When consumers are looking for products and services in their own community, they aren’t using general keywords like ‘Italian food’ or ‘dental appointment’. Instead, they use more specific terms, which is why Local SEO has become more important for businesses that want to be found on Google search results.
Local SEO is different from traditional SEO as it focuses on optimizing your website and online presence for users in your geographic area. This includes things like getting your business listed on local directories, making sure your business information is consistent across all platforms and ensuring you have the most complete backlink profile possible for your niche.
The good news is that most of the same signals that dictate organic SEO apply to Local SEO, so you have the opportunity to increase your visibility on the search results page (SERP) by making the right changes. The key is knowing which signals are the most important and how to leverage them to your advantage.
Your Google Business Profile is a critical part of any Local SEO strategy. It helps you get discovered by potential customers who might otherwise have never known about you.
Managing your Google Business Profile starts with filling out all the necessary information, including contact details, operating hours and business type. After that, you need to monitor your business listings to make sure the information is accurate and up-to-date. You can do this by signing up for Google Alerts for any searches done on your name, brand or product.
Another vital part of your local SEO strategy is creating and publishing great content on your website. This can be anything from blog posts to landing pages, videos, podcasts and animations. The important thing is to make sure the content you create is useful, engaging and relevant to the people searching for what you’re selling. This will help drive traffic to your site, which in turn will improve your local SEO rankings.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your competition when it comes to local SEO. Look at what kind of content they’re creating, what keywords they’re targeting and where their citations are coming from. You can do this by using tools such as BrightLocal’s own Listing Management Tool.
Some less scrupulous competitors may resort to spammy tactics in their bid to boost their local search ranking. This could include keyword stuffing their business names, listing inaccurate location information and even creating fake profiles. Although it can be time-consuming, fighting spam is often worth it in the long run if you’re able to push back against those who are trying to game the system.
Lastly, it’s important to maintain a positive customer rating on your website and on review sites such as Yelp. This not only reflects on the quality of your products or services but also validates your business as legitimate and trustworthy. The more positive reviews you have, the better your chances of ranking higher in the Google carousel and in the local pack.