Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is very effective in placing websites on top of search results. If you’re a local business though, you need to delve into local SEO as well. After all, local SEO statistics look promising as “near me” searches on Google have increased by two times over the past year.
Local SEO strategies are key if you’re a local business. It is an effective way to market your business online because it helps increase your chances of getting found by the millions of users who search for the best local businesses every day.
Below are 5 tips on how you can improve your local SEO this 2018.
Claim your Google My Business listing
Have you claimed your Google My Business listing yet? If you haven’t, then you are part of the 56% of businesses who have yet to do so.
Make it one of your top priorities to claim your listing because Google My Business helps you be more visible on searches. Many users who search don’t have a specific business name in mind, so they search for products or services near them instead. Claiming your listing gives you the opportunity to promote your offerings to these local customers when they search for your type of business.
Don’t just stop at Google My Business though. Explore other social networking sites and maps and claim your profile there too.
Submit complete and consistent data
After you have claimed your profile, include pertinent information about your business. The most basic is your NAP (name, address, and phone) but providing other data, including pictures and hours of operation, also help.
Consistency and accuracy are key. Complete your entries in a consistent manner and make sure that your information is correct across the web. Search engines will rank you higher when your data is consistent.
Get citations from authoritative sources
A citation is defined as “an online reference to your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP)”. Citations refer to your business online either in part (citing just your name and address, for example) or in full. While a partial citation is good, you must aim for full citations that match the NAP on your website and your Google My Business page.
Citations are beneficial because businesses that are mentioned a lot online are given higher search engine rankings.
Utilize link building
Links pointing to your site are part of Google’s top three most important ranking factors and improves off page SEO. That said, work on encouraging other sites to link back to yours and that means publishing quality content and submitting your information to relevant directories.
But take note that link building for Local SEO is different than general link building because it means getting local backlinks that will provide you with more value. In this case, you should try getting more involved in your local community to get links from local websites and classifieds.
Garner more reviews
Online reviews are becoming more and more important. In fact, Google shows online reviews in its search engine results, including those from third-party review sites.
According to the 2016 Local Consumer Review Survey, 68% of people say that positive customer reviews make them more likely to use a local business. This makes it important for you to encourage customers to leave reviews. After all, 70% of consumers will leave one when asked. Make it easy for them to do so by redirecting them straight to a review form on your site or by utilizing offsite review sites as well.
Improving local SEO is critical if you want to improve your search engine rankings. It can be a daunting task if you’re not a techie or an SEO expert, but with these tips, you can be on your way into dominating your local search engine rankings.
For those who are reading this blog post in 2019, here is an updated guide to local SEO in 2019 by Cardinal Digital Marketing.