Understanding the Fundamentals of Local SEO
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your site and online pages so that they can be visible in localized searches. While local businesses do not fancy going up against the national and regional giants, they can still get a significant share of the customer base by showing up in location-based searches. Local SEO is a whole digital marketing campaign that needs to be well planned for and executed. Read on and find out more;
When trying out local SEO, you can appear in a couple of places on the search engine results page. Normally, you will see a few ads when searching for a phrase that is localized. After the ads, you will three recommendations, which are referred to as the “Local 3 Pack.” These are the three businesses in that locale that the search engine found to be the best for you. Apart from that, you will find businesses in Google Maps and Knowledge Graphs, which are usually on the far left side of the SERP.
Local SEO Ranking Factors
It is vital to note that Local SEO is not all that different from mainstream SEO. Most of the fundamentals still apply, with the difference being that here, the target audience is the people located in a certain area. When looking at Local SEO rankings, it is good to analyze what influences the map results and the organic listing rankings.
For the map affiliated rankings, studies have shown that you should work on your Google My Business Page. Other ranking factors rely on link signals, on-page signals, citation signals, behavioral signals and social signals, among others.
For the organic rankings, Google My Business Page seems to have a lower influence with the link signals and on-page signals having the edge. These are similar to mainstream SEO.
Tips for Ranking in Google Maps
Your Google My Business listing is the foundation for ranking in Maps. If you do not have this yet, sign up and claim your page. Optimize it by keying in the right information and ensure that essentials such as the physical address and contact information are accurate. List the correct category so that customers and search bots know what you are doing. If possible, upload a few pictures of your storefront so that customers can easily locate your store.
How To Optimize Your Local Citations
Once your Google My Business page is up, next on your to-do list is to ensure that you get NAP citations. This stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. You will want to have these citations on various online directories due to the benefits of doing so. Most of these directories rank for localized searches, and people also use them to search for businesses. Apart from that, you can get links to your main site. Ensure these citations are consistent as Google evaluates them to determine your local authority. Having varying citations will rob you off any credits as the bots will see them as two different businesses.
On Page Optimization
You need to take care of your web pages for the site to rank for the keywords people use to search for your business. If your business serves various cities, create specific landing pages for each location. This will allow you to rank for areas where you do not have a brick and mortar store. Apart from this, all the fundamentals of on-page SEO, such as the title tags, meta descriptions, headers and content, should be in order. Ensure that you display your NAP on the site clearly, preferably in schema format. It is always a good idea to attach a section of a Google Map showing your location for users to find your store quickly. Have clear call to actions in your content and include reviews and testimonials to give potential customers some sense of confidence in your business.
Local Link Building
Here, the fundamentals still apply, albeit with some twist to improve your local rankings. You should publish valuable content for the audience, promote influencers, and get links on authoritative resource listing.
What sets this apart from general SEO link building is the specificity. Rather than aiming for links from any type of source, try to place them in targeted resource listings and blogs. You will find listings and directories that are specific to your location. You will find trade associations, councils, societies, and alliances that are relevant to your niche and can help you get a bunch of top-quality links. Join them and have people mention and link your business on these authoritative platforms that are specific to your locale.
Some of the essential aspects to go over when developing a robust Local SEO strategy have been highlighted. Note that they do not differ from what you are doing for your mainstream SEO campaign in a big way. However, here you need to target the efforts to your location, and the customers will be able to find you.