As you’ve already read in an earlier post, SEO (search engine optimization) includes all of the processes by which your website’s rank increases in the search engine results pages.
Local SEO isn’t much different, that is, the end goal is to rank above your competitors for search traffic that is highly relevant to your business but with an emphasis on gaining more local traffic. To help get your started on the way to better site rankings and greater visibility for your business in your local area, here are four of the best components that contribute to a successful local SEO campaign.
Have a strong Google My Business profile.
According to a 2018 survey, having a Google My Business Profile took the number one spot for ranking factors in local map search and organic search. Additionally, having a strong Google My Business profile also promotes authenticity and authority in the categories you’ve selected for your business. Lastly, it increases your visibility by showing all of your business info on the right sidebar of the search engine results.
Create and maintain relevant on-page content.
How do you provide relevant on-page content? Thorough and ongoing keyword research! Use tools like Wordtracker or Ahrefs to help you search trends and volume of long-tail and short-tail keyword phrases that are relevant to your business. Only after you have an understanding of what exactly your customers are looking for can you begin to create the pieces of content they want and expect.
Collect awesome inbound links.
Search engines use the quality of a website’s inbound links as one way to determine how well a page should rank in the search results. This means that the higher the quality of links that you have pointing to your website, the more likely you are to rank well. There are many ways of acquiring links, but one of the most powerful ways is to create high-quality, shareable content and approaching the relevant influencers in your industry.
Generate great reviews.
Review quantity and diversity are huge ranking factors in local SEO and took the #2 spot for leading ranking factors in as recently as 2017. Claim your business on important review platforms like Google+ Local, YP.com, Yelp and Citysearch. Train your customer service members to ask customers to leave reviews about your business. Create a space on your website that let’s users leave testimonials or direct users to your review pages to let others know about their experiences.
As with SEO in general, local is not an overnight solution or a quick, set-it-and-forget-it task. If done consistently and done well, strong local SEO can really start to show somewhere between 4 and 6 mos.
If you can check these four items off your list, you’re on your way to higher rankings, more relevant users and eventually more customers.