Every year, SEO (search engine optimization) becomes more intricate. As Google and the other leading search engines add in more factors and change the weight of importance, it can be difficult to know exactly what methods are best. However, over time, we’ve found that a few simple principles are timeless. We use these key points as a foundation for our local SEO services, and we wanted to share a few pointers with you. Before we dive into the principles, let’s quickly discuss why local SEO is important for you and your business.
Why is Local SEO Important?
If you want your business to be found so you can bring in more clients and customers, you should definitely take an interest in local SEO. No matter what town or city you’re in, it’s a safe bet that people are searching for whatever you offer. If you aren’t one of the first seen, there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on potential new business. To put it simply: if you want more business, you need to ensure you’re ranking highly in the search engines for local searches.
1) Local Directories
Getting your business and website listed in high-quality, relevant local directories is a crucial part of local SEO. At the very least, it’s important to have your site listed in Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, Manta, and other big-name directories. It’s also crucial that your business NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) is consistent across all of these directories. If you have multiple locations, ensure that each of your locations is listed in all of the major directories as well.
You should also do a search for directories related to your business and add your site to high-quality, relevant directories. This can be tricky, as you want to be sure that you aren’t adding your site to spammy, low-quality directories.
2) Online Reviews & Testimonials
Getting positive testimonials and reviews on popular review sites (such as Yelp, Google My Places, etc.) is important for better local rankings. The search engines’ end goal is to provide users with the best experience possible. If they send people to a business with a bad reputation, it can lead to a bad experience for their users. While Yelp doesn’t want you to request positive reviews, you can ask people to leave an honest review. If you provide great service, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a handful of positive ratings and testimonials, which helps your business all the way around.
3) On-Page Signals
Like any other SEO, it’s important to ensure your on-page content is in line with your local market. Include your business NAP on the contact us and about us pages. If you have multiple locations, it’s recommended to put all the addresses and information on the same page.
4) Social Signals
Google is taking social signals more seriously each year. A high Google+ authority, a large follower count on Twitter, and a lot of fans on Facebook shows Google that your business is an established brand with a following. Be sure to regularly post interesting content and market your business’ social media pages to grow your exposure. Be sure to steer clear of purchasing fake followers and fans.
5) Link Signals
Arguably the trickiest part of local SEO (and SEO in general) is getting high-quality links pointing to your website. Google & the other search engines treat backlinks from high-quality, authoritative sites as a vote for your website. The more votes you have, the easier it becomes to rank for your keywords. The best way to gain natural backlinks is to participate in community events and get your site and business information listed on local websites. There are more advanced methods of reaching out to other sites, but the specifics are outside the scope of this article.
If all of this seems a bit overwhelming, you’re not alone. There are many factors that come into play, and we barely scratched the surface. If you’re wanting to boost your website’s rankings for local searches, give us a call today to discuss your needs… we’d love to help! If you’d like to read more about our SEO services, please visit our SEO page. Be sure to act quickly, as we only take one client in each industry per city in order to avoid any conflict of interest.