Local SEO is so important these days and not only for small businesses but larger ones too. Depending on your geographical location local SEO can have a huge impact on your website’s traffic. It may be competitive and if so you will want to follow the tips we have in this post to help you rank higher for the local search results.
Stuart McHenry of McKremie SEO in Irvine explains, “Today you have to do everything as right as possible in order to rank high in the search engines. This includes putting together a local SEO strategy even if you are a national company. Local provides a solid foundation to build your SEO upon.”
Google My Business
This was called Google Places a while back but has since been renamed Google My Business. It is extremely important to have a strategy in place to get traffic from Google My Business. These listing are the ones that show up on Google Maps and in the Google local 3-pack. If you are not aware of the Google local 3-pack this is the area in the search results that show three results with a map above it.
Creating your profile correctly is important. If you try and spam your listing you risk being filtered out of the local search pack results. Always use your correct business address and phone number. One of the most common mistakes people make is not placing their business in the correct category. Another big issue is that some companies don’t use their business name. They place keywords where their business name should be. This is a spam tactic that will eventually catch up to you so don’t do it. Also, be sure to put your correct hours of operation and not just 24/7.
One of the most important ranking factors for local searchers are business citations. These are listing on major websites that list businesses. You want as many of these as possible but they need to be accurate. Google wants to see consistency with Name, Address, and Phone Number across all listings. There are plenty of services that will handle these submissions for you or you can manually submit them yourself to save money. However, this is a very time-consuming process so most companies opt to hire a company to handle this for them.
You need links. Especially if you are located in a competitive market. Links are still an important signal that tells the search engines how popular your business is. But not just any links you need quality links from real websites and blog. A good way to tell if a website has good quality is to run a ranking report from one of the many SEO tools on the market. If the website shows a decent amount of traffic from Google this is a good sign that the website is in the good graces of Google and would be a good place to get a link from.
From there you will want to perform outreach and see if you can get an article published on their website or blog. Most webmasters are happy to include your article as it gives them free content and they can grow their website traffic without having to write the articles themselves. In return, these webmasters may allow a resource link within the content of the article. This is pure gold from a link building standpoint.
Google uses online reviews as a signal of trust. Your website is more than likely to rank higher with the more quality reviews you have. Word of caution don’t make up fake reviews but actually, go after real customers and ask them if they don’t mind leaving your website a review. This is acceptable to ask for reviews from customers in Google. Some other review websites it is against their terms of service.
To start off create a powerful Google My Business strategy and be sure to optimize your profile to get the maximum amount of visitors. The local 3-packs can end up delivering huge amounts of traffic, especially in larger markets.