Local SEO is a whole different animal compared to your standard, non-local SEO campaign. If you own a local business or are a part of digital marketing companies that does SEO for a local business, you probably know the challenges that come with optimizing a geo-specific business. Local search results are changing at a rapid pace. The need to change and adapt to an ever-changing SEO strategy is more critical in local SEO campaigns compared to a non-local SEO.
So, how should you go about getting organic visibility for your local business? Before you go out and start chasing links, be ready to do a lot of upfront work on your website, especially if you are looking to get listed within the local pack listings. In addition to on-page work, there are some other key steps that you can take to do effective local SEO.
Let’s look at some strategies you can adopt to get top results for your local SEO campaigns.
Get your Google My Business page up and running
If you haven’t already, claim your Google My Business Page. There are many guides out there that help you, step-by-step, on how to setup a Google My Business page. This one here is a step by step video explaining the steps. After you have successfully setup the Google My Business page, make sure you include the following:
- A long, unique description that is correctly formatted and includes links to your website.
- Choose the correct category for your business.
- Upload as many photos of your establishment as possible.
- Include the open and closing times (if relevant).
- Include a local phone number for your business.
- Add a high resolution profile and cover image.
- Include the address that is consistent with the one mentioned in your website and directories.
Turn to an enterprise digital marketing company to help list your local business, if you are unable to do it internally and need help.
Local NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Citations
Consistency is key when coming to NAP. Make sure you have your complete NAP across your entire website. It’s extremely important that you use the exact same format and details whether you use it on your own website, other websites, directories and local citations. You will also want to use the Schema.org markup on your NAP to give the search engines all they need to display your company information correctly.
Local search engine rankings are directly influenced by local reviews. Make sure you provide incentives to your customers to write online reviews. Although, Google reviews carry the maximum weight for local ranking positions, you should also maintain good reviews on local review websites.
A great strategy that can pay off in getting good reviews is to create a how-to page on your website that provides step-by-step guidance on how to review/rate your business. This simple strategy will help you stay in touch with your clients, especially with the non tech-savvy ones, and get reviewed by them.
Local On-page SEO factors
There are several ‘on-page’ or website-specific SEO tactics that can help local businesses get organic visibility by following some old-school on-page protocols. These include:
- Add your city/region plus a relevant keyword to your landing page title tag, URL, content and image ALT tags.
- Enable Google map with your business marked on your landing/home page.
- Ensure your website is mobile friendly. This is more relevant now than ever as Google is committed to providing an optimal mobile experience and neglecting mobile could mean the inevitable – loss of search rankings and eventual loss of new business.
Local Link Building
Recognition from local organizations, such as awards, and PR opportunities that get you local press coverage will go a long way in getting backlinks from reputable and local online sources. Be active in local networking events, such as Local Meetups, Local career fairs and Chambers of Commerce activities. Offline activities can present excellent local link building opportunities with excellent long-term SEO benefits.
In conclusion, effective local SEO is not rocket science. However, consistent efforts and staying up-to-date with local SEO strategies will go a long way in getting your business the organic visibility you desire.
Reena Joseph is a digital marketing expert with more than 3 years of experience. Adding to this she is a passionate blogger who in her spare time like to write on enterprise digital marketing services and explores her content on different digital marketing channels.