Local SEO has changed quite a bit recently with the introduction of Google My Business and other Google changes, so now is the time to start thinking about revamping your local SEO strategy. Google is working hard to make sure the results delivered to the user are relevant and you need to be on top of the game in order to show up in results. Are you doing the right things to improve local rankings?
The Right Keywords
Revamping your local SEO strategy should begin with keyword research. Use your competitors in order to find the right combination of keywords. Keywords should ideally have good search volume, low competition and be highly targeted. Your keyword strategy will play into the rest of these items.
On Page Optimization
With Google’s recent changes, many local searches will show the local pack, which now is three businesses instead of the seven to 10 it used to be. Getting ranked in the local pack should be a number one goal of local SEO besides just showing in the organic rankings. In order to increase your chances of ranking in the local pack, proper on page optimization is key. Have keywords as well as your location in your titles, your onsite content and make sure any links back to your pages are relevant. You should have an accurate Contact Us page with your name, address and phone number and a Google map. Include the address in the footer as well and make sure the address is consistent throughout the website.
Many local Google results will show directories beneath the local pack, including local directories like Yelp, BBB and Citysearch. Getting listed in these directories will help your business. Listings that are specific to your city, state or industry can also help improve your backlinking as long as the directory domain is reputable.
Reviews are the online equivalent of word of mouth marketing. Not only can they help improve the reputation of your business, they can also increase your chances of showing in the local pack of results. You will need to make an active effort to collect reviews. If you rely on people just voluntarily leaving reviews, your competitors will pass you. Consider this an active part of your SEO strategy. Reviews on Google My Business will be the first thing a user sees in a Google search for your business.
Google My Business
Getting your business listed in Google My Business (GMB) should be an absolute priority. More people are using search engines to find out local information about a business, like address, business hours or the phone number, so a GMB profile that is filled out and optimized will help.
More traffic is going mobile, especially for your local business, so making sure the user interface on your mobile website is user friendly will help with local search results.
There are ways to update your existing content to help with local SEO.
As voice search and interactive home speakers are increasing, searches like restaurants near me are becoming more important. Look at blog posts, media content and service pages to optimize searches for “near me “or “close by.” Don’t overstuff these terms, but if the pages have locations already in there you should be able to work in these terms naturally. To utilize these keywords in new content, blog posts are the perfect opportunity. Topics like “choosing the best plumber near you” or “comparing suppliers near you” are good topics.
It’s important to keep content short and relevant with local focused keywords, but don’t overstuff the keywords. Remember the purpose of the content. Videos may be a good content choice since they give users the information quickly and are mobile friendly.
Technical work is important for local businesses just as it is for regular SEO. Adding schema markup to the website for local SEO will vary depending on your website, but it should be a priority. URLs should have targeted keywords and the HTML and CSS code should be friendly enough for bots to properly crawl your site. Just like with regular sites, page speed is also a factor. Make sure images are optimized and browser caching is taken care of in order to increase page speed.
What to Do about Multiple Locations?
If you have multiple locations, you may not want individual sites for each business but one strong site that houses all the locations. In order to optimize, have content dedicated to each location with specific promotions or host or sponsor events in the different cities to have content to add to the website. You can also write blog posts that apply to certain locations.
Start Revamping Your Local SEO Strategy Now
Working with a company that can help revamping your local SEO strategy will be key in 2018. Contact Poet Media for an evaluation of your website.