Prospective customers are searching for your business solution online. You must optimize your website for local search if you want to maintain your current customers or grow your business.
No matter what type of products you sell or services you provide, your potential customers must be able to find you as quickly and easily as possible. More than 80% of potential customers and clients search for the solution or product they need online before searching for a local businesses from which they can buy that solution. Local SEO (Local Search Engine Optimization) is the process of optimizing your website so that you can improve your visibility and ranking for geographically related keywords and gain higher local search ranking.
Local SEO is a highly targeted strategy. It allows your potential customers to find more information about your business even if they didn’t necessarily have your company in mind during their web search. Or they may know the name of your company, but need more information about your business (exact address, driving directions, opening hours, etc.). Local SEO is focused on providing results that are relevant to a searcher based on their current location. This is why Local SEO is essential for every business – it allows business owners to promote their business at exactly the same time local customers are looking for services or products.
There is another enormous advantage for businesses when using Local SEO – big search engines like Google are increasingly personalizing search results based on the location of the person conducting the search. This means that there is a way you can compete and even beat mega-corporations on the search engines by targeting a much more local audience.
Here are some basic, but very important steps you need to take if you want your business to rank high in local search results:
Every year, Moz conduct a survey to identify the specific factors that help websites rank higher in local search results. In the survey all factors are grouped according to category and each is given a percentage based upon their overall influence and impact in search ranking.
According to the latest report, the factors that have the greatest impact on Google local search results are On-page signals (Presence of NAP – Name, Address, Phone, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority, etc.) and Link signals (Inbound anchor text, Linking domain authority, Linking domain quantity, etc.).
The next important factors that affect local search are My business signals and External local signals which include Categories, Keywords in business title, Proximity, IYP (Internet Yellow Pages) aggregator NAP consistency, Citation volume, etc.
Factors that are also very impactful according to the Local Search Ranking Factors report are Review Signals and Personalization. Review signals include Review quantity, Review velocity, Review diversity, etc. Review quantity shows the number of reviews your business earns, Review velocity refers to the speed at which reviews accumulate and Review diversity means essentially how many web properties are talking about the business. Personalization generally refers to the personalization of the search results and it usually includes factors like Country, Locality, Personal Search History, Social Connections, etc.
The next factor is Behavioral or Mobile signals. Behavioral signals are click-throughs (CTR), mobile clicks-to-call, check-ins, star reviews, etc. This show how important is to make your website mobile-friendly.
The last but very significant factor that affects local search is Social Signals. Increased social signals indicate good domain authority and demonstrate a website’s value. Social signals include Google+ authority, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc.
Image Source: Moz
Also, there are negative factors you should definitely avoid if you want to rank high in local search results. The top ten negative ranking factors for local SEO are:
Local SEO should be a high priority for your business. When managed properly, a local SEO campaign can do wonders for your business. It can improve your local search ranking, effect conversion rates and boost sales.
Not sure if this is for you? Do a mobile search using the keywords your ideal buyer is using to find your solution or product.
Are you showing up on the first page? Are your competitors?
Either way, the absence of a strong local SEO strategy is costing you money.
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