I haven’t received the Google My Business postcard
Can you send me a new code so I can verify my address?
The postcard which is provided directly by Google containing the verification code is sent to the address you entered as your business location. Typically speaking it can take up to 14 days for the to arrive. We can only assume that you haven’t received your Google My Business verification code if you’re currently reading this article.
If you have not received your verification code within a 2 week time frame, please double check the address you entered is correct. You may need to resubmit the request which is something we can assist with.
Your postcard should look something similar to this photo:
If after resubmitting your Google My Business address for verification and you still haven’t received it for a second time, please ensure the person in charge of the accepting mail is looking out for the postcard as sometimes it can be mistaken for junk mail or other forms of postal advertisement.
If you have any questions in relation to this matter, please contact our us.
In this guide we will walk you through Local SEO and getting your website ranking locally on Google. There are many aspects to this including Google My Business, reviews, NAP and more but don’t worry; we’ll talk about each area in detail so this guide will help both beginners and even the more experienced SERP optimisers.
Getting started with the basics of Local SEO:
This isn’t a quick task so you might need to dedicate a chunk of your morning or afternoon to ranking your local business on Google & other search engines. It’s better to take your time and get it right than rush through and miss out critical data which search engines use to display your website to potential visitors.
Let’s start your local SEO campaign with Google My Business, Local Reviews & NAP.
Google My Business (GMB) for Local SEO
We love rich information and you’ll often find Google catering to this love. One way Google do this is through GMB (Google My Business) which provides business or company specific data such as their name, address, phone number (NAP) and other various data such as reviews. GMB is essentially an overview of the most important company information.
You can see below an example of a GMB profile (which just happens to be ours).
When creating or claiming a GMB profile you need to make sure it includes as much information as possible:
Your website, business, charity or company name. (formal entity name)
Full business address
An accurate, lengthy description of the business
The categories your business is under
A local phone number
High quality, visually pleasing and relevant photos
Opening or operational times
Services you offer, these are generated based on your business primary category
The logo of the business and a cover photo
Local SEO & Local Reviews (GMB, Yelp, Trustpilot, Reviews.io)
Reviews are critical to every business, helping some to grow very fast and even causing some to fail.
Acquiring high quality, honest reviews will prove to be beneficial for your business as a whole. They have also been confirmed to have a direct impact on ranking your business for local search.
Google isn’t the only search engine in the world though. There are others including Microsoft Bing and Yahoo. So try to have reviews everywhere you can.
A good way to grow your organic reviews is to reach out to your existing or past customers and see if they would like to leave a review for your business. It helps to incentivise them for providing you with a review, this could be a discount, a free meal or something similar.
Make sure leaving a review is as easy as possible, the perfect process would be to send them a link via email, text message or instant messaging platform so they can easily access a web page and submit their review.
Collecting reviews is a whole other topic so if you’re wanting to dive deeper into it feel free to give us a call at 0800 254 5504.
NAP - Name, Address, Phone Number (Core information)
When ranking your business for local results, it really does help to be local.
Place your business name, full address and local phone number in the footer of your website. The information you place in the footer and on GMB must be consistent.
If you enter your phone number on GMB as 01234 567 890 then you must make sure this is the same on your website.
On-Page SEO for Local Results
SEO has evolved into a very complex area over the past few years but some components still remain the same, because sometimes less is more and simple is just, well, better.
A long time used tactic for SEO is on-page optimisation for location+keyphrase // keyword. This tactic caters to a high weighting factor in search result indexing so it’s very important this is thought through and implemented correctly; it’s not something you want to be re-doing again at a later date.
You need to place the target location and relevant keyword in strategic, prominent areas of your pages:
Page permalink (URL)
Page Title Element <title>
Page H1 Element <h1>
Image Alt attributes <img src="" alt="location+keyword here">
In addition to the location and keyword placement in the areas recommended above, you should also look at adding a Google Map to your website or even a Google Map with a business marker to show exactly where you’re located.
Website Responsiveness (Mobile Friendly)
Statista tells us that as of January 2021, 92.6 percent of all internet users accessed the internet via a mobile device.
That’s a whopping 4.32 billion people.
If that isn’t a reason to make sure your website is mobile friendly, we don’t know what is. Hire a developer to make your website mobile friendly.
Link Building from local, relevant businesses.
Link building is a high weighting factor in all aspects of SEO and SERP strategies so don’t miss this one out.
Take advantage of local directories and websites such as your local newspaper and informational businesses that can provide you with a link to your website. This will help in increasing your local SEO rankings, assuming you are gaining high quality links from reputable domains.
Click Through Rate (CTR) & Bounce Rate
You’re ranked on Google but not climbing the rankings as well as you’d like.
