17 Powerful Local Search Engine Optimization Tips That Will Help You Rank in Map and Local Box
Ranking high in Google search and Google Map allows your business to stay on the front page for local customers to easily find you. This is especially important when you consider that 4 out of 5 consumers look for ads customized to their city.
Hence, you must make sure that your Google Map optimization is well in place. To do this, your local landing pages must be SEO optimized. Check on your website and make sure your local directory listings are properly made.
But how do you get your business to rank in Google Map? Is it any different from optimizing for SEO?
Luckily for you, we have collected 17 local SEO tips that will get you high up in the ranking game of Google Map and local search.
What Is Local Search Engine Optimization, and Why Is It So Important?
Local SEO refers to the search engine optimization process that you implement to improve the online visibility of your business in the city or cities where you provide or sell your product or service. This then translates into a positive conversion.
Why is it important?
- When you build an online reputation, credibility and trust build up too.
- It increases revenue by attracting leads from search engines.
- The investment is minimal compared to the results.
Now that you have a broader idea of what local SEO is let’s take a look at these killer tips and strategies that will get you there. If you want to know more about SEO and how it works, check out this advanced SEO training modules.
17 Local SEO Tips and Strategies to Help you Rank in Map
Include the Physical Address in the Title Tag
This is very important as people can see your address at a glance in the title. Keep in mind that you do not have much space in the title tag, so only write the basics: city, state, and road.
This part of the game comes as obvious if you want people to visit your business.
Set-Up Your Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows local businesses to set up their online presence across Google, including Google Map and local search. You have to do this in order for Google to place your business in the form of a snippet when relevant keywords to your business are searched by customers and clients.
- Go to https://www.google.com/business/ and click on the “Start Now” or “Manage Now” button.
- Select the Google account you will be using for your business. You may also consider creating a fresh account.
- Type down the name of your business and find it in the list. If your business is new, you will have to create one.
- When you find or complete the name of your business and its type, click on it.
- Input the complete and correct business address, and the phone number.
- After you select “Mail me my Code,” Google will have to verify your business. A code will be sent to your business location within a time of around two weeks.
Once you have that part scratched of your to-do list, fill in all the other details such as business category, open hours, street address, etc.
GMB includes an option that allows you to post updates and news related to your business, its products and services. Make sure to keep that always in check.
Make your that the details you mentioned on GMB are useful for your potential clients. Of course, include your website and pictures related to your business.
Keep Your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number) Correctly Across Your Website and Google My Business
Now that you have your Google My Business and local listings in place, the next step is to make sure that your brand’s NAP information is consistent.
What does this consistent NAP mean? Well, it is actually pretty simple.
Check what your GMB listing NAP looks like and make it look all the same on your website and wherever your local business is mentioned.
Not only this will give your business credibility, but in fact, it will allow Google to match your business with its GMB correctly. If you miss any detail of your business NAP, and it does not look exactly how it looks on GMB, you may face a lot of difficulties afterward.
Make Sure that Your Website Has a Map to Your Location
Within the contact information on your website, you must also have a map of your company’s precise location. You can get a code to add a map on your website or have someone else do it for you.
Speaking of the contact page, there are some other things that you should include:
- Driving directions to your location.
- Opening and closing hours (the same that you have already mentioned on GMB).
- The same phone number with a link to call from mobile devices.
- Social media information.
Focus on Your Content with Local Keywords
You now need to make an impact on your local rankings. One of the best ways to do this is through content marketing. If you want to be found based on the local searches from users, you have to make your contents rank for the terms they are searching for.
Find the local keywords that are relevant to what your business is about. The most common generic word for a local landing page is the name of your type of business + “near me.”
For example: “Dentist near me”
Or “Dentist in XYZ”, where XYZ refers to your location or city.
You must research for keywords that are both relevant to your business and have a high volume search in your city, state, or country. Look for the following combination in keywords:
High search volume + low search difficulty + high cost per click (CPC)
Earn Genuine Reviews
People like to know that they are not the only ones visiting your website, and consequently subscribing to your products or buying your services. If you consider that 86% of consumers read reviews for local businesses, you will realize why they are pivotal to your ranking.
Place these on your website. Include reviews or testimonies of people who have put their faith in you.
Write a Blog
A blog is a place to showcase your expertise in the industry you are servicing. It also allows you to build customers’ confidence, demonstrate your authority, and increase website traffic while providing useful information, and very importantly, blogging helps you to prove to Google that you are for real.
Remember, a blog is fundamental to the purpose of improving organic traffic to a website.
Offer something of value to your readers, something that they can take with them. For example, you can include posts on how to do something, checklists to follow, or some trends and news about your business and industry.
Use Citations Properly
Getting citations is very important for local SEO. Their importance lies in the fact that they can drive traffic to your site, add credibility, and build authority.
