For your business to have a strong local customer base, you need to have a good local SEO strategy. Local SEO is a great way for national brands to become local authorities and budding local businesses to gain a footing in SEO. Before attempting to gain visibility on a global scale, it is advisable to start by establishing a strong foundation in your home town and building up from there.
So, where do you start? This article offers some tips for getting ahead in your local SEO efforts. As you search for a suitable agency to work on your SEO, you can start off by following these simple pointers. Doing so will improve your chances of gaining top search engine rankings, directing more traffic to your site, and building a formidable online authority and influence in your locale.
Make Sure Your NAP Data is On Point
NAP is an acronym for name, address and phone number along with the area code. You should also include your business website. These are the core details of your business and it is important that they are consistent whenever they appear. Your site is among the main places where this information should be properly formatted.
To begin with, your NAP data should be presented in HTML text format that is easy to crawl. The information should be situated at the footer because that is where users typically look for such information. Avoid putting your NAP details in an image because it makes it nearly impossible for search engines to find it.
You can further optimize your NAP data by presenting it using shema.org local business markup, a format that makes it easy for search engines to find it as they crawl your site. Consistent presentation of your company’s NAP data is a basic SEO strategy that accounts for 20-40 percent of your rankings.
Therefore, among the most important steps to take when optimizing your site is making your NAP data consistent with your company’s details in Google’s My Business. The following are some important things that you need to keep in mind.
• It is recommended that you have your company’s email address within your company’s online domain. Compared to email addresses from commonly used email service providers (i.e., Gmail and Yahoo), having your email within your domain makes your business look more credible. If you run a small to mid-sized business, use it as the login for your Google My Business listing to show that you are the proprietor of the business.
• Having a non-800 phone number for your business is preferable. The phone number you publish should ideally have your local area code.
• When selecting the business category, remember that here, you should give a description of your business rather than simply saying what it does. The right choice for results related to category tend to jump. Incorrect categorization may result in your company details getting lost in the lists.
It is important to confirm that the details you provide are always in the same format and are consistent across every listing and platform. Having even the slightest variation can lead to a drop in your local SEO rankings.
Create Separate Sections/Pages for Specific Locations
Seeing as having a different website for each location is not practicable, consider having your SEO agency create a separate section or page dedicated to each of your locations. Doing so makes it possible for you to divide information among different branches and deliver content that is relevant and unique to each location.
Some of the important details you need to indicate on each page include:
• Address and contact information for that distinct location
• Hours of operation
• Location-based keywords, e.g., city or region names
• Embedded map
Visit Recommendation Platforms and Claim Your Business
In addition to visiting recommendation sites and claiming, take into account other local listings and platforms:
• Yellow pages
• Yahoo Local
• Trip Advisor
• Dex Media
• Merchant Circle
• White pages
Having your company listed on those sites helps with your rankings. In addition to giving your local SEO a boost, local links and citations give your location-based pages authority. Moreover, after creating a section for a given location, you can link the section or page directly to the listing.
Local search engine optimization is no longer only of importance to small to medium sized local businesses. Nowadays, any business — including large and well-established brands — can benefit from factoring in local SEO in their overall optimization strategy. Google has made updates to its algorithms that have made local SEO an increasingly important element.
Digital marketers and online business owners have begun to appreciate this more after years of neglecting the local aspect of their online marketing campaigns. If you’ve already started working on your SEO, always stay up to date on how to improve your local influence.