10 Tips From Basic to Advanced
Local SEO is a topic worth discussion. Below you’ll find a comprehensive guide to local SEO, from the basics you need to more advanced techniques.
Local SEO Basics
1. Identical NAP Details
Local SEO #1: the name, address and phone number – or NAP – of your business should be identical across all local business directories. Google will potentially penalize rankings if the NAP is not the same across the Internet. That means identical formatting for your company name, address and phone number on your website, local listings and social media. Any conflicts could penalize your rankings.
Include a map and detailed location information on your website: tell your visitor where to go, what landmarks your location is near, where to park, list public transportation, what routes and stops are nearby, and include a link to Google Map’s directions.
3. Google My Business
Create a Google My Business page and get it verified by Google. Users will have have the opportunity to view the most important information about your business directly via Google and will show up in the top right of the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). Your business hours, description, directions and even a Call Now button if searched on a mobile phone will be displayed on your Google My Business page so customers can find you easily through search and Google Maps.
4. Customer Reviews
Reviews help local SEO and Google will favour businesses with positive reviews. There isn’t anything as valuable as a referral and Google reviews are the digital equivalent of that.
Tip: having a Google My Business page makes it easy for customers to leave a review without having to visit any additional websites or social media sites. It verifies your business, which allows you to build trust with your clients.
5. Local Links
Links and mentions from other local sites such as blogs and news sites can really move the needle in Google’s local search results. For local SEO it’s this network of local businesses that can really benefit visibility and establish the site as an authentic and highly relevant search result. Do you work with a local supplier? Get in touch for a testimonial. Do you contribute to community events? Get a link. These are authentic, local websites and securing links from these are often key to successful local SEO campaigns.
Video is an area of opportunity for small local businesses to produce relevant, engaging content and can be used across the spectrum of social platforms. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a lot more! It is surprising how much information can be communicated in a short time via video. The effectiveness of video is more than just volume, consumers remember videos much better than a single image.
Google+ is not dead and activity does impact local SEO ranking. And rather than posting solely to your own Google+ page, try to also interact with communities on the platform. Engagement is an important factor and gets you points.
8. Social media presence
Businesses with lots of likes and shares do better in SEO than business without a strong social media presence. It makes sense for visually engaging businesses like photographers, artists and designers to maintain active Instagram and Pinterest pages. They’re both in the top 5 five of most popular social media platform. Pinterest has the highest rate of [users with] intent to buy.
Tip: use geolocation tags on social platforms, such as location hashtags on Instagram, which can help you be found within your local market.
More Advanced Local SEO Tips
9. Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords will boost SEO faster than single keywords. For example, a photographer should use keywords related to their business and location, as well as longer phrases like, “social media photographer in London.” By being more descriptive, more people looking exactly for what you offer will find you in Google, plus you won’t be competing with so many other photographers trying to rank for broad keywords.
Make sure you add your long-tail keywords in:
• Title of page
• First sentence on webpage
• Hyperlinks, or “anchor text”
• Bolded words
• Last sentence on webpage
• In meta tags (title, description and keywords)
• ALT and title tags for images
• Image file name
10. Research & Review
One of the biggest pieces of advice is to make sure that everything gets tracked and reviewed.
Tracking keyword rankings for location-specific queries will give you an idea of your visibility within your market. It’s important to track both the local rankings for your site and the traditional ranking for each keyword. Test different strategies with the content on the pages and see how each translates to rankings both inside the local pack and in the traditional results. These insights, coupled with Google Analytics reporting on visitors who landed on location pages, provide a great deal of actionable information to improve your local search campaign.