Local SEO is a quite familiar term used in the last year 2014 for ranking a site on Google Maps, and ranking on location based keywords. With the passage of time, its importance is getting high and considered to be one of the most used strategies for year 2005 and the upcoming years.
By utilizing my SEO knowledge, experience and after searching for a number of authenticated resources, I am going to provide you an easy explanation of exactly what is local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Why local SEO is important and why we need it? How will it help the local businesses in year 2015? And what are the most prominent local SEO strategies to get ranked companies high in local searches?
The answers to all of these questions are discussed below with an easy explanation.
I don’t think that you can be able to understand if I say that local SEO is an optimization of a website locally or ranking of a website on location based keywords. To understand it we need to talk about the type of business and its services and what customers are searching for.
Let suppose there is a newly established jewelry business that want to sell jewelry online but also want customers to come to their physical stores for shopping. They have one, two or multiple stores within a city or other parts of the country. So, this type of business with having physical locations need a local SEO to get their business visible accurately and on top of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
If I search for the “jewelry stores in Abbotsford” the Google provide the results based on my search and for those stores exists in Abbotsford with an accurate local SEO.
The local business websites such as restaurants, retail stores, medical stores, physicians, real estates, and hotels require proper local SEO to get their business site visible in Google searches as you can see above.
According to recent statistics by Smart Insights on mobile usage and adoption, it clearly shows that there is an expansion in the popularity of smartphones (80%) for searching the internet. Along with that, there is an increase in the usage of smart tv (34%) and emerging smartphone devices such as smart wristbands (7%) and smart watches (9%).
Searches on search engines are the starting point for consumers as reported by Google in a study “Mobile Path to Purchase”. The study found that 74% searches on mobile is by using a search engine where majority of consumers is looking to purchase a product or service from nearby physical stores. More than 60% of the users searching on mobile expect a business should be within 5 miles of their location, and more than half want to purchase within an hour.
So, an increase in the number of mobile research on physical stores is the primary reason for the business local SEO.
With the emergence of new technologies and brands, local SEO will help the businesses to gain high reputation and become more valuable to the local community in year 2015. It will assist the national brands to target the particular market or specific customers and gain an opportunity of influential public relations. Increase in the popularity of mobile searches and the highest level of conversion rates makes local SEO an essential part of marketing for both local and national businesses.
1. Getting your business claimed on Google+ Local or Google Places, Yahoo, and Bing. Make sure your company information such as name, address, phone, category, description, operating hours, photos are accurate, and it should be fully verified by phone or postcard.
2. Besides listed in Google+ Local, Bing, and Yahoo, your business should be listed in most prominent business directories such as Yelp, Foursquare, Manta, Supermedia, Merchant Circle. You can find the 50 most relevant local business directories here.
Make sure your business NAP is accurate and consistent. Place your business information in right category and encourage happy customers for positive reviews.
3. Get your business pages on all the main social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr) with regular interactive updates.
4. On-site local search engine optimization – Adding right location based keywords in the title tag, meta description, URLs, headings (H1, H2, H3) and inside body contents. Adding right number of inbound anchor text links. Local business Schema (NAP) HTML code on the homepage of business website that you can generate from many online free resources.
5. Off-site local search engine optimization – Getting your business listed on a large number of local business directories. Gaining high quality backlinks from relevant authoritative sources. High-quality links can be acquired from a variety of sources such as local magazines, newspapers, quality blogging sites, forums, etc.
6. Share and be consistent – Be consistent in posting quality contents on your site daily, weekly or monthly. Regularly monitor the site performance and update the site pages, blogs as necessary.
7. Finally, don’t hesitate in sharing your business products, services or your expertise with your friends, relatives or large community as much as you can. Share your knowledge on extensive social media networks such as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and social bookmarking sites such as Diigo, Newsvine, and Reddit.