For example, if you look for a “plumber in Swindon” or a “flower shop in Cirencester”, Google prioritizes the websites of businesses that are in those locations.
Also, Google can use your location settings in the browser to work out where you are, so if you search for just “flower shop” and the search results show your location automatically, chances are that Google will serve businesses automatically relevant to your area.
As a business owner serving a local catchment area, there are several things you can do to ensure that your website appears for searchers in your area – also to ensure you appear above your competitors. Here are some tips for you.
Make sure your business is listed on Google Places, which is tied to Google Maps. If you are not listed at all, add yourself and complete as much of the profile information as possible.
Remember to use keywords that describe your products and services so that your company will match when people search for those keywords.
Submitting to Google Places means going through a verification procedure to prove you operate from your given address.
Add your business to other local directories
Ensure you are listed in other directories with your full address – including Yell.com, Free Index, Brownbook, Thomson Local and any other local directories that may be available in your area.
Ensure your website is “localized”
Check the pages of your website to make sure your address and other local information is on there.
If you serve a number of key towns in your area, mention these sensibly, so that Google can read the town names in your pages and hence display these pages in search results.
One thing you could do, if this idea suits your business, is to create a page for each town where you feature local information relative to customers in that town.
Maybe you have multiple branches you can write about.
Use blog and news articles to boost your local authority
Posting articles on your site related to the towns you serve is a great way to increase the relevance of your website to those towns.
The more relevant you are, the more likely you are to appear when someone is looking for your type of company in your area.
Look for local social relationships
Look for Twitter accounts related to your locality and follow these accounts.
Do the same on Facebook, looking for local pages to like. You should then start to interact with these accounts, to build a relationship with them.
By Jon Perkins of Peppermint Solutions – a web design and SEO company based in Cirencester, serving Swindon, Gloucester and Cheltenham.