If you are a local business owner who has not yet started to prioritize your business in the local area, now is the time to get started. With so many different factors to push your business out there in the local market, where do you even begin?
Look no further than the local search pack on the Google SERP. This section features prominent local businesses within proximity of the person searching. Prioritizing local search results helps level the playing field for small businesses. If the local search is a way to get more visibility, where should a small business start? Here are 10 steps to help you improve your local search!
1. Page Titles & Meta Description.
One of the fundamental steps to pushing out your keywords is customizing your page title and meta descriptions to give the user exactly what they are looking for strategically. If you want to be found in the local area, be sure to add the city and geographic area to help narrow down your target audience. Go through each website page that is indexed by search engines and incorporate keywords that will help your business get founds for certain local search queries.
2. Online Citations.
Online citations will help your business get listed on search engines and certain platforms such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc. Your business is listed on search engines and sites will immediately help bring in high-traffic online directories. One important tip when registering a new business listing is to make sure the primary information such as business name, address, website, etc., are accurate and consistent throughout. In SEO, this is referred to as the NAP information.
3. Google My Business.
One of the most important things local businesses can do is claim their company on Google My Business. When appropriately optimized, this will give businesses an advantage and exposure to the Google 3-pack. Claiming your Google My Business profile is relatively simple. Once registered, Google will send out a PIN number to you which you will need to verify your business. Adding as much information to your business page will help your customers to learn more.
4. Competitor Analysis.
Looking at what your competitors are doing is a great way to begin your search to the top of the SERP. We call this a competitor analysis. Look at other local businesses in your sector and see what is and is not working for them. It will also help you to do some demographic research in the areas that you are trying to target. Lastly, keyword research is always paramount amongst your competitors.
5. Online Reviews.
Reviews have played an important role for customers. As a matter of fact, studies have found that 84% of consumers trust them as much as personal recommendations. Google can acknowledge high-quality reviews and will help push your online presence above the rest so it is important to ask your customers to write reviews for you.
6. Local Content.
Producing high-quality content locally such as blog posts, online Q&A or even social media posts will help differentiate yourself in the market. Focus on the key messages and ensure they are relevant, informative, and actionable to stay ahead of the competition. Something important to remember when building this content is to avoid any duplicate or plagiarized content. All content posted online should be unique, or else it could result in penalization by Google and other search engines.
7. Create Service Area Pages.
Creating service area pages on your website is a great way to improve local SEO efforts. These website pages should always be a part of your overall content plan. The keyword is the name of the city you want to promote in the search results. If you want to promote your services in Boston, MA, build out pages with the service’s name and location in H-Tags and Metadata. Experts recommend having the city once in the title, once in a subheading, once in the introductory paragraph, and two to three more times throughout the article.
8. Online Consistency.
Lastly, improving your overall online presence is something that is incredibly useful when working to improve your overall local search optimization. Platforms such as Moz Local and Bright Local – or hiring companies such as Boston Web Marketing – will make sure you are listed in every local search engine with consistent NAP. They can also manage multiple locations in the same city or state for you, which can be very challenging if you have ever tried to do it yourself.