Are you looking for a way to improve your business’s local SEO ranking? As a local business, you’d want to reach a lot of customers as much as possible. Previous ways may include you relying on traditional methods to market your brand, but today, digital marketing has made things more accessible and convenient for you.
Although there are multiple channels available to select from, there are certain factors that will help your business build its online presence easily.
Why You Should Invest in Local SEO?
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This marketing strategy requires the use of Google My Business. Most of the searches made have the keywords “near me” attached on the keyword that prompts the Google My Business (GMB) listing.
All other aspects of SEO are still closely connected to local SEO, so if you want to optimise and have a strategic plan at hand, you’re good to boost and increase your website on the search ranking results.
These seven (7) important SEO ranking factors will help increase your search visibility to your customers’ Search Engine Results Page (SERPs)
Starting your business’ marketing journey in an environment where competition is rife, you have to discern that to boost your brand’s local ranking and influence online – there are essential SEO ranking factors you can invest your time and effort, along with various marketing tools you can utilise to generate and establish a solid brand exposure.
Choosing and using the right keywords is an important aspect to easily rank higher on the first page of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Keywords are words or phrases customers use to make specific queries in order to search for what they’re looking for online.
In order to plan an effective keyword strategy, you have to be meticulous. Think carefully about what queries your customers would search for when they’re looking for products and or services you offer.
Avoid using jargon or technical terms, which most of your customers may not be familiar with. Try to place yourself in their shoes, think like your customers. What’s more, try to add your city’s name roughly in about two spots on your website pages. Furthermore, check and ensure that the keywords you’re using are relevant to your site’s Metadata/tags title and description.
- Google My Business & Bing Places for Business
Claim your business on Google My Business and Bing Places for Business to increase the probability of your business showing up when the general public searches for your local business. Your business will show up on different devices and get more exposure on Google Maps, as well.
There are specific steps required to claim your Google My Business and Bing Places for Business. However, a digital marketing agency doing work for a client’s business, it’s important to apprehend that you cannot claim a Google My Business listing for the benefit of your client. The client or owner must be the one to claim the business listing, and they will be the one to assign you as manager of the listing.
One important detail you have to provide for the Google or Bing business listing is the location or residence of the business. But for businesses run from home or in a service area where customers don’t have to come, you don’t have to worry – there’s an option for you to suppress or hide your business’ address.
If Google or Bing asks for a piece of information, try to fill and provide as much information as you can – like images of your brand’s products, logo, types of payment options, your office hours, pictures of your employees, etc. In a way, the more you fill information, the more credible your business will be.
Here’s a checklist of information you have to fill your GMB to optimise your SEO marketing fully:
- Verifying your listing
- Selecting a business category
- Input relevant keywords on your GMB title
- Provide a working and crawlable site link of your business
- Posting accurate working hours of your business
- Posting your physical address
- Placing a map marker
- Adding the area code to your business’ contact number
- Adding photos
- Local Content
In competing for local search rankings, create content that matches with your competitors. Focus on making content about the local area on your website. Try to reflect what’s going on your city to your business. These days, it’s essential to write content for your website’s blog regularly, even if you’re a local business.
Here are sample content ideas for you to try to work out:
- Writing about local news, events and participating activities happening in your local and surrounding areas.
- Posting about promotions or specials having in your local area
- Writing or posting videos about charity work your business takes part in or supports
- If your business offers services to different local cities, create separate city-specific pages on your website, with each page has distinct content from each other.
If you service various locations (e.g. medical practice, dentist, bank, etc.), create a separate page for each area that includes the name, physical address, working hours, services offered, etc. It’s convenient, and it saves time for people visiting your site, who are searching for a specific location. This highly affects your local rankings for every address your locations are in.
Over time, search engines have varied the preferred length of content for years. Albeit, nowadays, the recommended length is at least 1000 words of quality content for your blog. Additionally, you can make use of the city’s name as keywords throughout the content to boost ranks of the location.
- Online Business Directories
Online business directories are your modern-day equivalent of the Yellowbook. If you talk about online directories, more or less, you hear the word ‘citations’ follow. Citations are any website that contains a business’s name, physical address, and phone number in it.
Excellent examples of online business directories are Foursquare, MerchantCircle and Citysearch. A directory is an excellent way to gain backlinks to a business’s site. There’s a chance that a local business’s directory to show up on the top of the search results on the SERPs.
The first page of the Google search results is often filled with online business listing directories, because high-quality online business listing directories often dominate the SERPs.
Ensure that your brand’s name, address and phone number (NAP) is correct and unchanging on as many citation sites. For instance, in one directory your address shows up to be “26 Wall St,” but on another directory, your address shows up as “Twenty Six Wall St,” search engines can’t differentiate which one is correct or not.
Instead, they may show your competitor, who has unchanging NAP information on the search results. Checking online directories and claiming them is a lengthy process, but it’s worth the investment. “Claiming” and optimising your online business directory greatly helps improve your local search rankings extensively.
- Reputation Marketing (Reviews)
An online review is an important component to boost your rank on search engines. Online reviews correspond with your local rankings, the more positive reviews you have, the more likely it is to help you get customers.
If you ask for a customer to leave a review to your website, make sure that you give them the correct link of your business’s review site. Don’t make them waste their time. Additionally, when you’re getting reviews on your Google My Business listing, it’s a huge step for your ranking to increase even more.
Caution: Never ask for reviews from your customers all at once. Asking for many reviews at one time will only backfire because, 1) It’s not natural and it looks suspicious to review sites and customers, 2) Because it looks suspicious, there’s a possibility that review sites will hide, or worse, not post those reviews.
Getting good backlinks to your site may not be so easy to accomplish – but getting links is an important aspect to improve the domain and page authority of your website when search engines crawl it.
However, be extra careful of bad backlinks. Check the website’s quality to determine whether it’s link-worthy. You can use the Moz Bar Chrome extension to check a site’s Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA). The higher the number of their PA and DA, the higher the quality site has.
Also, try to check their Spam score, the lower the score is the less chances a site is bad to get backlinks to. If the score is high, you should not try to get a backlink from this site.
- Social Media
It’s uncertain how social media affects SEO marketing, but social proof is one of the factors search engines, like Google, considers in ranking a website. The more people who will interact and engage with your business on social media, the higher the likelihood of your local ranking to increase.
Here are signals to monitor that will relate to your local search:
- Progressive growth of your brand’s social media followings
- Tally of brand-related likes, comments, shares, retweets, reblogs, etc. on different social networking sites
- Tally of brand-related mentions on different social networking sites
- Amount of reviews and feedback on your social media pages
- Age of your brand’s Facebook page
- Completed biography of your brand on different social networking sites
- Consistent name, address, phone number (NAP) information
Boosting Your Local SEO Ranking
Local SEO is especially a competitive way to gain the advantage and generate visibility for your business. Making use of the SEO factors will help expose and drive website traffic that will achieve your profit goals in no time.
There’s a huge opportunity for small businesses to tap to local SEO marketing. It will significantly help build your brand’s exposure online and gain your desired revenue. Get ready and plan a well-organised and effective local SEO marketing strategy now!