Local SEO is a set of techniques to improve your company’s visibility in geographically targeted search engine results. Local SEO makes use of various strategies to rank a website such as Google and Google My Business Listing, Bing portal and Bing Places for business and localized content on the portal.
Local SEO has emerged as an essential component of a local business’ marketing strategy in this internet era. It can provide your product or brand with an altogether unique brand presence when incorporated perfectly. Because local SEO zooms in on certain demographical areas and commercial activities with precise keywords. It is very easier to rank for a keyword targeted at your city than to achieve ranking on the same keyword at nationally or internationally.
Local SEO works very well for companies looking to drive more targeted visitors to their websites. There are very competitive search terms, and fetch a very heavy price tag when it comes to paid advertising. It’s important to look at search engine optimization services for the long term. SEO doesn’t happen overnight and is a big picture business marketing model.
Local SEO is a highly ready for action field that has numerous businesses that aim to get on top of the rankings. With the tight competition, it is best to look at local SEO strategies that your competitors do not seem to be doing, and use it to your advantage.
As long as all search engine work is done with Google’s guidelines in mind your website will continue to grow and grow. There isn’t really a limit to just how many terms a website can rank in the search engines for, but the bigger you get, the bigger your website needs to be. It’s important to maintain a certain pace of website expansion if you want to expand into other keyword areas.
The important thing is to start thinking about how people would search for your business:-
- Do they look for you by name?
- Do they search for somewhat generic and broad terms?
- Do they search for specific search terms?
All of these factors come into play when doing proper SEO.
Benefits of investing in Local SEO:-
- Boost in-store traffic and sales
- Acquire new local customers
- Be in front, when customers are actively searching for products or services
- Significantly increase online to offline conversions
- Achieve high ROI with little investment
There are 2 parts to implementing Local SEO:-
- On-Site SEO
- Off-Site SEO
On-Site SEO –
- Title Tags – When creating pages and posts on your website, make sure that the title and title tags include relevant keywords of each blog post.
- Headings – Headings also play a role in search engines. You should make sure that headings like H2 and H3 fit within the context of the article.
- Optimize Images – The purpose of optimizing image is to get found online in Google Image Search. It’s done by including relevant keywords in the file name and the Alt Text of the image.
Off-Site Local SEO:-
- Search Engine Listing – Add or claim your business in Google My Business and Bing Places for business listings for each location. The NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) information is crucial. You should consider using Google location extensions, which can displays ads with map, directions, and click to call button.
- Local Directory Listings – It’s worth ensuring your business locations are listed on other local directory websites to consider Yellow Pages, Yahoo! Local, Yelp, LinkedIn, Foursquare, BBB, Bing Places, Facebook, Manta, Superpages, Angel’s List, Kudzu, Internet Citysearch, and Chamber of Commerce, etc.
- Other Off-Site Optimizations – Consider using geo-targeted ads with click to call buttons linking to local store numbers or show directions buttons. Maximum people read reviews online to decide the quality of a local business. Encourage your customers to leave on relevant websites at post-purchase touch points like subscribe emails or visits and on social media.
Best Practices for Local SEO: –
Optimize Your Website – Good SEO equals long terms of planning, execution, and maintenance. You have to focus on the big picture, to choose the right keywords and deliver consistent and high-quality content to the people. It’s really that simple, but rarely that straightforward. Website optimizing for local SEO is a different ball game than optimizing it for general search. People are also looking up for other business information rather than general information, such as business hours, driving directions, reviews, coupons, etc. Properly optimizing your website for local SEO could account for as much as of what Google weights in its algorithm when ranking results. Keeping the titles with headers and meta descriptions tags systematically assist Google in deciding the relevant search terms for pages all over your website. Good visuals, infographics, or videos are also a major factor for your website and in social media, as it would attract more users, and gives the impression of being a well-managed business. Users prefer a business website with an attractive layout, so investing in good graphics is a distinct step.
Mobile Friendly Website – As mobile internet usage has surpassed desktop usage, your business must start implementing local search strategies to compete on the search engine results. Google is now bringing-down websites that aren’t mobile friendly. Google cares about the user experiences and non-mobile friendly websites give a terrible user experience and don’t deserve to keep top organic rankings. A mobile-friendly website provides enriching user experience and further helps you to gather bonus points from Google due to enhanced UX. Mobile responsiveness is a huge part of your SEO strategy, so make sure you’re using a website theme that morphs into viewable components when seen on a tablet or smartphones.
Focus on Local Content – You must genuinely put in the time and effort to create local content to alert website visitors where you are. Guest bloggers and contributors post on your website is a great approach to add content, while also expanding your audience to the contributor’s audience as well. In addition to blogging, don’t forget to integrate local content across the rest of your website. One of the crucial strategies is to creating quality content that provides quality information that benefits the users and helps generate possible leads. You should add blogs to your business website to generate more traffic, as users would be searching for a certain keyword that would lead them to your business.
Focus on Local Keywords – It’s estimated that as little 10% of all keywords produce 90% of the profits. Building an SEO campaign with keywords with content that are local can retain customers with the strongest links. The targeting with the right keywords is really important for any online searches. Google’s keyword planner is a brilliant tool to figure out the right keywords to target. People often search for local business, they type in the town first and some related words related. You should add location-based keywords as well to balance out the keyword distribution within website content. Most blogs pay attention to the idea of keywords. Keyword stuffing is now measured as a black-hat tactic. Google has slammed a lot of blogs who have stuff keywords into everything they write.
