SEO is constantly changing, and it’s a very tough process to master. The search engines are always changing their algorithms and we have to guess what’s working and what isn’t. Even if a strategy worked 3 months ago, it may no longer work anymore.
For local SEO, your business is competing against others in the area. That means getting placed on Google Maps, showing up for the right keywords, and getting lots of great testimonials. Those are just a few pieces of your local SEO strategy, but there’s more to it than just that.
We’re going to walk through some do’s and don’ts for local SEO to make sure you’re properly ranking for the right keywords and that your site is well optimized for search engines.
What are the main aspects of local SEO?
There are a few components every local company needs to have in place in order to effectively rank in a search engine.
- Your location on Google Business and Maps
- Proper information for your business across all sites and platforms
- Reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc.
- Strong backlinks
Now, if you’re a local business and aren’t familiar with SEO, some of these terms may sound alien to you. Don’t worry, we’re going to dive into each.
As a local company, this is one of the first places you need to be adding your business. It’s important to have all the correct info, and verify your location with Google.
Make sure your location is not already listed on here. You don’t want duplicate locations.
An account with Google Business means you will pop up on Google Maps, a top place for people to search for local businesses.
Here are some tips for optimizing your Google Business page.
Correct Information Across Sites
Duplicate or incorrect info does not help your site in terms of SEO. It is tough to go site by site to find these errors. There are tools like Yext you can use to find these errors for free. Try their Business Listing Scan.
You can use a paid version of Yext to correct these errors automatically.
The importance of correcting these errors is to ensure no customer ever gets the wrong information.
Local SEO Guide says, “We have done studies that show citation consistency can be a key factor to getting you into a local pack – so don’t ignore them”.
Visible reviews on big sites like Yelp, Angie’s List, and Google will really help your business. Not only will customers read these reviews and help decide whether to use your company, but it’s been found that reviews can increase your performance with Google Business.
“Things like Reviews and Photos and having an Owner Verified (OV) profile correlated with positive GMB performance,” says Local SEO Guide.
Backlinks are links that are pointing to your site. If you are listed on your local Chamber of Commerce site, the link on there that points to your site is a backlink.
You want to get GOOD backlinks. This doesn’t mean just trying to submit your site to any directory just because you can get a link out of it. Search engines put more weight on links from well-liked sites. If you got a link from the New York Times, that is worth much more than a link from random site like news-web-city.com.
“Since the link data was so overwhelming, we also wanted to look at if just having optimized anchor text (for both keyword and city) would have any impact. Lo and behold, it did. That means if you can just get one good link with optimized anchor text you should do it. Go on, what are you waiting for?” (Local SEO Guide)