Having a strong local search presence is imperative when it comes to the growth and long-term success of your business, small or large. Not only are more people using mobile devices to find information than ever before but the local results will determine whether or not someone decides to visit your business. Optimizing for local search is important because it will allow your business to gain more exposure, be included in search engine display carousels (when applicable), and will provide the information people are looking for when they search for the relevant products or services you have to offer, in a particular area.
There are a number of important elements to a solid Local SEO campaign but here are few to pointers to get you jump-started.
- Google, Yahoo and Bing:
Having a Google+ Page, Yahoo Local Listing and Bing Business Listing for your business is highly important and is the first step towards getting noticed. A locally optimized Google+ page will allow your business to have its own Google Maps pin, have it included in the Google information carousel, and enable your business or website to rank higher in local pack results displayed at the top of the search. Visit Google My Business , Yahoo Local and Bing Business
Ensuring your business has high quality citations is equally important. Adding your business to popular citation websites such as Yellow Pages, Yelp, Merchant Circle and Angies List will not only increase your exposure in local organic search results, but will contribute to how well you rank in the Google information carousel. Think about local citations, niches citations and generic citations. Visit The Best Citation Sources by U.S. City and 55 Largest Local Business Directories in the US
Many business owners overlook reviews but they are actually extremely powerful when it comes to building a strong local search presence. The majority of people are influenced by the reviews they read online and will either visit or avoid a location depending on how they were reviewed. Getting positive (or negative) reviews will ensure that review snippets are added to local search results and (if positive) likely encourage click through rate. Visit Review Handout Generator
- OnSite SEO:
Basic Onsite SEO Optimization is another important factor and will determine where your page ranks in local Google search results. Onsite optimization means having your website fully optimized for Google search. These items include keyword-rich Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Header Tags, ALT Tags, Permalinks and more. Visit OnSite SEO Factors by Moz
- OffSite SEO / Links:
Having a strong, natural, clean inbound link profile is another major factor when it comes to strengthening your local search presence. This means getting links to your website from other similar websites such as blogs, directories, local industry associations, or any other online location that can link back to yours (that is considered white-hat and safe). Think of a link as a vote from another site, that tells Google your site is significant. Always be working on your link profile as they’re a crical piece to SEO in general. Visit The Beginner’s Guide to Link Building
There you have it – follow the above steps and you’re on your way to gaining some local SEO exposure. This is in no way a complete SEO list but is certainly a great starting point, especially for those who’ve just begun to venture into the SEO world. Still need help? Check out this infographic for an illustrated explanation!