Google Maps SEO
Whether you’re a local flower shop or a national doughnuts chain, the secret to attracting more customers is to create a local SEO strategy that ranks your business higher with search engines. Since the emergence of the Hummingbird Update, local results are more elaborated, relevant, geo-targeted, and customized. Google is smarter than ever!
And considering that over 85% of people rely on the Internet to find more about local organizations you can lose valuable leads if you lack local SEO. Buyers consider the Internet a reliable source of information when they search for products or brands. But if you don’t invest in local SEO, your organization doesn’t appear in local search results, so your clients won’t find you trustworthy. The only way you can drive local leads is to have a top-notch SEO strategy in place.
Here are some local SEO techniques that can help any brand get on edge over its competitors.
Get on Google My Business (A.K.A. Places)
When you want Google Local Pack to display your business, you need to create listings on Google My Business to build a strong presence on Google Maps and Google+. You may not know, but Google My Business helps local ventures become searchable and visible online, in the area where the organization operates.
Create and claim the listing if you don’t have one.
When you create the Google My Business Page, follow the next steps:
- Add a complete and unique description of the company, and links to your official website and social media pages
- Select the relevant primary category for the business and the appropriate sub-categories.
- Upload pictures of the headquarters, products, and team
- Add a local phone number
- Include the physical location of the company, the same one you list on your website and local directories
- Share opening and closing hours
- Add your business’ logo
To display your organization on top of Google local search result page, you need to use precise NAP. What does NAP stand for? Name, Address and Phone number.
Companies must ensure that Google properly locates their physical company address, to display it on local search results. 46% of Google searches are for local companies, so businesses need to update NAP on their website’s homepage to rank higher in Google search results.
How can you improve your NAP data?
- Share on the website the correct name, address, and phone number (example: Company Name: T-White LTD, Address: 2481 Blair Court, Concordia, MO 64020, Geo coordinates, 38.940778, -93.514036, Phone 660-463-9710, Country code 1)
- Ensure you know the online locations where your business contact information is present
- Create NPL listings on reliable online resources like Google My Business, Yellow Pages, Yelp, and Merchant Circles.
- Ensure the same NAP data is listed on all business listings
- Add a schema mark-up on NAP data to help search engines understand it properly
Building quality links is the need of the hour
Link building is a fundamental factor for local SEO. You can use various strategies to build quality links, but it’s essential to identify the right ones to avoid spamming. High-quality links create reliability and relevancy among the prospects who search for local companies on local business listings.
What strategies can you use to achieve this endeavor?
- Get only links relevant to your organization. If you sell flower arrangements in London, get your company linked from websites focused on weddings, fashion, and event planning in London.
- Get links from high DA and high authority websites that drive plenty of traffic
- Use locally relevant keywords for anchor texts to get your local business listing higher in rankings
- Offer local rewards
- Organize local events to connect with customers and relevant people in your industry
- Publish local interviews on your website and share them on social media
Optimize your website for “Near Me” searches to boost prospects retention
“Near me” searches have increased more than 500% in the last years. When Internet users conduct local searches, they usually add the phrase “near me” to the keyword they search.
How can you optimize your website for “near me” searches?
- Get positive customer reviews
- Research your online competitors and identify the differences in ranking
- Get many local links
- Your anchor texts should include the name of the city and area in it
TripAdvisor optimized its web page for “near me” queries by using phrases like “accommodation type + near me” phrases in their anchor texts.
Blog content should target local audiences
Blogging is a great medium to reach your public. It allows you to create content that specifically targets your local clients and generate a better return on investment. Blogging provides timely information to your audience and allows the local algorithms of Google to identify and promote content on a freshness basis. It’s effective in boosting the prominence score of a website.
You need to create a user-friendly blog to increase the chances to rank higher on local search pages. Regularly blogging also helps you create a powerful social media presence for your organization.
How to create blog content that targets your local customers?
- Write on topics your local clients are interested in. How-to, news, evergreen, and controversial articles are resources people turn to when they want to find more about a certain subject
- Use professional tools like Writing Judge, Yoast SEO, WOW Grade, and Canva to craft blogs that boost traffic, and rank on Google.
- Add related posts links and tags to improve the topical keyword associations in posts
- Hire writing services to deliver original and actionable content
- Create a content calendar
- Article titles should provide solutions to problems your audience highlighted
- Identify your target audience
Integrate voice search
At present over 50% of consumers use voice search to look for a local business, and it’s expected more people to use this function in the future. Because search devices are more popular than ever, people use them to conduct searches. “Where can I find muffins near me?” A sentence like this will be key for Google to understand the query and provide relevant search results. People will use full grammatically correct sentences to utter a question, so your website has to respond to it if you want it to rank high in searches
Can you optimize your website for voice searches? Yes, you can if you follow these strategies.
- Create a list of natural, medium tail keyword strings
- Write blog posts that resolve the queries from keyword strings
- Create AMP pages and optimize the website for mobile
- All pages should have natural language
- Use words and phrases people actually use
- Submit your sitemap to Bing and Google, to allow search bots to crawl your web pages
- List correct NAP data
- Enter the same address in Yelp and Google My Business because different ones confuse the search engine algorithms
We listed some powerful strategies you can use to optimize local SEO, so it’s the moment to implement them to see results.