Local SEO is a unique branch of search engine optimization that helps businesses rank higher in local searches on Google. The process combines traditional search engine optimization techniques like website content, link-building, and on-page optimization with location based factors like Google Business Profiles, citations, and reviews.
The main goal of any local SEO strategy is to get your business listed at the top of Google’s SERP for specific keywords and locations. For example, if you own an Italian restaurant in Los Angeles, your goal would be to appear first for searches of “Italian restaurants in LA.” There are many different ways that you can improve your local ranking, but the most important thing is to keep track of the latest changes and updates.
One of the most important aspects of local SEO is optimizing your Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business). This profile includes information about your business like address, phone number, and hours of operation. The profile also allows you to add photos and a description of your business. The best part is that it’s free to use! Adding photos and a description of your business is a great way to attract customers to your website or store.
Another important aspect of local SEO is ensuring that your business’s NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent across all online platforms and websites. This is especially important because Google takes NAP consistency into account when determining local search rankings. You can check for NAP consistency using a tool like Moz Local. This tool will provide you with a list of all the online platforms that display your business NAP and will show you any discrepancies.
NAP consistency is important for local SEO because it tells search engines that your business is legitimate and accurate. It also increases the likelihood that your business will appear in the Google carousel and on other Google local search results.
You can also optimize your local ranking by claiming and optimizing all of your business listings on online directories. These listings often contain links to your website, which is an important factor in Google’s local search algorithm. When a person searches for your type of business on Google, the autocomplete feature will often suggest other relevant businesses and their reviews. These suggestions can help you discover new keyword opportunities that you might not have otherwise found.
Finally, generating positive customer reviews is an important aspect of local SEO because it shows search engines that your business is trustworthy and reliable. Positive reviews can increase your chances of appearing in the Google carousel and on Yelp, which can drive traffic to your business.