The advancements in technology have driven us to a situation where it becomes so much easier to check businesses out without having to go out of our house. Back then, it was so frustrating to go out and then discover that a business is closed for the day or they have completely ceased operations.
Today, we are able to search nearby businesses on Google and check when they are open or if they are still existing. But, we do not tap or click any random business. We are wired to click on the first result because we automatically think that the first entry is what’s best.
As a business owner, are you making sure that your website or business is the first thing that a Google user sees when they search? If not, then you are doing it all wrong!
Doing local SEO, as what we call it, is as equally important as doing a general SEO. For what it’s worth, local SEO is actually more important for local businesses. This makes sure that your business is visible when searchers are using location-specific terms.
In this article, we will give you some awesome tips on the aspects of local SEO that you need to look into so that your local business has a high ranking in Google.
#1 – NAP Consistency
The very first thing that you need to do when it comes to local SEO is to make sure you have a single set of NAP details. This includes the name of your business, its address, and phone number. Additionally, you can also include your operating hours if you want to be more detailed.
You have to make sure that all these details are the same and consistent across all NAP listing sites and more importantly, your website. When there are a lot of mismatched information and search engines become aware of this, you could be heavily penalized and you will have a hard time ranking.
#2 – Local Citations
In a nutshell, a local citation is any kind of mention or citation of your business all around the internet. Among other websites that you can start building your citations are Yelp, FourSquare, Yellow Pages, BBB, Angie’s List, and a lot more websites with higher authority.
Local citations are major criteria in the algorithms of Google and other search engines. So, make sure that all the information you post on these pages is accurate and consistent.
#3 – Google My Business
Google loves Google. Now that you are fully aware of how important it is to maintain accurate NAP details, let us discuss the one thing that Google loves the most when they are crawling for businesses: Google My Business.
Google My Business or GMB used to be called Google Places. Back then, it was not given a lot of attention. However, when Google found out that users are searching using location-specific terms, they worked on transforming Google Places to Google My Business. Now, GMB has become a very critical part of local SEO. Here are some things that you can do in GMB:
- Put your NAP data as completely as possible. Include your business hours and categorize your business under the proper categories.
- Verify your location.
- Be detailed and accurate about your hours. This is especially helpful if you have special hours during the holidays.
- Organize your reviews and interact with them as much as possible.
- Do not forget to add images and photos of your business.
#4 – Local Keywords
Picture yourself as a user. Let us say you are craving for some fried chicken but you do not really want to waste your time looking for a good shop around New York. So, you go to Google and do a search. “fried chicken delivery” and “fried chicken delivery in New York” — which one would give you more accurate results? It is the one with “New York”.
This is logical because using location-specific terms will tell Google that you only want to see particular results in a specific area.
As a business, you want your website to be seen when people include these locations in their search. So, what you do is include them in your keywords. And like how you do your normal SEO, you include these long-tail keywords in the following elements:
- Title tag
- Meta descriptions
- H1 tags
- Body texts
- Image alt-texts
Moreover, you want to make sure that your website has an SSL certificate. This will tell search engines that your website is secure and encrypted.
With mobile devices and GPS systems being in rampant use, it has become important for every business to put their attention to local SEO. It is important so you need to really equip yourself with the proper understanding of what it really means to ensure that you are doing it right.