Customers nowadays are searching for “product/ services near me”, so are you sure your business will appear, and customers will pick you among all the other businesses offering the same product/ services as you?
Local search engine optimization is a bit different from general search engine optimization. It requires a strategic and targeted approach. The popular brick-and-mortar businesses wanting to rank leaving behind their competitors need to make sure their local information is placed correctly and consistently on the search engine’s local landscape.
Ranking in local search result has become more difficult primarily because of two reasons:
- Businesses today are realising the impact of local SEO and working hard to get ranked
- Increase in mobile devices, customers are more likely to search a business/ services ‘near me’
So how to counter your competition and achieve better local search performance is the real challenge. However, the solution lies in the real basics of the optimization process. Here are some relevant tips to achieve better results in local searches.
- Keyword Research – Be it local SEO or global SEO both starts with keyword research. For example, if you are a restaurant in Los Angeles, California; your preferred keyword will be “restaurants in Los Angeles”. Also, depending on the competition you should focus on the short tail or long-tail keywords. Short tail keywords will have high competition, but long-tail keywords will be less competitive. You must study the pattern of your targeted customer and understand the language your customer tends to use while searching your business and define keywords considering all these aspects.
- Fix your On-Page – Meta tags, Alt text, the responsiveness of the website, H1 tags, URL strings, proper internal linking, optimized images, quick load time, all these on-page aspects need to be perfect for your business website to rank in local search.
- Create Valuable Content – “Content is the king”, make sure to create valuable content to get ranked in SERP. Gone are the days when stuffing keywords used to give SERP rankings. The content should be value-based and it should solve the queries of your potential customers.
- Well Optimized Contact Us Page – Contact Us page of your website is kind of an underdog. If you want local search results, this page is often the second most important page on your site after the home page. Make sure to put the proper street address, contact information, name of your business/ service, your opening time and a map embedded on this page. In addition to this, make sure, you are using proper schema markup for your business.
- Google My Business/ Bing Places – This is the simplest and the most effective way to get results in the local search and it is free. When people search for the business ‘near me’, listings done on these platforms appear. The better-optimized listings appear on top (based on other ranking parameters, like reviews, distance, and relevance). The map feature of GMB has made this platform the most crucial for local results.
- Online Directories and Citations – Make sure you claim all the local listings and citations, these are not as much of importance as it used to be earlier but the competitor who claimed all the listings has higher chances to appear above you in SERP results. Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) information is consistent across all these platforms.
- Reviews – Search engines as well as customers have become smarter. Search engines give prominence to businesses with positive reviews and customers opt for the business/ services having positive reviews from satisfied (verified) customers. According to Google, high-quality reviews improve your business visibility in searches.
- Optimize your social profiles – Social media is a place where you connect with your existing and potential customers. Keep in touch with them and use it as a content-sharing platform. Social signals may have a limited impact, but they do have an impact on social SEO.
- Analyze and monitor your result – Analyze the performance of your business periodically and make the necessary adjustment to sustain on top.
Ranking in local searches in some segments is tougher than others. Every business has different requirements and different buyer’s persona. So, keep the needs of your customers in mind and try to adopt a relevant local search strategy to lure them.
If you are a local business searching for a full-proof local search optimization plan or trying to assess your performance in local search to find out the areas of improvements; get in touch with local search experts at SkeegTen. We’d be happy to provide a free consultation.