Four things to consider when using citations:
- Make sure they are consistent.
- Work your way into getting the newspaper and blogs mention your business.
- Acquire citations from good-quality business listing websites.
- Ensure that there are local industry-relevant domains mentioning your business in a good light.
Improve Your Website’s Loading Speed
This one is pretty clear but, surprisingly, is one that gets ignored very often. Very few things will make customers rebound from your site to the competitors’, the way a slow website does.
Google, as a search engine, is always looking to give users the best experience. And a laggy website certainly does not do that.
Ideally, any website should fully load in three seconds or less. A fast-loading site will still not guarantee a higher ranking, but it will prevent it from dropping.
Work on Unique Content
Your content must be hundred percent unique to avoid plagiarism sanctions, and it should be rich enough to keep your readers engaged. This will positively improve your “time on site”, click-through rate (CTR), as well as reduce your site’s bounce rate.
Optimize the Title, Meta Description
A title tag refers to the HTML tag that gets visible on the search engine’s results. The meta tag is a brief description of what the page is about. This first impression is important, so you should make sure that you optimize these two carefully.
Here’s what you do:
- Include your target keyword in the title and the meta description of the page.
- Use adjectives that will entice readers to click on your site. Try “awesome,” “top,” “cheap,” or “best” – anything that helps improve the CTR.
- A few words are more powerful than others when it comes to getting click on something. Use words like “new”, “you”, “free”, “now”, and “secret” on your page title and meta description to increase the CTR.
Make Sure Your Website is Mobile-Friendly
The number of people using their smartphones to visit websites has increased dramatically from 2009 to 2019. A big percentage of people are accessing websites via their mobile phones. If a webpage is optimized for mobile devices, it will provide a pleasant user experience.
If you want to know if your site is mobile-friendly, click on this link.
Use Schema Structured Markup
Technically, there is no evidence that a schema structure is within Google’s algorithm, which directly improves a website’s ranking. Nevertheless, it will make your website look impressive and appear trustworthy.
Schema markup is a form of microdata that was first found on schema.org. A few of those are even more powerful as those include rich snippets. Hence, adding them to a website is really profitable.
Once again, you want visitors to get into your website and spend a decent time inside. This will tell Google that you have the answer the visitor was looking for; therefore, you should be ranking higher.
Acquire Backlinks From Authoritative Local Websites
You probably already know that backlinks are one of the most impactful ranking factors in SEO. This means you need high-quality link-juice to improve ranking.
But, how do you get these powerful inbound links that improve the site’s local SEO and ranking? Well, there are several ways:
- Ask for links on relevant websites.
- Create awesome content that people would like to link to.
- Get your website listed on relevant business directories.
- Collaborate with some local business authorities, chamber of commerce, etc.
- Also, collaborate with other local businesses (e.g. if you are a real estate business owner, you may consider collabing with a few interior designers, architects, home-improvement bloggers in your city and country).
Add Your Site to the Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is another free tool that gives you a dashboard to your website to monitor data and troubleshoot errors to finally improve its performance.
A few important data that you should check on GSC are,
- Performance data – Lists keywords, impressions, clicks, average CTR, and average position data.
- Coverage data – Shows the errors Google crawlers face during crawling a page.
- Sitemap data – Lets you add sitemap file and monitor errors.
- Mobile Usability – Allows you to monitor the errors smartphone crawlers face.
- Manual Action – Detects and shows if there is a manual action taken against the website.
- Links – Lists all the backlink data including top linking sites, pages, and anchor-texts.
Add Local Photos of Your Business
Perhaps this is the most obvious tip, but there are a few points you should check out when adding photos of your business.
- Use custom-designed photos that are attractive and social media friendly.
- If possible, add relevant key-phrase on the picture.
- Upload them on Google My Business tool, use on your website, and post on social media sites.
- Add relevant image tags, location tags, place tags to make it topical and local search-friendly.
Join Niche Local Forums
Forums are a great way to build a reputation online. When you join and contribute to a forum, you leave behind a link to your site. Most probably, this link will automatically have a “no follow” attribute on it, meaning that it will not add to your backlink reputation. However, it will help generate traffic to your site, which is also useful for ranking higher.
Apart from this, you may also consider adding the NAP citation below your forum answer which will certainly boost up your local ranking.
Another benefit is that you get to know like-minded business owners who might be your collaborators online or offline.
Answering other people’s questions in forums helps you build a reputation and become a benchmark in what you do.
There you have the 17 powerful local SEO tips that will help you rank in map. There probably are more and even some that will be added in the future. This is because of the dynamic nature of how all this works.
Do not neglect your website’s local SEO, and you will surely be on top of your competitors. It does take time, but all the hard work will pay off well.
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