Search engine optimization is essential to all businesses. The online realm is approaching saturation in most markets, making long-term organic search rankings more valuable than ever. Local companies have an extra need to achieve local search term rankings.
Ranking for local search terms and appearing in the Google Map Pack is vital to gaining local traffic and connecting with local customers. Here is a guide to optimizing your site for local search to help local businesses gain online visibility.
Set up a Google My Business
An updated and accurate Google My Business listing is the most fundamental part of optimizing your site for local search. Google provides a spot for companies to provide vital information about their business so consumers can access it conveniently and easily. An unclaimed business may have some information on its Google My Business page, but filling out the sections and claiming the company can improve local search visibility. Here are the basics to include:
- Address of the business
- Link to the website
- Hours of operation
- Description of the business’s product or service offerings
- Phone number
Google My Business is easy to set up and free to use. It’s an invaluable resource for local companies.
Improve On-Page Optimization
Optimizing your website for local search is similar to website optimization through traditional search engine optimization techniques, except with a focus on local keywords and pages.
Improve Local Keywords
Local keyword search terms are vital to include on your website to increase your local area rankings. While these keywords can often be tricky to fit seamlessly into your page content, it is well worth the effort.
Create Location-Specific Pages
Location-centric pages can boost rankings when done with expertise but can hurt your site if done poorly. The key to useful location pages is to have each page highlight unique and high-quality content that is helpful to the residents of those areas. Each location page must contain quality content and target an area your company actually services.
List All Pertinent Local Information
On your website, it’s crucial to include up-to-date and accurate business information, such as:
- The name of your business
- The location or locations it is in
- The areas the company services
- A connected phone number
- An email address you check regularly
Manage Expectations and Avoid Common Pitfalls
Website optimization for local SEO—or any SEO—takes time. It’s essential to manage expectations and understand that SEO is a long-term solution that takes time to develop. Here are a few common mistakes companies make when optimizing their sites for local search.
Targeting Unrealistic Locations
You’ll want to target only the areas that are realistic for your business to serve. Targeting your general vicinity is more fruitful than targeting a city 100 miles away from your location. Google doesn’t allow companies to rank for local listings in unrealistic areas for it to be useful.
Focusing on the Website Only
While spending time and effort optimizing your site is essential, if you don’t check the many online indexes for the information’s accuracy, your efforts may fall flat. Search online directories to ensure all the business information for your company matches across the web.
Changing Keywords Too Quickly
SEO is a highly effective practice that takes time to develop. If your site doesn’t start ranking for keywords in the first month, or even a few months, don’t panic. Hold steady with those key terms because the results will come in time.
Logical Position provides a quality local search engine optimization service to our clients. Our SEO services focus on increasing rankings for keywords chosen based on keyword research and intent to ensure results.