Technology has progressively changed the way we do business. It’s now easier to find services and products locally. Everyone, including the elderly, relies on an online search to discover local information or businesses.
It’s needless to say that every business website needs to be optimized for local SEO. Today it’s the most effective way to win a competitive edge in the market. Four in every five customers rely on search to find local information. Therefore, failure to optimize local SEO can make you miss up to 80% of potential customers.
Therefore, local SEO is useful for promoting products and services to local customers and prospects. Local SEO is different from non-geo-specific SEO. For local search, parameters such as social profile pages, local content, links, and citations are used for most relevant results.
As years go by, focus on site authority and relevance is becoming more prevalent as Google continues to update its core algorithm.
Many new business owners don’t know where to start to upgrade their local SEO campaigns. This article simply explains how to achieve top rank for a local search. Here are useful strategies to help you improve your local rankings.
- Optimize “Google My Business Page”
What is “Google my business page?”. It’s an online tool for organizations and businesses to manage their online presence. By having it in place, you help customers find you and know the story of your business. It’s a forward step to digital marketing.
So what should be your first step to optimize your google my business page? You need to fill a lot of information about your business. You need to follow all google business guidelines and filling all the information correctly. The four things you need to do to optimize your google my business page include:
- Page Verification
Before any of your local SEO steps ensure to verify your page on Google. This step is a gateway to several optimization options. To verify, get to the associated Google page and click on the “own this business?”, to claim your business. Google will take you through the claiming process. When the process is complete, a “verified” stamp will show next to your business name in your business dashboard.
- Provide Correct Business Information
Your next action should be to update business information. Fill up your business name, address, website URL, phone number, and any other relevant information. Here you’ll get some Google guidelines to update this section. Ensure the information are 100% accurate and real.
There is one more important thing here, avoid negative local SEO by choosing the correct business category. List a category that says what your business is and not what it does. Like you can list your business as, “Iron sheet manufacturer” and not, “Asbestos” because this is what you make.
- Use Description and Photos
This is a section where you describe what your business does in not more than 300 words. Here the Google requires you use relevant keywords and be unique. Photos are also vital and provide a high click-through rate. Provide high quality and accurate photos. Google allows you to upload up to three photos. So you can have a profile photo, the logo, and the cover photo.
- Solicit Customer Reviews
Many online shoppers believe in offers with recommendations. A large proportion of customers trust and seek online reviews as advice. They significantly influence how customers react to your business. Ask customers to review your products and services.
You should commit to responding to these reviews promptly. Use diligence while responding to both positive and negative feedbacks, and this can make or break your business. You can also refer this article: how to set up Google my business step by step.
- Optimize Title Tags, URL, Meta description, Headers, and Content
If you already have a website where you are making posts, there are things you need to take into consideration. You should know that every blog post is a new indexed page for your site. It is an opportunity to get found in search engines result pages. While writing your content, you should optimize it by using high-volume keywords.
These keywords should not only appear in content but also in title tags, URL, meta description, and headers. Meta description, title tags, and headers also need to be catchy and meaningful. Concerning the number of characters, you need to be brief yet informative. Google tends to cut descriptions longer than 160 words.
Let’s look at another crucial element in optimizing your local SEO. This is the landing page content. It is a highly essential strategy for your digital marketing. You need to make it unique, informative, and relevant to readers. Keep the content about 300-500 words and divide it into subheadings.
- Build Local Links and Citations
Building local links and citations makes a significant impact upon your local ranking. Local links are backlinks with local companies. Citation, on the other hand, is a place where your business information appears online. It’s typically an online directory or a business listing website. You should create links manually to improve your search ranking. Several things to do here include:
- Partner with local publications and newspapers
- Look for local events connected to your industry and contacts owners.
- Use guest blog posting
- Contact sponsorship websites
- Use personal contacts such as licensing bureaus, trade associations, and others.
The above will help you acquire citations and back-links. These two are powerful tools as they inform Google that you are a legitimate company. You can learn about your business citation using a tool like Brightlocal. Aim to be listed in three types of directories, national, local, and industrially relevant.
An important aspect to consider about backlinks is ascertaining there is a healthy link profile of the website you are linking with. Spammy links can destroy your local SEO. Some tools will incredibly help you identify such spammy websites. These include Moz Open Site Explorer and SEMrush.
The above strategies should help you to drive your local SEO success. They will ultimately create authority and relevance in local SEO. Some are one-time commitment while others require your attention on an ongoing basis, like customer reviews. Using the above should provide you better online visibility. We hope to see you on the first page of google soon.