5 Great Local SEO Tips For Beginners
If you’re viewing this post, there’s one thing you should know to start with… These simple on-site local SEO tips are for entry level SEO’s, startups or small business owners! Glad we got that out of the way – I could see the comments coming! So if you’re not a beginner, move on.
Anyway, as we all know, pretty much every business out there has a need for SEO. Everyone has to start somewhere. What we usually find at Level Up Marketing, is a lot of our customers have either tried DIY SEO, have read up a little on it or have used a poor ‘cheap’ agency before. The 5 simple tips that I’m about to tell you about won’t take up too much time at all and will get your website’s search engine optimisation off to a great start.
The below search engine optimisation tips work effectively for local SEO and depending on the number of pages you have on your site will depend on the potential number of keywords that you can target.
Let’s get started.
Super, mega, ultra important! Get your initial keyword strategy correct. I’ve already covered some of the tools you can use for keyword research on our AdWords tips post. Hop onto that to find a few tools such as keyword planner…
Start off with 5-10 keywords that you’d like to rank for initially. Try and diversify them as often close variations of keywords that you’re targeting will naturally rank anyway. An example would be if one of your keywords was ‘accountant Bedfordshire’, don’t bother adding ‘accountants Bedfordshire’. Also, don’t worry about stop words (words such as ‘in’, ‘on’, ‘and’ etc.). 9 times out of 10, you’ll rank with or without the stopword.
Also, just to mention, consider the difficulty of ranking for a keyword. If you’re a beginner (which you should be if you’re reading this) you’ll find it hard to rank for super-competitive keywords. Look for a healthy mixture of long-tail and short-tail keywords. Often, long-tail keywords can result in higher conversions.
Finally, allocate your keywords to relevant landing pages on your website. Consider that your homepage will most likely carry the most authority, so allocate your most favoured one or two keywords to the home page.
I can’t stress the importance of getting this right. Get your titles and descriptions right! It should be one of the first on-site SEO tasks to complete. Whenever you design a new web page, don’t
publish it until it’s had the correct meta data inputted. Again, make sure your preferred keyword(s) are allocated to that page and include them in the title. Going on the accountant example before, maybe have the title: Accountant Bedford | Accounting Bedfordshire | Company Name. Always capitalise the beginning of each word as it will stand out more in SERP’s. Also, ensure that your title is between 50 and 70 characters long. Too short and you’re missing out on opportunities, too long and Google won’t show it.
Finally, your description. Google announced in 2009 that the meta description doesn’t directly affect search engine rankings. So why get it right? Well, first of all, it can help increase click through rate. If your description is better than a competitors, your site will be clicked on. Without the obvious benefit of an added click, you’ll also increase CTR. Studies have shown that higher CTR’s are a positive ranking signal; indirectly increasing your rankings. It also provides a great way to add a call to action. Something like ‘get in touch for a quote today’ is always great.
Super simple, yet super effective. Get your URL’s right. How is this done? Again, follow your strategy. For your ‘bookkeeping’ page, you’ll already have your meta titles and descriptions entered correctly. Now, with your lead search term for that page, use it in the URL. Example being: domain/bookkeeping-bedford. URL’s are an incredibly strong ranking factor.
A few things to consider:
- Don’t use underscores, only hyphens
- Ignore those stop words
- Use your lead search term/keyword in the URL
Something that usually gets overlooked is optimising images for search engines. As spiders can’t see images, they don’t know what the image is or what it means. That’s what image optimisation is all about – making it possible for search engines to know what the image is. With it’s very easy to do. You’ll want to optimise both the image title and alt text. On your landing pages, ensure that the pages images contain the keywords and close variations of the pages allocated keywords. Google and the other search engines will pick up on this and it will help rank the page.
<H> Tags & Headings
Another great ranking factor to look at is your pages H tags. These tags are your web pages headings. The headings help tell Google what the specific page is about. Add certain keyword based headings depending on which keywords you have allocated to the site. On WordPress, there’s 6 to choose from, so how does it work? Well, you only want to have one H1 tag per page. Use your lead keyword for that page as your H1 or heading 1. Any other headings (try a mixture of keyword-based and non-keyword-based tags) should be any of the other headings from H2-H6.
Local SEO Tips – Go Get ‘Em!
So, there you have it. 5 simple on-site SEO tips for beginners to boost local rankings. These tips should be enough to get you started when it comes to beginner search engine optimisation! You might even notice a few top-placed rankings after undertaking these tasks. If you’ve got any questions or think you can add anything, leave a comment and we can always add it to the post if it’s a valuable addition.
Don’t forget, as your local agency, if you need a reliable SEO company in Bedfordshire, just get in touch on 020 3621 6555.