When it comes to optimizing a website that targets a particular locale like Lagos, Nigeria, it is vital to fully grasp how search engine ranking algorithms are programmed to work and the online trends of your target audience. A result-oriented approach is required to perform SEO for a local audience. General SEO alone might not effectively generate the much needed result, as would a localized search engine optimization. So, in addition to performing general optimization, local SEO is very necessary!
In this article, I’ll enlighten you on the optimization techniques that would help your Nigerian website to rank well locally. As follows are the tips:
- Use the HTML lang attribute: When designing your website, make sure your web designer uses the lang attribute (<html lang=”en-NG”>) to inform search engines that your site’s language is English and your country is Nigeria. The “en” in the HTML code stands for English language and the “NG” stands for Nigeria. Even though search engines like Google are smart enough to capture a site’s language, it is recommended that webmasters help them to easily do their job. Append the “NG” to the language, to let them easily understand your country.
- Add your physical address: Your business’ physical address must be readily available on at least one page of your website. Most people place their addresses on the contact page. Some even go an extra mile to put their addresses in the footer section of each web page. That is one of the ways to inform search engines about your location.
- Use the HTML5 <address> tag: Use the HTML5 <address> tag to enclose your physical address, phone number and email address. That helps search engines to understand a site’s location better. Search engines expect the text within the tag to be one’s location. Together with other optimization techniques in place, your website would rank well for relevant local queries.
- Host your website locally if you can: Since your primary target audience is in Lagos, it is highly recommended that you host your website on a server that is located in Lagos. Doing so would enable your website to get a Lagos hosting IP address. Sadly though, with chronic power failure, slow Internet connectivity and colossal cost of maintaining high uptime service in Nigeria, hosting a website 24/7 round the year would be difficult. Search engines, by default, make use of the hosting IP address, when assigning a location to a website, unless you direct them otherwise. When possible, it makes a lot of sense to host your site in the same city where you operate from. Surely, that’s one way to gain high ranking locally.
- Set your targeted country in GSC and BWT: Both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools have similar features that enable a webmaster to choose the country that his/her website primarily targets. Take advantage of that and set Nigeria, as your targeted country.
- List your site in Google My Business: Enlisting your website in Google My Business would enable it to appear in Google search results for local search queries that include your location.
- Get inbound links from Lagos and Nigerian websites: When you embark on link building campaign, try your best to gain relevant backlinks from Lagos- and generally Nigeria-based websites. Each backlink you get should originate from a web page with content that is related to what you offer. By your web pages having original, compelling content, encourage local bloggers in your niche to link to your website as an authority. Doing so would help to boost your site’s ranking there.
- Get Class C IP addresses: When you consider how local search ranking algorithms work for local sites, it is interesting to know that they tend to give more weight to inbound links that originate from your city’s IP addresses. If your budget permits, build a few relevant blogs and assign a different Class C IP address to each one. Regularly make posts on those blogs with links pointing to your main site’s pages. Search engines give such backlinks a lot of link juice, since they originate from different IP addresses. It is counter-productive to have a couple of blogs under the same web hosting account, frequently make posts and link to your main site from there, since all the blogs would have the same IP addresses.
- Hire a Lagos-based SEO specialist: One of the best ways to ensure that your Lagos-based or generally Nigeria-based website is well-optimized for local search is to hire a local SEO provider who is worth his salt. Doing so would ensure that every necessary white hat SEO technique must be well utilized, with positive results in mind. You’ll agree with me that an SEO specialist knows the ropes far more than an average site owner. Moreover, hiring a professional would enable you to concentrate on managing your business, while the expert handles your search rankings.
At FlamyTech Web Developer, we have helped numerous websites to gain high rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) – some targeting global audience, while others target more specific local audience. Whichever way, search engine optimization is time-consuming. And it must be professionally done, in order to reap desired rewards. That is why there is need to hire an SEO expert like FlamyTech to improve your site’s chances of gaining top rankings on local search results.