Need to Give Your Local Search Ranking a Nudge? Here Are 10 Ways to Get It Done
When SMB's (Small Medium Businesses) are looking for a way to reach out to new consumers and get new leads, local search is an excellent way to do it. Customers are now more likely to use the internet than ever to inquire about products and services, and when they do this, they aren’t looking for just any business – they are specifically searching for a business either in their specific community or city. For that reason, you want – and need – to ensure that your individual business is at the very top of the local search results that pop up on their screens. Thankfully, it isn’t as hard as you may think to get your name up there. In fact, experts say that you can follow these 10 tips and give your local search rankings a pretty decent bump:
- Register with Google My Business – This is very simple, yet incredibly effective. Make sure to register your business on Google My Business. In order to ensure that you get the absolute most out of this, though, you need to ensure that you fill out the listing completely. This includes all fields, from your address and phone number to your business hours and even the photo of your location. Personalize this listing as much as you can. The more you fill out, the more of a boost you will receive.
- Build Consistent NAP Everywhere – What is NAP, you ask? NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone. Google constantly crawls the World Wide Web for various search results and it looks for multiple references of your business’ NAP. When variations, even slight ones, is found, it confuses Google and can hurt your ranking. A slight variation can be an abbreviated address, such as St. instead of Street. So, you need to decide which one you are going to use and stick with it on everything that you do, on your website and off of it. Run a free scan to see how your business is currently listed.
- Claim Any and All Online Listings – An important part of your local SEO is online business listings. To increase online visibility of your business, you need web links that lead directly back to your business’ website. This will let Google know that your website is trustworthy and relevant.
- Get Other Backlinks, Too – Online business listings should not be the only thing you focus on. You need to look at other websites and encourage them to link back to your business’ website, such as local bloggers and media. Get out in the community, attend and sponsor events, etc. – these things will help to foster offline acquaintances that will help to lead to some much-needed, and well-deserved, online exposure.
- Localize Your Landing Pages – Do not make the rookie mistake by only including your business name in your homepage title and content. You need to also add your operating city. You need to be specific. In fact, consider adding the neighborhood if you live in a really big city. The more specific that you can be, the more likely you are to rank high in local search results.
- Make Use of Long-Tail Keywords – When targeting niche markets, you must use keywords. Not only is this going to help your customers find your service, but it is going to help you rank higher since you’ll be using search terms that are considered less competitive.
- Make Your Website Mobile-Friendly – With more and more consumers using mobile devices, you are going to have to ensure your website is mobile-friendly. Otherwise, you’ll lose a large customer-base. Plus, Google has changed its algorithm to adapt to the ever-evolving mobile-friendly world.
- Always Respond to Customer Reviews – If you notice that a customer leaves a review for your business, it can help give your search ranking a boost. Therefore, you always want to encourage your customers to leave online reviews. At the same time, you want to respond to these reviews – positive and negative customer reviews. For one, it will help to improve your overall reputation with customers and web searchers.
- Aim to Post Valuable, Local Content – To make your website more appealing to search engines and customers at the same time, you need to add value. A good way to do this is by adding a FAQ page, blog and local content. Since ranking high in local search results is your ultimate goal here, you should try to focus on writing blog content that is relevant to your community and surrounding area.
- Always Remember the User Experience – Never forget the website user experience, or UX for short. You should always think like you are the customer when implementing a good SEO campaign. Ultimately, you want to ensure that your have a website that is informative and easy-to-use.
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