Nowadays, most customers are searching online to find the local services they want, and it’s here that SEO plays a vital role. It can be considered as an effective online marketing strategy that helps local business to get more traffic to their digital assets. To have a presence in the local search results is definitely going to increase the Return On Investment (ROI) and brand recognition of your business.
In this blog titled ‘Local SEO Checklist 2017’, I would like to share some of the more important focus points that are definitely going to take your business to the next level.
Keyword Research For Local Business:
Keyword Research is one of the vital elements in local search engine optimisation. Keyword Research gives you an overall idea of the search queries the customers enter to find your services. Using the relevant set of keywords helps in ranking your local business website in SERPs. SEO specialists use tools like Google Adwords Keyword Planner & Keyword Finder to analyse the competitive keywords. Try to figure out your competitors’ keywords and make changes accordingly.
Using location-specific keywords would be beneficial in directing your nearby customers to your storefront.
Influence Of Title Tags & Meta Description:
Title tags appear on top of the search engine result page as the main text. Title tag show a concise description of your web page in 60-70 characters, and this plays a major role in increasing visitor engagement. It also helps the search engine to recognize what this particular web page is all about and index them based on the search queries.
Meta Description is a snippet with 160 characters. Meta description provides a brief description of the web page content and helps to increase the click through rate.
Using the relevant set of keywords, both in Title tag and Meta description, can also be considered as a major ranking factor in SERP.
NAP Consistency Around The Web:
NAP is an acronym for Name, Address and Phone Number. NAP consistency is an inevitable part of local SEO. Make sure that you share all the details(Street number, Zip code, phone number, State, Country, Fax number, Email). If you can maintain consistent NAP around the web, your ranking in local search will be high. Make it a point to include the map feature in contact page to help customers find your location more efficiently.
Listing your business NAP in Local and Industry Specific Directories also plays a significant role in ensuring a high ranking.
Google My Business Account:
Having a Google My Business account is another important factor of Local SEO. Create a Google Business account and verify your address and ownership. This will ensure that your business gets shown on the map while giving you the added advantage of getting listed in the local snack pack.
Google My Business page helps to better manage and update business information. GMB also provide insights on how customers find your business.
Optimising Google My Business Page would help to improve your rank in local search.
Optimize Your Logo In All Channels:
The logo is the major factor that helps customers to recognize and connect with your business. Using the proper logo around all channels contributes to finding your business quickly.
Take The Extra Effort To Optimize Your Images:
Adding images to your website enhances the appearance of your site and also helps to engage website visitors. Using proper Image Title and Alt Text helps the search engine to understand what the image is all about. Optimising website images can help in ranking your web page in Local SERPs.
Including the relevant keyword in Alt Text plays a significant role in ranking the web page. Use Alt Tag with relevant details about the locations. For example, “Webdura Technologies - Digital Marketing Agency, Kerala”.
Schema Markup Language:
Schema or structured data markup basically describes your data to search engine crawlers to help better understand the content. It is a type of code. When you put this code on your website, the search engines can provide more information for the search queries.
With Schema Markup, some of the content of your website get indexed and conveys what the data means within the context. It is a microdata format and provides users with relevant details of your site in SERPs itself.
Schema Markup helps to rank your website in a better position and offer a more enhanced experience for the user.
Content Duplication Makes You Suffer:
Web Page content is also one of the major factors to engage your customers. Search engine prefers fresh and unique content that tries to answer the queries of your potential user base. Duplication of content will affect the website ranking as the search engine may not be able to understand which page to display.
Canonicalization helps to solve the problem to an extent. Here, by this process, search engines are informed which URL represents the original copy of the content.
The initial growth phase of small businesses is mainly dependent on word of mouth. And to an extent, it starts from the web. Around 60 percent of people judge a service or product based on online reviews. Better ratings directly translate to more customers. Simply put, customer reviews improve the search visibility of your website.
You could ask your existing clientele to review your business. Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google My Business are some of the more prominent review sites. Keep in mind that Google reviews have more visibility than other review sites. Responding to each review (Positive or Negative) wisely on all platforms makes customers feel that you value their opinion.
Citations & Social Profiles:
Citations are online mentions of your business with NAP information. Google uses these links to judge online authority of your business. Citations can be generated by linking to any of the local listings such as Yellow Pages, Merchant Circle, etc.
Social media profiles are the advanced version of citations. To get ranked high in SERPs, your website should have quality citations. Social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. helps in getting high quality, customised citations.
Follow the below checklist to get quality citation on Social Profiles:
Use consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Updates like “Change in Location” need to be addressed in all citations, Website and Social Profiles
Provide unique content about your business and services.
Most people use mobile phones to search for local business and services. Having a responsive web design helps to achieve better user experience. A responsive website is compatible with all devices. This ensures that your business gets a better reach.
A mobile-friendly website can attract more visitors to your site, and this would also increase the ranking in SERPs.
Increase Website Credibility Through Link Building:
Another important factor to consider is the number of links pointing to your site. It directly translates to increase in visibility. But, be wary of the sites with a high spam score. Any association with them is going to have an adverse impact on your rankings.
Link building is vital, as it is considered an essential element by search engines to judge your site. Make sure to optimise the anchor text as well. Search engine analyses internal links to recognise the relevance of website posts. If you can earn a link from websites with high authority like “Wikipedia”, it can give your website a better search ranking in local SERPs.
Link building strategy helps your website to earn more trust and authority.
Blogging can be a powerful SEO tool to increase search engine visibility. Informative and content-heavy blogs can attract more users and help provide the relevant information they are looking for. Using an appropriate set of keywords, both as part of the title and content, helps to achieve a better ranking.
Avoid keyword stuffing. It may affect the quality of the blog.
Proper Analysis Of Data:
Regular analysis and reporting are essential to track the ranking of your website, and at the same time, it helps to understand how effective your SEO strategy is. There are many SEO tools like Moz, SEMRush and Google Analytics to help track the effectiveness of your SEO strategy. These tools can generate reports on a regular basis for you.
SEO is a long and time consuming process. Keep this Local SEO Checklist 2017 handy. Make sure you follow all the characteristics mentioned above to get a better ranking in local search results.
If you need professional help, then feel free to contact us for a comprehensive SEO strategy for your business.
This resource was published by Minnu James17 August 2017
Minnu James is a Digital Marketing Executive at Webdura Technologies. She aims to implement the best practices in the industry to help develop sustainable business models for companies to thrive in today’s ever-competitive world. Her blog space will feature the latest from the world of Digital Marketing. Follow for regular updates.