There’s a few reasons that come to mind when hearing this from some of our clients but the most common are CTR and Bounces. Search engines prefer websites that are engaging and pull more people in whilst retaining their attention.
Click Through Rate is the percentage of traffic that sees your website in search results and click it.
A higher CTR tells you people are likely to click on your link, if your CTR was 75% and your link on SERP’s was seen 100 times, this would mean 75 out of 100 people clicked on your link. From this it is relatively safe to say if 1,000 people saw your link; 750 people would click on it. The lower your CTR, the less people actually click on your page. A lower CTR is likely to negatively affect your SERP rankings.
Bounce Rate is the amount of people that click through to your site and instantly leave or stay on it.
A higher bounce rate implies that the content on your website is ‘bouncing’ people away from your website and back to the search results to find another website or web page that satisfies their intentions. A lower bounce rate is likely to positively affect your SERP rankings.
How to do basics SEO for websites
Optimising the content of your website to suit the SEO standards is essential for ensuring higher ranking of your website on the search engine. Below are a few guidelines and details that you might consider when optimising your website content to SEO standards.
Optimise your domain name
You might want to include at least one of the recommended keywords in your domain name to ensure higher ranking of your website in search engine results. You may also consider avoiding the use of exact match domain names, as their importance has diminished overtime and they are no more effective with respect to Search engine Optimisation.
The domain name should be optimised before you establish or launch your website.
Optimise your URLs
Optimising your URLs to comply with the SEO standards is also of considerable importance. Search engines consider the structure of your URL to assess, read and comprehend the content of your webpage, in order to rank your website online. A more easily readable URL has more chances of higher ranking on a search engine. The URL is to match the title of your webpage, however, you may take the liberty of omitting unnecessary words, like is or and, when structuring your webpage URL.
Optimise your page title
Each webpage is provided with a page title. The page title educates the search engine about the content of your website. Since the search engine will rely on your title to assess your website content, it is of importance that you consider the inclusion of one or more than one recommended keywords in your page title. This will lead to higher ranking of your website.
The page title is what appears as the search engine result for your website during online browsing. In order to ensure that the users click on your page title, you need to make your page title more interesting, engaging and relevant for the users.
It is recommended that in order to ensure maximum optimisation of your page title, limit it to 70 characters, composing a unique tile for each of your webpage.
Optimise your meta description tag
The meta description is a summary of your webpage content. For ensuring the optimal effectiveness of meta description, it is advised that you compose a unique and interesting meta description for each of your webpage, limiting it to 190 characters. Meta description appears below the page title in search results, and in order to motivate the user to click on your website link, the meta description needs to be interesting and engaging for the users.
Meta descriptions are not given considerable importance by search engines, but as they appear in search results, optimising them to SEO standards is of significant importance.
Optimise your keyword density
Keyword density refers to the number of times the keyword that you’re trying to rank for is used in your webpage’s content. A keyword may be a single word or it can be a phrase.
For optimum results, recommended keyword density is between 2% to 6%, so that your content have sufficient number of keywords while its quality and readability is maintained, and the use of keywords appear to be more natural and not deliberate.
What is LCP?
LCP means Largest Contentful Paint. It’s the measure of time taken for the page to load, and become readable to the user.
Users do not want to wait long amounts of time for a website to load. When you visit a website you like it to be instant, and responsive. LCP is important for user experience (UX). A high LCP (long duration) can also result in a higher bounce rate, and less conversions; in turn this usually means less revenue for the business that owns the website.
LCP is becoming an important factor for Search Engine Result Pages (SERP) and the ranking position of the website.
How to find your LCP?
There are tools online, and built into browsers that can help you find out a lot of information about your page speeds, including the LCP.
A good online tool is PageSpeed Insights from Google, and it uses the same ‘Lighthouse’ tool that is built into browsers such as Chrome. To access this in a browser, press F12 on the keyboard and go to the Lighthouse tab, then generate a report.
Lighthouse will test the current page, and give details about the Performance of the page, and more. The LCP will be one of the first metrics it will show.
This is a lighthouse test run on Amazon.co.uk:
What causes Poor LCP?
Slow Server Response Time –
When the server is slow, all the speed metrics will be negatively affected. This will result in slower loading of all website content, causing LCP to increase dramatically. Slow Server Response Time can be caused by problems in the bank-end infrastructure, unoptimized databases, etc.
Slow Resource Load Times –
Large resources such high quality imagery can take more time to load as higher quality usually means bigger file size and longer downloads. All resources and media should be optimized as much as possible to allow for faster loading speeds.
How to Improve LCP?
Optimize Media –
Images can be optimized in a few different ways. Image dimensions should be considered when added to the site. The images do not need to be larger dimensions than will be displayed on the site. You can compress an image, lowering its quality and file size. The image format can also be converted to a more efficient file format(JPEG, PNG, SVG). Videos load faster than GIFs, so replacing any GIFs with videos can also be of benefit.
