Local SEO for small businesses in Australia (2020)
Local SEO is a powerful tool for small businesses in Australia, with four out of five consumers using online search engines to find local information. If your business’s online footprint isn’t optimised for local search, you could be missing out on a significant portion of your potential customers.
Local search engine optimisation (SEO) best practices are continually evolving. But if your business is to stay relevant, it’s essential you follow a few SEO musts.
In this article, you’ll find several quick and easy local SEO tips for small businesses in Australia that you can action right now. Here’s an overview of what you’ll learn:
- What is local SEO?
- Why does local SEO matter for small business?
- What can I do myself to boost my businesses search engine ranking for local search terms?
What is local SEO?
Search engine optimisation involves creating and tweaking online assets that better a web page’s chance of ranking highly in search results. SEO is a complex, multi-faceted process that includes things like:
- Optimising site speed, responsiveness, and page load times
- Ensuring content is easy-to-read, valuable, and scannable
- Using headings, images, and videos to break up text
- Choosing relevant keywords and using them appropriately throughout your website
- Using inbound and outbound links
- Securing backlinks from other reputable websites
Local SEO is the practice of undertaking SEO activities to target location-specific keywords.
Let’s say you’re a painter in Brisbane. You optimise your business’s website to rank for keywords like “professional painter” or “house painting services.” Now, you’re attracting organic search traffic – but there’ a problem. The vast majority of your website visitors are from Sydney and Melbourne.
You want your business to appear when people search for phrases like “professional painter Brisbane,” as well as suburb-specific keywords like “house painting Toowong.” This is where local SEO comes into play.
Why does local SEO matter for small businesses?
Your shower won’t stop dripping – it’s been getting worse for weeks. The sound is driving you crazy, and that’s not to mention the water you are wasting (and paying for). You don’t have a go-to plumber, and you’re not about to attempt to fix it yourself.
So, what do you?
Like most people would, you jump on your computer and look for a reliable plumber in your local area. You check out the first page of Google search results, decide which business looks best, and give them a call.
Of course, there are many more plumbing businesses in your area than those that appear on page one – but you’re not about to trawl through website after website. After all, the business in position two gets excellent reviews and can provide a same-day service. Perfect.
This story is pretty typical, and the message is clear: If your business doesn’t show up in search results, you are missing out on a significant portion of potential customers. That’s why local SEO for small businesses is so important.
Local SEO tips for Australian businesses
The good news is, local SEO isn’t rocket science. A few small tweaks can make a huge difference to your website’s ranking. Here are a few easy things you can do yourself:
1. Use internal links
Internal links are links that send users to other pages on your website. They help you achieve two things:
- By using the right anchor text, internal links can boost your pages’ rankings for select keywords
- Internal links to relevant information keep users on your site for longer – session time is one metric search engine’s use to determine the value, and therefore ranking, of your website
Anchor text refers to the word or phrase in front of a link. Here’s an example:
Search our local business directory today.
“Local business directory” is the anchor text for the web address, http://connectezy.com.au/directory/. It looks a whole lot neater, it tells users exactly what they’ll find behind the link, and it bolsters the page’s likelihood of ranking for the search term “local business directory.”
2. Add location pages
This task is a little more time-consuming, but the results can be truly remarkable. Location pages are exactly what they sound like: Pages on your website that are specific to a location you service. The idea is to capture as many local keywords as possible.
Let’s go back to our painter example. A painter in Brisbane can target Brisbane-related keywords across their website, but many of their potential customers won’t actually include “Brisbane” in their search term. Instead, they’ll use their suburb: “Painters in Indooroopilly,” “house painters New Farm,” “professional painters Auchenflower,” even “painter south east Queensland.”
This Brisbane painter could create separate landing pages for each location they service.
If you decide to give this local SEO strategy a try, do keep in mind that the content on each page must be at least 30 per cent different. In other words, you can’t simply duplicate your location pages and change only the suburb.
3. Optimise online directory listings
If your business is not on online business directories, it’s time to spend an afternoon creating your listings. As well as putting your business in front of prospects that prefer searching for service providers in a trusted directory, directory listings significantly boost your local SEO efforts.
First, online directories provide those all-important backlinks – that is, links on other websites that direct users to your website. Backlinks are a sort of social proof. In the eyes of Google, they verify the legitimacy of your website.
Online directory listings also boost your business’s visibility for local keywords. It’s crucial, however, that the way you write your business name and contact information is consistent across your website and listings.
For example, let’s say your run a business called “Max’s Local Landscaping.” That’s how you write your business name across your website. Do not call it “Maxs Local Landscaping” on one directory and “Local Landscaping” on another – Google will see these as two separate businesses that are not related to the “Max’s Local Landscaping” website.
Further, let’s say you write your phone number as 0412 345 678 on your website. You must include the spaces on your local business directory listing. You will sabotage your SEO efforts if you write it without space like this: 0412345678.
Consistency is absolutely crucial when optimising your businesses directory listings.
Create your online business directory listing now
When it comes to local SEO for small businesses, creating consistent, optimised business directory listings is essential. Start today, and get your business in front of your local area’s residents.