Before I give you the factors, let me explain why local SEO is very important to businesses…
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
- 46% of all Google searches are local.
- 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps.
Enough said… Now that you understand why local SEO is important, let’s get into the main factors…
1. Google My Business Profile Optimization
Google My Business is the most powerful and important tool to help improve local SEO, get your business found by more people, and help generate new customers.
But unfortunately, only 44% of small businesses claimed their Google My Business listing.
I analyze small to medium businesses all day, and I can’t believe how many company’s do not have a Google My Business profile!
It’s a shame to see so many businesses missing out on money. Maybe money is not an issue for them. *shrugs*
But since you are reading this article, I see that it is for you so let’s discuss how to set up a profile.
The right way!
As you can see, SmartStyle Salon has fully optimized their Google My Business profile! They have their address, phone number, website and online booking with Google!
Make sure to enter as much accurate data as possible, accompanied with hours of operation, location and photos.
This lets customer’s know more about your business, where you are, and when they can visit you.
The more info the better but also make sure to keep this information updated as your business changes.
Your company’s name, address and phone number are the most important. That leads us to our second most important factor in local SEO…
2. Name, Address and Phone Number(s) (NAPS)
Name, address and phone numbers are extremely crucial for Local SEO. I would suggest adding your company’s NAPs on every respectable platform possible.
Google scans listings all throughout the net. The more NAP citations, the higher Google ranks your business in Local SEO.
The number #1 rule in NAPS
Make sure all NAPS are…
EXACTLY the same on every platform… Every single one!
Consistency is the key with NAP citations. Any incorrect and/or inconsistent NAP citations can confuse Google and have a negative impact on your overall ranking.
Now before you go on a NAP citation spree, I would suggest you fix any incorrect NAP citations that already exist.
White Spark is a website that will scrub the internet to find any NAP citations that already exist for your business.
Directory sites like Yelp and Yellowpages are an easy fix. Services like Bright Local can make this process extremely easy.
But some sites may not be that easy. With some websites, you may have to reach out to the publishers directly. Don’t worry, most will not have a problem with correcting any citations.
Now this method can be time consuming, but in the sake of Local SEO, it’s neccessary.
Look at this in a positive way.
- The company was gracious enough to mention your brand on their platform.
- It’s a great way to network!
- NAP citations generally include a backlink to your company’s website!
Yes backlinks to your website!
This leads us to our third most important factor…
3. Onsite SEO Optimization
Yes indeed SEO optimization is obviously extremely important, but do you want to know something funny?
A lot of local businesses do not have websites!
Only 64% of small businesses have websites!
You’re right, its not that funny. Not funny at all. *slaps forehead*
I am not going to express how important having a website is for your business. If you’re reading this article, I know that you have a one! *crosses fingers*
I’m going to assume that you have a website, which means that you have an advantage over a lot of small businesses!
Good job! Now optimize it!
Start with this…
- Meta descriptions, H1 and Meta Tags. Every single page on your website should be optimized. This helps Google understand what your business is all about. Plugins like Yoast works wonders to make title tags and meta descriptions super easy to add your company’s website!
- Original Content! Yes, content is king! Updating existing and adding new content let’s Google know that you are active, which improves your ranking and trust!
While creating new content, make sure to add keywords related to your niche and build a strong backlink strategy. Keywords and backlinks are so important, they make the list at number four.
4. Keywords and Backlinks
Backlinks and keywords are the backbone of every website’s SEO strategy.
Keywords related to your niche should be included in title, headings, and meta descriptions of each page and post on your website. This will allow Google to decipher the topic related to your content.
Now picking the right keywords are most important.
I suggest going straight to the source… Google!
Go to Google Keyword Planner and select “Discover New Keywords.”
Then select, “START WITH A WEBSITE.” Type in your website’s URL, then BOOM!
Google will provide you with a list of keywords related to your business. From here, create content based on the keywords that Google has provided. Like I said before, content is king so the more the better!
Backlinks are important because they represent a “vote of confidence” from one site to another. Just think of it as, “Google clout.”
In the world of Google, clout chasing is a good thing! The more backlinks to your website, the better. Like I mentioned before, most NAP citations provide website backlinks as well!
Here’s a few link building strategies that are highly effective for local SEO.
- Link Exchanges and local networking. A lot of businesses have pages on their websites dedicated to neighboring businesses, affiliates and partners. Reach out to companies that you have relationships with and ask for a link! Most will not have a problem with providing a link to your site. Especially if you can provide a link back!
- Infographics. Infographics are visual representations of information, data, or knowledge intended to present information quickly and clearly. Basically a pictured article. Good infographics have the ability to make your content go viral, which will generate tons of high quality backlinks to your website.
- Local PR. Public relations strategy is great for link building and branding! A lot of PR reps send requests via social media for references from local business owners and experts for their articles. These links often provide “high authority” backlinks which is like “super clout!”
Like I explained before, most NAP citations have website backlink abilities. Most also provide consumers the ability to leave remarks and recommendations. This is actually a great feature and leads us to our final Local SEO factor…
5. Google Reviews and Recommendations
Recently, updates have been made to the Google My Business support page. They’ve added,“interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.”
This statement is followed by, “high-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”
Every small business should have a reputation campaign included in their digital marketing strategies. Not only is it good for your SEO rank, it also improves your company’s overall brand visibility and trust.
While creating NAP citations on directory sites like Yelp…
Optimize your profiles!
Brand colors, logos and slogans should be consistant throughout all directories. Make your brand well known. This creates trust from online shoppers which improves your brand!
Aqua Salon did a great job optimizing their Yelp page. They’ve utilized Yelp’s online booking feature. They have a 100% response rate which strengthens their brand. I bet Aqua Salon books clients from that feature alone!
Urgent Dental optimized and branded their Yellow Pages profile. They gave precise details to their office in Las Vegas. They’ve also included their website for more info and booking. Of course the link is a buffer between the client and company, but it also provides backlink clout. Yellow Pages is a high authority website, so having your link on their page helps local SEO as well! The banner that they’ve added also increased their brand awareness and overall marketing and promotion. Good job!
Now that you have the most important factors of Local SEO, start improving your local rank today! Also share this article with friends.