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The 2019 Local SEO Guide for Beginners

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

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Local SEO helps your customers find you


If you’re a local business who wants to sell your products or services to a local audience, you want to be ranking as high as possible on your local areas search results.

Local SEO is the process of optimising your website, local profiles and online reviews to make sure that you rank higher when searches are made geographically near your business.

How is Local SEO useful?

Approximately more than half the searches on Google are made by people looking for local products or services when they search for something.

If you don't get your local SEO right, you're losing out on earning more customers for your business.

SEO has improved drastically ever since Google started rolling out its Panda and Penguin updates. It's now more difficult for users to hack their way and rank well on searches without providing rich, accurate and relevant content.

In other words, you'll need to put in an effort to optimise and get your profiles and websites ranking for local searches. The bad news is that there is no shortcut .

How do you optimise your Local SEO?

The main things to focus on are website optimisation, managing your Google profile and online business citations to cover the basics of local SEO.


Title Tags These are really important in any SEO strategy. Title tags highlight exactly what your page is about, helping the user to quickly understand the content of the page. It’s the “cover of the book,” but in this case, the book is actually judged by its cover.

A title tag needs to correctly represent what the page’s content contains. It also needs to be concise, because search engines will only capture about the first 50-60 characters of a title tag.

A good format for title tags is to focus on your primary and secondary keywords, followed by your brand name, such as, "Pizza in Carlton | Stuzzichino's Pizzeria."

Your title page is what visitors judge you on-sorry, but people do judge a book by it's cover!


-Title tags should be between 50-60 characters.-Priority keywords should be placed in the title

-Priority keywords should be placed in the title, preferably in the front.

-If you have a recognizable brand, use that in the title tag.

Create title tags that are easy to read and evoke emotions that make people want to click on them. While your HTML may tell Google exactly what you want your title tag to say, there are times when Google will show a different title based on Google’s understanding of your brand.

Keep Clean

A clean URL is one that is clear and easy to understand, with no complicated parameters. For example, " is a dirty URL. A better version of this URL would be men's-shirts/white-satin-shirt

This is important because it gives the user a clear message about the product. It also gives search engines a better understanding of what the page is about as well.


- URLs shouldn't use more than around 2045 characters; older browsers can’t process pages that are over this length.

-Hyphens should be used to separate words so that they’re easily read by both users and search engines. (don't overdo hyphens as they could be picked up as spam)

Duplicated Content

Search engines like diversity in their results. The same page, referenced multiple times, makes a weak user experience.

If I’m searching for Lions, I want to read different articles on Lions, not three identical pieces. Duplicate content is frowned upon by search engines and you could be penalised by Google. Duplicate content can be crawled by search engines or removed entirely.

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Don't duplicate


-800-1500 words are ideal for content.

-Make the content easy to read and add keyword rich headings (H1 and H2 tag) to break up sections.

-The main keyword should be used 2-5 times throughout the copy.

-Use variations of the keywords to make it more readable to your visitors.

Indexed menus:

All the content on your website needs to be visible to search engines to help rankings. This means that the content, including menus, should be in HTML text format. Menus that are in flash, Java applets, images, or anything else will be disregarded by search engines.


Make sure the NAP (name, address, and phone number) of your business displayed on your website is the same as the one on your Google My Business page. Consistency is key if you want to be found and ranked high against your competition. Any type of inconsistency can hurt your rankings.


Your Google My Business profile is what shows up in the local search results of Google, alongside search results. Completing and optimising your Google My Business profile will help your business to appear when consumers are searching for keywords within a certain location.

Google My Business listings also appear across desktop, mobile and tablet searches and are clearly displayed. It is one of the most important listings to have, especially if you are a local business.

Get your business verified and listed:

If you need any further help, please contact me.

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