Local SEO is absolutely essential for businesses operating out of a specific region. It goes hand in hand with organic SEO to help small businesses compete with large corporations, reach out to more potential customers, and increase ranking.
Local SEO is best known to businesses as ‘showing up in the map results’. Google recently changed their display of local results so now there are only three organic results as opposed to five. This increased competition means that businesses are stepping up their game when it comes to showing up in the local results.
Check out these simple steps you can take to improve your local SEO.
- Claim Your Google My Business Page
The first and most essential thing your business can do for local SEO is claiming your Google My Business page. Once it’s claimed, you can fill in as much required information as possible. With a detailed My Business page, Google will see your business as more trustworthy.
There isn’t much information needed for a My Business page. First, you want to choose the category your business is in. This will help Google rank you for different keywords. The business information you want to include is your business name, address, and phone number. Make sure these are accurate! You can also post the operating hours and link to your website. Another important aspect you can include is high quality photos of your business or products. Having photos as part of your My Business page are a great way to introduce your potential customers to what you have to offer.
Your My Business page is also where you can have your customers post reviews. Which leads us to our next point….
- Get Reviews
You need to get reviews of your business. Websites like Yelp or other local directors are useful as well, but having reviews on Google is absolutely necessary.
There are many ways to ask your customers to give you reviews. You can have invitations on landing pages after they make a purchase, send them emails, have a page on your website with instructions – any of these can be successful depending on your clientele. Just ensure that you don’t incentivize customers to give you only positive reviews or ask people to write fake reviews. You want honest reviews from real customers!
The more reviews you have, the more likely customers are to click on your listing when it appears in the search results. Having many reviews also helps Google rank you higher as they can see that your business is reliable.
- Name, Address, Phone Number
If you want to rank better for local results, you need to make sure search engines know where you’re located. Having your business name, address, and phone number across your webpages in a clear and noticeable way is the best way to ensure that search engines can find this.
You can use a Schema markup to ensure that the information is consistent across your web pages. It also helps search engines find it more easily. When search engines see that your business name, address, and phone number are consistent, they will know your business information is reliable and you are operating out of the location you’re claiming. This will help you increase your ranking when people search for keywords in your region.
- Build Local Links
Link building is key for organic SEO, and local is no different. Local link building is a great way to show search engines that your business is reputable at the local level. There are a few different ways you can focus on local for link building.
Being listed in local directories that have links back to your website is an easy way you can do this. You can sign up for some of the popular ones in your region easily with some business information and verification. Remember, you don’t have to be listed on all the directories – there are way too many and a lot of them aren’t very popular. Choose the most popular ones or the ones that are most used in your industry.
Sponsoring or being involved in local events is another great way to build links back to your site. Event pages linking to your website, blogs mentioning your contribution to events, or news stories discussing your business all help you build local links and boost your local online reputation in search engines.
Local SEO can be difficult, as it’s both separate from and linked with organic SEO. Different methods can be used to be successful locally than just with regular SEO.
VivosWeb can help you better your local SEO to help you get more local results and increase your online reputation. Contact us today for more information.