Local SEO: A Definitive Guide to Attracting Local Visitors

Local SEO helps businesses to rank highly in the SERPs for relevant searches around a specific location. So, whether you’re looking for somewhere to eat, a local dog walker or an affordable hotel in London, Google will return a list of relevant local places. But how do you optimise your business for local searches and have your business featured? A successful local SEO strategy is not like your standard SEO campaign and therefore should be treated differently. That’s because Google places more emphasis on several different factors in local SEO, such as Google My Business and local reviews. Google My Business, links, on-page optimisation, citations and reviews play a vital role in laying a strong foundation for local SEO success. With behavioural and personalisation factors continuing to increase in importance. Local SEO This guide will take you through some of the key elements for local SEO success. 

Name-Address-Phone Number (NAPs)

NAPs, short for name-address-phone number, is critical for businesses wanting to rank high within a certain geolocation. Search engines, such as Google, take NAPs data into consideration when determining what websites to list within the search results for a given search term. Firstly, make sure you NAP is present and correct on every page of your website. This could be put into your website footer, using the Schema.org format. Next step, update your business listings across several key directories, including Google My Business, Yelp and more. It’s super important that your NAP listing consistent uses the same details and format across your website and all listings. You can use Moz Local to find all missing, inconsistent and duplicate listings.

Claim your Google My Business

Google My Business remains the largest influencing factor for local SEO, so make sure you claim and verify your listing. You can set up your listing in 8 simple steps:
  1. Add a long and unique description of your business. Make sure you include a link to your website.
  2. Select the right category for your business.
  3. Upload photos that best represent your business to your profile – the more photos the better.
  4. Add a local phone number, so your customers can easily get in touch.
  5. Add a business address that’s consistent with the one on your website and directories.
  6. Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo to your profile.
  7. Include correct opening times and days.
  8. Don’t forget to encourage reviews from your customers – more about that next!

Encourage Real Customer Reviews

It’s not rocket-science. Google is looking to return the best results for its users, not how well a business can crack its algorithm (although this helps too). So, what’s a better indication of quality and customer satisfaction than a real-life customer review? Customer reviews is one of the many factors that has a direct impact on local search rankings. Start by asking your existing customers to give you a review on Google as a priority. You could do this either in person or send out an email with details of how to review your business. You’ll be surprised by how many are happy to give you a review just because you asked. You could also offer an incentive – for example, if you’re a small boutique owner, why not put every reviewer into a draw to win a personal shopping experience. Make it easy for them by putting together a simple webpage that shows them how to review you. This will not only help you rank higher in relevant local searches, but may help you convert more customers – nothing is more influential than a personal recommendation by a real person. Moz demonstrates how reviews help to get your business chosen by consumers.

Earn Local Links

Gaining links from other local websites, that are relevant to your business, is considered more important than authority for local SEO. Local directories are a great resource for building a strong portfolio of local links, especially for citation listings. Use tools such as Moz Local to check your listings and add any that are missing. Open Site Explorer helps you to spy on your competitor’s inbound links, so you’re able to see where they’re listed and make sure you set up your profile for any directories where you’re not listed. Other great ways of earning local links is through hosting or sponsoring local events, enter local awards or even line up interviews with local press and relevant publications.

 Put the People First 

User experience is here to stay, even for local search. Focus on increasing your click through rate to boost your quality score. Have a clear and readable title tag with a detailed meta description that encourages people to click. Once you’ve got them to click through, make sure you keep them engaged. Focus on providing your visitors with quality content and a consistent and relevant search and landing page experience. So, there you have it. Our guide to winning the local search war! If you’d like help in optimising your website for local SEO or would like to know more about our SEO services, call our friendly team on 01604 696385 or email info@star-digital.co.uk

How Digital is Saving the Art Industry

Despite slowing revenues in the global art market, online sales of art are on the increase – up 15% on 2015 to $3.75 billion. This is highlighting the potential of the online marketplace which has a current market share of 8.4%, according to the recent Hiscox Online Art Trade Report 2017. The report highlights that digital marketing channels are becoming vital to the continued success of the art market, with search engine optimisation, paid search advertising and email marketing all playing a significant role in transforming the industry. Yet it is social media that has taken the leading role of delivering art in front of a brand new and willing audience – the millennials. Despite slow adoption of online technology, the traditional art sellers have started shifting their attentions to the online market. The merging of bricks and mortar sale rooms with the online world has helped boost sales at numerous leading auction houses. These early adopters are already reaping the benefits, with Heritage Auctions who hold 41% of their sales online, reporting almost $350 million worth of revenue from online sales. So, who is currently buying art online? Maybe surprisingly, Millennials are leading the charge into the brave new world of art buying and their platform of choice, according to an Invaluable study, is social media
millennial visiting art gallery
The study found that almost a quarter (22.7%) of art buyers discover art via social media channels, with 39% of millennials using the platforms for art discovery. Compare social media to art galleries which are used by 15.9% of buyers to discover art and you can see the increasing potential social media holds for art sellers. Millennials are also increasingly likely to purchase art online, both as a sound long-term investment but as 92% stated in the Invaluable study that “some kind of feeling” was a main driver to purchase art. Social media is allowing sellers to communicate those feelings with Instagram playing a leading role in bridging the gap between experience, reputation and education. 57% of art buyers are now using Instagram over Facebook (49%). It was also suggested in the Hiscox report that 79% of online art sales tend to be for pieces priced at less than $5,000, so although the market has been opened to a brand-new audience, values are in the lower price range, which makes the online market more resilient in a cooling global market. There are challenges ahead for the art industry’s digital transformation. To fully benefit from online sales, art sellers looking to capitalise on this new market will need to overcome certain obstacles such as the lack of physical inspection, the need for price transparency and the want of human interaction in attracting the large hesitant art buyers audience online. 79% of art buyers stated they want detailed background information on both artist and piece. While 52% added significant value to the educational experience attributed to buying art. The high-profile failure of Auctionata also questions the growth potential of new online-only sellers as traditional sellers also push their way into the arena. Christie’s recorded online-only sales growth of 84% in 2016, suggesting the battleground is becoming highly congested. Who’s embracing the digital platform to sell art? As digital helps grow art buying audiences, it is also making it easier, cheaper and faster for the sellers.

From established global brands such as Sothebys, Christies and Bonhams who are leading the adoption of online technologies, to online art galleries such as Artsy, Saatchi Art and UGallery.

The new breed of online art galleries deliver curated experiences that target all obstacles previously mentioned. There’s transparency of price, clear background information and simple return policies that take the risk out of art buying.
Saatchi art website
In viewing artist bios on sites like Art Finder, you instantly feel like you’re on a social media platform, where your peers can like art pieces and artist details and works are listed like an Instagram news feed.
Artfinder artist bios
  So, what are the opportunities for art in an ecommerce world? Quite simply, the opportunities are huge! Hiscox’s suggest the estimated online art market will treble in value to $9.14bn by 2019, so we can expect established players and newer start-ups to get their houses into order to capitalise on this exponential growth potential. Industry experts also believe consolidation will happen at greater levels over the coming years – despite the failed marriage between Auctionata and Paddle8. 71% of those surveyed by Hiscox agreed, they just don’t know when it will happen. It’s not just art… Stamp, coins and memorabilia dealers and sellers are also starting to see the benefits of having an online marketplace – transforming collecting from a pastime of the few to investment for the many. Here at Star Digital, our team of commerce experts can help you start your digital transformation today. Call us on 01604 696385 or email info@star-digital.co.uk to find out more.