Local SEO Strategy: How To Gain Strong Customer Reach In Local Search
What SEO strategies you follow to attract your local customers?
Every year, local SEO strategy attains new permutation and combination in terms of effective ranking factors. If you don’t have the grip on your digital search market, then, your customers won’t reach or rely on you for the product or service.
Local search engine optimization has shown some unique changes in 2017, which you can leverage to prepare your business for the near future.
Here are the top local SEO ranking factors 2017 with optimization tips to find a strong search result position for your business in the near future.
Dominate Google My Business
According to the recent Moz local SEO ranking factor report, Google My Business holds 19.01% of the overall ranking factors for local businesses. So, the importance of the GMB requires no explanation.
Google My Business has always been considered as a cost-effective SEO solution for the small local businesses. It provides the ability to reach your customers, no matter what device they use. All you need to do is optimize your GMB page effectively.
Method of Google local business listing optimization
While there are multiple factors of this listing, here are the most prominent ones you should include in your local SEO strategy.
1. Choose categories wisely
Be as specific as you can while selecting the categories.
The categories you choose to describe your business holds great importance. You need to make sure that a potential customer can easily find your business in the listing. To rank better, your categories need to be properly associated with each other. The relevancy between the primary category and the search category matters a lot now.
For example: If you have a category “Fresh vegetarian food” rather than “restaurant”, there are better chances to come up in the rankings in the relevant searches.
2. Add Product and Location keywords in the business title
While adding your business to the GMB listing, don’t forget to use target keywords related to your products or services. This will allow Google to understand the niche of your business and offer deserving rankings in the searches.
Do research in local listings to see how other competitors are using the keywords. You can find strong keywords along with the loopholes to rank better via adding a unique keyword that no other competitor has tapped before.
Apart from the competitor analysis, you can also go to the Q&A sites and social media platforms for the keyword research. There you can type “Your business+ Location”. The results will show you how local people are talking about your niche. With these results, you can provide the most searchable keyword to your products and services.
Point to remember: To keep your business safe from getting penalized, make sure you stay away from too much keyword stuffing. Find the best possible way to describe your product or services in the business title of GMB.
3. Use high-quality photos
The association of the pictures and images of your company has become much more important now. In the listing, the images are the only visuals that a searcher can see related to your company. So, if you own a restaurant or any other service business, offer a virtual tour to the potential customers. It would be amazing if you can show the complete view via the 360-degree photo.
To get continuous traffic from GMB listing, you need to focus on consistent optimization. Follow these advance tips to stay up to date on the list.
- Claiming your listing would be a beneficial idea.
- Keep updating the details related to your products or services. So, if you start taking online payments, don’t forget to mention it in the profile.
- Avoid having a wrong contact number or incorrect opening hour details.
- Regularly replace the old images with the fresh ones.
- Try to get genuine local reviews and social check-ins from your customers.
- Encourage picture clicking in your venue to improve the visibility on social media.
Become more authoritative with Citations
The citation is the way you provide proof of your business to Google. Multiple portals that mention your local business along with some general details help search engine in providing better rankings on the search results.
Citations are highly important in a local SEO strategy, as local businesses need to ensure authority and reputation. When Google finds that you are the part of a particular business community, you get improved rankings.
Rewarding citation habits
To have all the bonus points, you need to manage the citations effectively. Here are a few tips for that:
1. Maintain consistency
Obviously, consistency is a major factor that keeps the citations helpful for local search engine optimization. If search engines see that the general information related to your business is not consistent, it harms the ranking.
To avoid inconsistency of the information, you need to find all the citations and correct the wrong ones. However, it is not necessary that you have to find all hundreds of citations. Just find the top sources and make sure that the following information is correctly mentioned.
- Name of your business
- Local contact number
- Full address
- Link to the website
- Opening and closing timings
- Social media links (if mentioned)
2. Find place in the “top of the business lists”
One of the best tactics is to get the place in the lists of “top business” lists. These sorts of lists provide the authority and let a small business stand out among all the competitors. A suitable place in a few of these kinds of listings can provide quick, positive effects on the rankings. However, it is important to ensure that you are listed in the right category.
For best practices of citations, make sure you keep following tips in mind.
- Target most relevant sources, don’t run to create a ton of citations.
- Completion of the details is important here as well, just like the GMB listing.
- Keep finding and removing the duplicates.
