— April 9, 2019
As a local business owner, you may wonder how you can pull in more local traffic by becoming more prominent on Google. When searching for keywords that coincide with your business and/or website, you may ask yourself, “Why does my business not show up at the top of the search engine results page (SERP)?” Since there are three major ranking signals for local SEO (proximity, relevance, and prominence), here are some tips to improve your local search presence based on these ranking signals, and ultimately bring in more traffic to your store, office, or website.
1. Optimize your website for local search.
Your first step in improving your local SEO is to optimize the content on your website. The best way to locally optimize your website is to use language that an everyday user might type into a search engine. It is also important to use localized keywords across your website that will help Google determine where your business might be located. To get full use out of keywords, try using what are called “long tail keywords.” This will ensure that you do not miss any word choice opportunities that a user might type in. For example, instead of using keywords such as “google maps marketing,” make it a keyword phrase: “best google maps marketing services in [location].” Including your location in keyword phrases and all across your website will boost your local SEO.
2. Claim your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business (GMB) is an essential tool that all businesses should be utilizing, and it’s free! Its primary use is to put your business on the map so customers can find you when searching for businesses like yours. However, with the right optimization, it can do wonders for your local SEO, bringing your business to the top of SERPs.
Currently, less than half (44%) of business have claimed their GMB listing. The reason for this is because many local businesses do not see the importance of online marketing quite yet, so getting ahead of the competition would be a smart move for any local business. Not only is GMB a free service offered by Google, but it also has components to it that can help your local SEO. These components include Google posts, photos, and reviews. Updating posts and photos once a week and responding to all reviews will help Google realize that you are an active business. If you haven’t already, claim your GMB listing today!
3. Build local citations.
Citations are a great way to build your local authority, but only if you use them in the right way. A citation is any online mention of your business that includes the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your business. When searching for directories to verify or submit your business listing to, be sure that it is a well-known, high-quality directory. Choosing low-quality directories will have a negative impact on your local authority, whereas high-quality directories will do the opposite.
4. Get connected through local links.
Backlinks are similar to citations, however, they are an actual link to your website, rather than just a mention of your business. Backlinks are especially important for local SEO because it is essentially helping search engines determine which sites are trusted sources of information worthy of being at the top of SERPs. Like citations, you do not want backlinks from low-quality, spammy sites. This will not help your local authority or SEO. Try to become a bigger part of the community and get more press coverage through sponsoring events, hosting events, volunteering, etc.
With these local SEO tips fresh in your mind, check to see if you are doing everything possible to improve your business’ local search presence. After all, Google will always be your best friend when it comes to recruiting customers for your business.