It is every website owner’s dream to be on top of SERPs (Search Engine Result Page) for most of the queries including their keywords. Every business incorporates Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies to get larger relevant traffic on their web pages. If you own a local online business, you are in luck as there is a way to optimize your online presence and beat the rest in local search queries called Local SEO.
Almost 46% of all Google searches are local. This is not just about Google searches. Many other search engines such as Bing, Apple Maps, etc. let users search locally as most of the people search local queries.
However, what exactly is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your search engine result page to attract audiences based on local searches. There are two types of results as given in the below image for a local search: Snack Pack Results and Organic Results. The idea is to result in these results to beat your competition as proximity to searcher plays a vital role in the ranking of results.
Although Local SEO is quite similar to the regular SEO the only difference is how the audience is targeted in Local SEO strategy.
Therefore, here is a checklist to optimize your Local Search Engine Optimization:
OPTIMIZING THE WEBSITE
1. The most essential elements to include on your website is – About Us Page and Contact Us information that includes complete address, phone number, time or operation, etc.
2. Mention all business locations where your business is functional on your website.
3. If you want to keep business addresses private then you can put all the phone numbers for available business locations on the website as well as just ensure that these numbers are working. It will be great if these numbers are linked with What’s App so that your potential customers can reach out to you easily.
4. Add Google Map to your website, which helps customers to find your business easily.
5. If you have not used Google My Business Page then you are missing out on great benefits. Complete your details on Google My Business Page to see the difference. Also, keep on optimizing Google My Business Page, Apple Map Listings, etc. as it will help your business to reach out to relevant audiences and providing better conversions.
LINKS AND CONTENT ON WEBSITE
1. Use localized keywords in title, headings, and meta-tags of your content on webpages to rank better as links and content are the main ranking factors for search engines.
2. Include Local photos and video content with relevant localized keywords as well
3. Remove duplicate listings and keep original listings to rank better.
4. Include guest blogging in content strategy as it generates higher-ranking backlinks.
1. Citations mean the references made to your business i.e. the name, address, phone number, and website (NAP + W) online. An effective local SEO includes automatic or manual addition of citations, which enhances rank on SERPs.
2. If you have multiple local businesses then it is suggested to use third party tools for listings and citations such as MOZ, BrightLocal, etc.
1. Online customer reviews can make or break a business’ reputation. It’s time to take advantage of positive reviews for Local SEO strategy as users tend to look up for online customer reviews to make an informed decision of making a purchase from any business. Thus, you should include as many positive customer reviews on your website so to build the trust of your audience upon your service/product quality. Beware of fake reviews.
2. List these online reviews on Google My Business Page, Yelp, Bing Places, Foursquare, etc. for better reach to your targeted audience.
3. Mention all your customers about sharing a review after you serve them. Also, talk about your Facebook page, and ensure they spread the word for you. This will give you free publicity and at the same time increase your search and authority on Google.
4. Do not neglect negative reviews. Respond with empathy to the customer and seek how you can help them out in their inconvenience timely. This also builds trust in your customers.
EFFECTIVE SOCIAL MEDIA STRATEGY
1. Find social media channels popular with your targeted audience.
2. Make profile pages on these social media platforms including NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Numbers) to localize them and link them to your website so as to drive traffic from social media channels to your website.
3. Add Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website (NAP+W) on each of the social media platforms.
4. Share user-generated content on all social media channels to build trust. Be consistent and relevant with content but remember its quality over quantity in today’s digital age.
5. Respond to customer queries on social media channels timely. If required, hire a third party to do the same.
6. Try to get verified on every social media platform so that the customers can trust that they are communicating with an actual brand on social media.
As seen above, an effective local SEO strategy is not just about the addition of local keywords everywhere. It involves many key elements along with regular SEO efforts used by different businesses to beat your competitors. With the above checklist incorporation and tracking in place, you can see huge differences in your ranks on SERPs and thereby, reaching more audience and better revenue generation.