Make Link building your prime weapon for local SEO strategy
In the survey, it has been cleared out that the links are one of those factors that aren’t going anywhere. They are like the oxygen for the small and large businesses when preparing local SEO strategy.
Effective link building tips to incorporate into local SEO strategy
1. Pick quality over the quantity
While building the links, you need to strictly follow this code, otherwise, you might lose the authority. Hence, make sure that the inbound links you have, really offer the value to the domain. And if you can get the quantity along with the quality, then, you will find yourself in a very strong position in the local business environment.
To achieve this goal, you can follow these strategies:
- Try to join the associations that have all the local industry members. Pick the ones that have an online and social media presence, and allow the Google to crawl the members’ links.
- Get more B2B links via vendors or partners who sell your products.
- Collaborate in the local market to help others with your service. This will bring valuable links for your domain.
- Sponsorship is a great way of getting social media and online newspaper mentions. Ultimately, it offers high-quality links to your website and GMB listing as well.
- You can also get links via local job listings if you have jobs to offer.
Win more and more customer reviews
Reviews are not just for the potential customers. The reviews about your products or services play a greater role in providing better search rankings in local searches.
According to the Moz’s survey, the reviews have 13.13% partnership in building strong local SEO strategy for your business.
The Google reviews are the most important ones you should target. However, that doesn’t mean that others are worthless. In fact, when search engines see how popular you are among the customers, the value of your business increases. Also, they help Google provide you the right place, in the relevant searches.
Methods of obtaining customer feedback
To send positive signals to Google via reviews, you can take the following steps through your local SEO strategy:
1. Dedicate yourself to customer experience
You can’t fake it, no matter how hard you try. The only way to get positive reviews is to provide excellent customer service and quality products.
If you have given the customer what he wants, then, the positive review will come automatically.
2. Reach out via emails and social media
After founding a strong reputation via customer service, you can reach out to the customers. The emails and social media platforms can help you here.
Send a follow-up email to the customers’ email IDs asking for reviews. But make sure that you are not pushing it too much.
On social media platforms, you have a loyal audience. So use them. An engaging post or tweet can help you gain some good reviews. Use the review request post every once in a while without pressurizing the customers.
3. Don’t forget to reply
Replying to the reviews is very critical. This way, you get to start a conversation, which sends a positive signal to search engines. Even if it is a negative review, if you have a valid answer for that review, then, reply for sure.
Finally, it is important to keep the consistency in the efforts and have patience.
Pick the right social media platforms for your business ranking
It is always good to have a presence on every social media platform. However, the success lies in picking the most relevant platform and leverage it to get more visibility. To do so, you need to examine the requirements of your business.
Suitable Social Media combination
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube
Clinic/ Plumbing/ Other services
Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
The service sectors require the platforms to create discussions around their business. Hence, the platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and others suit them.
Leveraging social media in local SEO strategy
1. Keep a consistent and updated profile
On every social media profile, your business needs to have the same details such as name, address and phone number. The social media platforms have become search engines in themselves. Local consumers go straight to the Facebook, Instagram or any other platforms to find the information required. Hence, it is important that they see a consistent profile. The consistency of the NAP details also sends positive signals to the search engines.
So, with this small approach, you can get two-way visibility both via social media as well as the search engines.
Another thing to ensure is that the details are updated whenever required.
2. Place the keywords wisely
The use of keywords is very important while posting on social platforms. However, blind stuffing returns nothing but the bad impression. There are a few major locations where you can leverage the industry keywords:
- Name of the page
- Page Categories
Also, you need to understand the elements that serve as the search tool on social media. For instance, using keywords with hashtags is highly beneficial on Twitter, Instagram, and even on Facebook.
Are you ready for local SEO future?!
The numbers in the Moz’s survey clearly show the effect of Android, Maps, Ads, as well as the search conducted through mobile phones. With the lack of the linking ability on mobiles, Google has to use the data provided by other elements in order to provide rankings. And it is doing exactly that.
The behavioral pattern that your customers show by clicking on your business makes a big difference. Google examines how many people are clicking on your business rather than the one that is above you in the result. This helps in adjusting the ranking list according to the desires of real people.
So, in the local business environment, all you need to do is keep offering your best work and service, and ensure your digital presence with comprehensive local SEO strategy. That is how consumers and rankings will fall in your favor.