Local SEO is more important than ever as 46% of all Google searches target local information. This simply means if your local business is not found by these searches, you are going to lose a huge number of potential customers. Whether you are a multi-location business, a franchise, a reviews/news site or just somebody who wants to rank locally, you want to show up for a search with a location in it.
Local SEO is done to increase the visibility of local products or services. It is an effective way to promote your local business online. For example, if you run a coffee shop in Seattle or offer SEO services in Dubai, optimizing your business locally will help you rank for the search terms “coffee shop in Seattle” or “Dubai SEO”.
So how to go about local SEO? In this article, we will walk you through the 5 most important things that you need to do so you can rank better when it comes to local SEO in 2020.
1. Setup Google My Business
Setting up Google My Business is the cornerstone and the starting point to local SEO. It is a free tool from Google that allows you to manage your local business online presence. Claiming your GMB listing and optimizing it will allow your business to appear both in Google’s map and search, thereby generating more leads.
To tap the full potential of Google My Business, make sure you update the listing with consistent business information, use Google posts to provide news related to your business, encourage customers to post reviews and respond to reviews with helpful and useful information. Your business name, address and phone number (NAP) are of primary importance here. Make sure they are consistent across all citations.
2. Optimize URLs, Meta Titles, Description, and Content
Some of the Google’s ranking signals come directly from your website content also called on page signals. These signals are very important and optimizing them will definitely help you in your journey to the top ranking. First, you can optimize the URL of a page by including the location name. For example, if you are a plumber and want to rank for the keyword “Plumber Stratford” which is an area in London. You should add the keyword “plumber Stratford” in your URL to help Google understand this page is about plumber in Stratford. Example: www.abc.com/plumber-stratford/.
Similarly, include your target keyword in your Meta title. The Meta description has zero impact on rankings as such, writing a killing description will make people want to click on it. It is advised to use your keyword in the Meta description. Header tags also play a small part in rankings and including keywords as part of your headings will not only help Google but also users as it will make your content easier to read.
3. Create Local Listings
Add your business to authentic local business directories. This will signal Google that your business is well reputed and trustworthy, hence rank better in local search results. Remember, all these listings should have exactly the same business name, address, and phone number. According to Moz, 8.41% of your website local SEO is determined by the accuracy of your listings. People should not get contradictory information about your business.
Listings will also improve your business traffic. In some cases these listings will be displayed before your website in search results and sometimes people will go directly to the business directories to search for a business. Popular web directories for local businesses are Bing Places, Yahoo Local, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. Popular social media platforms are also good places to create your business profile on.
4. Get Reviews
After you have listed your business in local directories, try to populate them with genuine reviews from your customers. Reviews are one of the most important ranking factors for local SEO. Besides, they strengthen customer’s trust on the business.
Getting at least a few reviews on as many listings a possible will go a long way in improving your local search visibility. Ask customers to post reviews after they have bought your product or used your services. Respond to each review to show you care and are serious about your business.
5. Get Relevant, Local Inbound Links
Inbound links still dominate SEO. They are important to build a website’s authority. In terms of local SEO, it’s not the authority of the back linking site but its relevance and influence in your specific local market that matters more. You can get local links by building relationships with influencers or doing partnerships with them. Conduct a webinar, host a community event and reach out to people to spread the word about your business and get links. Guest blogging is another way to get links from local influencers.
Although there are many other local SEO tips, the above 5 top the list. Implementing them the right way should be enough to rank better in local search results. Tell Google both on page and off page that you are trustworthy business and deserve to treated better.