Optimize CSS –
CSS files need to be loaded and processed before the page can be rendered. Therefore they are render-blocking. Removing unused code, minimizing css files, and optimizing CSS can help to improve the load times. In some cases you can move your CSS to the footer and inline any critical CSS in order to avoid layout shifts or render flashes, this will cause there to be less CSS that is render blocking but also doesn’t affect UX negatively.
What can we do for your LCP?
We offer SEO services to optimize your site to decrease load times, and improve your LCP, and Search Engine Ranking.
When you create a new website the first thing that you are most likely going to be anxiously waiting for is Google to index it so your new website or blog can be found on the world wide web. Normally you have to wait for the Googlebot to crawl your website for any new content before it can be added to the Google index.
So how can we speed up the process so this happens as quickly as possible? Here is the very basics related to how all new website content is crawled and indexed on Google, including some fantastic new ways to get the Googlebot onto your website or online shop to index your latest content as soon as possible.
What exactly is Googlebot, Crawling, and Indexing?
Before we go ahead and reveal some great tips to attract the Googlebot to your website, let’s just briefly start with what the Googlebot is exactly, we will also look at the difference between both indexing and crawling.
The Googlebot in its simplest form is the search bot computer program that Google sends out to gather information on all domains with a web presence. It will then add the collected information to Google’s searchable index.
Crawling is the process the Googlebot performs to browse from website to website, finding all your new and updated information to report back to Google. The Googlebot simply finds what to crawl using links.
Indexing which if you are reading this article you would have heard of – is the processing of the found information collected by the Googlebot software from its crawling activities. Once the new information is processed, it will be added to Google’s searchable index if the content discovered is determined to be quality content. During the indexing process, the Googlebot processes each word on the web page and where those words are found. Alternative information such as your elements title tags and ALT attributes are also analysed during the indexing process. Moreover how does the Googlebot find new content on the world wide web such as brand new websites, online shops, blogs etc..? It all starts with website pages captured during the previous crawl processes and also adds in any sitemap data provided by webmasters through their webmaster tools. As the Googlebot browses web pages previously crawled in the past, it will detect new links on those existing pages and if any new links are found they will be added to the crawler list. If you want more details, in relation to Googlebot or how crawling works you can read about both topics in Webmaster Tools Help. Now we will have a quick look at how to implement sitemaps on your existing or new website and create a link to it which will assist the Googlebot in discovering your new content.
How to Get New Content Discovered By Googlebot
Here are some fantastic ways to get your new content found by Googlebot. The best part is that some of the following information will assist you in receiving more referral traffic to your website!
Create a new Sitemap –
A sitemap is a XML format document which is located in the public_html directory of your server that lists each page or post on your website. It allows search engines to be made aware that new pages have been added and how frequently to check back for changes on specific pages. For example, you might require a search engine to come back and check your shop page daily for new products or other new content. If your are one of the thousands of users currently using a website that is built on WordPress, you are able install a plugin called Google XML Sitemaps plugin which can be made to automatically create and update your sitemap on your behalf as well as resubmit it to search engines such as Google or Yahoo.
Submit your Sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools –
The very first place you should take your sitemap for a new web site is Google Webmaster Tools. If you don’t already have an account, create a free Google Account, then sign up for Webmaster Tools. Add your site to Webmaster Tools, then follow and go to Optimisation > Sitemaps and add the link to your web site sitemapto Webmaster Tools to notify Google about it and the webpages you have already published.
Submit URL’s to Search Engines –
Submit your website URL to Google by signing into your Google Account and going to the Submit URL option in Webmaster Tools.
Once your new web site is indexed by Google, you will be able to find your web page or site in the search results. You may also start to see increased traffic from Google search. One of the best ways to guarentee that your content is discovered fast is by simply sharing it via social media on status updates including a link to the webpage or blog post.
As you may know, in the realm of SEO, backlinks are an important factor which are taken into consideration when Google decides how to rank a website. Submitting your website to various different business directories is just one part of the process for building a website backlink profile.
Not only do most business directories provide a direct link to your website but they also help with business exposure. Search engines such as Google; Bing & Yahoo eventually learn to recognise your business by collecting data from all over the web which includes location; telephone number and the type of business being operated.
Below we’ve provided a completely free list of UK business directories which you can use to obtain valuable website backlinks to help improve your SERP (Search Engine Rank Position). All of these business directories are loved by Google and can be quickly indexed once submissions go live.
Please remember, when submitting to these business directories it’s advised to always carryout a quick search to see if your business is already listed on the directory as there is nothing worse than spending time repeating an already completed task.