Local SEO: 5 Ways to Improve Your Rankings Today
We’re big fans of search engine optimization. And if you’re a local business, nothing moves the needle with the searchers that matter like local SEO. Today we’ll look at five relatively easy ways to optimize your local presence.
Local SEO allows you to focus your efforts on the people that matter most to your business – your neighbors. For most local business, there is no point in taking a swing at the giants like Amazon and Walmart. They’re spending millions on SEO and they exist on a whole different plane.
But local SEO narrows the field to your actual competition – the shop down the street, the guy in the next town over, or the niche website in your industry.
Improve your Local SEO
Improving your local SEO isn’t a mystery, it just takes commitment to a few simple guidelines. Fortunately, local SEO often moves faster than more traditional optimization techniques, so you’ll start seeing results within a few months.
These five methods that improve your local SEO will get you on the fast track to ranking well in your geographic location.
Optimized Meta Data
Optimizing your metadata is search engine optimization 101. But when you’re going after local SEO results, the technique looks a little different.
When you are looking to improve your local SEO, you should include some geographic markers (city, state, region, etc.) in your metadata. Most importantly, include this information in your title tags to get the most out of your SERP real estate.
Avoid keyword stuffing, but consider including geographic data in your URL, headers, blog posts, and meta descriptions.
Google My Business
Optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) profile is the easiest way to improve your local SEO – and it can have a huge impact on your results. If you haven’t already, get your GMB profile complete and up-to-date as soon as possible. Check out this post for more information.
You can also post updates about your business through your Google My Business page. This will ensure the search giant that your business is alive and active – always a good thing for SEO results.
Getting your business listed in online directories should be high on your list of local SEO priorities. First, you should audit all your existing listing to make sure your name, address, and phone number (sometimes called NAP) are correct and up-to-date.
Second, start submitting your business to a wide range of directories and listings. Start with the big guys (Yelp, YP, etc.), then the big-name data aggregators, and finally the local and industry-niche directories.
Online reviews are an important tool for building trust with potential customers, but it can also be a powerful way to improve your local SEO. The SEO experts over at Moz estimate that online reviews make up between 7% and 13% of local ranking factors.
Stay engaged with your reviews (across Google, Yelp, Facebook, and anywhere your business appears) to ensure that you’re delivering according to customer expectations. Staying current with all the possible review sites can be a lot of work, so if you’re busy consider a reputation management service.
This final tip requires more technical knowledge but is too important to not mention here. You probably already have your address on your website, and that’s good for local SEO. But with Schema markup, you can help search engine bots confirm your correct address quickly.
Schema markup isn’t terribly complex if you are familiar with basic HTML – you can read up about address markups here. If it’s not something you’re comfortable handling on your own, pass the request along to your web design agency – they should be able to handle it in just a few minutes.
Local SEO Services
By focusing your efforts on local SEO, your budget will go farther and you’ll see faster results. For most small and medium-sized businesses, one of your primary goals should be to improve your local SEO.
Most of the items we listed above can be done by a non-professional SEO. But finding the time to dedicate to a successful local SEO campaign can be difficult. Fusion Group USA has a variety of SEO and reputation management options to fit every business and budget.