Your business prospects are looking for products and services they can get locally. People want to buy from nearby shops or business so they can get the product or service on time, and easily approach the merchants in case of product or services relates to issues and contingencies.
Search engines these days are very powerful. They can provide users with the results of exactly what they are looking for, and available nearby.
What is Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
- If your target clientage is based locally, then it makes sense to go for local SEO. It is biased towards businesses that draw local customers and aims at higher search rankings locally.
- It gives search results that are more relevant for the searcher basis their current location. This way, as a business, you can tap customers that are nearest to you through Local SEO.
For Local SEO, it is important to establish a listing on Google My Business. It is a platform that puts your business information on Google+ and Google Maps. It creates a cohesive environment and gives your business a visibility and presence in these areas.
Before you start with Local SEO, you must understand what Citations are. Every time your business name, address and phone number (NAP) are mentioned online, it is called a citation. Citations and earned media coming from relevant and highly credible websites improve your search rankings.
Citations can improve your search ranking considerably. Some of the best practices to improve search rankings using citations are:
- Make sure your business citations (NAP) appear across different websites, blogs, and social media.
- Make sure the websites, blogs and social media discussion where your citation appear are highly relevant and related to your business.
- Make sure these citations are consistent and exactly same wherever they appear online.
- Visit moz.com/local to check the performance of your citations and local business. Specify your business name and zip code, and select check listing.
Another great tool to audit your citations is Whitespark local citation finder tool.The best practices to optimize your website for Local SEO are:
- To create dedicated landing pages for different products and services.
- To include business name, phone number, email and other relevant contact details on your website or blog.
- To use search phrases and keywords consistently across the website.
- To build remarketing lists on your local business website.
- To use local business rich snippets on your local business website.
- To integrate social sharing functionality.
- To create a dedicated comment, recommendations and reviews section on your website.
To list your business on business listing review websites and prevail upon your loyal customers to review your website there.
Example – Google Plus Local, Bing Local, Yelp, Yahoo, CitySearch, etc.
When you search for a product or service you are looking for, like a gymnasium, you are most likely to see enhanced search results with listings of local businesses in your geographical or nearby location or area. Search also displays a map showing locations of all these business listings, gymnasiums in this case. You can tap or click on the marker or map to launch the Google maps interface in full screen and see where exactly these businesses or gymnasiums are located. Once you tap on the map or marker, you would launch Google maps interface and would be able to see the location of business listings on the map. On RHS, you can see the business listings with their reviews, website link, and directions.
You can also visit the Google My Business page of these listings by clicking on them, where you would find more detailed information about the business including images, reviews, and comments, address, contact details, opening and closing hours, etc. You can also see if anyone from your social circle knows about the business and what they comment about it. As a business, you can provide all the information users may require for buying products and services from you. You can see detailed data-driven insights about your business page. You can study the search queries people used to arrive at your business page, and create a keyword strategy accordingly.
Relevance affects the ranking of your local business page on SERPs. While describing your business page, make sure:
- The local listing or business page should be highly relevant for searchers and describe products and services in detail.
- To list all the products and services you offer.
- To use search keywords while describing your local business page.
Keywords are used as part of the natural flow of business description, and not forced.
Distance affects the ranking of your local business page on SERPs. While describing your business page, make sure:
- To specify exact geographical location of your business. Google knows the exact location of searchers and matches it with locations of relevant businesses. If it aligns with your business location, you would rank higher on SERPs.
- Not to specify the entire city or state as your business location. Try to think like local users. How they would search for a product in their locality or near their home. They would never search for products they want locally using Delhi or Mumbai in the search query.
- Use location terms also as part of your business description.
Prominence affects the ranking of your local business page on SERPs. Business listings become prominent when:
- They receive a high number of positive reviews and comments.
- They are popular online and receive a high number of mentions and referrals from other websites and blogs online.
You should create a separate Google+ accounts for official purposes, which should be different from your personal account. Google+ account integrates and is tied up with Google Local Business page.
Setting Google My Business Listing for Local SEO:
1. Visit http://www.google.com/mybusiness.
2. Click the Get on Google button.
3.Log in using Google account.
4. Find Your Business.
5. Review the results to see if the business is already on Google Maps.
6. If the business is not in the listing, choose the final option – This doesn’t match to add your business to Google Maps.
7. Google will ask you to confirm your business. Check the Authorization box and choose to continue.
8. Verify your business.
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