With more people performing local searches with a serious intent to make a purchase within 24 hours, one thing becomes obvious – local SEO is a must. Even the smallest local SEO effort can boost your business ranking in search results.
The questions that pop right in your head may be “What has changed?” and “Can I do it on my own?”. This is why we have created this list for you. Here are the 6 pillars of local SEO and how to optimize your website on your own.
Almost 80% of all Internet traffic starts with an online search, and almost 52% of that traffic comes from mobile devices. This roughly translates into the following – half of your potential customers are looking for services or products similar to yours via a mobile device.
If you are using any of the popular CMSs to manage and run your website, such as WordPress, making your website mobile friendly is very easy. All you need to do is invest in a responsive theme and your website will provide a great experience to mobile users. On top of that, major search engines will love you for it.
On the other hand, if you had your website custom built, you will have to get in contact with your web design/development agency and get the website ready for the mobile revolution.
Local Business Directories
Local business directories are places where detailed information about businesses is held. These directories are also indexed by major search engines. What you have to do is identify the ones relevant for your niche and add your company details to each one of them.
There are two rules here to abide by. First, you have to make sure that every entry contains your business name, address, and phone number – popularly referred to as NAP. And, secondly, you have to make sure to maintain NAP consistency across all directories.
Whatever you decide to do, start by adding your business via the Google My Business service. Becoming visible on Google Maps is your priority.
Major search engines have started to value social proof. If you want to start appearing in local searches, you will have to enable and invite your customers to provide feedback on your services and products.
Google already has the review system in place which your customers can use to share their opinions about your establishment. But you need to extend this by adding social proof and rankings to your official website. This, of course, can be achieved by a plugin if you are running a WordPress website, or with the help of review software which will embed reviews on your website.
Showing up in search results with reach snippets enabling customers to see your ratings as early as possible will enable you to capture more leads and increase your profits.
The Right Kind of Keywords
The keyword game is very important in local SEO waters. The most important are the keywords in your business title, as well as keywords in your page titles and blog posts. The best SEO companies can serve as a model to learn from. For instance, you can see a lot of SEO Australia keywords appearing in the content of SEO companies operating in Australia.
In any case, make sure to use a Keyword Planner and stick with long tail keywords. These are more convenient when you want to boost your rank in a small niche.
This one is really easy, but very important as well. All your pages and the content found on your blog should have a meta description. Use your local details when writing meta descriptions. This will not only help you boost your rankings but also improve click-through rates.
An XML sitemap helps search engines easily understand what you have on your website. In return, search engines will value your website more and give it a higher rank in search results. Creating an XML sitemap is a straightforward process and you can get it done by using some of the free popular tools.
If you go and do all of the changes we suggested in this article, you can expect to see a significant rank boost in the following weeks. Keep in mind that local SEO is an ongoing process and you will have to manage it as such.