Wondering how a local SEO strategy helps bring in traffic to your business? We will explain the four most important factors of ranking locally on search engines.
One important and obvious goal for local businesses is to bring in more eyes and customers. Sadly, most do not know how to search engine optimize, let alone find local SEO solutions for their site in order to rank high on Google and Bing.
There are 5 sure-fire ways to start ranking locally for your business and start bringing in additional traffic. We made this short and sweet so you, the reader can have a better understanding of local SEO.
1. Put Your Business on Google My Business
First to do on our list is creating a Google My Business account. GMB is a directory and probably the most known one out on the internet now. It is certainly important enough to be #1 on our list and for a good reason.
For starters, it's Google. The name alone is an indication of its value.
To get on GMB, you'll have to go through a verification process that involves you getting an envelope in the mail. Isn't it strange that Google out of all companies sends actual mail to your mailbox? Google wants to make sure that you're the business owner and not an impostor who's just pretending to be the business owner.
Once you've confirmed that you're the owner, it's time to get working on your GMB page. Add a description of your business, category, hours, and other related info. All this information is vital for people to be able to know you before making that first initial contact.
2. Get on Bing Places for Your Business
There are a few other search engines out there sprouting around, but we have to mention Google's main competitor on our list, Bing.
Bing has its own version of Google My Business, called Bing Places for Business. Head on over if you have not done so already and do exactly what you'd do for a GMB listing and you should be ranking locally in no time!
3. Have All Your Business Listings Identical
An important key to local SEO solutions is the consistency of your business information. This means that each of your listings on business directories (e.g., Google, Yelp, etc.). Meaning the business name, address, phone number, email and even some argue the description keywords need to match as well.
Inconsistent listings are one of the most frequently encountered local SEO issues. This hurts your ranking because the various listings are competing against one another.
Additionally, search engines will be confused and will ultimately start ranking you lower compared to your competitors that have precise listing information across the web. Make sure if you have moved or have several locations that they all reflect the designated area that needs to be targeted.
4. Reviews Boost Local Ranking
Reviews matter when it comes to the purchasing decisions of a consumer, no matter the business. This information is a given, however having good reviews, and many of them not only incline your viewer to purchase, but it also helps your ranking as well.
In a survey, Shopify found that 90 percent of customers say that their buying decisions are influenced by online ratings and reviews.
Your ranking score, according to Moz, is made up of several factors, and reviews account for approximately ten percent.
Make sure your listings have a healthy amount of reviews and if you can, have more than your competition. Another important factor when it comes to reviews, Google loves new reviews. Have a review system in place in order to achieve this (email marketing campaign or social media give away).
5. Use Call To Actions On Your Listings
A major factor of ranking well for local SEO is that high ranking businesses drive traffic to both the website and physical location by providing contact information and CTA (Call-to-Action) practices, including:
A direct link to your website
A link to call your directly from the search results
A link to get directions in the Maps app
According to HubSpot, this is because most local searches (50%) are looking for a business address. In fact, HubSpot also found that 50 percent of people who completed a local search on their desktop or mobile device visited a physical store within a day.
6. Research Keywords Well
An excellent strategy when it comes to local SEO solutions is your keywords themselves. Accurate and well-chosen keywords won’t always guarantee you the number one spot on Google rankings. However, they can ensure you are highly competitive for a place at the top of search results for your industry.
If you’ve already launched a local SEO campaign, conduct a keyword audit for your existing keywords. You can do this by independently testing the performance of each keyword on Google. Using Google Webmaster is the easiest way to do this.
Note what rankings certain keywords produce. Have they fluctuated in rankings? Have they improved? Also, note how your competitors are ranking for your chosen keywords. You may find key solutions to rank as well or even better than them.
This SEO audit only takes a few minutes, but it can be valuable in identifying your potential for more high-performing keywords. You may even want to visit Google’s Keyword Planner to modify your existing keyword palette.
7. Search Engines Love Product/Service Lists
If you’re a restaurant owner, chances are you have your menu on your website. If not, you may have a list of your products and services. Menus associated with your Google My Business account can also affect your rankings in local search results.
For example, you create a menu for your steakhouse on Google My Business, you have all types of meat and you find out the most popular keyword around your location is T-bone steak. This keyword "T-bone steak" along with your restaurant will pop up on the search results! This can work with any type of keyword, so use this to your advantage.
With that being said, with a list of products and services displaying on Google search results. Not only can customers view your business offerings, but you will also boost your SEO by ranking for specific key terms across your whole inventory.
8. Google Searches For New Content
If there’s one thing search engines love to crawl and search for, it is fresh content. Many SEO experts, including SEO Site Checkup, believe that consistently posting new content to your website not only helps you attract an audience, it also improves your search rankings.
Make sure you have a steady stream of new content by incorporating a blog to post articles. This is the most common way local businesses utilize their websites to drive local traffic.
Google’s tendency to favor websites that are consistently adding fresh content is evident in its recent update. Using Google My Business is heavily underutilized avenue many local businesses to not take advantage of.
9. Write a Blog & Use Local Keywords
A blog is a wonderful channel for SEO of any kind, especially local SEO! It gives you a chance to engage with customers about relevant topics, making it one of the most comprehensive SEO solutions available.
A blog also provides you with constant, fresh content for optimization. More optimized content means more ways to engage with search engine users on a monthly and or weekly basis. Maintain a blog on your website and generate a new post at least once a month. Optimize every post for a specific keyword, and make sure you do not just write a low-quality post and call it a day. Write at least 2,000 words or more of high quality and unique content to drive website traffic.
If you’re struggling to come up with blog topics, think about writing content that will be useful to your users.
For example, if you own a dentist's office, write a post about “common toothache causes and how to get rid of them fast” or “Are veneers right for you? Find an alternative.” The more catchy and drawing the SEO title, the better!
10. Title & Meta Description Tags Are Still Important
Google increased the width of the main search results area. With this increase, the most common length for title tags is approximately 50 to 60 characters, and description tags are approximately 160 to 200 characters. Taking advantage of this space and using it wisely will work wonder when it comes time to showcase what your website is about.
If you have not customized your title and meta description tags then by default your page title and the website name will be on the title. Your description will be populated by the first content on the representing page.
Writing titles and descriptions is a marketer's playground and the better the SEO title and description, the better the chances you will receive a website visitor. As you may already notice, there is a lot of competition for your business or product, if this text isn’t unique, captivating and detailed, then your click-through rate will hurt.
A very important tip, if you put one extra word or character in your meta description it could cut off your text with ellipses (…). Make sure you are putting the exact or less character cap space or your title and or description less impactful.
Bonus: Use Local Keywords
If you're trying to reach people in a specific town, city, or county, make sure that you optimize your site and listings for local keywords.
For example, if you want to reach people in Florida, make sure that your relevant landing pages and listings include the word "Florida" in them. In turn, when people Google something like "Florida law office," your listing is more likely to appear.
If you are having trouble or do not want to go through all the hassle of optimizing for local search results. Here at DEGOM Marketing, we love SEO and especially local SEO! Contact us to get started on ranking higher! (Call to action)