Google Map Strategies
We are almost halfway through 2020! Even though digital marketing began back in the 1990s, it is not going anywhere as of yet. In fact, various advancements over the years have evolved it further to make the practice easier and even more useful.
Businesses all over the world are hustling to make themselves known by using advanced marketing strategies. SEO is an intrinsic part of any marketing campaign, and one aspect of it which cannot be overlooked is the local SEO.
Local seo is the component that works on promoting your business geographically.
Improving it will make it easier for people in your vicinity to find you, and bring you a lot more business from local relevant searches.
According to Think with Google, 2018 saw a whopping 900% increase in searches that contain ‘near me, today/tonight’ from the past two years.
In addition to that, conversion after local searches is much higher. Safari Digital reports about 72% of users to visit a store within 8km of where they were searching.
Even if you have just started your business, or already an established brand offline, you might be struggling to climb the search engine result pages. Hang in there, as you are in for some tried and tested tips to dominate your local market super fast.
Want your business to be in these top spots (aka snack pack)? Read on to know how you can achieve this.
Design a mobile-friendly website
The initial step even before you start working on Local SEO is to have a website that is optimized for the mobile phone.
Local searches are often carried in a hurry, which is why people use their smartphone the most to search for something nearby.
According to Junto, 61% of people who search on mobile are more likely to contact a local business that has a mobile-friendly site.
Use Google’s tool for checking whether your site is mobile-friendly or not.
Focus on optimizing your Google My Business listing
The foundation of Local organic SEO is Google My Business. It is an innovative tool that allows business owners to list their companies. It guides people who are looking for something with the related business and services nearby.
Without claiming your GMB profile and optimizing it well, you can never nail Local SEO. Don’t commit the same mistake as 56% of business owners, who, according to Safari Digital, have not claimed their GMB listing.
Make sure you put accurate information regarding your business. Double-check the physical address, as it is the most essential info according to 52% participants of Bright Local’s survey.
A discrepancy in name and address will negatively impact on citations, rankings, and will even confuse search engines.
Other than that, add a detailed description with keywords. Do add images of your store or office, opening and closing hours, and posts that announce events or discounts.
Read up the terms and conditions of Google My Business carefully to avoid violating any of them unknowingly in the future.
Optimize your website homepage according to Local SEO
One crucial step in local SEO is optimizing your business website accordingly. Here, you should add your NAP (name, address, and phone number) so that local customers who are directed to your site can quickly contact you.
Your homepage content should revolve around your location, and the name of your city should be mentioned a few times in the web copy.
Schema markup addition
Schema is the HTML code that is added to a website’s <head> part to help the search engines understand what the site is about. Schema markup affects how the site will be represented in search engine result pages.
For this, you need to have a schema code for a local business for your website. You can use an online schema generator tool to get the code, which you can then paste in <head> section of your website builder.
Schema markup addition will instantly improve your ranking in the local search results by increasing CTR.
The key to adding keywords
You can find the perfect keywords to rank on using google search bar’s auto-complete, or by using free and paid keyword finding tools.
Narrow down your search by analyzing the keywords your competitor is ranking on, and also related long-tail keyphrases. Create a google sheet by sorting out every keyword’s search volume, competition, and difficulty.
Once you have a list ready, begin your on-page SEO by adding these keywords in the URL, H1 tags, Title tags, and Meta description.
Finding keywords is relatively easy; however, using them all in only the title or meta description is not possible. Specifically, long-tail keywords, whose click-through rate is higher than generic keywords, cannot fit in basic descriptions.
So how should you go about it?
You can do so by adding a blog to your website. Write helpful, engaging content related to your business, and that’s how all those highly searched keywords can be added to your site. Don’t forget to keep in mind the do’s and don’ts of SEO while creating blog posts.
Let’s say you are offering plumbing services in Vancouver. You could publish content related to quick plumbing fixes, signs your kitchen/bathroom needs plumbing work, or even suggest types of fixtures and pipes.
Anyone in your locality who searches for this advice will easily find your services on the first page of the search engine. Additionally, it will help you build a lot of backlinks.
Build high-quality backlinks
Backlinks or inbound links have a profound effect on your local search ranking. Having a strong backlink profile translates to a highly optimized local SEO.
You can get quality backlinks by creating useful content for your target audience that is share-worthy. Make sure to add content related to local news, events to improve SEO. Also, use location names and locally used terms frequently in such content so that nearby customers get attracted.
You can also publish guest blogs on other websites to give interesting insights and establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
As every guest post of yours will show a link of yours, it may give you direct sales. Generally, people want to hire or buy from trusted industry experts.
One can find blogs that accept guest posts by searching words such as [location]+guest post or [location]+write for us.
Hiring local SEO professionals
Optimizing local SEO is not a quick and simple process. It requires a systematic, detailed approach as well as constant campaign tracking. If your business’s hectic schedule is creating a hurdle in optimizing your local SEO, consider hiring an expert to get behind the wheel instead.
However, I would like to add a word of advice here. Locals experts have a better understanding and experience of your area’s market position. They know the relevant location’s restrictions and regulations. Therefore, they will get your business on the map more effectively. For instance, SEO experts in Seattle can best handle your local SEO if your company relies heavily on Seattle based clients.
Analyzing competitors’ citations and building your own
Citations are crucially influential as they are one of the topmost ranking factors.
They are basically the mentions of your business on other websites. Build citations on business directories like Yelp, Glassdoor, and Foursquare. For added citations, use social networks, blogs, and other websites whose mention will add value.
A winning strategy in this regard is analyzing your competitor’s sources of citation. Tools like Whitespark can significantly help you with that. Keep your NAP consistent to avoid mismatched citations.
Ask for customer reviews and ratings.
Reviews signal customer’s trust towards your brand, and you should dedicate much of your efforts to fetching some good ones. Engage with your customers by staying active. Respond to their questions and reviews. According to the Moz Blog, Google reviews profoundly impact Google’s local rankings.
Pay special attention to the negative reviews and satisfy the customer by responding personally. You can, later on, ask them to update their comment on the listing, if their issue is resolved successfully. Remember Wendy Piersall’s saying that Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.
By now, we have explained most of the tips that can help you get to the top of SERP locally. Devise your marketing campaign according to these, and witness an assured increase in leads and sales as a result of optimizing Local SEO.