We all know the reason for SEO is an “ongoing process” – Its because it is changing and evolving all the time. When it comes to your business, it is extremely important to optimize your site for local searches since a lot of potential clients and customers in your locality may be searching for your local business. Say you have a local grocery store business in Pennsylvania you will want to get your website optimized for local search by your Philadelphia SEO service, in SEO is not just competitive globally but also locally and if you haven’t done your bit to optimize your rankings, your competitors will take your place. If you have done the marketing for a local business you will be able to comprehend the challenges that come with it vs. a non-geo-specific brand.
Local SEO is quite different compared to traditional SEO and the results are more volatile than the others. The chart above shows a breakdown of the weight assigned to different ranking factors in SEO campaigns. Although there may be slightly different factors compared to the usual SEO, on-page and off-page factors still do matter for the most part. Let’s get into 5 tactics you can use to help your rankings for local keywords.
- Title and meta description tags matter: These are HTML tags which you can alter to make your web page content more appealing. The title and meta content is displayed in the search results and can be thought of as a “mini-ad”. The acceptable length for the title is usually 55-60 characters while the length for meta is 150-160 characters. This space should be used to your advantage. You must also make sure that your titles and descriptions are fully visible without being cut-off in the search results.The acceptable length for a title is usually 55-60 characters while the length for meta is 150-160 characters. This space should be used to your advantage. You must also make sure that your titles and descriptions are fully visible without being cut-off in the search results. Writing great titles and descriptions equates to writing great marketing copy. If this text isn’t unique and compelling ad copy, it will negatively affect your click-through rate. Also, an overly long title or meta maybe cut off by ellipses (…) which may look very unprofessional.Some extra tips:
- Local directories and listings: Approximately 4 of 5 searchers use search engines for local searches. In spite of this, a lot of small local businesses do not use a single local listing. Its important for your business to get listed correctly as well as consistently on the major local listings and directories such as Yelp, Citysearch, etc. List yourself on reputed local directories. Contact your newspaper’s website to find out if they have a local business directory to list yourself on.Make sure your businesses NAP information (name, address, phone number) is consistent on data aggregators and listings. Remove discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations and wrong phone numbers which can be a problem if Google can’t decide which information is legitimate.
- Google My Business: GMB has its own section since its Google’s business directory. It’s important that you as a local business claim you’re My business page. If you manage to hit the jackpot in the form on being listed on Google’s local three-pack you, you will get a lot of exposure. Since Google wants to confirm that you are a legitimate business owner, there is a verification process where Google mails you the verification code to your local business address. Only the business owner can claim a My business page. You can also grant your Philadelphia SEO agency, manager permissions of your page so they can handle it. Optimize your listings with good descriptions, business hours, categories, your phone number, admissible payment method. Make sure to upload your logo as well as pictures of your business. Also, ensure that your business in complete by populating and filling up all the relevant sections of your business.
- Online reviews: As far as local SEO goes, business reviews carry a lot of weight. The major chunk of the power lies in the customer’s hands. 84% of people trust online reviews since they are given by REAL people. Also, 7 of 10 people are likely to write a review if asked. Some platforms like Tiny Torch and Hootsuite let you monitor and get notified when your business is mentioned. Make sure you are responding to each and every review, be it positive or negative. It communicates that you are actively reading their feedback and acting upon it. Focus on getting reviews on your brands Facebook page and your GMB page, of which the GMB reviews will show up on the results page when someone searches for your business and also improve your visibility.
- Use structured data: Also referred to as “schema markup”, structured data markup will be added to your website’s HTML to provide parseable, structured information to Google like your reviews, your products, contact details, etc. If you add schema markup to your pages in the right areas, it can do wonders for your ranking. Only 31.3% of the only businesses use this feature so it’s the perfect time to exploit it. Structured data helps Google’s crawlers to decipher the theme of your business. Google’s Data Highlighter helps you mark up content with your mouse instead of writing XML tags. However, your website will have to be set up with Google’s Search Console for Data Highlighter to work.