Local SEO is an intense and vital part of internet marketing. Search engines are getting updated with constant algorithm changes and updates.
In this post, we’ll clarify what local businesses need to do to get themselves seen via search engines.
Yodle found that 82% of US shoppers utilize local organizations, and that they utilize them more than popular stores. All the more significantly, 47% of buyers expressed that they utilized local organizations more this year than a year ago, and 48% wanted to utilize local businesses’ services much more over the next year. Essentially nobody communicated that they would utilize local organizations less (1– 2%).
This development in buyers’ money being spent locally is a tremendous open door for advertisers to help independent local ventures. Yodel’s information on what shoppers need from local organizations is vital to seeing how to exploit this opportunity and market in a way that recognizes local organizations in their regions of quality.
The main thing that local organizations need to observe is that the local SEO ranking elements for local businesses are diverse to those of sites hoping to cover a more extensive topographical area. While most sites are searching for high specialist inbound connections, site speed, good quality, and so forth, for local organizations the fundamental ranking elements are these:
- On-page local SEO optimization
- NAP (Name, Address, Phone number)Consistency / Citations Listings
- Client Reviews
However, being a local business doesn’t mean you can disregard the various ranking elements that non-local businesses need to rank in Google. Regardless you’ll have to take the necessary steps here as well.
So, now we know what the key local SEO components are, how would we upgrade for them?
1. Keep NAP Updated and On the Home Page
Exact NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information is fundamental with the goal that Google can appropriately find the physical address of your business and show it in the local search results.
Here are a few factors that you have to remember with a specific end goal to enhance your NAP information:
Have the precise organization name, address and telephone number on your website and all other online channels where your business information is available.
Make NAP postings on all high authority business listing directories like Manta, Yelp, LinkedIn, FourSquare, BBB, Yellow Pages, Merchant Circles, Google My Business, the district where you documented your DBA, and so forth.
Use precisely the same NAP details everywhere online as specified in your Google My Business page.
2. Streamline your site for local positioning
There are a couple of principles you need to follow to completely streamline your website for local rankings, here they are:
Right off the bat, you should include your business location, business name and targeted keywords in your pages’ titles, URLs, image alt tags, and meta descriptions etc. Even though it is essential to include all this information in your page, try to keep them as natural as possible to maintain the readability. For instance, while a page’s URL can be ‘building-design-reeds-structure’ the page title should be something like “Building Design by Reeds, Hull”.
However, you might need to be a little careful when inserting keywords, location etc. in your on-page elements as overdoing it might seem like keyword stuffing for which you can also get penalized by Google.
I would rather recommend adding the business NAP information in the footer of the website. Also, making your phone number clickable is also advised so that users can simply click on it to directly call you when using your website on a mobile. This would make your website more user and search friendly.
Additionally, it is also great to have a detailed contact us page on your website that has your business name, address, phone number, website address, email address, working hours etc.
3. Building up a Reputation Through Reviews
You should keep in mind that your end consumer is not just going to make a buying decision by simply finding your business but based on his detailed research about you and your competitors and most importantly the past customers’ reviews.
Hence having good reviews on various online business directories is something that you should strongly pay attention to.
Some great review focused online directories include TripAdvisor, Yelp, Bookings.com, FourSquare and so on. However, depending on your business niche you should also find relevant directories and get your business listing there. You should also focus on getting reviews through your Google My Business Listing as this is the major listing that online visitors browse through when searching for your business.
Hence offering high service quality alone is not sufficient but you should also focus on encouraging your customer to leave a positive review for your business. You can also add on your website the badges of the online directories your business is present on, to help your customers find you for leaving a feedback. Additionally, you should encourage your staff to remind this to store customers as well.
4. Take part in Social Media
Social networking is an incredible way to attract and interact with new and old clients for your business. So, social media is emerging as a great way to expand your business by focusing on attracting new people to your business and also maintaining relationships with your existing customers. You can further enhance your social reach by running paid campaigns to target the desired audience.
Social media is a great way to share a lot of information about your business such as new products launch, offers & discounts, upcoming events etc.