Schema Markup – Schema markup tells the search engines what your data means when your website gets indexed in search results. Think of schema markup as a code that you will need to put on your website to help search engines provide more informative results for users.
Focus on Blogging – Blogging is a secret weapon for local SEO that can play a vital role in attracting local audiences. You should create targeted content specifically for local people which would generate better ROI. Why are you not articles about the coolest things to do in your neighborhood? It may not relate directly to you, but your company is an integral part of the community. These articles can get wide shares on social media and direct visitors on your website.
Optimize Website Security – It’s one of the important stuff that you need to improve on. Your local competition could be lean or may forget about a key aspect of a website’s security. In resultant, it’d lead to their websites being prone to malicious content, viruses, and unreliable links.
Google My Business – The first and final goal is to have the best Google My Business listing. It could represent having your business shown-up on the first page above some of the organic search results. It’s the best local SEO tool available and free to use. It helps you to create your business profile, which can help more people look for your business. Having an optimized Google My Business profile would generate a good amount of local traffic, and gives you an upper hand on your competition. Once your listing is done, encourage your customers to write reviews of their experience on Google My Business. Each positive review helps to set your place in the local market as an authority in your industry.
Yelp – It’s one of the best well-known local search directories. You can add your business or claim your free listing. You can add photos and other additional details apart from your contact information. Yelp listings have a positive effect on search rankings for Bing, Yahoo! and Siri.
YP.com – It allows businesses to add or claim free listings that include an extended description of their business, multiple categories, and a link. You can also add additional photos along with information for the business listing.
Bing Places – It allows you to add or claim a free listing with up to 9 photos for your business.
Yahoo! Local – It’s an important part of your citation mission. You can add your business or claim a free basic listing.
Foursquare for Business – It’s over 50 million users at their platform to discover local businesses and share what they love about them with others.
Ensure NAP Consistency – NAP consistency essentially means that your business has the same address, phone number, and name all across the internet. It doesn’t matter where your business is listed on Google, Yahoo!, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc it should have the same NAP. Search engines want to bring the best possible experience to their users. Directing users to a business that doesn’t exist, has an incorrect name, or phone number impacts user-experience. If Google or Bing knows that your business is exactly what it claims to be a NAP is concerned, you will get a small ranking boost. In fact, NAP consistency has a significant weight in local search results.
Build Citations – Citations are essentially mentions of your business’ information on other websites, even without any link with them. Citations are a crucial component of search engine algorithms. Businesses with a higher number of citations will most likely rank higher than the businesses with fewer citations.
Use Rich Snippets – You can help Google find geographic information, business information and reviews of your products and services by using rich snippets. It’ll help users find your website when it refers to a local place.
Focus on Link building – Link building from external websites has changed over the years, and it’s now much more about quality than quantity. Getting inbound links from core businesses like chamber directories, and tourism directories pages can be a big win for your business. It’s an essential part of any SEO campaign. Local SEO mostly relies on link building from other local websites that are closely related to your business or location. Relevancy of other business links will matter more than simply getting links from unrelated domains with a high domain rating. Link building is an important pillar of good SEO, and your business would surely through the use of high-quality links from reputable websites. It’s best to avoid spammy websites links practice and focus on building links with reputable websites and blogs, which would help more users to find you, and generating a higher number of leads. Guest blogging and backlinks would do magnificent for your local SEO. Building backlinks or hyperlinks to your portal from different websites provide an upward search ranking is a wise SEO strategy. You should create your business profile on review websites like AngelList and Tripadvisor. Mentioning of city and state by businesses in blogs and articles establish the relevance of a business to the concerned city in brings better rankings in local search results.
Ask for Reviews – Positive comments and reviews are a determining factor in local pack rankings. The more positive comments about your business will receive the higher trust of people. Local reviews will create a direct impact on local search rankings. Your focus shouldn’t be limited to getting Google reviews alone, you should also focus to get reviews on Yahoo!, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Local Directories and local blogs, etc. It’s a form of content that many local business owners neglect. The positive reviews are support of your local SEO efforts, as a strong social proof. You must put consistent effort into getting reviews. Ask often and make it as easy as possible for happy customers to log into websites that matter. You can repurpose these reviews into other forms of local content on your website. You can even consider incentivizing them with a discount coupon. A positive rating can help lift your business in search results, especially on websites that allow visitors to sort businesses by positive ratings. It’s not a bad thing to ask your customers to leave you honest reviews. These are some of the most significant factors users take into account when doing local searches. It’s best to get a monitoring tool that tracks all of your business reviews and see what everyone is thinking about your business.
Duplicate Listings – Your NAP (business address or phone number) might be connected to another business online. Because everything is recycled from time to time. The best way to find out is to search your phone number or address in Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.
Leverage Social Media – It’s a key factor used in the search engine ranking. Your business should have several social media pages, including a Facebook Business Page, Instagram Business account, LinkedIn company profile. Social media pages help your business rank higher on Google searches, because of their domain and page authority. Many social media channels will allow you to place your address and phone. You should take advantage of this opportunity and make sure your NAP information on your social accounts matches your website. The complete profile will give you more credibility with search engines and helps to create a clear consistency with your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number). Local SEO assists in customizing your social media engagement and profiles towards a localized audience compared to a generic viewer.
Conclusion – Using of even small simple, but effective SEO strategies would definitively give you that massive advantage in promotion and visibility in the end. Local SEO grants greater exposure to companies. It’s economical and convenient to manage, thus producing improved results than nationwide SEO.