Having the right local SEO strategy is critical. It helps you meet customer demands and compete with the big boys.
The traditional ranking factors still apply despite the shift towards more place-based results (mobile and voice) and fewer website-based results. Here are a few of the most important.
Local Business Listings
Local business listings are a big part of the SEO world and must be optimized for local search. They contain NAP (name, address, phone number) information, a description, and a link to the website. Listing your business on directories is one of the best ways to improve a site’s visibility and build citations. These citations help Google determine a searcher’s location, a major factor in organic search rankings.
Make sure your NAP information is consistent across all online platforms. Inconsistencies can confuse search engines and create a poor customer experience. Additionally, keep your business hours and other information updated. Having the latest data will boost your SEO and increase traffic to your website. Many listing platforms also have analytics tools to track performance so that you can measure and optimize your results. Consider a professional service provided by companies like Anew Media Group if you need more time to manage your listings. These services specialize in optimizing your listings for the most impact.
In local SEO, on-page optimization refers to optimizing individual website pages for their targeted keyword. This includes writing relevant and engaging page content, using short and long-tail keywords naturally, creating meta descriptions, ensuring NAP consistency across all pages, and more.
This type of optimization is particularly important for business websites because it allows you to control how your site ranks in SERPs when someone searches for a specific term or phrase. On-page optimization also applies to optimizing your GMB profile, and it’s an essential part of any local SEO strategy. SEO could also be specialized depending on the type of business you’re running, for example, you can utilize medical seo strategies to make sure your independent practice is discoverable by people.
Google’s algorithm for ranking local search results is incredibly complex and constantly evolving. However, it’s based largely on the principles driving traditional organic SERPs. And that means that the basics of SEO—on-page optimization, NAP consistency, and review management—are still just as important for local SERPs as they are for organic.
What is local SEO? Local SEO is essential to your success whether you’re an online business or have physical locations. Local search marketing practices like optimizing your website, managing your local business listings, and gaining reviews combine to help Google surface your brand for relevant searches.
Citations are one of the most important local ranking factors. This is because Google relies on NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) mentions on reputable websites to confirm that the information it has about your business is accurate. This is why it’s important to be consistent in your NAP across the web.
Getting citations from websites that rank for industry terms you want to target is also important. For example, if you’re a lawyer, consider getting a listing.
Reviews are a great way to get an accurate feel for your business’s popularity. Google designed its local algorithm to reflect the offline world as accurately as possible online. Popular businesses are easier for Google to recognize in many ways than lesser-known ones.
Review spam is an issue, but even a few bad reviews are unlikely to sink your local SEO rankings. Most review platforms allow you to respond as a business owner, allowing you to demonstrate empathy for a dissatisfied customer and show that you’re proactive about solving problems.
A solid understanding of local search will help you maximize your visibility to nearby online consumers ready to buy in your area. It’s a powerful tool that can make or break your success as a small business. Use it wisely.