Local SEO is an attempt to optimize your website to rank higher on search engine results pages that are produced for specific locations. If you own a small to medium-sized business, the local market is often prioritized more than the global market.
Considering that 46% of general Google searches include local intent, knowing how to maximize your local SEO performance is crucial to increase your business’s exposure and eventually, sales.
There are several essential ranking factors that you should consider to improve your business exposure, especially in the local area. Let us look at what local SEO ranking factors could prove useful for your business.
Google will notice a website that can provide the best experience for its users as a helpful source of information, and its ranking will be improved.
Even though there is no specific metric for a user’s satisfaction, their overall experience when visiting your website should always become your top-most priority. There are several aspects to keep in mind when you try to give your website’s visitors the best experience.
First, an informative website should have a good click-through rate (CTR). A website with a higher CTR will be indicated as reliable and trustworthy. One way you can improve your CTR is by producing useful and relevant content via blog posts.
Second, you can improve your website’s performance by looking at its load speed and overall design. Users will be more likely to stay at your website if it uses responsive design and is able to load its content quickly.
Make sure you choose the right hosting provider that can provide you with good server performance and platform optimization. With many hosting products, including cloud hosting and WordPress hosting Hostinger can be the right choice for you.
Have you ever noticed that your Google search result will sometimes give you a list of nearby businesses related to your search keyword? This pane is a service called Google My Business.
By using this service, you can validate the ownership of your business listing on Google or even make your own listing. Validating your listing on Google My Business is important for your local SEO since Google will put more trust in a verified business.
To improve your local SEO using Google My Business, you will need to provide as much information as possible regarding your business in the listing. Information including business address, working hours, and contact details are crucial to help potential customers know more about your business.
You would also need to include high-quality photos of your business, including the building and your products or services. All of this information will boost customer’s trust while researching your business and ultimately improve local SEO.
Besides Google My Business, other business directories will help you boost your local exposure. These directories will include your business name on their list and link it to your website or other platforms, helping you as a business owner and your customers at the same time.
Local business directories have their own niche that covers a specific industry. Here are some business directories that you should know, listed based on their business types:
Ensure that you register to directories related to your company’s business line to get the maximum exposure boost. Take a look at their domain authority since it will also affect your ranking on SERPs.
Traditional SEO includes general efforts to improve your website’s performance on the search engine results pages. Most of the measures you take in traditional SEO mainly focus on generating organic traffic.
Traditional SEO efforts involve creating blog posts, optimizing page performance, backlinking, and other strategies related to maximizing keyword use. Although its focus is to improve your SERPs ranking globally, it will also affect your local performance.
The most crucial aspect of traditional SEO is to know what keyword to use. To improve your local SEO, do some research for your local keyword by combining your business type with your local keyword. Here are some example form of local keywords:
- Best artisanal pizza in New York
- Brighton pet shop
- Affordable plumbing service around Toronto
Remember to always focus on industry-related keywords to improve your domain authority. Don’t use a keyword that doesn’t represent your business just because it has high traffic. Also, try to include a modifier to specify your target keyword.
WordPress plugins such as Yoast SEO will help you to analyze whether or not your articles are SEO optimized.
Positive reviews for your business will help your potential customers know that your company is reliable and proven to have good quality products and services.
Google will also recognize if your business listing has many good reviews. Your ranking on the SERPs and Google My Business will rise, which will give you more chances to gain traffic to your website.
Always encourage and remind your customers to leave their reviews on your Google business listing and other directories your business use. However, you don’t need to incentivize them to leave a positive review; remember that honest reviews can also help you identify what you need to improve.
By displaying valid reviews on your website or listing with the appropriate format, Google will take those reviews and include them in the review snippet. The review snippet may appear in the search results or the knowledge panel.
Social media is undeniably the most prominent digital marketing platform for business entities and individuals. Many of your potential customers will also be looking for local product and service providers through their social media account.
Popular social media platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, have the hashtag algorithm that you can use. Using the appropriate hashtag, you can make sure that your post is discoverable by users interested in that particular topic.
Another thing from social media platforms that you can utilize is the promotion campaign. Most platforms allow you to promote your post to a specific target audience by paying a fee. This allows your campaign to be directed to a group of people that will be more likely to buy your product.
Local link building or also known as backlinks is links on other websites or social media accounts that are directed to your website.
Google will treat this link as the vote of trust from one website to another, meaning that the more backlinks you have, the more reliable your website is from Google’s perspective.
However, remember that you should not abuse the use of backlinks to your website unless you want your website SERPs ranking to be lowered or removed altogether by Google.
To maximize backlinks, use SEO-friendly anchor texts that still sound natural to your readers. Also, try to have links from high-authority sites; this will help boost your website ranking and domain authority.
When determining your ranking in the local SERPs, Google will scan your website for critical information, including the business’s Name, Address, and Phone number, or also known as NAP.
Besides your website, your NAP will also appear on various business directories throughout the Internet; this is what we call citations. Google will also scan these citations and see if all of the information is consistent with what is displayed on your website.
Businesses can utilize NAP properly by ensuring they are correctly displayed on their website and all of its citations. Your displayed citations’ consistency will help Google and other search engines determine your business’s legitimacy.
SEO strategy is not only useful to boost your website’s exposure on the entire Internet, but it is also applicable if you want to promote your business locally. Since a large number of Google searches include a local variable, improving local SEO has become more important.
In this article, we have learned about several essential ranking factors that you should consider to improve your business exposure locally, they include:
- User experience
- Google my business
- Local business directories
- Traditional SEO
- Online reviews
- Social signals
- Local link building
- Online citations
By taking a look at each factor to optimize your local SEO, your business will be able to get a better grasp of its closest and most important market potential. Now, get ready to start creating your local SEO plan!