As the number of “near me” searches conducted on Google continues to rise, the importance of Local SEO and visibility is rising with it.
From local SEO citations that help to ensure that the name of your business appears on other sites, to standard SEO measures such as keyword optimization, countless companies are beginning to take advantage of Local SEO tips.
Whether you have a national chain of stores, or just a single brick-and-mortar shop, a local SEO strategy has become critical to increasing brand awareness.
But it get’s better:
It also helps to drive potential customers through your doors.
In other words, if nothing comes up when you try to find yourself on Google, then you have a serious problem to deal with. Even if a competitor’s site is higher on the search engine results than yours, you may have some hard work to do.
Following are some tips and solutions that will not only help your business to rise up the ranks of local SEO, but also ensure that you keep hold of the position you work so hard to earn.
So let’s get to it …
Claim and Verify Your Local Listing in Google
According to research conducted by Google, approximately 50% of consumers conducting a local search on their smartphone, and 34% searching from a tablet or computer visited the store in question within 24 hours.
This means that ranking well in local search could significantly improve your in-store levels of traffic.
To get started with Local SEO, you’ll need to visit Google and follow the directions provided to properly claim and verify your listing.
Make sure that while you’re doing this, you check every piece of data you enter is correct, and does not include any accidental spelling mistakes. You can make corrections and changes later, but the time in which your listing is not completely correct could have an impact on your business success and your local SEO citations.
Remember … attention to detail is key!
If you have a single business with multiple locations, utilize “My Business” local listings to manage everything from one dashboard.
Keep in mind that while you’re verifying your listings, you may also want to look into this tool to check the mobile-friendliness of your website. The tool will help you determine whether your site is “mobile friendly” or not.Local SEO Tip: Fast mobile loading time is key! More tips: Click To Tweet
If not, you may need to adjust some things.
This can include how fast the site loads (faster is better because people are impatient with slow downloads) which might mean to you need to reduce the size of your images on the site.
No matter what, you’ll want to be sure your site is fast on mobile devices.
For a full analysis, you can even sign up to the Google Search Console for more information.
Publish Relevant Local Content For Improved SEO
Just like any other form of SEO, part of your local SEO strategy will come down to keywords, which should be placed in everything from your page URLS, to your meta-descriptions and titles.
Once you know your keywords – something you can get help with through Google Keyword planner, you’ll be able to start optimizing your website, and producing relevant content.
Through a business blog and other articles, increase your local SEO citations by regularly publishing content that not only helps you to build your rank for your chosen keywords, but also gives valuable information to local customers.Increase local SEO via citations and regularly published content. More tips: Click To Tweet
For instance, you could promote relevant news in your area, talk about local industry gatherings, or provide other helpful content to potential visitors on social media with updates like “Be careful of ‘road’ today for excess traffic when you’re on the way to ‘store’!”
Don’t forget meta descriptions and title tags!
I say this because local SEO meta-descriptions and title tags, you should use this copy to inform search engines of the locations you hope to rank for by providing keywords and phrases, as well as geo-specific information.
So, for example …
Locally optimized meta-descriptions may include your primary keywords, the area your business serves, and your phone number. Just make sure it is consistent for every citation.
Show off Your NAP (Name, Address, Phone)
Making it easy for Search Engines and people to find you means setting up your NAP as early as possible.
Not familiar with NAP?
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number (with area code), and it should be included within crawl-able HTML text on your website. Make sure you don’t place your NAP within an image, as images can’t be crawled by search engines in the same way as HTML text.For local SEO, NAP should be included within crawl-able HTML text on your site. More tips: Click To Tweet
Remember that consistency is crucial with your NAP, as you should have the exact same details and format across every page of your entire website.
The following HTML outline may help, simply change the bold text to your own details.
Once you do this, you’ll need to find other places on line where you can list your NAP. But what are these citation sources? Where can you find them?
Just head over to MOZ and check out their Top Local Citations by category.
It looks like this:
As an example, I chose chiropractors and this is what comes up:
A list of the major local citation sources comes up for chiropractors.
Now all you need to do is enter your business citation into each one.
Gather Local Reviews!
Experts suggest that local reviews have a significant impact on local search rankings, so you’re going to need to dedicate at least some time to acquiring them.
Remember, just because you’re hoping to maintain your local SEO position with google doesn’t mean you need to focus exclusively on Google reviews, you can also look into Yelp, and various other directories.
One idea to get started:
You can take advantage of your existing customer base by contacting them and asking whether they’d be interested in offering a review of your services or product.
You might even direct them to Yelp or Google+ or one of the other directories to make things easier.
But no matter what:
I’m telling you that reviews are key! They are third party validations of your business. Don’t neglect them.
In some cases, you may decide to incentivize customers for their time with a discount or free gift.
Get creative!Reviews are key to Local SEO so get creative and incentive your customers. More tips: Click To Tweet
Remember, however, as more people begin to leave reviews, don’t simply ignore any negative feedback that comes your way. Show your dedication to great customer service by attempting to rectify any problems immediately – your customers will appreciate the effort, and your brand will look better too!
Take heart because everybody has to deal with online trolls.
Embed a Map into Your Website For Better Local SEO
Quick and simple, this particular tip not only adds new media to your website, but it also offers useful information to your customers, and may help Google to rank you higher for local SEO listings.
By entering an address into Google maps, you can instantly access a HTML embed code that allows you to add that map to your website. All you need to do is click on the link icon to grab the code.
You can even customize your link to choose various features and sizing for your map before placing it in your website. This is a great way to help customers find your location easier, and it also helps to provide information to Google about your location.
Remember, local SEO can be complicated, but with the right Local SEO tips, and citations, it can help you to stay one step ahead of the competition.
Be sure to check in and let me know how it goes.