SEO is a term every digital marketer or igital consultant is aware of. We all want our sites to rank highly for relevant, targeted keywords. What everyone seems to agree upon is that business websites should be optimized for local search queries from specific regions.
To illustrate, we are going to use a fictitious ABC Consults. It’s based in Lagos Nigeria and they wish to optimize their website for local SEO since they targeted predominantly potential clients and prospects living and working in Lagos, Nigeria.
There are several local directories you can submit your company’s business details and website to. Most of these directories are international search directories, with local sections for each country they have directory listings for. At country-wide levels, there are great business directories that accept submissions from consulting and other similar sites for listing on their directory list.
Vconnect in Lagos Island is a very great business directory for any business to key into.
Asides from Vconnect, the list is endless. Sortlist, Crunchbase, there are several others. All these local directories (some are international, though they have country directories) link back externally to your site, and the higher the authority of the site linking to yours, the higher authority your consulting site will be deemed to have, so the higher it will rank. Take note.
Google My Business
Googly my business is Google’s free localized business listing for businesses with a local physical address. If ABC consults have a physical address, then it makes great sense for them to register on Google My Business and use the free tool to rank well on Google Search, Google Maps.
Even if ABC Consults have different branches with their own addresses all across the country, they can list each different address on Google My Business and list down the address, details, phone numbers, and website of the business. Plus, people can leave their reviews of your business on the review section of your Google my Business listing.
Google my Business is crucial for localized search engine ranking, particularly when the business has a website.
For example: I am new to Lagos, and I am looking for a law firm near me. I type in: “Law Firms in Victoria Island”. If I used Google for the search, then, on the top of the search engine results (if I had conducted the search with a mobile phone), law firms in Victoria Island Lagos who have local listings on Google my Business, will appear, along with other generic results. A click into a law firm’s Google my Business listing will also review the law firm’s website which you can click into.
So, if you are looking to rank for local Search queries for your company, then getting your business details listed on Google my Business is a requirement. Not only will your business turn up on the SERPs [search engine result pages], your business will also turn up on Google Maps and will be great for local search via Maps.
Quality Link Building
When you create your website content, it is important and imperative that you build internal links. Since your consulting website is already structured around your niche areas of expertise, your content is going to reflect the same. So, when you write and publish your content on your consulting website’s blog page, make sure you build links within your articles to other relevant articles within the same website.
These are what we call internal links. They serve as treasure points that leads visitors to your business consulting website to other relevant content within your website. It also aids Google and other search engines to understand your pages and crawl them faster since these will make you rank higher for the keywords you are targeting with your link building. After all, note that Google and other search engines will look at the “Anchor Text”; the text that carries the hyperlink to the relevant pages you’re linking to.
Social media integration
This issue may seem over-emphasized, but it is important to create social media profiles across the networks you feel is important for your business. When you create these social media profiles for your business, you should maintain your “Brand Voice” to ensure that you maintain the style of your Brand used on your website.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Reddit, Quora, Medium, LinkedIn, and other social media platforms may be useful to your business. Please note that you don’t have to create an account with every social media website out there; choose the ones relevant to your niche, create your profile, then populate it over time with great content. Better the choice of one or two carefully chosen social media accounts than to proliferate profiles across multiple social media sites and abandon them because you’re stretching your advertising and marketing spend too thin.
When you create these social media profiles for your business, integrate them into your site. Use relevant links to showcase your social media presence. Furthermore, because these social media sites have extremely high SEO rankings, your company can be found easily if someone is searching for it on the Internet.
Press releases on local sites and publishers
Is there something happening in your business offices? Are you onboarding a new partner or research assistant? Did your company bag an award? Create a press release and have same published with reputable media outlets and websites, particularly within your physical locality and region. Create back links to your business consulting website.
Whatever link used to link back to your website is noted by Google and will make the search engine rank you higher. However, don’t send your press releases to spammy sites oozing with spammy links all over. If you do that, then not only will you be penalized when Google bots latch on to this, your site may be yanked off Google search entirely.
Local keyword targeting
If you have your offices in Lagos, it would make sense to use the key phrase “Lagos” all through your pages, meta descriptions, placeholder images, and within important areas of your website. You should use these local keywords you’re targeting so that search engines will have an idea of what you are targeting and then pull them up in the SERPs.
For example, ABC Consults is a risk management agency in Victoria Island Lagos, Nigeria. In the site identity description, it would make sense to say: “ABC Consults, risk management agency in Lagos” or something similar so that search engines will take note of this and make sure that you rank for your locality in the SERPs.
So, it is important to not only target keywords, think of targeting local keywords that are relevant to your areas of specialization so that your company’s consulting website can attract qualified leads and prospects.
Include your business name, local address
Content marketing is one of the best ways for a company to increase organic (search) traffic to its website.
It is also one of the best advertising means there is, though it is not direct advertising like conventional marketing is. Content marketing helps you showcase your company’s thought leadership expertise in your areas of practise. Content marketing also helps give your company website more weight because the more content you publish and push out to your website, the more pages Google bots and other reputable search engine crawlers will crawl and index.
So, including content marketing as part of your comprehensive digital growth strategy will pay off over the long run, especially if the topics you publish on are “evergreen content” that stands the test of time. From law firm content marketing to content marketing for the other types of firms, it’s important.
It all boils down to the effort you make over time. The little efforts matter. You may think that the list of things you need to do for your consulting website is too long, but you can tackle these per post, per page, per directory. It may take longer than six months to start really ranking for the keywords you want your business consulting site to be ranked for, but it is well worth the wait and the effort.
What are you doing to make your website rank for local search? Let’s discuss in the comments.
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