It’s becoming more of a challenge to rank in the top local results. Search engine results used to display the top 10; now it’s the top three in the local pack. Organic keywords are harder to achieve because businesses can’t add a description to their Google My Business listing. So how do you compete with the other local businesses that provide similar services or products?
Hopefully, you at least have a local SEO strategy for your business. If not, you need to put one in place now! If you do have one in place but it isn’t work as well as you’d like, you’ll need to take steps to enhance it in order to get found online. Whether you have a plan or need to improve it, the following tips will help.
This step is the basis for your local SEO campaign. For a fully SEO-friendly website, the process can take time and effort, but the ROI makes it worthwhile. Whether you have someone in-house or outsource the website design and development, your website should follow some best practices, like:
If you haven’t claimed your GMB account yet, don’t wait another day to do it! This is a critical factor used by search engines to rank sites for local searches. If you don’t claim yours, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity. See our blog on the topic here for more information on how to set it up and why.
Your GMB account is basically a page that profiles your business, along with contact information, customer reviews and more. Setting up the GMB account is free and easy, but there are some words of caution:
Being listed in directories will definitely improve your local SEO score. If you have a business that has a brick and mortar store in a particular location, you probably are looking to be found within that geographical area. Google and other search engines will use your Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) and match it to the location where the search is initiated. Also, if a search phrase includes a “geo tag” (specifying a location, like “dentist in Philadelphia”), the search engines will troll the directories and citations to produce the results.
Some local directories you’ll want to check out are Bing, Yahoo, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and many, many more.
Customer reviews are a key factor used by search engine to evaluate your website. Positive reviews are considered as validation that you are providing a service or product that is valued and trusted by clients. You should encourage customers to review you. Including a review link in your email signature, on business cards or on customer receipts are some ways to request reviews. Offering incentives (coupons, percent off next purchase, etc.) for reviews is another method.
Make sure you monitor your reviews and comments regularly. If you receive a negative review, take action quickly to manage the effects of it. Thank the customers providing positive reviews.
Achieving an effective local SEO strategy takes time. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. There are some things you can do to expedite the process and make it more successful.
Creating blogs and other content that is informative and educational will have a positive effect on not only SEO, but on generating traffic and backlinks to your site. Consider sponsoring an event, charity, club or other newsworthy item to get links for local news. Stay active on social media, posting and responding to comments.
It takes knowledge, time and expertise to create and maintain an optimal Local SEO strategy. Trust it to the experts at Philadelphia SEO for Growth!
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