How to Master Local SEO Without Breaking A Sweat
In this article, we’ll be talking about local SEO in an effort to simplify it.
To understand SEO, learning about its elements first is a must. This includes anchor texts, links, site content, etc.
Recommended free resources are SEO Moz, Search Engine Land, and KissMetrics. Their blogs cover extensive topics related to SEO. A bit of digging will help you find the information you need.
You can also enroll in free or inexpensive courses, like on Udemy, for example.
But we won’t be going through that.
Like I mentioned at the beginning, this article focuses on making it easy to understand SEO.
We dug up 6 of the most important things to know about local SEO from the most reputable sources.
Instead of having to do it yourself, you can now just focus on what exactly it is that you need to do to improve your search engine rankings.
1. Google My Business
Google my Business gives businesses and organizations free and easy access to manage their online presence across Google. This includes both Search and Maps. This is the biggest factor in search engine optimizing for your local website.
There are lots of sources online detailing how to set one up for your business if you don’t have it yet. Like this one by Chris Brewer on Youtube:
These are the top most important things you should include:
- A high-resolution profile image and cover photo
- A long and unique description of your business, including relevant links
- Correct categories for your business
- As many photos of your business as possible
- Your business address. It should be exactly the same as what you have on your website and on local directories
- A local phone number that should also be consistent with that on your website and directory listings
- Your business hours: operating days and hours, if applicable
- Organic reviews from real customers (We’ll get to that later on)
2. NAP – Never go without it
How important is NAP exactly?
Well, just this: without it your online rankings might just as well be sleeping.
(Yeah. I know. Dad puns.)
Seriously though, every time your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information shows up in a directory on the internet, you get a NAP citation.
Search Engine Land offers a clear explanation on why citations are vital to local SEO.
When you get a citation, it increases your chances of getting potential customers. At the same time, it also increases the credibility and authority of your website.
So you have to build as many of these as possible.
But before you do that, first things first.
- Every citation you make must match the information that you have on your website. Your business filings. The data on your site. The information you filed at the post office in relation with your business. These must all match from your website to any other citation you create.
- All your citations must also match each other. That’s regardless of where you decide to build them.
- Your citations ideally should include a local landline number.
Now that we have those out of the way, the next question is: where are the best places to build citations?
You might also want to check out Moz’s category-specific directory listings for your citations.
3. Make Sure All Your Pages Are Optimized For Local Search
Proper site optimization means ensuring that Google and other search engines can easily find your site.
Hubspot lists these simple and effective steps in local search optimizing your website:
- Invest in your site’s content
- Write about local services that complement or match yours
- Optimize the 5 crucial elements of on-page SEO
- Stock up on long-tailed keywords
- Have multiple location pages
- Have detailed “About Us” and ‘Contact Us” pages
- Stay current with local events and industry news
- Optimize your site for mobile users
4. Steer Clear Of Keyword Stuffing
You want your page to shoot up ranks at the quickest rate possible, so you fill up your pages with lots of the same keyword over and over again. Nice and easy.
Except it’s not.
That’s called keyword stuffing and it’s one of the oldest tricks in the book.
It’s also a violation that will get you penalized.
Google cites these particular examples of keyword stuffing:
- Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
- Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for
- Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example: We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at email@example.com.
This is one good example of how just because something seems to work, that doesn’t mean you should do it.
So how do you avoid it then?
First of all, forget about it.
As far as you are concerned, keyword stuffing does not, has never and won’t ever exist. Put it as far away from your mind as possible.
That way, you won’t be tempted to use it as an easy way out.
Next, focus on your content. Make sure it’s rich and original, reads naturally, and presents something of value to your reader.
Invest time and effort in keyword research. Be creative about where you include your keyword in your texts. Present your content in such a way that the insertion of your keyword feels natural and not forced. Only insert them in places where they are actually relevant.
Your site content/article/blog post should also be both enticing and useful to your target audience.
5. Get Authentic Reviews From Real People
What you have to say about your business or company matters. But people put more stock in what other consumers have to say about you.
Reviews reflect your online reputation. They could literally make or break your business. The importance of constantly improving customer experience cannot be stressed enough.
Here are the ways that you can get great reviews from your customers.
First of all, provide excellent service. There’s just no substitute for it.
Second, ask for a review from your customers when you’re sure they’re happy and satisfied with your services. Do not let that moment pass.
Next, make your customers feel powerful and in charge. Let them know that by giving a review, they’re doing you and your business a favor.
Also, when you ask for your customer’s primary email, assure them that you will never release or share that information to anyone else without their consent.
Furthermore, make writing reviews an easy, painless process. Email your customers a link to your review sites, accessible with a single click.
Take note of this!
Never send an invitation link to a feedback or review more than once within 24 hours. You don’t want to put off your customers by making them feel like you’re spamming them.
In case the customer does not write a feedback or a review within three days after sending your request, send a reminder. Once. Most customers will be happy to comply, especially if they’re satisfied with your services.
Inform your customers that you are looking forward to hearing any comments, suggestions or feedback. Thank them in advance for agreeing to write a review.
Upon receiving their reviews, thank your customers. Immediately respond to any additional concerns they raise.
Great customer reviews tend to spread at a mercurial rate. Overall, it’s a great way to get the name of your business out there.
6. Your Blog Is Key
Blogs are not a requirement for all websites.
On the other hand, it’s the best and easiest way to inform your customers about what’s happening with your business.
Blogging is critical for getting good SEO results.
Write blogs that feature catchy, well-written and useful content.
Be on the lookout for hot, news-worthy topics happening within your local area that are relevant to your line of business. Customers will be more inclined to share posts that they can relate to.
Popular blog topics are local news, charities and events. List articles are also a top pick. Listing top 5s in your locality, for example, never fails to attract the right kind of customers.
Knowing the audience that you’re writing for is also essential.
Writing for young professionals is different from writing for middle-aged or older businessmen. Writing with housewives as your target is different from writing for women working in the urban corporate jungle.
Identifying who you’re writing for helps you decide what pace and style of writing you’ll be using for your blog.
So maybe you’ve been planning to build a blog for your website but you’re not sure where to begin? This article on my personal blog offers excellent tips on how you can get started.
There are other elements to upping your local SEO game, but these 6 sums up our tops picks. We have tried them and are vouching for their effectivity.
We hope that these prove to be as useful for you as they have been to us.
If you have any additional Local SEO tips you feel would be of benefit to your fellow readers, please tell us in the comments section, below.
Featured image: Copyright: ‘https://www.123rf.com/profile_adiruch‘ / 123RF Stock Photo
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