a number of companies. He also lived in London where he co-owned a video production company and film studio. High profile clients included BT, Blackberry, Lloyds Bank and others. Mark is a founding member and Director of Portside and has over 20 years experience in the design industry.
Published On: 28 October 2023Tags: , , , , Categories: Facts
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