You’re most probably familiar with SEO by now, but how well are you doing with local SEO? Would you consider your company well optimized for local SEO, or have you not given this much thought?
As the name suggests, local SEO is a specific, more targeted approach to search engine optimization. It lets you reach customers—and vice versa—based on location and service (as opposed to just finding someone based on their service).
When implemented properly, it can drive more visitors to visit small and medium-sized businesses within their area—effectively increasing traffic. So here are five proven methods to doing just that.
1. Synchronize Your NAP
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number, and it’s a pretty important element to have on all your pages. After all, it’s one of the biggest cues search engines will use to associate your website with certain locations.
And since Google looks at individual pages, it’s not enough to just have it spelled out on your ‘About Us’ or ‘Contact Us’ page; you need to make sure it’s present in every area of your website.
That being said, the way you spell it out is also important. Crazy as it may seem, some search engines—especially Google—will consider the same address written differently as two separate addresses. For instance, #39 Sunset Boulevard versus 39 Sunset Blvd.
In Google’s eyes, these two are not the same place.
To avoid competing with yourself, you need to make sure that every iteration of your NAP is exactly the same—from the NAP on your website to the NAP on your social media pages and business listings. This process can definitely be a bit overwhelming (and time-consuming), but it’s well worth the effort to go through.
2. Meta Data Optimization
Don’t listen to what the naysayers of the ‘net have to say; meta data, title tags, and meta descriptions are still relevant in today’s digital marketing landscape. It doesn’t matter how prioritized they are as ranking factors, because they still factor in to a visitor’s first impressions of your website.
Hence, it’s important that your meta data includes the name of the city or location that you service.
Optimizing for SEO and local SEO may not be all that different, but it’s details like these that turn your strategy from generalized to specific, and specificity is every marketer’s best friend. Optimizing your meta data, page title tags, and meta descriptions with your location clearly tells search engines which cities you cater to and where people can find you—which is definitely something you want for local SEO.
3. Give Different Service Areas Their Own Page
Speaking of specificity, you also want to avoid consolidation as much as possible—especially if you’re looking to optimize your website for local searches. Just like generalization, consolidating your information in just one or two pages is not helpful.
Instead of listing and describing all your services and local service areas on one page, create different landing pages for them. This method—while extensive—goes a long way into helping your local SEO company, because these different landing pages can essentially act like mini-homepages that can also be optimized.
After all, Google ranks pages—not domains.
4. Go to Social Media
In this day and age, who doesn’t have a Facebook account?
As a business owner, you need to capitalize on that.
Setting up a Facebook business page is another great way to optimize your business for local searches. Aside from it being another channel to feature your NAP, having a Facebook page also increases your chances of a higher SERP ranking for location-specific searches. Search engines take very kindly to social media accounts, after all, and having an existing page gives you an advantage over businesses that have none.
5. Don’t Forget Your Google My Business Page
Google My Business (GMB) is practically a must if you want to rank well for local searches—or even relevant searches in general! As arguably the most popular search engine, most anyone will turn to Google first with their search query. That being said, any service under the Google umbrella will obviously be prioritized.
This internet-based service is Google’s way of allowing business owners to verify their business data so as to have more control over what shows up in the SERP when someone searches their business name. It appears in Google Maps and, of course, Local Pack—two areas that you definitely want your business to appear on, too.
That being said, claim your business listing and fill it up with as much information as possible to aid your local SEO company. And if you’re servicing multiple locations, don’t forget to claim your GMBs for each one.