Local SEO is vital for the survival of your business if your target market comprises of local customers. Consumers are increasingly turning to the internet to gather information about your business and making that all-important purchase decision based on what they find.
Google discovered that when users search for a service they’re actually looking for places near them they can visit. Therefore, optimized local listings appear at the top of search engine results. If you’re just starting out in the local SEO scene, here are some helpful tips to guide you along.
1. Setting Up a Local Business Page
As soon as your business is operational, create a local business page on all major search engines. You’ll have the extra task of managing multiple listings but your business will gain more exposure. Once your local business page is set up, provide all the relevant contact details that customers can use to reach you.
Be clear about the kind of goods or services that you offer including operational hours, your exact location and a working phone number.
To avoid the penalties from Google, it’s important to invest some resources in creating quality content for all your web pages. At the heart of local SEO lies the good old content marketing techniques.
So how do you make your content relevant to your local community?
Carry out a quick keyword research. Keywords are the life-line of your SEO campaign when creating content. Find the most commonly searched keywords related to your local business and include them in your content. Do not just stuff phrases but aim to add value by creating actionable content. Including your city name in the title of your content also helps.
3. Consistent Business Citations
It helps to show your credibility if all available information about your business is consistent. Make sure that the NAP (name, address, phone) on all your citations is consistent. Having conflictiong information olnly confuses search engines which are unable to determine your exact location.
In some cases, you might realize that someone else has already beaten you to listing your business. However, it’s possible to claim a listing once you confirm it’s not owned by another business operating under a similar name. You’ll just be required to verify you’re the actual owner of the listed business.
4. Utilize Google My Business (GMB) for More Visibility
Any information about your business that is added online reflects on Google search results, Google+, and, Google maps. This is a great tool that makes it easy for potential customers to locate you.
When optimizing your GMB for the local community ensure that:
•The location listed is verified by the owner.
•The targeted city and town name appear in the GMB landing page.
•All the information has been filled in accurately and is consistent with all other available information about the business.
5. User Reviews are King in Local SEO
Business reviews are taken seriously by search engines since they give insights to potential customers on what kind of user experience to expect from your business. By going through your reviews, individuals are able to tell whether your business will be of any value to them.
The best way to get reviews is to encourage satisfied customers to write reviews about your business. To get good reviews, aim to always under-promise and over-deliver when servicing a customer’s request. Writing fake reviews for your business is not recommended. They will only get you penalized and ruin your business reputation.
For a newbie just venturing into the murky waters of local SEO, it can be a bit overwhelming. However, if you follow the above tips and learn all the necessary Google guidelines you’ll be able to reap all the benefits that come with local SEO. The only certain thing, for now, is that you can’t ignore Google and the important role it’s playing in local lead generation.