Local businesses should concentrate their efforts on boosting their Google search rankings in local searches. These searches always carry the highest click-through rates, and 88 per cent of consumers say they wouldn’t consider a business at all if it did not show up on the first page of their Google search results. You may be surprised to discover that Google doesn’t use all of the links it has to determine where you rank. Instead, it places your site in web search results based on a combination of how your site compares to other sites, and where those sites are ranked.
Create a Google My Business Account
Google listing optimization or creating your business profile is possibly the most effective and important local SEO strategy, to gain higher ranks and better visibility on local Google search results.
To be on the first page, your business should have a Google My Business (GMB) page, which is free and can be created in just a few minutes. GMB pages are vital for ranking well because they supply Google with detailed information about the business, such as an address, business hours, photos, videos, and driving directions, and give Google more content to analyze when ranking search results.
Your business should also be listed on local directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, CitySearch, and Insider Pages. Consumers often prefer GMB listings to local directories, which Google considers less authoritative, but the two are complementary. Having both a GMB page and a local directory listing will boost your Google search rankings in both local and broad searches.
Improve NAP Consistency
NAP consistency is simply the attribute of having a consistent name, address, and phone number across domains. This is important because it tells users where they should go and lets them easily communicate with you. Because of the influence of the latest algorithm update on local searches, it is important that a consistent NAP is used as a local SEO strategy.
For example, if your business has a website, then Google will likely show your website when someone searches for you. If your business also has a Facebook page, then Facebook will likely show your business page when someone searches for you.
This also helps Google’s search results. For example, if Google can’t find a consistent NAP for you, then it may show inconsistent search results.
The NAP consistency algorithm is a network-wide algorithm. This means that if your business has a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, and Google+ page, each should have the same NAP.
NAP consistency is a great local SEO strategy that helps users find you. When users search for you, Google is more likely to show your business if it has a consistent NAP. It also makes it easier for Google to understand the content on your site and determine the legitimacy of your business among your customers.
Get Regular Reviews from Happy Customers
The best online reputation management companies use Google reviews as a differentiator, so it’s no wonder that regular Google reviews from happy clients are used as one of the top local SEO strategies.
In other words, if a competitor can outrank you using Google reviews, they are clearly better. That is how it works in the digital marketing sphere.
So, how do you get Google reviews? You can pay for reviews, but that may be too expensive. Alternatively, you can encourage customers to review you on Yelp, Facebook, or Google+. But to get that ranking, you need to link out to those review websites.
Here are some tips you can use to encourage your clients to leave a Google review:
- Ask them to leave a review in person once you have sold them a service or product.
- You can also send an email or an SMS to remind your clients about leaving a review. But do this only when you are sure they are satisfied with your service.
- Reply and give responses to every review in a succinct and professional manner, thanking the reviewers and answering their queries even if the reviews are negative.
Optimize for Voice Search
Most people think voice search optimization is “voice search.” But in reality, it is optimising the websites you control so Google’s voice software can find them.
Voice search is the future. A decade ago most people thought mobile search was the future. But now most people use mobile search every day. Voice search is the next search technology, and it will overtake mobile search within a few years.
This is why voice search optimization is an essential local SEO strategy, and the optimisation needs to be done properly according to how people speak instead of how they type when searching for something online.
Take Advantage of Google AdWords Keyword Planner
The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is, perhaps, the most useful tool in AdWords. Google AdWords Keyword Planner is Google’s free keyword planner that helps you find keywords and keyword phrases that have high commercial intent. It is a common local SEO strategy to use AdWords for finding valuable terms to advertise on Google, Google Display, YouTube etc. The best advantage of Google Adwords is that it’s free, and it’s online, so you can access it from anywhere.
The Keyword Planner is indispensable for keyword research. The planning page allows you to enter keywords, ad groups, and ad copy, and then calculates average monthly searches, how competitive the keywords are, and an estimate of the cost per click. It also gives you alternatives for similar terms and suggests related search phrases.
Use Location Pages or a Location or Specific About Us Page
The About Page should be the first thing people see when they visit your company website. Ideally, it should give them a sense of who you are, what you do, and what makes you different. It should also include keywords and phrases that help search engines find your website.
The About Page should be short, simple, full of keywords, and short.
Location-based pages are an essential SEO strategy especially if a business has multiple locations. These pages offer information about, name, address, and phone number, opening & closing hours, promos and reviews, product descriptions, parking facilities etc.
When you have multiple locations you also need to make sure to create unique content with relevant keywords for every page.
With these six easy local SEO strategies, you can easily boost the local Google searches.