First things first, what is local SEO and why do you need to worry about it?
Local SEO (search engine optimization) is simply optimizing your website and using other strategies to gain higher local online visibility. Google is tirelessly working to provide users with the best results and a lot of this means delivering the best businesses based on their location. Thus, if you have a local business, you need to be optimizing for local search so that your business comes up when people in your area are searching for your services.
Not all Local SEO is complex. Let’s take a look at 5 easy but very necessary strategies to make sure you have a strong local ranking.
1. Title Tags
Title tags are the titles that show up in search results in blue font. Quite simply, they are not necessarily for the user, but more so to tell Google what your page is all about.
It’s a simple, yet really important factor in being found in local results. To optimize your title tags, make sure each page has a title that includes your keyword (specialty or service), the location and your business name. Talk to your web developer to make sure each page has a title tag but make sure not to overdo it with keywords. You can check out some great examples of title tags here.
2. Embed A Map
Embedding a Google map on your site is really one of the simplest things you can do. It’s not only helpful to users, but more importantly, it’s just another way you are letting Google know where your business is located. This one is truly a no-brainer.
3. Be Mobile Responsive
As we all know, all things point to mobile. According to Fresh Egg, 4 out of 5 people use smartphones to look up local information. As most searches are done on smartphones and tablets, Google prioritizes businesses that have a mobile responsive website since again, this provides the best user experience to the masses who are searching on mobile devices. In fact, Google is launching their 2nd mobile-friendly algorithm in May so if your website is not currently mobile responsive, it really needs to be.
4. Contact Information (NAP)
Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone #) is on every page of your site. Big no-brainer here. Your NAP is not only helpful to the user, but it’s again important to communicate your business and location to Google. In addition to having your location within the actual content on the page as well as in the title tag, having your contact info on the page itself will be an added layer of optimization. You’ll want to also make sure your NAP is consistent across the board on your site as well as on your other local listings or social media pages. Consistency wins here.
5. Claim Local Listings
Outside of optimizing your actual website, it’s important to also claim your business listings on local directories. Ideally, you’ll want to claim as many as you can, but starting with the major players is key. Make sure to find your business listing on sites like Google, Yelp and Bing and follow the steps to claim and verify your listing. You’ll then want to optimize those listings by providing as much information that you can on each of them. Since users so heavily rely on local directories when searching for businesses, staking your claim on your listings will only boost your local SEO efforts. And don’t forget to keep your NAP consistent with how it’s displayed on your website!