The Internet no doubt is global but many users do look for local products and services. As announced by Google, over 20% of all searches represent local interests and over 90% of the smartphone users in the US look for local companies with their phones. Also, according to the data available with comScore, approximately 3 billion search queries contain local terms every month.
But with a lot many choices consumers have these days for where to get their products and services, how do you ensure they find your local business first? The answer is simple, do the best you can to get your website in the top search engine ranking positions.
There are a plenty of things you can do to tip the scales in your website’s favor, from leveraging keywords and inbound link building to linking to reviews and Facebook likes. Check out are the most significant aspects of local SEO that must be taken care of so you can dominate the search engine results pages (SERPs):
Place Page Signals: Remember that the simplest of all local signals account for the largest percentage of ranking importance as these indicate to both Google and users that your local business is important and close to them. Factors related to Google Places listings, including exact and optimized categories, distinguished keywords in business titles, and the proximity to the search location are the most important aspects that should be well taken care of.
External Location Signals: While one of the major challenges for SEO experts is to secure authority with Google by earning third party mentions, factors such as the availability and consistency of NAP (name, address and phone number) in local business directories like Yelp and Internet Yellow Pages provide significant influence in improving your local listings.
Reviews and Ratings: While content is the king in the world of SEO, reviews are the king in the world of local search. Continue to encourage customers to share their genuine experiences online and graciously accept the feedback you receive.
On-Page Signals: Domain authority of your website, keywords in the titles of pages on your website, and the presence of NAP on your website are other important aspects that can improve your local listings significantly.
Social Signals: Even if you do not consider your business to be social, this section is evidence to the importance of social media participation. The activity on social networks (Google Plus authority, Facebook likes, etc.) continues to increase, which means that frequently shared content will increasingly correlate with good rankings.
Mobile Signals: Local search and mobile search go hand in hand. The most common ways users will access your site in a mobile environment is finding directions to a location, checking out reviews, and searching for contact information. Make it easy for them by making your website mobile-friendly.
With that said, local businesses do have the power to dominate the SERPs, but like any effort to gain and maintain organic visibility, it needs hard work. However, if you can start checking these tactics off your to-do marketing list every month, your website will witness great improvements in online visibility over a span of time.
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