As a small to medium-sized business owner, local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is more important than ever. Google’s search engine algorithm highlights hyperlocal results. This means that businesses ideally have to focus more on local search marketing.
Great local SEO includes on-site and off-site performances. It also requires thorough reputation management as online customer reviews are now a big part of the ranking criteria.
Our team at Maxeemize have put together a checklist of the best practices for local SEO that could help businesses drive more customers.
Make Sure You Have a Responsive Website
Google prioritizes websites that respond well on a variety of devices, especially on mobile phones. This is because mobile phone searches have surpassed desktop computer searches as of 2015.
You can use Google’s checker to assess your website’s mobile friendliness. And if necessary, update or switch to a more mobile-responsive theme. Failure to do so can cause loss of rankings and leads.
Optimize Your GMB Listing
GMB (Google My Business) listing is one of the most important factors in local SEO.
Here is a list of things that would help optimize your GMB:
- Claim your business listing.
- Every one of your business locations should have their own listing.
- Do not add keywords or modify your business name in any way. Be accurate
- Write your full physical address. It should be identical to your NAP (Name, Address, Phone).
- Service-area business can also be an option. Instead of displaying your physical address, Google will use the area within the miles that you provided.
- Put in your local phone number. Do not use tracking or toll-free numbers.
- Enter your website’s URL. If you have several locations, link each GMB page for that specific location.
- Pick a category that matches your business.
- Add pictures of the exterior and interior of your business. Invest in real, professional photos. This will help build trust with your potential clients and Google.
- Display additional information like prices and business hours.
Optimize Your Content
The content on your website can definitely make or break your business.
Here is how you can successfully keep your content optimized for local SEO:
- Each page’s content should be unique and should support the subject and overall theme of that page.
- Try to utilize hyperlocal keywords and references when you can.
- Your local content should have around 500 words or more per page.
- Display local customer testimonials on your location pages.
- Most importantly, make sure that your content is relevant, informative and readable. They are made for people, not robots.
Include Google Maps
Most customers nowadays find most local businesses on Google Maps. Embed your Google map on your contact page. If you have more than one location, embed a Google map of every location to the right landing page.
Optimize Title Tags and Heading Tags
These will show up on Google when a person searches for your keywords. You should write unique titles for each page on your website. You should include your main local keyword for that page. And in order for your title to display properly on Google Search Results, make sure that it does not exceed 60 characters.
By optimizing your title tags, Google and online searchers will have a better knowledge of what your page is about.
Heading tags are also an important aspect of SEO. These tags help format your site’s content for users and search engines. Each page on your site should have one H1 tag that includes your primary keyword. Incorporating this will help Google identify your main keywords and the topic of each page.
Manage Your Reviews
More than 90% of consumers look at online reviews before deciding to purchase a product or a service. Here is how you can successfully manage and take advantage of your online reviews:
- Make sure that your business is listed on various online review platforms like Google my Business, Facebook, Angie’s List, and Yelp.
- You should also look at industry-specific review sites to claim your listings
- Hire a person or a marketing agency that would monitor your customer reviews. All online reviews deserve a response, good or bad.
- Develop a system that would encourage customers to write reviews. You can either ask them in person or reach out to them through handouts or email.
- All of your review responses should be professionally written and posted at a timely manner.
Ensure NAP Consistency
NAP consistency plays a vital role in local SEO rankings. Your name, address, and phone number should be listed on every page of your website. If you have several locations, you should create an exclusive page for every one and place the location’s NAP in the footer of its page.
Local Link Building
Running a successful local SEO campaign involves building quality local links. This will help give your site authority and make it easier for people to find you.
In order to do this effectively, you would need to reach out to local bloggers and other local business owners to express your interest in collaborating on blog posts. You can also attend your city’s Chamber of Commerce meetings in order to get listed on their site. Attending different events can also help your business get listed on various local websites.
It is also a good practice to build relationships with your local media outlets. They can help you with your press releases when something remarkable happens to your business.
These link building activities can help you better connect to your community.
At Maxeemize, we ensure that your local SEO investments are maximized for better ROI. We have the expertise, knowledge, experience, as well as creativity, to deliver unique solutions that produce better results for your campaign! Contact Us for a free local SEO consultation.
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