Everyone with a phone has a map and a business directory at their fingertips. As a business owner, it is more important than ever to focus on local SEO to make sure you can find it easily. If you are not taking advantage of local SEO, your competitors are likely to be.
Over the years, local SEO has become increasingly complex, so we’ve compiled a list of the most important optimizations you can make to get the most out of local SEO.
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Meta Titles, Descriptions, and Content
Although the meta titles and descriptions seem to be from the old school, regular SEO, these can have a significant impact on your local position. To update your memory, titles and descriptions of metadata are HTML elements that are added to the pages of your website that are displayed in the search results.
The meta title is an important place to add your service / product keywords, as well as the local keywords (that is, the name of the city or province / state, depending on how broadly you want them to see it). The creation of these titles requires a delicate balance; it could exaggerate its title, so it is not reliable for both the search algorithm and search engines, and, on the other hand, it can do very little, which will result in little or no benefit.
A good rule of thumb for your meta titles is to place your priority keyword at the beginning, add your local keyword in the middle and end with your company name. But be careful, there is not a cookie cutter for the goal titles; You will need a proper keyword research and a touch of writers to get the most out of your meta title.
Unlike metadata titles, the meta description does not have as much influence on its classification. However, it helps to attract people to click by giving them more information about their business and the page they are about to visit. Just like the meta title, the right research and the touch of a writer will take you where you need to be.
Regarding the content of your site, you should include local information and local keywords when relevant. I can not emphasize enough to not put keywords in their content with their services and location (be it city or province / state). It will not help you sort through, thanks to the Panda update, and it will not help visitors to your site either because they can see you’re trying to play with the system.
To help boost your local information, make sure you can easily access your contact page (and any location page), include accurate business information there, and include a built-in Google map that points to your business.
Google My Business
Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is another important aspect of local SEO. These lists can appear on the right side of a regular Google search and display diverse information about your business.
We will focus on optimizing your Google My Business list.
Above is an example of a GMB list showing images, the name of the company, the general rating and the number of reviews, the category of the company and the location information of the company. All these individual pieces are extremely important to ensure that your listing is correctly optimized.
Human beings are curious by nature and want to know more about something before making any decision. The images on your GMB list give potential customers a better idea of your business; It is a personal touch that should not be omitted. Adding images on a regular basis is also an excellent way to stay relevant and showcase your business.
Your Business Name
By optimizing your GMB listing, you want to make sure that the name of your company is accurate for your marketing materials. This applies to wherever your online business is: consistency is the key!
Keeping your company name consistent is also important because without its exact name, it would be breaking Google’s guidelines for proper listing management. It is very common to see that the lists include keywords in the name of your company and this has helped people to locate in the past and present, but it goes against Google’s guidelines. This listing is free and is hosted on Google, so you should be playing according to its rules. If you do not, your valuable list could be suspended, which could cause you to lose the reviews left by the clients. Google has written an article to represent your company on its platform that is very useful. Better safe than sorry
Reviews and Rating
As I mentioned, humans are curious by nature; We need information before making decisions. On your GMB list, that information comes from reviews left by previous customers. Create a sense of confidence for your business. You will want a good amount of comments to show potential customers that people liked your business and that they had to tell the world. The number of revisions varies, but more is always better, especially if it is more than your competence.
The higher your rating (5 is the maximum) is also preferable. Do not worry if you get some bad or mediocre reviews and ratings; Not having 5 stars is not the end of the world. Having less stellar reviews is perfectly fine as long as you respond to them personally and professionally. Leaving them alone could prove you are guilty of their claims, and trying to eliminate them could trigger a new wave of bad reviews. My best advice is to recognize these reviews and give your customers the best service they can.
Although it is not as notable as the other sections (located just below the Classification), its business category is important for Google to understand what kind of services it offers. Your main category should be the most relevant for you and your customers. You can also add secondary categories based on your other services. However, exceeding the categories can hinder your classification and expand your business too, so be sure to choose the most appropriate categories.
Having accurate location information in your listing is imperative to classify and allow customers to find your business. This section, like the name of the company, should be consistent throughout the web wherever your company is included.
Keep an eye on your list, since competitors and other users (local Google guides) may suggest that modifications be made to their lists. These suggestions are sent to Google and will be approved or rejected. Depending on other sources such as your website, social networks and directories, they could approve the editions with incorrect information.
There are more sections in your list that should be optimized, but usually they are not as difficult as the previous sections. Go to the information section of your Google My Business list and fill in all the fields so your list is complete. If something is not relevant to you, do not worry and just skip it.
Within its GMB listing there is a section called Google Posts. Google publications were created in 2016 and have grown over time to be much more relevant in marketing strategies. These posts are treated similarly to social media posts, but are listed on your Google list. They are an excellent place to advertise new products, sales and discounts or anything new that happens with your business.
Google Posts content is now seen within the search results that show your business. This provides users with more information about their business, even before clicking on their link. Although Google has not made an official statement confirming the connection between Google Posts and the local ranking, it is difficult to believe that they do not in any way affect their rank or reliability.
A regular publication lasts 7 days on your list and you can have several publications on your list at once. If you have a one-month event, you can also set your publication to be displayed throughout the month. Adding the right call to action can also help you click on your website. If these messages are relevant to your business, test them and see what works best for you.
Online Directories and Citations
I have already mentioned some times that Google extracts information from “other sources”. These other sources to which I refer are directories. A directory is a website that houses many listings of different companies that are called appointments. Think of a telephone directory: within a telephone directory there are listings for individuals and companies. If you’re too young to know what a phone book is, think of Facebook but with fewer social posts.
These quotes are an important source for your accurate business information to be displayed. It is a valuable property online that allows more people to find it and make search engines trust and understand it better. Some also have review sections that Google can see and use to determine how to rank it in searches. Consistency is key, so it is important to have consistent and accurate information in each directory in which it is located.
You are probably wondering how many directories should be included. My golden rule is the 50 best directories. Now you’re probably wondering what the top 50 directories are. These vary by location and industry, but WhiteSpark has created a great source for finding the main directories in several countries. Diversify the administration of your directory by adding your company to these main directories, as well as specialized industry directories, such as this directory for automatic storage units. Try searching for “[industry] directory” (for example, “Self-storage directory”) and you can find some niche directories to add your business.
Online Reputation and Reviews
Although I have already touched on this issue, it is very important when performing local SEO for your business. Your reputation and online comments can make or break your business when competing with other local businesses.
The golden rule for getting these reviews is to be the best company you can be, and inform your customers from time to time that you would appreciate an online review.
What you should not do is:
Buy fake comments
Ask your friends, family, co-workers and others who have not used your services to leave their opinions.
Bribe customers for reviews with discounts or gifts.
Have a device in your business for customers to leave their comments (these comments come from the same IP address and can be marked as false comments)
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