All businesses have one thing in common: competition. And if you do not take the necessary steps to implement and maintain a good local SEO campaign, you will find yourself losing ground to competitors. A second problem for local business owners as they work to gain exposure for their businesses is that search engines sometimes change the ranking factors that are used to decide whether or not your business will be displayed prominently before local consumers. The good news is that there are a number of proven strategies available to you that will elevate your local SEO status.
Google My Business
Google My Business is an excellent tool that allows business owners the opportunity to manage their own presence across the Google platform. When developing your local SEO game plan, adding complete information to your Google My Business listing should be the first item in your local SEO checklist. You should make your Google My Business listing both appealing and informative for customers. Use your company logo as your profile picture and provide a variety of photos that show customers the inside of your business.
Use Location Pages
Search engines will crawl your website to determine its best match with search queries. If your business has multiple locations, you should add a landing page on your website for each of these locations. This information will help search engines deliver your business website information to a searcher who is near one of your operating locations. Be careful to be consistent in whether or not streets and avenues are abbreviated or written out completely. Also, do not forget to include suite numbers if they exist.
Make Sure Your NAP is Consistent
NAP is a term used to describe the name, address, and phone number of your business. This information needs to be consistent wherever it is posted. You will need to be detail-oriented here and remember it is not only a matter of recording the name and address. For instance, if Inc, LLC or CO is normally part of your business name it should never be excluded. You should also record streets, avenues and suite numbers the exact way they exist on your website.
Make Use of Social Media
Social media is a great tool for interacting with customers and potential customers in your local area. You can also lead the customers you interact with on various social media platforms to your company website to increase traffic. The increased traffic will benefit your local SEO efforts. Social media platforms like Facebook are also a great way to find reviews for your business.
Getting into the 3 Pack
The local 3 pack includes the top three results shown when a search query is performed on Google for local business offerings. The search results will include the NAP information for three Google My Business listings and a map that shows the proximity of the businesses to the searcher. There are a number of things a local business owner can do to improve their chances of being included in a local three-pack. Some things that may help include a completely filled out Google My Business page, posting reviews online, and developing the presence of your business on social media.
Reviews are a great way to improve both your online presence and your ranking for SEO. In many cases, a review detailing the experience of a satisfied customer will hold more weight than other SEO techniques. An inside trick of internet marketers is to use Google reviews to increase the real estate with listing demands in search results. This is a great strategy for businesses that are still working their way up to being included in the local three-pack.
Optimize for Mobile Devices
Google and other search engines will show your website more favor if it is friendly to mobile users. Your website should be adapted so that graphics and display are easy to navigate for consumers regardless of the screen size of the device they are using. If your site is not as responsive as you would like, it is a good idea to reach out to a professional to upgrade your display. Google provides a mobile-friendly test that will allow you to determine how well your website will work for users of mobile devices.
Utilize Link Building Strategies
Creating backlinks to your website is a great way to improve the SEO profile of your company. One simple way to do this is to make a quick list of organizations and companies you have already established a relationship with and reach out to them for a link exchange. You can also reach out to other businesses and authorities in your industry with whom you have not previously done business. Links from sites that have already built up a measurable degree of domain authority will provide great benefit to you.
Local Event Blogging
A great way to endear yourself to consumers in your local community is to blog about events that are important to them. You can use local news sources to find stories of interest to community members. Next, take a moment to write about these events in a personable manner and post your blog online for the benefit of readers. For example, never miss an opportunity to highlight the accomplishments of a local high school sports team and offer your congratulations. If you make sure to stay in contact with the members of your community, they will more than return the favor.
Be Mindful of Loading Speed
Search engines value loading speed. You should also be mindful of the fact that mobile device users are often looking for businesses that are immediately accessible to them when they perform local searches. You should make sure that mobile users who are using 3G and 4G services are still able to access your website with the speed they desire.
All business owners are familiar with the competitive environment that exists in every industry. One way to separate your business from the pack is by nailing it in your local SEO efforts. The tips above will provide you with a solid foundation to do so.
Here’s another article you might find helpful: 5 Qualities of a Good Business Website