Introduction to Local SEO
SEO is playing a crucial role in web marketing. But people often forget about the local Search Engine Optimization. Local SEO is quite tricky but has its own importance. Along with the regular SEO one need to take care of the local SEO activities.
Local SEO is not just about directory listing. There are several other things to be considered in local SEO.
So you have a good brand and a good website. You feel that your SEO is complete but have you ever considered local SEO enough ?
Optimizing your website for local SEO can help you gain local interest and drive specific geographical traffic to your site.
Are you affected by a local SEO update ?
To have a successful local SEO don’t forget to focus on all these elements
Important Local SEO Elements
Following are some important local SEO elements:
Ensure Consistency and Accuracy
Your local SEO begins with NAP. NAP is the key element of local SEO. NAP refers to Name, Address and Phone Number. NAP is the measuring tool for the existence of a business. Recently a W is also added which refers to Website address of the business. Most of the local SEO experts are well aware of this NAP.
But what gets confused is the accuracy and consistency of NAP+W.
Most of the business owners know how important it is to keep the information updated but they don’t have time to update them all. Here are few points listed about accuracy and consistency of NAP in detail.
The accuracy of information is used as a tool to know the existence of the business. The information given in your website should be accurate and perfectly aligned.
For example, if your business name is Style-on Fashions and you type Style on – Fashions in your citation, then the directory will register your business inaccurately.
Even the slightest mistake can be devastating. It’s not about just creating listings but it’s about creating unique identity for your business. This will help you to distinguish your company from other companies in your field. NAP needs to exactly correspond to each other in every citation.
Maintaining NAP also means keeping it consistent. The NAP information should be consistent in all the citation. The consistency of the information will help in increasing ranking in search engines.
For instance, your business information on your site and on other social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others must be consistent.
Your business information might keep changing as you may shift your business to a new location or you might have a new number added to your business. So you need to be consistent in updating such information to all the sites, directories and listings.
This will save your business ranking.
It is not an easy job to maintain consistency in all the citation. Take the help of an SEO expert and make sure you are on the right path.
Ask to yourself few questions like
- Have I changed my business name?
- Have I changed the business place?
- Have I changed the business communication numbers?
If you are able to answer to these questions, you can track your local citation and maintain the accuracy and consistency of your business.
When you list your business information in a lot of directories there are chances that you start ignore to list few information. But please don’t cut corners. It’s a easy job to get your business listed in directories but it’s a very tough job to use them to the maximum.
This is another important factor of local Search Engine Optimization. Include all the valuable information in your listings. The more information your provide the better you will be ranked in search engines. There are a lot of information customers will be looking for when they visit your site. Researchers have given a list of information which the customers will be interested.
- Contact Number
- Place of Business
- Proximity to location
- Hours of Operation
- Site address
- Product details like price
- Payment modes
- Other important business information
- Other product information
If you have not mentioned any important info then you are about to lose customers.
For example, some people might be interested in purchasing through instalment system but if you have not mentioned the proper terms for purchase through instalment system then the customer will shift to some other business.
Providing Proper Information to Customers
Always remember that ‘People love information’. So don’t get back from providing proper information to them.
1. Social Media Accounts
Now a day’s small businesses don’t have a website but they still thrive in the local market. This is because of the Local SEO. Local SEO has proved that having a well-designed site alone cannot give you success.
Now you will have a question in your mind.
So is the website not important for SEO success?
Yes of course. Website is greatly needed for SEO specially for doing on-page optimization. But when it comes to local SEO local factors are considered more important than the website.
In Local SEO social media accounts are works as a representative website.
You can create accounts in sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Yelp or UrbanSpoon. Your customers will visit such sites in place of your website. Social media sites will also help them to know about your rating and customer reviews. This will help your customers to get all the information about you and your business at a single click.
This will attract visitors and encourage them to become buyers of your product or service.
Recently Google has launched its My business Page tool which will help the local SEO experts to create more social account pages and links.
Google My Business Page will help your business to appear more important.
2. Soliciting Reviews
Reviews are one of the best ways to improve your site rankings in search engines.
Under Local SEO you may find a lot of things under your control like directory listings, creating social media accounts, opening My Business Page in Google and these things will help you increase the ranking for your business.
