Search engine optimization is constantly in flux. It changes all the time and it’s important for your website to keep up with best practices. One aspect of SEO that has exploded in the last few years is local SEO. Local SEO means taking measures to generate exposure and higher rankings in your local market.
Here are five tactics to help you dominate your local SEO landscape!
Local SEO & Online Directories
Approximately 80% of Internet users use search engines to find local businesses and services. Search engines such as Google and Bing, and directories such as Yelp, are able to find and list local businesses without having to register with them. They also give you the option to claim your business and maximize your business listing with them. Many business owners are not aware of this, and never claim their business.
Determine the search engines and directories where you want to be listed and either claim your business or register your business with them. Review carefully all of the options for information that you can fill out, and do your best to fill them out in their entirety.
A very important point that can’t be overstated. Make sure that you were consistent in the information that you were putting into these different directories, most importantly your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP). Conflicting information can negatively impact your rankings.
Some top directories include:
- Super Pages
- White Pages
- Merchant Circle
- Yellow Book
- City Search
- Angie’s List
Google My Business
The most important place to make sure that your business is listed is Google. Google My Business is a service offered by Google that offers a very sophisticated presentation of your company online, but you need to claim your business or register your business with them first.
Once this is done, go through, in fine detail, all of the different options for inputting information, including everything that applies to your business. This includes your business name, address, phone number, images of your company, hours of operation, etc.
Google insists upon a verification process, but it’s pretty painless. In order to ensure that you are the business owner, they will send you a six-digit code either by text or through a postcard. It is critical to verify your company. Make sure that you successfully execute this process.
If you have worked with us at Bush Marketing, you know how much we stress online reviews. There are so many reasons to get positive online reviews from your customers. Most importantly, it validates the quality of your product or service with prospective clients and it increases your local ranking with Google.
At the time of this article’s creation, Bush Marketing has 44 five star Google reviews (thanks awesome clients!). We know, speaking to our prospective clients, that this has a strong impression on them. It also keeps us consistently in the coveted “Google Top Three” area when it comes to the map listings.
On-Site SEO Title and Description
It is standard practice in website search engine optimization to list the product or service in the title and description area of a webpage. You also want to make sure that you add the location that you are serving in that title and description. It may be a city, it may be a country, or it may be a neighborhood. It entirely depends on how specific you want to be and what area you are courting.
You have a very limited number of characters when writing your title and descriptions for the different web pages on your website. Use that character “real estate” carefully. Don’t waste words here if you don’t have to. Get your services and your location in at all costs. Anything other than that is of secondary importance.
Taking these measures should put you in a strong position to rank well when it comes to local search. If you feel that this is outside of your comfort zone, and would like to speak to us at Bush Marketing about handling your local SEO, feel free to give us a call.