Local SEO is the lifeblood of any business owner that wants to drive geographically-specific, targeted traffic to their website. Unfortunately, many are not utilizing all the assets available to them, or if they are, are severely underselling them. In order for local SEO to have maximum effect, you’ll need to cover all your bases, like the ones found on the checklist below.
Google My Business
Everyone is most likely aware of Google’s prowess. The search engine juggernaut processes nearly 3.5 billion searches every single day, many of them people looking for a local solution to their business. Google My Business (GMB) provides a directory for you to list your company on their platform and funnel those searches more directly to your platform. On GMB, you can respond to reviews by customers, allow yourself to be found on Google maps, and more. All you have to do is go to Google My Business and type in the name of your business.
Even if the name doesn’t ring a bell, schema should still look familiar to you. This is the data that appears directly under your name and web address on search results and can include things like reviews, hours of operation, etc. Not only does it give your website more authority in the eyes of customers, but it also helps search engines better understand what type of information it needs to feed search users.
Search engines aggregate information that comes from social platforms on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to help rank your website alongside, and in order to improve your ranking, you’ll need to create multiple profiles (although you should only create as many as you can reasonably manage). Make sure that you have relevant images, appropriate categories, and a consistent name, address, and phone number (NAP) listed across all platforms.
Reviews Overwhelmingly Help Consumers Choose
While you can’t control what people will write about your business online, you can encourage your satisfied customers to leave feedback, which will hopefully nullify the few bad ones every business is bound to receive at some point. Reviews overwhelmingly help consumers choose between various local businesses, but Google also gives weight to a listing that has more positive reviews as well. The more stars you have, the more exposure you’ll get from search engines.
Most users don’t have time to load several pages to find out the most pertinent information about your business, so meta descriptions allow them to get a snapshot of your page at a glance. Meta descriptions appear directly underneath your name on search results and are normally under 156 characters in length. If you need help nailing down an appropriate synopsis, use this tool to help.
A case can be made for title tags being the most valuable SEO resource of all. It is normally the first thing your customers will see as it relates to your business, but it also is the strongest location for SEO purposes, so you want to make sure your primary keyword is in it. You’ll only have about 55 characters to woo future customers, so make sure you put your company name and a brief listing of services offered next to that.