Local SEO is important. And its importance increases every day.
As searching gets more real-time, personalised and local, results are based not just on a person’s preferences and previous searches, but also on the person’s exact location.
Add to that the fact that Google tends to favour newer, smaller and more agile companies, then there’s no better time to consider boosting your local SEO.
If you’re searching for local SEO tips to help your business grow, we’ve got some of the most effective ones here.
But first be sure that you have a solid website. Not having one will affect all aspects of SEO and conversions and can create problems down the road that could negatively impact your overall rankings.
Incorporate these simple local SEO tips to rank higher in local searches.
Follow these tips to give your business the competitive edge.
1. Get listed on Google with Google My Business.
Google is where it’s at and we all know it.
Google My Business, or GMB for short, is the ultimate marketing platform for small and local businesses.
With GMB, you’re not only able to manage and update how Google displays your information, but you’ll also show up on Google Maps to help customers find you more easily.
Plus, you’ll be able to access insights as to how users find your business when they search, and you’ll be able to respond to any customer reviews.
To list your business, go to Google My Business and type in your business name and address into the search bar. Then you’re on your way.
2. Remember your meta descriptions.
Meta descriptions are a brief synopsis of what is on the page. They are typically between 150-160 characters and should be unique and original.
One of the best local SEO tips is to take the extra time to make your meta descriptions interesting and descriptive. Doing so could increase the frequency with which people click on your result when it is shown.
3. Don’t underestimate the importance of title tags.
Compared to the meta description, your title tag may seem small and uninteresting. But it’s one of the most important on-page SEO elements.
Title tags are the main text that appears in search results. It’s also what shows up on top of your browser tab and when you save bookmarks.
Titles not only give users a short overview of what to expect when they click, but they also tell Google what your page is about. And Google likes this.
So that they display correctly in Google, title tags are ideally under 55 characters and include your brand name as much as possible. And the home page title tag will always start with your brand name followed by your product or services.
For example: Colour Cymru | Website Design & Development
4. Include your NAP.
While a siesta would be nice, NAP in this context is short for name, address, and phone number. And as local SEO tips go, this one is pretty easy.
In order to show up on a local search, Google has to understand where your business is located. If Google is able to pick up NAP information on your website as well as on other sites around the web, it’s going to help you rank higher on a local search.
That’s because Google uses the consistency and quantity of NAP mentions as a ranking factor. So the more often your business information shows up, and the more consistent it is, the higher your local search visibility will be.
5. The customer is always right.
At least as far as consumers are concerned.
Over 92 percent of consumers read (and trust) online reviews in determining which local businesses and services they’ll choose. Plus, 60 percent judge a local business on its overall star rating. Over 40 percent consider 3 out of 5 stars to be the bare minimum rating before even considering a business.
So obviously it’s important to get positive customer reviews. You can do this by focusing on creating a great customer experience. Each time a job is finished or a product is sold, politely ask for feedback.
It’s valuable information.
You can also use places like Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, Foursquare, Angie’s List and Houzz to receive and reply back to reviews.
Keep in mind that the quantity and quality of your online reviews play a role in your search visibility. The higher the number of 5-star reviews of your business, the more online exposure you’ll get.
6. Be mobile friendly.
This is one of the most crucial local SEO tips. If you’re not mobile friendly yet, then get to it. Google is penalising you.
On top of that, users don’t like dealing with a poor mobile experience of your website.
They don’t want to have to pinch the touch screen to zoom in and they definitely don’t like slow loading time.
Updating to a mobile friendly website means having responsive web design, that’s able to adjust to fit the screen size of any device. And from an SEO perspective, responsive websites are just easier to manage.
If that’s too much work, you can instead develop a separate website designed specifically for mobile. But whatever the case, you need to get mobile friendly.
7. Include citations and social profiles.
A citation generally takes the form of a local listing in an online directory. It is simply an online mention of your business with some or all of your NAP information.
A social profile is a citation on the next level. It’s usually more trustworthy, original, and customisable. Examples of social profiles would be getting a shout out on Facebook, LinkedIn, and/or Pinterest.
Try to create as many citations and social profiles as possible. But be sure that they’re high-quality and relevant if you want to build your website’s visibility.
8. Link building is networking.
Back in the days of swanky parties and attending events in order to be seen, people handed out business cards to connect with influential and important people.
Link building is similar and shows up on nearly every list of local SEO tips. It’s the process of reaching out to authoritative and trustworthy websites to persuade them to link back to yours.
In Google land, a link to your site equals a “vote”. So the more votes your website has, the more often Google will show your site to its searchers – deeming it a must-see.
All of this helps build your online exposure while establishing your brand and increasing your website’s ranking and traffic.
Link building requires reaching out regularly and then following up. It can seem overwhelming. But it doesn’t hurt to get some quality links for your website while establishing new relationships in the process.
If you have other local SEO tips you think would help, let’s start a conversation. Let me know!