What Is Local SEO?
When it comes to digital marketing whether your a local business or an international corporation, it means constantly staying up-to-date with the latest online strategies. The most important factor of online marketing is utilizing and understanding local SEO. SEO is search engine optimization a practice that can make or break a local business.
Local SEO is known to greatly benefit a business looking to target the “ideal customer” in a specific location. A service that small businesses should utilize to bring awareness to their local area.
Ask yourself when was the last time you used Google to search a product or service you were interested in? Chances are the answer was today. Google is my #1 referral site. When you implement the technical strategies of local SEO into your marketing it will take time to pay off, but when it does it will be ten full compared to what it was.
Drive Traffic, Generate Leads, Make Sales That’s The Value Of A Good SEO Strategy.
Begin With Online Directories
Googles data shows 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to search local businesses. That is concerning because many small businesses have not claimed even a single local business listing online. This creates missed opportunity.
Here’s a few directories to focus on:
- Merchant Circle
- Yellow Pages
- Google My Business
- BBB (better business bureau)
- Local Chamber Of Commerce
You can also search the term “[your city] directory” and see what relative listings are available for your area.
Another very important ranking factor is consistency in your NAP ( name, address, phone number) on major citation aggregators like Infogroup & Factual to name a few. Make sure your business NAP is consistently listed on as many directories as possible. Discrepancies like lack of suite number, misspellings or wrong phone number can create major problems. If Google is not sure which information is correct, your business may not be shown at all in the search results.
Individually listing on these directories can be very time consuming. Here’s a few tools you can utilize to be more efficient.
More of a manual approach but much cheaper at a price around $100
Will allow you to systematically optimize all directory listings for a price around $500
Google My Business
Although this is a directory listing its much more in depth. A key factor to dominating local search is for businesses to claim there Google My Business page. Its FREE and will get your business incredible exposure if optimized correctly to rank in Googles Local Map Pack.
Once your Google My Business listing is verified you must optimize it. Your listing must be packed full of information. The more info and content you ad the higher you will rank. Focus on the following.
- Hours Of Operation
- Verify Additional Locations
- Upload As Many Relevant Images As Possible
- Upload A video
- Enter A Lengthy Description
Online Reviews Matter
According to a recent survey 84% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Seven out of Ten customers will leave a review when asked to by the business. The two places to focus getting your reviews is your GMB listing and your Facebook page. Many people look to social media to see what there friends or family have to say about a local business. Good reviews help to draw in potential customers from both platforms. Positive reviews on your Google My Business Listing is crucial because people immediately see that when they search your business.
Google also notes ” positive reviews from your customers will improve your visibility”. This implies quality reviews will factor into rankings on the local map pack.
Title & META Description Tags Do Matter
Title and META description tags are HTML elements that you can make custom to reflect your content on the website. The title of your text and description tags are displayed like a ad in search results. Take the time to carefully craft this creative as it is the first thing potential customers see.
Take advantage of this space. Ideally acceptable length for a Title Tag is 50 – 60 characters and a 150 – 200 characters for description tags. The Yoast SEO Plugin is great if you don’t know where to start with creating your title and description tags.
Tile and description tag writing can be considered an art form. In a world of SEO and competing search results if this text isn’t compelling and unique your click through rate is subject to suffering drastically. In essence consider the space precious and don’t be wasteful with meaningless text.
- For local reach be sure to include the city/town name your business is in
- Focus on a target keyword and use that word or phrase in beginning of the tag
- Provide information
Convince The Person Searching That Your The Site Worth Looking At!
In conclusion the things stated here are just the beginning for optimizing locally but if done correctly should improve your rankings quickly and efficiently.