At First Move Digital, we’ve been implementing local SEO campaigns for the Melbourne market for years and over that time, we’ve developed a thorough understanding of what makes local SEO for Australian businesses a little different to implementing campaigns in other markets.

We’ve gone ahead and put together a quick, easy-to-understand breakdown of what you need to know if you’re hoping to increasing your organic visibility in the Aussie market.

  1. You’re Dealing With a Mature Market

Australians are pretty sophisticated Google users and rely on the search engine giant for everything from dinner recipes and grocery shopping, to answer complicated questions about topics as diverse as entertainment, finances, and health.

As a result, throwing your hat into the SEO ring in Australia means you should be ready to face some stiff competition, depending on your niche. Some industries, such as plumbing and virtually anything insurance-related is populated with players who’ve been investing in SEO for years and have accrued a significant amount of authority as a result.

  1. The Domain Matters

There’s endless debate in the SEO community about the importance of having what’s typically referred to as an ‘Exact Match Domain’ or EMD, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. What we’re talking about is the TLD or Top Level Domain, the string at the end of your website name.

If you’re an Aussie business targeting Aussie consumers, you should strongly consider getting yourself a .com.au domain. Not only do Google explicitly advise this in their Webmaster Guidelines, but a .com.au is a sign of trust to users when browsing the web hosting services Melbourne, so make sure your Aussie business has an Aussie TLD.

  1. Know Your Competition

As an Aussie business owner, you no doubt have a pretty solid idea of who your competitors are. Whether direct or indirect competitors, legacy competitors or up-and-comers just entering the market, you could probably plot them all on a competitor matrix without even having to think about it.

But when it comes to the Google SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), your idea of the competitive landscape may just get flipped on its head. Google aims to provide the most relevant results for search queries, which may not be a direct provider, but a directory, comparison site, blog, or mailing list. Forming a solid understanding of who your SEO competitors are versus your online marketing services competitors should be at the core of your strategy.

  1. Prioritise Relevant, Local Citations

If you’ve done a bit of reading about local SEO Melbourne then you probably already know about the importance of building citations and listing your business on directories with accurate NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information. You may have even paid for a service that automates the process of listing your business in such directories.

But when implementing a local SEO strategy, it’s imperative you think local first. The issue with automated citation building services is they’ll often place your business on directories that are either foreign or irrelevant to your business. When building citations, prioritise directories that are actually relevant to your business and build them on Australian directories with a .com.au domain.

  1. Target Australian Keywords

If you’re looking to drive relevant, qualified traffic to your business website, you need to start by targeting the right keywords. Keyword research is where your SEO campaign lives or dies. If you’re not targeting the right searches, you’ll never yield the right traffic and your SEO campaign is doomed before it even begins.

When conducting keyword research for your local SEO campaign, ensure you’re basing your research on the way Australians actually search for your product. For example, if you’re in the business of selling bedding, targeting searches for a ‘comforter’ will be a waste of time, as Australians are more likely to search for a ‘doona’. Selling sidewalk cleaning services? You may find that Aussies are more likely to call it a ‘footpath’.