If you own a small business then you understand the importance of being able to be “found”. The phone book is dead and each day more and more people are whipping out their smart phones to ask Siri where to find a good pizza, or where the closest grocery store is located. With this comes the challenge. How do I get my business to show up when these queries are made?
Pictured above is a breakdown of the various factors taken into consideration by search engines when ranking a site for local search. Unlike organic SEO campaigns, local seo focuses more on local citations and consistency in Name, Address, and Phone Number often referred to as NAP.
In this blog post we will guide you through some of the best practices to help you get started in your local SEO campaigns.
There is a lot of front end work to be done to your website before you get started with your link building and citation campaigns. Especially if you want to rank well in the “local pack”.
Check out the image below:
If you want to rank in the local pack as seen above you will want to initially focus less on link building and more on consistent NAP, local citations, and a beefed up Google Business Profile.
A consistent NAP lets the search engines know that you are a real business, with a real address and a real phone number. Not some spammy link builder trying to rank for fake locations in order to get more traffic to their website.
Above is a screen shot from our company's website The Kalifeh Media Group. What you see here is a quick reference to the user of the physical address, phone number, hours of operation, and e-mail address.
The information provided here should stay consistent among all of your listings ie Yelp, Yp.com, ezlocal, etc… This tells robot crawlers that you are in fact a real location doing real business in the specified geographic location. It is a good idea to use schema.org to help you markup your website to make it easy for the crawlers to read and index accordingly.
Google My Business is a powerful tool that every business owner should have and utilize to its highest potential.
If you have not already, head over to Google and search “Google My Business”. Here you can claim your listing for free. Once this has been accomplished, follow these easy steps to better describe your business and identify just what it is you do!
Local reviews have a direct impact on the ranking of your Google My Business profile. It is important to spend sometime asking local customers to leave reviews for your business. There are many articles online on how to ask for these gems.
The best way to get your feet wet with local reviews will be to ask people you are already doing business with. This can be awesome because most everyone already has an existing customer base that would love to rave about your business if you offer a quality service or product.
This is one of the most important factors when trying to rank for local keywords. Often times this can be over looked in the rush to get everything else optimized properly. There are a few key factors you want to be sure to nail down when building the landing page that you want to rank locally.
Having a mobile responsive website is a major player in your ability to convey information to people searching for businesses. Google says that 60% of all searches daily are preformed on a mobile device. So naturally it should make sense to optimize you page for mobile use. This will enable the user to easily access the information they are seeking. In turn, enticing them to return again!
If you are not sure whether you website is mobile friendly or not check it here.
Once you have all of your on-page Local best practices optimized it is time to start shifting your focus to link building and citations.
A citation is an online reference to your company’s NAP. For example many of the more familiar citation locations are: Yelp, EzLocal, Yp.com, Chamber of Commerce website, and many more.
You can use a paid tool like Moz Local, which offers a one time set up fee of around $90.00. Or you can submit them all manually. Our company has tired both ways, and speaking from experience it is much easier to do it the paid way.
At the end of the day it is not impossible to create local visibility for your company. However, it will take a little elbow grease and making sure to follow best practices. Here are the main take-a-ways you should get from this article.