Local SEO refers to search engine optimisation of local results shown within Google’s Universal Search.
Local SEO is associated with Google Maps and Google My Business. Tackling local rankings can prove to be just as difficult and time-consuming as organic SEO rankings. This is because the Google algorithm for achieving high local SEO rankings differs from the traditional route.
You might be asking the question of why you should be targeting local SEO results when organic results work just fine for the most part?
The reason is plain and simple for business owners, as one in three results shown on a typical Google search for a business or product contains local results, and they take priority in almost all cases.
So, how exactly can you rank “higher” on Local SEO Listings?
There are many different strategies that you can do to achieve higher rankings in the local results. Below are the fundamental options that you should consider in accelerating your local SEO rankings.
1. Google My Business
Creating a Google My Business page will allow your business to show personalised results to your clients within a local area, this builds local brand authority and awareness. This is where everything is shown, from the hours that your business operates to the days that you’re open.
Having a Google My Business page clearly shows to Google and the search results that you are a local business and that you communicate with your clients and keep your business updated with this page.
Once you have the page set up, ensure all the details are accurate such as the address of your business, contact details and the hours of operation that your business undertakes. Work on acquiring some +1’s through the use of posting quality, unique and exciting content that people will tend to share and favour.
2. Google Reviews
The second thing that you should do is acquire Google Reviews for your business. We recommend that you contact your clients that have been pleased with your service and ask them nicely if they could leave a review for your business on Google.
We recommend this as the second step as it can be the lengthiest one as sourcing reviews from your clients can take some time.
An example of what reviews look like on a local listing can be seen from the example below:
3. NAP Consistency
Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP).
Ensure you follow this principle on every single website that tells you to put in your primary business details which are your business name, address and phone number.
For example, when you start building local citation links and submitting your website to business directories such as Yellow Pages ensure that you’re always using the same business details. If these change, ensure you go back to these sites and make the changes.
4. Local Citations and High-Quality Backlinks
The final factor that you should take into consideration when trying to increase your local rankings is a factor that should definitely be an ongoing one.
You will need to start building local citation links which are basically links from local authoritative sources such as business directories.
We’ve compiled a list of all the best local citation links and also more depth information on what they do on the following page of our website – Free Australian Local Citations.
In addition to building local citations, you will need to also build high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources which will complement to your overall link building strategy as well as your work towards increasing your local search engine rankings.
There are other things that you can do to aid you in achieving higher rankings on the local results, you just need to start thinking outside of the box. A good method of gaining more exposure for your brand is social mentions.
If you’re mentioned across all the top social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter or Google+ with shares about your business then this is building brand awareness for your business which will add to the overall strategy of marketing your website.
Take things slow and make sure your efforts are consistent. After all, brand exposure takes time, however, if done right the results will compound over time.