Let’s talk about Local SEO. The main reason people search locally is because of the need to find a local business. The second most common reason is finding a specific product or service, the closer the better because the potential customers won’t like to travel far to get them.
When users use a search engine to locate a specific business, many of those who search do not have a specific business in mind when they begin their search, and that is where YOU need to be. With that being said you need local SEO to be found and get business around your zip code.
Local SEO is positioning techniques focused on providing results that are relevant to a search engine based on your current location and local business information.
By using local search techniques, you can better position your business and promote specific products or services derived from your location. There is no better time to connect with a potential customer than when you really need or want something.
Local SEO techniques to position your business
There is high competition in local positioning and you know it, but there are many things you can do to beat your competition and optimize your SEO to rank better. Each business is unique and has its own characteristics. Let’s go over 9 Local SEO techniques that will allow you to get better local positioning of your business.
1. Physical Address
Making sure you have a consistent physical address for the area you want to optimize locally is critical. You need to optimize your website for a specific local area to help your local audience find you first.
The address must be as close to the area of influence since local searches usually carry names of areas, neighborhoods, etc.
2. Titles and Meta Description
Title and meta descriptions are important HTML elements needed to describe your content that will appear in the SERPs or Search Engine Results Page. Optimized titles and descriptions are the basic requirements you need to have on each one of the pages. You can optimize them with rich terms, keywords, search terms, and synonyms of the services people use when they search for those products or services.
To improve your Local SEO add your current city or area in the title and description.
3. Directories improve local optimization
Online directories are really important for their trustworthiness, it creates professionalism and confidence. Your potential customer will find trust in your company.
All you need to do is register your company correctly on main online business directories, we could name Yelp, Bing, Yellow Pages, Better Business Bureau, Linkedin, and many others. Google will find these and use them to rank your main website better. Make sure your business profile is well written, provide a list of all your services, full address, website addresses, telephone numbers, a brief description of your company, add your best images, and anything you think it might help your customer choose Your company over your competition.
4. Get Google My Business!
Google My Business is the most important piece on Local SEO, because since is a google product that is where google will look first for local services if a potential customer is searching in a particular location. Google will show results based on the customer’s location, that is why your business must have a Google My Business Profile page.
Careful optimization of Google My Business has a direct impact on local SEO and its positioning. Follow these essential tips to optimize Google My Business:
- Add the full name of your company and add the main city at the end. Example: Coca Cola Company San Diego California
- A complete description of your business.
- A complete list of all your services
- Use keywords and key phrases on your description and services list.
- Include your business in the correct category.
- Upload your business logo or photo so that people will recognize it.
- Add at least 15 quality photos of your products or services, each photo should have a professional footer with your phone number and website.
- Your NAP has to be correct and consistent on your listing. NAP is an acronym for Name, Address, and Phone number. Remember that data inconsistency has a negative effect and is penalized by search engines.
Have you ever searched a company on Google and its location changed, phone number is not correct or website is not found?
When this happens the following will also happen:
- The company will have lost its reputation.
- The company will have lost a potential customer.
- The company will have lost a sale.
- Search Engines will not recommend your Google My Business listing and might not display your listing on Search Engines. But worse, search engines will recommend your competition instead.
5. Use of Schema Markup
The Schema Markup is just code, it is built up with the words, keywords, tag data, or microdata that you can add to the HTML code of your website offering more information. When properly adding Schema Markup to your website Search Engines like google will create an enhanced description also known as Rich Snippet. Rich Snippets help potential customers decide right away to visit your website.
6. Web and Mobile Optimization
Every day there are more mobile devices in the market, and now more than 70% of the searches come from mobile devices, the 30% comes from desktops, laptops, TVs and Ipads. With this information on hand now you know that you must think about optimizing for mobile users.
Google takes as a ranking factor the compatibility of sites with mobile devices.
Requirements on mobile optimization:
- Website Loading speed, if your website takes too long to load then your potential customer will go to another page.
- Optimize the size of your files, heavy images will take too much time to load.
- Get rid of elements making your website slow, do you have plugins you don’t use? Get rid of them.
- Is your Website hosted on a cheap hosting company? Cheap means your business is cheap, cheap will not get you customers, change your hosting company now.
- Get a reliable hosting company, you cannot afford to have your website down, if your website goes down then you lose customers.
7. The Importance of reviews
Search Engines like Google and Bing see reviews and opinions as a key factor in improving local searches. Reviews and opinions help facilitate the new potential customers to learn how the company operates and what they can offer.
Your business must have a full company profile on sites like Yelp, Google My Business, BBB (Better Business Bureau), Facebook, or Bing Places where customers can leave opinions.
If your company provides excellent services and keeps customers happy then they will recommend you, always aim to have the best customer service because a happy customer will always come back.
8. Add a map to your Website
By embedding a Google My Business map on your website you will be enhancing the customer experience and at the same time google will find the code on your page and treat it as a reliable backlink. Remember Google will see it as one of his own and treat it better. How to embed a Google My Business Map on your website? here is a Step by Step procedure:
- Go to google.com/maps and find your Google My Business listing.
- Click on the “Share” button.
- Click on “Embed a Map”, then select the desired size.
- Click on “Copy HTML”. Paste the code on the page of your website.
9. Update and Publish content in My Google Business
Treat Google My Business as your main Local SEO strategic weapon to beat your competition, How do you do it? You can beat your competition by:
- Constantly adding important info
- Add new images
- Update and add more services
- Accurate business details
- Add offers
- Add new products
- Add events
Keep your Google My Business alive, this will tell Seach Engines your business is constantly working on improving and providing a better service.
A recommended Article: How to set up My Google Business Step by Step.
Most Common Frequently Asked Questions about Local SEO
- Create a Google My Business Account.
- Get Regular Reviews from Happy Customers.
- Optimize for Voice Search.
- Create new Content Based on Local events, stories, sales, and offers.
- Optimize Your Website for Mobile.
- Embed Google Maps on your Website.
- Hone in on Local Keywords.
- Customize all your pages into landing pages.
- Add your Website to Online business directories.
- Host your website on reliable web hosting.
- Keep your website updated and up and running.
- Use the services you provide in your company as keywords, because those services are the ones your potential customers are looking for.
- Use complete sentences instead of simple keywords, for example: “carpet cleaning in San Diego”, “watch repair in San Diego”, just to name a few.
- Get synonyms of the main keywords you have and use them too.
- Use Google AdWords to find keywords, it has a built-in free keyword search database.