For various business types, such as local franchises, small businesses, and companies in other fields, ranking well in your local area is extremely vital to getting customers.
In 2019, local SEO was top of mind for many marketing experts, and the consensus is that it’s not going away anytime soon. Check out these tips on how to appear more prominently in a local search so you can reap great rewards.
Optimize Your Maps Listings
Did you know that you can claim the listings that appear on Google Maps and Bing Maps? In order to claim these profiles, a postcard will be sent to your address with a verification code that will grant you access to the listing.
You’ll then be able to make strategic adjustments to the listing such as:
- Business description
- Business hours
- Business title
- Service areas
Having an optimized Google My Business listing or Bing Places for Business can not only help you to show up higher in map list results, but it can additionally present your customers with important information about your business!
Pro Tip: Get More Reviews
Once you have your Google My Business profile claimed and filled out, another aspect that Google takes into account is having reviews. Obviously, you will want as many good reviews as possible, as bad reviews will have a negative impact on your search results.
In order to get more, you can try encouraging customers to leave a review through an email marketing campaign or by mentioning it in your physical location after someone makes a purchase.
Target Different Areas on Your Website
One tactic worth exploring is varying your landing page focuses. Having different landing pages targeting different local keywords can help drive customers to unique pages on your website.
For example, if you are a florist in Columbus, when people are looking for “florists in Grove City” your landing page with Grove City terms can show up higher in search. When you are creating these pages, keep in mind that you will want to incorporate keywords in:
- Headers (H1, H2, H3)
- Body copy
- Images (alt and title tags)
- Metadata (title and description)
Check Your NAP Consistency
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number and is an important part of having local citations. Citations are listings across the web on local directories that potential customers can use to see a variety of business listings (e.g., Yellow Pages). And one thing that impacts search is having different information across the web.
So if in the last few years you have changed your location, phone number, or business name, you can use tools such as Moz’s local presence tool that analyzes various local citation websites to see if your information is the same across them all.
Get Connected with Other Local Businesses
Not only do search engines love when your website has quality hyperlinks across the entire internet, but they especially love when you have links from other businesses in your local area!
Local link building can help you look better in the eyes of search engines because by having more external links it helps show that you are an important business in your area. These links can be everything from your local chamber of commerce to area newspapers to any other businesses and more.
Try reaching out to other local companies that you have worked with in the past to see if they would be willing to link to your website through testimonials, reviews, guest blog posts, or anything else! It may even help increase your domain authority.
Invest in Schema Markup
Adding structured data to your website can help show potential customers more detailed information about specific types of pages on your website. As SEMrush writes:
“Schema is a structured data vocabulary that defines entities, actions, and relationships on the internet (webpages, emails, etc.). This vocabulary makes it possible for search engines to understand the meanings behind subject matter (entities) on the web, and in turn, serve a better user experience for internet users.”
You have likely encountered schema markup on websites if you have ever searched for things such as “apple pie recipe” and saw various listings with gold stars, a photo of the item, and a short snippet of the recipe.
Schema is great for local businesses because not only do you have the ability to get the same gold stars in your search results, but there are also three schema types that are helpful to local business types:
If you want to incorporate schema on your website, reach out to your web developer to see which options are available.
Spruce Up Landing Pages
On your map listing, you will want to optimize the page you are sending your listing to as much as you can! With this in mind, there are some on-page, off-page, and technical SEO tactics that should be applied to whatever location page, or homepage, you direct traffic to.
- Quality, informative content
- Try and have your page be at least 500 words, if not more
- Metadata for pages and images
- Internal links
- Directory links
- Guest blogs and articles
- Other link building tactics
- Links from other pages on your site
- Page speed
- User experience
Keep in Mind: Proximity Comes First
One thing that I want to emphasize as top of mind is that when you are crafting a local search engine optimization strategy, proximity is going to be the biggest factor in the results users see.
We recently wrote an in-depth article showing examples of how searches for the same query can be widely different based off of slight location changes in the same city’s area.
However, it is important to still do local SEO to ensure you are covering all your bases so you can represent your business as well as possible when you do appear in searches.
Want to Learn More About Local SEO?
Check out some of our other blog posts about local search:
- Intro to SEO – Frequently Asked Questions
- Why Aren’t My Ads Showing Up When I Do a Google Search?
- Don’t Fret! 5 “C” Words for Local Listing Success
- Google Local Search Carousel Update
Need Help with Local Marketing?
We would be happy to help your business with any of the above local SEO strategy ideas. Contact us today to chat!