As a local company, you understand that you need to do well on search results. But it can be hard to even know where to start, especially with so many large companies competing for the same rankings. Fortunately, there’s good news – as a local business, you have an advantage. You can take advantage of local SEO to rank higher in search results that are focused on your specific city or neighborhood. Curious how to do well with local SEO? Here are the some of the ranking factors for local SEO that you can leverage to help grow your business;
Set Up Google My Business
There’s no doubt that the most important thing you can do is claim your business on Google. When someone searches for a type of store or service, the first thing Google does is try to show them a provider near them.
When you have your Google My Business information filled out and complete, you can be one of the results they see!
It’s important to fill out the profile completely, with the correct location, hours, photos, and reviews. The more information you have, the more reliable Google considers your listing.
It’s also important to have “NAP consistency,” which means that your business name, address, and phone number is the same throughout the internet. Make sure everything lines up! Once your business is listed on Google My Business, it will begin appearing in Google Maps.
In the Google support page linked above, Google says, “Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.”
That means getting happy customers to leave reviews is an important way to boost your local search results. How do you encourage reviews?
The best way is to simply ask for them. When you email or print a receipt, include a request that they leave a review. Make it as easy as possible – for instance, and email can include a link directly to your Google, Yelp, or other online review profile.
If you choose to incentivize reviews, make sure to offer the bonus for any review, not just good reviews. Otherwise, you’ll be breaking the Terms of Service on the review sites.
You can also ask for reviews on social media or other platforms. Don’t be afraid of bad reviews, either – as long as you respond and resolve the issue, most people won’t hold a bad comment against you.
Use Local Keywords on Webpages and in Content
How does Google – or any search engine – find out what your website is about? It uses automated “crawlers” to review your site looking for words that seem to describe what the content is focused on.
The words that Google notices most are titles, headers, and words that appear at the beginning or end of a page. As a result, those are important places to put your keywords.
Keywords are words or phrases that you want to rank highly for. These are terms customers might use when looking for your business, product, or service.
For instance, let’s say you’re a plumber in San Francisco. “Plumber in San Francisco” and “plumbing in San Francisco” are good keywords, but they probably have a lot of competition. So you can certainly include them, but be creative and think of other terms as well.
Are you active in specific San Francisco neighborhoods or suburbs? Use those as keywords. What about “plumbing leak in San Francisco” or “running toilet in San Francisco”?
While someone may not type those words exactly, if Google ranks you highly for those terms and someone in San Francisco types “running toilet,” your business may get featured in the local map search results at the top of the page.
Encourage Links From Other Sites
High-quality incoming links signal to Google and other search engines that your website is reliable and useful to others. So where do you get these links?
One of the best ways to get incoming links is to encourage local media to cover your business, with links from the newspaper or blogger pointing to your page. To get this coverage, consider signing up with Help a Reporter Out (HARO), where reporters are looking for experts every day in a variety of areas.
You can also guest post on related industry blogs. If you’re not a great writer, you may want to hire help in this area.
Get Help From a Professional
If you’re like most business owners, your days are focused on serving your customers, not on figuring out search results. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that! However, to succeed you need a strong brand and a great presence online.
That’s where a professional like localseosearch.ca comes in. A professional agency can do an audit of your site, determine strengths and weaknesses, and help you develop the strategies and techniques you need to excel.
Local SEO is constantly changing. Focus on your business and leave the marketing to the professionals. We’re here to help you today get it right as far as ranking factors for local SEO are concerned!