If your company has a physical address and you wish to attract nearby customers, it’s increasingly impossible to ignore local SEO. Whether you’re a car salesman in Croydon, a fancy dress shop in Newcastle or an IT support company in Kent, you’ll want people nearby to find you in the way that local people increasingly do find companies like yours these days: online, via Google.

This doesn’t mean neglecting general SEO, but the good news is that there are various free ways to give your local SEO a nice little lift. Make sure that your website makes clear the name of your business, its address and phone number, so that the search engines can locate you.

Local listings are all-important

Claim the local listings for your business on major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, making sure to use correct grammar. You should also work to maximise the number of citations – or mentions of your business – on other sites. Get your business listed in an online business directory related to your locality or business niche, or get another website or blog to mention you, and you can expect more favourable treatment from the search engine algorithms.

Never forget, either, the power of online reviews in building local SEO. Ask your customers to contribute their own reviews, perhaps linking to review sites from your social media profiles, and you’ll be well on the way to much stronger local SEO.