Most people know what SEO these days is. Even if you’re not entirely sure exactly how it works (or to do it) you know that it means search engine optimisation, and it’s all about making your company website more visible in search results.
However, while general SEO is not a bad thing, if you’re a local business, you want to focus more on bring potential customers in your area to your site. If you’re in Melbourne, that means local SEO in Melbourne is your goal.
Here’s how local SEO differs from general SEO, why you need both, and how to master Melbourne local SEO.
What Is Local SEO?
The first thing you need to know about how to improve your local SEO in Melbourne is what, exactly, local SEO is.
Search engine optimisation is a fairly broad term that encompasses things like building a better website, speeding your site up, making it mobile friendly and building links.
However, general SEO casts a very broad net, and that’s not usually what local businesses are looking for because getting customers who are too far from your business to visit your site won’t be beneficial.
Local SEO is a process that helps to ensure that when someone searches for “XYZ service in Melbourne,” your company comes up in the search results. So you’re not only targeting keywords and phrases that closely relate to what you do or make, but you’re also targeting the geographical area that you can service.
For example, check out this search phrase and results: weatherboard restoration Cheltenham. You’ll see that our client, Maison Home Improvement, ranks at the very top. You can read more about how we achieve such results and what we’ve done for our clients to rank #1 in Cheltenham.
Why Does Local SEO Matter?
Local SEO is very closely tied to internet user intent.
If someone is simply looking for information about, for instance, how to replace the exhaust on their car, they will probably type that into their search engine, and it doesn’t really matter where the results are from – because it works the same way no matter where you are.
However, when someone types “exhaust replacement in Melbourne” into their search engine, they aren’t just looking for information. They’re looking for a company that can help them to replace their exhaust, and they need them to be in Melbourne.
Basically, when people are searching for a specific product or service in a particular geographical location, they are much more likely to be looking to make a purchase than just for advice. That means that they are exactly the kind of website visitors you want for your business.
So now that you know why local SEO in Melbourne will help your business, it’s time to look at how it works.
Google Location Based Searches
According to research, nearly 50% of all Google searches for goods and services are location-based.
This means that people are searching for things like “mechanic near me” or “hair salon in Melbourne.”
They’re searching with the intent to find a product or service in their area, and usually, when people do that, they are looking to place an order, get a quote or buy a product or service.
The good news is that search engines like Google are built for exactly that kind of search, thanks to their geolocation tools, which are all based around Google Maps.
Google gives companies the opportunity to get found in local searches through a service called Google My Business. This allows businesses to claim their business listing and put themselves on the Google Map. This means when people are searching for location-based businesses, and you’re in their target area, they will see your little red pin on the map, and you will come up in the business listing results.
The good news is that getting your business on Google My Business is easy and free. Here’s what the process looks like:
- Login or create a google account for your business – you can create a new Gmail account or use an existing email address
- Go to the Google My Business page
- Search for your business name – usually, it won’t be there, but if it is, you can claim it
- Complete all the information about your business, including your business address, phone number, email, industry and more
- Complete the verification process, which usually involves having a postcard sent to your business address, and then entering a code into Google My Business
- Add your logo, photos, and other information to your Google My Business profile
Once you’ve done this, when someone searches for services or products you offer in your area, your business will appear in the search results. It will also appear in the sidebar of Google Search when you search for your business name.
This is the cornerstone of local SEO in Melbourne, but like most SEO-related things, just creating the page is not enough. So let’s look at how to use it.
Google My Business allows you to share content that you have published on your website or social media channels on your My Business account.
Adding rich content to your My Business page gives potential customers a better idea of who you are and what you do, which makes them more likely to contact you when they need a product or service.
You can share images of your offices, photos of your team or your products and services. Make sure your business description is up to date too, and that your business is listed in the right category, and always ensure that your business’s website is linked from your My Google Page.
Very few people these days buy anything without first reading online reviews, and Google My Business is a great place to get those reviews.
