Introduction – What is Local SEO?
To start off, let’s define what search engine optimisation is; SEO is the process of improving the organic (unpaid) ranking of your pages from your website in search engine results pages (SERP).
For the Gold Coast and the rest of Australia, the focus of SEO leans towards the biggest search provider Google but also to a lesser extent Bing and then Yahoo.
For a local business, local SEO means making it as easy as possible for prospective customers to find information about your company online, either when they search specifically for your brand or business or for any businesses that provide particular goods and services nearby them when they search for that keyword.
Now before we jump into the makeup of SEO, and how to optimise for your local Gold Coast business, there is one thing that is key – the first thing you have to do to get your website ranking in local SEO and Google Maps is to have a physical location for your business.
It might sound silly, but this is the major requirement to get your local business listed in search engines for local SEO. It is hard to rank for ‘surfboard repairs gold coast’ if your business is not physically located on the Gold Coast (even if you provide services there). After you have a physical location of your business, you can sign up your business in the search engines: Google, Bing and now Apple.
With that being said, if you have a physical address, and would like to improve your local SEO, read on.
First off, let’s look at how SEO works;
The process of SEO is split into two parts called On Page SEO and Off Page SEO.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-Page SEO involves optimising your actual website, and all of it’s pages and contents including the page’s underlying HTML code. Optimising includes the copy (text), pictures, as well as using the optimal keywords or phrases (long-tail keywords) to help search engines in indexing your page and site.
Some key factors of On-Page SEO include:
- Optimised titles and meta descriptions
- Correct URL Structures
- User-friendly navigation – Breadcrumbs & user sitemaps
- Optimised internal links
- Text Formatting – Use of h1, h2, h3, bold, italics
- Image optimisation – image size, optimal image names, use of ALT tags
- User-friendly 404 pages
- Fast loading pages
- Mobile-friendly pages
- Top quality fresh content – This is always the most important SEO component!
- External links – Quality links with no broken links or links to ‘bad’ sites
What is Off Page SEO?
Of the two factors of SEO, this is the more complex and entails managing the websites popularity and relevance to user’s searches.
A website that is high quality and helpful is more likely to have recommendations (links) from other websites. It is more likely to have liked and comments on social media, and it is more likely to be bookmarked and distributed among communities of like-minded users.
Some key strategies of Off-Page SEO include:
- Link building
- Social media marketing
- Social bookmarking
Your website, like yourself at work or amongst your peers has to earn it’s reputation!
Now that we have gone over the fundamentals of SEO, let’s get down to business;
10 tips to improve your local Gold Coast SEO rankings: