There are many reasons as to why on page optimisation rings true now as much as it did at any other time, especially for local rankings where we aren’t relying on large budgets to help us achieve the rankings that we all desire.
Here are some things to make sure you have optimised on your landing pages:
Image from Scott Wong
Title – Gone are the days where we look to cram as many keywords we can in to the title, not any more my friend, it’s now time to be concise and helpful to the user. Include the local area you are targeting and a keyword you are targeting throughout the site, but don’t get carried away with jamming in as many keywords as possible.
Meta Description – Now many will have already realised that Google doesn’t take into account the Meta Description when it comes to rankings but that doesn’t mean we should leave it alone. This is the perfect opportunity to first catch the user’s eye with what the page within holds, entice them and use it as a call to action.
Header Tags – Use a heading tag to capture the user’s attention, make it interesting and something that would encourage the user to read on. Don’t try to over optimise it and keep it natural for the reader.
Google + Authorship – An interesting one, and one that we are currently experimenting with in the office with one of our clients. By setting up the Google+ Authorship for your company you are providing people with an identity of the brand, the face of the company so to speak. This can prove particularly effective with expert pieces of content be it on the blog or on the site and can show that the content being written is coming from someone who has experience within the field. The image associated with the text can lead to an increased likelihood of users clicking on to the post as well as building up a familiarity with the writer.
Image from Jared422_80
Interlinking – Don’t hide your pages! Unless you’re not proud of them, but then why are they on your site in the first place? Make sure your pages are visible and reachable with at least one link from another page on the site pointing to it. It’s also important to remember to not go down the opposite end of the scale and over inter link your site, don’t place all your pages in the sidebar or the footer as this can look manipulative to Google – and we don’t want to pique Google’s interests for the wrong reasons.
Google+ listing – Ok, so this isn’t really on site optimisation but it is pretty important and so I feel the need to emphasise it. We know that one of the first things we do when we want to rank locally is set up a Google business page, but that’s not the end of it. We need to get it verified in order to make sure that it shows higher up in the rankings. Assuming that all details are correct and have been filled in correctly on the Google listing the next step is to encourage and obtain reviews. Reviews can add significant weight to your chances in ranking in the local rankings, sometimes higher than those that might be closer to the user.
These are just a few things that can help send you on your way to achieve you ultimate goal with local SEO but they are also ones that need to be carried out to give yourself the best chance of outranking your competitors and giving yourself the edge on those that just invest all their time in churning out content.