But reviews are the only attribute that is out of your control. You cannot force anyone to write a review for your business.
Whenever you complete a deal and the customer is fully satisfied with your service ask them to leave a review about your business on some standard review sites like Google+, Yelp and others.
When a customer provides a review offer them with incentive like discounts, free product, etc in exchange for their reviews. This will help you to encourage the people to write reviews for your site.
Sometimes you can also send a mail to the customer asking for a review.
Reviews are so crucial for local SEO. Search engines like Google will index the sites with highest reviews at the top of the results page. So the reviews and ratings for your business matters a lot in SEO.
3. The Neighbourhood Algorithm
Google has recently announced a new algorithm called the Neighbourhood algorithm. It has also said that this algorithm will be taken into account for ranking in SEO.
It is quite difficult for local neighbourhoods to fit in to the search engine algorithm. This is because they don’t have clearly defined names. The name in the formal map and the name the local residents call it will be entirely different.
You need to be hyper local on your website and social media. Your website can help a lot in this. You can add the close neighbourhood terminology to the website to get the maximum results from local SEO.
There are several ways through which you can peak into neighbourhood algorithm. Here are few ideas listed.
- Add your neighbourhood name in the description of Google My Business Page
- Add your neighbourhood name at the end of your Google My Business Page along with your company’s name.
- Include the neighbourhood name in the content of your website
- You can also add your neighbourhood name to the title tag of your website
- Try to include your neighbourhood name in the local citation profiles
- Submit or update the correct neighbourhood name in Google MapMaker
Neighbourhood algorithm will have a great impact on your local business.
4. Target local customers
Local business should target the local consumers more than the other consumers located at different geographical places. When you are targeting local customers, don’t forget to include the cultural values of the place that they are more familiar with.
For example, when a user visits your page and if he sees a message which is customized to that specific geographical region then the user will be more interested in your page.
This will increase the local traffic to your site or pages which in turn will help you rank higher in search engines.
5. Local landing pages
If you have different business locations then you can have specific landing pages with the right content and right keyword for that particular location.
This will make a big difference when it comes to Local SEO.
For example, if you are running a business in 3 different cities, you can create three landing pages for each city. These pages should contain content that is related to that specific location to make sure that the local customers are more attracted.
6. Mobile users
Mobile users have increased to a greater extent in recent years. Many website owners create a well designed website but they forget to optimize their website to be used in mobile phones.
With the recent Google Mobile Update, there is a highly increasing need to optimize your site for mobile for local SEO.
This is because the potential customers are using their mobile phones to find out the places near them when they are on the road.
7. Localised blog content
Blogs are a great way to get links to your site and increase your site ranking in search engines. Blogs offer the information in an interesting way to the web users.
Coming to the local SEO, always don’t forget to write blogs and articles based on local contents and events. But make sure that the content is related to your business.
Use right keywords and create unique content. Create your blog in a structured way so that everything falls in your favour.
Don’t simply write a blog and let it free. Make people aware about your blog through sites like Facebook, Twitter and others. If you don’t advertise your blog then it will be lost in cyber space.
8. Competitor landscape
Do research on your competitor’s strategy. Understand what they are doing for Local SEO. See whom they are linking to and in what way. This method will help you in understanding how other businesses are doing their marketing and SEO. It will also help you to find new opportunities for your business promotion.
9. Events and Workshops
Conduct local events and workshops to create publicity of your business among the local people. You can also attend local events to induce your interest. The best method is to conduct a charity based event. This will help you in getting natural links to your site and will increase your local SEO.
10. Top ranked directories
List your business in the top ranked directories of your field. Such directories rank well in search results of search engines. Yelp is one such directory that will help you drive more traffic to your site.
Do simple research to find out the best directories and the ranking factors inside their platform.
The success of a local seo business depends purely on local SEO. You need to find the endless possibilities local SEO has for a totally new SEO. Thus when you plan your local SEO don’t forget about these elements as it could create a positive impact for your business.
This has been a guide to Local SEO. Here we have discussed basic concept, important SEO elements, along with Providing Proper Information to Customers. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –