By Soumya Roy
Aiming to rank high in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) with a poor local SEO — it is more like to go on a war with toffees instead of bullets.
The local SEO strategy is almost similar to the organic SEO, but with an added geographic component.
There is no point in a Las Vegas restaurant ranking high in Sarasota’s local search results. They want people searching for a restaurant in Las Vegas to find them.
Your website visitors are unlikely to find you if your local box ranking is poor.
Some facts you need to know:
- 46% of all searches on Google are local.
- 89% of people search for a local business on their smartphone at least once a week with 58% search daily.
- From that search, 72% will visit a store within five miles.
There are a lot of people searching for you out there. You just need to strategize your local SEO marketing accordingly.
Without a proper local SEO plan in place, your business will not be able to take the advantages of local demand for your products and services.
Now the question is – how to do local SEO?
SEO, as a whole, covers all types of business, websites, products, services and many more.
Back in the 2000s, there was not any significant difference between SEO and local SEO. However, there are different nuances that specifically impact your local SEO strategy today. Here are 5 local SEO tips to improve your marketing.
1. Google My Business
Google My Business is one of the most crucial elements to enhancing your local SEO marketing. Without registering your company details properly on Google My Business, your business won’t appear on local map listings on the SERPs.
Setting up your Google My Business page is not at all difficult. You only need to follow the instructions appropriately.
Make a note of your NAP — i.e., Name, Address and Phone number of the business. You will need to keep this business information consistent across the web.
Inconsistent NAP citations account for 41% of the total ranking issues.
Optimization of Google My Business is one of the most important elements for your local search optimization. You can generate prospective leads with your verified Google My Business page, ranking on the local box with related searches.
Open a fresh Google account or use the same account which you have used for creating your website’s Google Search Console and Google Analytics account.
Next search with your business name on Google My Business tool. In case it is not already registered there; add your business information there with all correct details. Mention the name in the business name field. Google doesn’t want any keywords there (though business names with keywords rank higher and quicker on local searches).
Put your complete business address, phone number, business category, website, business hours and all other details accurately. Upload the company logo and a few other pictures related to your business, team, employees, products, services, etc. Recheck whether you have filled up all the details correctly with the right information.
Once you are sure about all the data you have provided on Google My Business, verify it.
Periodically upload different business related pictures on Google My Business tool and update business details as and when required.
2. Use Consistent NAP Citations
I have primarily mentioned the advantages of consistent NAP citation. NAP citation works as the signal for Google to identify a local company’s popularity and authority.
Maintain the same NAP format which you have used on GMB.
What you have to do in NAP citation building?
First of all, put the exact same NAP citation marked up with structured data on your website’s homepage or on all page footers. Marking up these with Schema structured data is recommended. This is going to be the most important source of your business’s NAP information.
Additionally, build up the same NAP citation on different other good business listing sites which belong to the same business country. Making these as consistent as possible will benefit your local ranking.
You can use Google’s search operators to find out sites where your local competitor companies have already published their business NAP citations.
Example – intitle:phone-number AND intitle:business-name -site:domain.com
Citations are nothing but local references for your business to Google. Making these references exactly the same help Google to identify the business locally on the internet. The more consistent NAP references Google finds for a company; it considers the business more powerful, in return that gets higher local ranking.
3. Google Plus Business Page
Today, social media is not only the place to chitchat about your personal things but major social media sites also have a great impact on any business today. Now social media is also used as customer service and relationship building tool by different brands.
Almost all big and small companies use social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, etc. But at the same time, there are many small businesses which forget and ignore Google Plus without knowing the power of this social media platform.
Your company’s Google Plus page — and regular interaction — play a major role in local rankings.
Try to publish industry-relevant posts on your verified Google Plus page. Participate in different GooglePlus communities. Answering different questions relevant to your business, products or services on Google Plus communities will surely boost up your local ranking. Encourage other group members to comment and answer your posts and questions by adding values by commenting on other users’ relevant posts.
Try to publish more posts which are informative and knowledge-based in nature than promotional contents.
The main point is, keeping your Google Plus business page as fresh and relevant as possible with industry and company updates and innovations are crucial for local ranking.
4. Genuine Customer Reviews
In today’s digital era, 73% of your prospective customers are influenced by the reviews they read on your website or on other trusted sources. Google is obviously one of the most reliable sources to know about a company and its reputation.
Genuine customer reviews are important for a good number of reasons and are impactful on various occasions. Such as:
- Ranking in the local results on Google and other search engines.
- Building consumers’ purchasing decisions.
Your happy customers are your company’s best advocates. Request reviews from your customers. Getting genuine reviews consistently from your true customers are really helpful in local SEO. These reviews influence Google to make your site’s local rank higher.
Always remember to reply to the reviews you are getting on your GooglePlus business page. Even if you get a negative review about your company onGoogle Plus, make sure to address that properly and give the best solution to the unhappy reviewer. This will turn your company’s unhappy customers to happy customers and in return, this will get you more positive reviews and sales.
Not only on Google Plus but also try to get reviews on other trusted sources, like Facebook, Yelp, etc.
Never ever indulge yourself in acquiring fake reviews or purchasing reviews. These will do more harm than good for your business.
5. Proper On-Page Optimization
Proper on-page optimization is important not only for the organic ranking but equally important for the local ranking as well.
Use relevant local keywords which have decent monthly search volume on your website’s Title, Meta Description,Headers, Content, and Images. These help with organic and local ranking.
Periodically update your existing content to make those more relevant and fresh with respect to the current industry updates. Keeping web contents fresh and unique have a huge impact on SEO and ranking.
Use local long-tail keywords, Latent Semantic Indexing keywords, keywords with ‘near me’ phrase on your content to make it more human and local search friendly. Use conversational keywords as anchor texts to link internal pages contextually.
Tip 1: You can create a ‘how to reach to your office’ section at the end of the content with the Google map of your business. Along with this, you can put the prominent location names and public transport options to help your customers to reach to your office easily and quickly.
Tip 2: Make your website mobile friendly. Unless you re-design and build a mobile responsive website, it’s going be really hard to get good organic and local ranking.
Tip 3: Fast loading websites will rank better in Google. Hence, optimizing and reducing your website’s loading time will benefit your local business.
In today’s internet and mobile era, people are using mobile internet more than desktop or laptop internet. We surf internet on-the-go and make purchasing decisions only after doing proper researches online.
Catering your company information on top of all information in front of your prospective customers is the key to success.
Local SEO is important for all businesses selling their products or services to local customers. Implementing the aforementioned techniques correctly and consistently will ensure a better and stable local SEO ranking of your business.