Local SEO Basics
Optimizing your site for local SEO is one sure fire way of generating greater revenue for your business. You can build a strong foundation for your local SEO by taking these crucial steps to improve your site’s local search rankings.
The days of dialing 4-1-1 to get directions to the video store are long gone. Now, you can search for any address on your desktop or mobile device and receive driving directions within seconds. And, does anyone still use a phone book? I didn’t think so, but if you want your business to be found online, you need to build a strong foundation for your local SEO. We’ll take a look at some of the necessary steps you need to take to improve your company’s local SEO.
When someone performs a local search (ex. “pizza on State street”), Google will provide the user with a set of local businesses that fit the criteria. These “local searchers” should be seen as “buyers looking for a seller,” and we’ll tell you why. In this case, Google will provide the user with local search results for locations that serve pizza around State street. The searcher clearly wants pizza, and, when they find a pizza place, they are likely to buy some pizza. So, having the correct business information online is crucial, and just as important is having a mobile-friendly site. Here’s why:
- 60% of mobile-local searchers purchase from the business they found online
- 78% make an off-line purchase
- 70% call, visit, or make an in-store purchase within one hour
So, it is extremely important to have a mobile-friendly site along with good general SEO and good local SEO.
Optimize Your Pages
Include the city and state with your product or service’s keywords in the H1 tags, title, description, URL, and page content. It’s best to have one page dedicated to each product or service that your offer. In addition, schema markup will help your rankings.
Optimizing to Appear in the Local Section of the SERP
Optimize your local Google profile and make sure you claim your business profile on Google My Business. By doing so, you will be able to add information to your Google business profile that Google will present to local searchers, such as hours of operation, website URL, photos, etc.
Google is not the only search engine that provides local searchers with local search results. There is a plethora of search directories online, like Yahoo, Apple Maps, Yellow Book, and MapQuest to name a few. Having your business listed among these other sites will generate citations for your business. Citations can significantly help boost your rankings. By having a uniform NAP (name, address, phone number) across different search directories, you can acquire more quality citations and improve your local SEO. The more consistent citations, the better your local search rankings. Make sure your information and NAP is the same across all search directories.
Optimize for Mobile Search
You need to have a mobile-friendly site to rank high in Google’s mobile search results.
There are two methods used in mobile website development. The more complex method is a responsive design. This method allows for greater flexibility in mobile website development, but it requires you to build a brand new site. If you use the parallel mobile is the faster of the two methods, but involves creating a duplicate website. Choose which method fits your needs, and optimize your site for mobile devices.