Local SEO has changed quite a bit recently with the introduction of Google My Business and other Google changes, so now is the time to start thinking about revamping your local SEO strategy. Google is working hard to make sure the results delivered to the user are relevant, and you need to be on top of the game to show up in results. Are you doing the right things to improve local rankings?
Revamping Your Local SEO Strategy – Top Tips
The Right Keywords
Revamping your local SEO strategy should begin with keyword research. Use your competitors to find the right combination of keywords. Keywords should ideally have good search volume, low competition, and be highly targeted. Your keyword strategy will play into the rest of these items.
With Google’s recent changes, many local searches will show the local pack, which now is three businesses instead of the seven to 10 it used to be. Getting ranked in the local pack should be a number one goal of local SEO besides just showing in the organic rankings. To increase your chances of ranking in the local pack, proper on-page optimization is critical. Have keywords and your location in your titles, your onsite content, and make sure any links back to your pages are relevant. You should have an accurate Contact Us page with your name, address, phone number, and Google map. Include the address in the footer and make sure the address is consistent throughout the website.
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Many local Google results will show directories beneath the local pack, including local directories like Yelp, BBB, and Citysearch. Getting listed in these directories will help your business. Listings specific to your city, state, or industry can also help improve your backlinking as long as the directory domain is reputable.
Reviews are the online equivalent of word of mouth marketing. Not only can they help improve your business's reputation, but they can also increase your chances of showing in the local pack of results. You will need to make an active effort to collect reviews.
If you rely on people just voluntarily leaving reviews, your competitors will pass you up. Consider this an active part of your SEO strategy. Reviews on Google My Business will be the first thing a user sees in a Google search for your business. You need to manage your reviews and respond to reviews (both good and bad ones). Managing reviews is easy with LOCALSYNC and you can do it right from your LOCALSYNC Online Business Center Dashboard. Here is a quick overview of how to manage reviews with LOCALSYNC.
Google My Business
Getting your business listed in Google My Business (GMB) should be an absolute priority. More people are using search engines to find out local information about a company, like address, business hours, or the phone number, so a GMB profile filled out and optimized will help.
More traffic is going mobile, especially for your local business, so ensuring the user interface on your mobile website is user friendly will help with local search results.
There are ways to update your existing content to help with local SEO.
As voice search and interactive home speakers are increasing, searches like restaurants near me are becoming more critical. Look at blog posts, media content, and service pages to optimize searches for “near me “or “close by.” Don’t overstuff these terms, but if the pages have locations already in there, you should be able to work in these terms naturally. To utilize these keywords in new content, blog posts are the perfect opportunity. Topics like “choosing the best plumber near you” or “comparing suppliers near you” are good topics.
It’s crucial to keep content short and relevant with locally-focused keywords, but don’t overstuff the keywords. Remember the purpose of the content. Videos may be a good content choice since they give users the information quickly and are mobile-friendly.
Technical SEO work is essential for local businesses, just as it is for regular SEO. Adding schema markup to the website for local SEO will vary depending on your website, but it should be a priority. URLs should have targeted keywords, and the HTML and CSS code should be friendly enough for bots to crawl your site correctly. Just like with regular sites, page speed is also a factor. Ensure images are optimized and browser caching is taken care of to increase page speed.
What to Do about Multiple Locations?
If you have multiple locations, you may not want individual sites for each business but one strong site that houses all the locations. To optimize, have content dedicated to each location with specific promotions or host or sponsor events in the different cities to add to the website. You can also write blog posts that apply to specific locations. Want to learn more about managing multiple locations? We have a great article here.
Final Thoughts – Revamping Your Local SEO Strategy
Local SEO is playing a bigger and bigger part in Google search ranking results as Google improves its algorithms to deliver better and better results. The goal of Local SEO (actually all SEO) is to create an online business platform (your website), that you own (your website, NOT a social media profile), that serves your customers. That means:
Making sure that your customers can find the correct information about your EVERYWHERE (Digital Information Management)
Having a fast, optimized website that looks great on mobile devices (professional business website design)
Having content for your audience to enjoy that actually helps them (a professional, consistent content design that resonates with your customers)