Local SEO is a special kind of SEO that is overlooked by most businesses. Most of those businesses are focusing on boosting their organic page results and forget to give attention to local SEO, which may have a negative impact on their business if not utilized. Businesses with a grip on their local SEO are more likely to be a huge step ahead of their competitors without a local SEO strategy.
There are a lot of ways to improve your local SEO strategy and one of them is to keep up with the top internet marketing podcast to keep you updated with the latest trends.
With that said, we’ve summarized local SEO success into six factors you need to consider in running your business.
1. Optimize Your “Google My Business” Listing
The “Google My Business” signal is ranked by Moz as the top factor in his yearly local SEO ranking study. Essentially, you need to ensure your Google My Business (GMB) details are filled out.
To ensure local SEO success in GMB, you need to make sure that the category of your business is correctly set. Guarantee that your relevant keywords are within your GMB business title. Also, provide your business’ website link and check if the link is functional and active. Never forget to put your opening and closing hours and days to help your potential customers know when they can visit your store. Lastly, give your accurate physical address. You need to be careful and detailed on your GMB details.
2. Ensure Site Mobile Responsiveness
When optimizing your local business site, you must consider this one of the most important parts of the process to gain growth. Your business website should be mobile-friendly. Local customers use mobile devices more than other devices to look for nearby businesses.
Mobile devices, especially smartphones, are slowly dominating and still growing the channels for today’s digital marketing scene. Search engines nowadays do not give priority—and will not rank you highly in their search engine result pages—if you do not have a mobile-friendly website. But don’t forget the search engine ranking position on the desktop, those are two different ranking positions that need different strategies. Google exhibits two ranking positions, one for desktop and one for mobile.
Google recently added sanctions for websites that are not completely mobile-friendly, and it can greatly affect the site’s ranking, which can cause a major drop. Make sure your business’ site is mobile compliant with every mobile device out there to maximize your reach to your potential customers.
3. Manage Your Online Reviews
Approximately 97% of all consumers read local reviews in the past year, according to Bright Local’s survey. Online reviews or what they call online reputation management can help your business boost visibility and gain trust from your potential consumers.
Your business should maximize the major review platforms which include Google My Business, Yelp, and Angie’s List. Social media platforms such as Facebook are another option, but you may also include other industry-specific sites and local review sites available in your location and claim your listings there.
All customer reviews deserve to get a response. You might thank the customer and say you hope to see them again in your store if they sent a positive review. If the review is negative, apologize for their bad encounter then send a private message to discuss the matter further. You can also ask your customers to place reviews on your site after purchase. You may ask them either in person, contact them through phone or email, or put a link to your review page on your website. Remember, you should respond to the review professionally.
4. Consider the Social Signals
Consider also your social signals and how they are affecting your strategy. Check if you are getting the right amount of response on your social media. Strategize and plan accordingly to boost your visibility on Facebook and Twitter. Encourage your audience and product users to tweet or post about your brand. It can help your brand grow.
5. Check the On-Page Factors
Same with traditional SEO, on-page factors are equally important for local SEO strategy. Firstly, check your content and make sure it is fit for your target audience. Chosen keywords should be included in the contents of your site, but remember not to over-optimize.
In addition to that, the page title, meta descriptions, URL, heading tags, and image alt text should be in line with your target keywords. Aside from those, the business name, address, and phone number should be visible on every webpage of the site for your customers to easily know how to contact you.
6. Build Your Local Backlinks
Local backlinks are important for local businesses in their SEO strategies. Backlinks are links from outside domains that point to pages on your domain; they link back from their domain to yours. If you are focusing on gaining local traffic and building backlinks, you should emphasize local directories instead of gaining backlinks from press releases, national publications, or other media that is widely released.
These local directories are more relevant to your potential local customers and may attract their attention. Also, it can build trust and authority for your brand. One link coming from the local directory can give more relevance than having many links from random directories from various businesses.
In conclusion, SEO is a tricky subject to study and master. Hopefully, this article gave you ideas on how to optimize your local SEO strategy and plan. Make sure to apply those ideas effectively, and best of luck to your business!
John Vuong is the sole owner of Local SEO Search Inc.. John’s mission is to help local business owners improve their online influence so they can dominate their industry. With his business acumen and innate understanding of the local business landscape, John writes blogs that delve on how to customize SEO campaigns based on client needs.