However, while reviews can do wonders for your local SEO in Melbourne, you also have to manage them carefully.
Try to make sure that you offer the best possible products and services, so your customers only want to leave good reviews, but don’t rely on their delight about your services to prompt a review.
In fact, people who are not happy with your company are far more likely to offer spontaneous reviews, so if you want to keep your star rating up, you need to ensure that satisfied customers leave reviews too. The best way to do this is to ask your customers to review you on Google. Some companies even offer incentives for Google Reviews in the form of a discount on future purchases or something similar.
Check Your Information
Whether it’s Google or another site or search engine, you should never assume that they will always get it right. Sometimes, incorrect information online is simply because your information has changed, but sometimes, even search engines make mistakes.
If they have the wrong address, postal code, or something else, you might have to request that they change your listing information.
Very often, Apple Maps use outdated information too, so if your business has moved, make sure all the maps where you’re listed are set up for your new address. That’s not only critical for local SEO in Melbourne, but it also ensures that people can actually find you!
List In All the Local Directories
Most cities – and certainly Melbourne – have a variety of free and paid business directories. They might not be the go-to resource like Google, but it definitely doesn’t hurt to list your business in all of them too.
Make sure that all of those listings match, too, for consistency and to make sure people who do look there can reach you. While listings with links to your site do SEO double duty, it’s also worth creating listings and citations that don’t have links but mention your business on a prominent local page.
If you can afford it, joining a local chamber of commerce or business association is a great way to boost your local SEO in Melbourne, and people definitely do look there when they are looking for businesses, products and services.
Take Care of On-Site SEO
Sending more local traffic to your website using local SEO in Melbourne is good, but you also need to make sure that your site is optimised when they get there.
Start with site speed. Studies have shown that you only have a few seconds to make an impression on website visitors before they get tired of waiting and looking elsewhere. So do everything you can to speed up your site, like reducing code and page weight, optimizing images, and choosing a better web host.
Next, ensure that your site’s metadata, title tags and keywords are optimised. Search engines might say that these things don’t make a difference, but they do still make a difference.
Work on your internal links and menus, so it’s easy for people who arrive on your site to find what they are looking for, and use landing pages to direct people to different parts of your site.
Create Location Pages
If you operate in more than one part of Melbourne, or you have branches in other cities, be sure to create a separate location page for each branch or office. This will help with Melbourne local SEO and SEO for all your other locations too.
Have a look how we created optimised landing page for some of the Melbourne suburbs we service:
Don’t Forget Local Content!
Search engine optimisation is part strategy and technical changes, but it’s also heavily dependent on your content. You can improve your local SEO in Melbourne by creating location-centric content. In fact, that’s what our Melbourne SEO agency specialises in.
Maybe that means a blog post rounding up the best things to do in Melbourne in the summer, or perhaps it means writing a story about your local charity work in Melbourne. Whatever it is, if it’s local, it’s good for your local SEO strategy.
Start building your local social media pages too. Whether it’s contests or just sharing your local content with fans and followers in your area, it all works towards the same goal: ranking at the top of the search results for your industry in your area.
Find a Local SEO Agency in Melbourne
Now that you know the basics about local SEO in Melbourne, we hope you understand what it is, how it works, and why you should make it work for you.
If you’re like many businesses, you might not have time to put all of these things into practice yourself – and it is a big job. Fortunately, there are companies like Catnapweb that specialise in doing it all for you.
Our team offers local SEO services in Melbourne, and we are your local SEO agency working with companies of all sizes and across all industries.
We work with our clients to determine who their ideal customers are and the best ways to reach them, and then we help to ensure that you get more of those people visiting your website, and contacting you for information, a quote or to make a purchase.
A local SEO agency in Melbourne can help you to reach more people, get better leads, and convert more web traffic into paying customers. So if you’re ready to supercharge your online presence, and want a little help doing that, let’s talk.
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