Owning and running a local business is both advantageous yet extremely challenging. While SEO isn’t the only marketing tool for small businesses, it is one of the most crucial. The fact is, 9 out of 10 customers search for businesses locally. Thus, optimizing your website for your respective geographically area can help to boost local search traffic and allow you to boost the ranking of your website. Knowing specific local SEO tips can help maximize the success of a small or local business. In this article, we will be going over concepts shared as to why local SEO is so important and how you can effectively make your way to the top of the search engine rankings.
1. Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
If you are not currently aware of Google My Business, you want to become aware right now. One of the first things that you should be doing when you are looking to boost your organic rankings within the search engines is to understand the importance of Google My Business. Google My Business is essentially a giant digital directory where a business owner is able to manage their respective company’s information. It is meant to help Google users to efficiently and effectively find the information on businesses around them.
Along with this, having NAP consistency throughout the web is crucial. Thus, you want all of the information you provide on your Google My Business listing to be accurate and up-to-date. Once your company’s address is listed, you want to look to see whether or not the pinpoint marking on the map is correct. Along with this, you should list your up-to-date phone number to make it easier for prospective and current customers to reach your business.
2. Title and Meta Description Tags
One of the things that you should be doing to improve your rankings is to make your website much easier to crawl for the search engine bots. Having proper HTML elements that don’t require any coding on your part can help you dictate what your website is about. This is what search engine crawlers/bots use in order to accurately rank content. Without this, it would be difficult to figure out what your website is about.
For example, when you search for a respective query, the results that are shown include both the meta title and the meta description. Thus, optimizing your meta tags is one of the best ways to accurately represent what your website is about and what it should be ranking for which can get you in front of prospective customers. Not only is creating high-quality descriptions important, but you need to optimize them for the right keywords, as well.
3. Proper Keyword Research
Having the right keywords is very important when it comes to getting your site to rank well. That being said, there is a major difference between a regular keyword and an optimized local keyword that you need to stand out from the competition. By having targeted keywords for your local audience, you will be able to get ranking for local search queries. In addition, there are two distinct types of search users. One uses to test and the other uses voice. The ways of searching for queries can vary considerably.
Therefore, using long-tail keywords is something that can help to pinpoint and target the local audience as voice search continues to increase in effectiveness as compared to typed search queries. Using free proxy servers is another useful tool to conduct proper keyword research. They allow you to access different search engines and see how your website ranks in different locations, giving you valuable insights into local keyword trends and potential traffic sources. Check out related search keywords and phrases on Google in order to figure out what kind of search demand there is.
4. Inbound Links
As a business, it is very important to focus on inbound links. These are the links that can give your domain the kind of authority you need to rank well. The higher the authority of the inbound links you have, the better your website will be able to rank. As mentioned, not all links are created equal. You will need to earn high-quality inbound links from trusted sources and doing so is never an easy task. Once you have created inbound links, you will need to move onto citations.
Citations are the references to the NAP of your business. You can begin submitting your business’ profile to all kinds of different high-authority directories like Yelp. This type of business listing can help validate your business’ existence and help you rank higher within the local search results.
5. Structured Data Markup Tool
This is also referred to as schema markup. It is a format that provides the necessary information on your web page, the content that exists on it, and it works to classify it. It is essentially a code that tells Google what information to highlight and what information is relevant. This tool is added to the code of the website that provides the necessary information about the business and it’s products and services directly to the search engines.
6. Online Reviews
A lot of smaller businesses downplay the need for business reviews. Some might even skip them altogether because they don’t understand the importance of them. Google allows people to leave all kinds of feedback directly on the business’ page. Because of this, reviews are something that plays a crucial role in determining a website’s ranking and it can help drive traffic to your website or business. Those that are searching for businesses like yours will look at reviews and immediately make a judgment based on your review score.
7. Social Media Engagement
Having properly set up social media profiles and maintaining high levels of engagement with the various platforms can dictate your ranking potential. Your customers are likely engaged on these various platforms which makes it a crucial component of your marketing mix. Search engines use these platforms and your engagement as a ranking factor.
8. Adding Location To Pages
Local SEO is all about location. Because of this, you will want to add the location that you are targeting on all of the pages on your site.
Local SEO is crucial to succeeding in today’s highly competitive landscape. If you are confused with local SEO or you don’t have the necessary time to implement proven strategies, you can offload a lot of the work to a local search marketing company that is experienced in the field. By hiring a professional company that offers local search marketing services, you can get your business optimized to rank well within the search engines.