5. Feature What Consumers Value About Local Businesses
Shoppers respect local organizations for quality. They overwhelmingly pick local businesses over big brands for giving customized benefit, offering quality services/products, treating clients nicely and great customer service.
For instance, for “kitchen remodel” search results, include into the business description terms like, “custom designs” “efficient and durable remodelling,” or related terms that remind the shopper that conveying quality is an imperative factor while assessing a business.
Another approach to impact a customer’s buying decision is to highlight that your business is local. Since buyers today firmly trust local businesses, hence adding the local business tag to your online store distinguishes you as a business which is easily approachable to the customer.
So, including local details in your meta tags, page content and client reviews on different directories (e.g., Yelp) that highlights your local nearness, can give you an added advantage as compared to the big national/international brands.
Indeed, even national establishments can ensure that clients know the store is based locally. Furthermore, adding pictures of your local store & staff and utilizing the “locally based” terms can further strengthen your identity as a local business for impressing both search engines and online visitors.
6. List your Business on Online Business Directories
Besides claiming a Google local listing, it’s also recommended to get your business listed on other top-notch directories or business listing websites, for example, Yell, Thompsons Local or Trip Advisor etc. Not only this will give you an option to puts your business in front of the visitors of these directories but also getting more citations for your NAP will help strengthen your local ranking as well.
7. Have Higher Relevance and Prominence
Relevance and Prominence is a major factor in local SEO and Google bends over backward to show just the most relevant local organizations in the search results.
Here are some ways that you can enhance your relevance and prominence score in the local 3-pack:
- Recognize your targeted audience and improve your online presence for applicable keyword searches.
- Get online positive reviews about your business from your real customers. When your customers start recognizing your business for a commendable service, Google rankings will certainly witness the improvements.
- Be proactive in responding to the customer reviews.
- Keep the NAP info and working hours updated to help your customers.
8. Links Matter More than You Think
When it comes to local SEO, the local businesses or marketers generally not give as much attention to building links as they should.
Links matter a lot in local SEO too and it is highly recommended that your business website gets a lot of links, especially from local sites, in order to enhance your local search rankings.
Here are some tips to attain the most suitable links for your local business:
- Make sure that most of the links are relevant to your business. For example, say you are running a pastry shop in Atlanta then it is better to get your business linked from the Atlanta based directories, schools, universities, local blogs etc. instead of getting links from a website in some other state.
- Build backlinks on high authority local websites with good domain authority.
- Put efforts towards getting backlinks from Wikipedia and your local Chamber of Commerce.
- Make some local asset pages utilizing general local information and try to connect with the local press.
- Offer grants and local prizes by holding some contests for local audience.
- Support a local community meet-up, charity or a local event.
- Get interviewed by local bloggers and ask the interviewer to link to your website.
9. Keep Website Updated
As per Local Search Association (LSA) survey, half of online shopped said that they are highly liable to visit a business’s website when searching for a local business, the second most used source to find local services after search engines.
The significance of business website as a source of data is obvious: Search results, online reviews or advertisements contain limited information, whereas on a business website more accurate data is available, for example, menus, costs, contact information, staff details and other details that online shoppers need to make their buying decision.
Obviously, this means a local business should have a business website. LSA’s Local Pulse Survey directed by Thrive Analytics not long ago uncovered that almost 51% of the local businesses have business websites. Over 30% of the businesses with under 25 staff members still don’t have a website.
For those that do have a site, neglecting to look after it — or regarding it as a static resource — might be similarly as awful as not having one. Outdated or inaccurate data confuses shoppers and risks losing important customers.
As indicated by LSA’s Local Pulse Survey, 56% of SMBs take over a half year or more before updating their websites. Good content and frequent website updates not just encourage SEO, it’s what shoppers want.
In conclusion, as stated in the beginning, getting 3-pack local results can be a tedious task yet with top-notch local SEO services and consistent efforts you can definitely be successful in putting your business in local pack results. By following our Local SEO tips, you can most certainly get ahead of your competition and achieve better ROI.
Laura is a Marketing Manager at WebDigify. She likes to write about latest digital marketing, web development and SEO techniques & trends.