‘Are you local?’
Being asked this question on the snicker-ific and ever-disturbing League of Gentlemen was the pre-emptor to murderous mayhem. Being asked this question by Google could have a similarly detrimental effect on your business, if your small local site has no way of showing its local connections.
If you were stuck in Royston Vasey, fictional locality for the BBC comedy series (but Glossop in reality), the only way to establish your credibility as a local would be to act like one. On the Internet, luckily, it’s far easier to show your local bona fides:
1. Look like a local. Get yourself a country-specific URL, and make it the focal point of your online plan.
2. Sound like a local. Including regional keywords in your SEO plan should be one of your basic local SEO jobs. This can make content a little difficult at times, but it’s worth it.
3. Act like a local. If your business really wants to attract local custom, it would have listings in local directories and a Google Places page. These are really the basics if you want to establish yourself for Google’s local listings.
4. Be known as a local. Back up your local SEO plan with some other important local links. Local chambers of commerce, business associations and press are all valuable resources. Happily, they’re also good authority links.
In the real world, it may take several generations to establish you and yours as ‘local people.’ On the Internet, it is reasonably easy to establish your site’s local presence. Go to it.