Visibility for local businesses has surged since 2014 with the release of the Pigeon Algorithm Update. This update, which took place on June 24th, aimed to increase the rankings of local listings in the SERP. The update affected the local pack by replacing the original 7-pack style with a section of only three listings. According to Google, a third of all mobile searches are location-related, and, with mobile usage surpassing desktop, local SEO matters now more than ever.
7 Tips For Increasing Visibility And Ranking For Local SEO
Here are some strategies to consider to increase your company’s ranking for local SEO:
Claim Your Google Business Page
Claiming your Google Business is important, as it helps Google verify your business’ authenticity. You’ll be able to customize your profile, supplying web searches with accurate and up-to-date information on your company. To amp up your Google Business page as much as possible, add high-quality photos that represent your business well and select the most fitting category for your business type.
Conduct A Directory Audit
A directory audit can be done by checking your local listings for accuracy regarding the business name, address, and phone number (aka the NAP.) Ensure that you claim these listings and that they are consistent across other directors, such as Yelp, Bing, Yellow Pages, Four Square, CitySearch, and SuperPages.
Improve Your Reputation
Reputation is one of the most important aspects of owning a business and is equally influential for your online presence. You can move up the local search pack by improving your ratings and reviews on search engines like Google. Someone on your team should be regularly monitoring the reviews and replying directly to your consumers, which will ideally inspire more engagement.
It will also be helpful to encourage your customers to leave testimonials if they’ve had a good experience with your business. This can also be done by other businesses that you have worked with.
For example, look at a dentist’s office in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cottonwood Dental. Right off the bat, users will notice that 77 reviews of this company have averaged out to 4.9 stars, which is extremely impressive. Additionally, they’ve left pleasant responses to nearly every review, good and bad. Cottonwood Dental has also included all the necessary information to create an elaborate Google Business page (address, phone number, store hours, etc.) This perfectly represents how your Google Business page should look when fully optimized for high ranking in local SEO.
Optimize Content For Local SEO
The content you publish on your website should also be structured to benefit your local SEO. While conducting keyword research, add high-volume keywords specific to your target area. These primary keyword targets should be placed in the following locations:
- Title tags
- Meta description
Add Location Pages To Your Website
If your business has multiple locations, each should have its location page on your website. These additional pages will help supply your consumer base with the correct NAP, business hours, promotions, testimonials, and Google Maps for specific locations. Take care not to duplicate this content across other location pages.
An elaborate About Us page will do the trick for companies with only a single brick-and-mortar location.
Ensure That Your Website Is Mobile-Responsive
Mobile performance has been outdoing desktop searches for a while now. As a result, your website must be optimized for mobile search. Each page on your website should show the same content, with the same quality of experience across all mobile platforms.
Local Link Building
Gathering local links can quickly strengthen your ranking for local SEO. They can be carried out by guest blogging for other local businesses, gaining media coverage, working sponsorships or partnerships, becoming involved in the community, and reaching out to your partners for a feature in their directory. On some level, your website should be a valuable source of information for people so they want to link to you.
It’s Worth It
Many businesses don’t put a lot of energy into maintaining and improving their local SEO. But they are missing out on a huge and relatively easy opportunity to gain visibility on Google. Don’t be that business. Take this opportunity to get ahead of the game, and your boss will thank you.
Author Bio – Elena Goodson
I am a social media manager and content creator at New Dimension Marketing and Research.
Outside of work, I am a stand-up comedian and run my website, Slow Boat Library. I speak five languages (English, French, German, Italian, and Arabic) and studied marketing, communications, and journalism in more than six countries in Europe and the Middle East.