The Basics of Local SEO
Search engine optimization is your key to getting found by more customers online. A comprehensive effort is needed to fully optimize your website on the web. Just having a great website is no longer enough. These days you will need to not only have a well optimized website, you will also need to have to strong online presence. This means that your business will need to have profile listings on social media sites, business citations and strong backlinks from credible websites.
The world of search engine optimization is complex and ever-changing, however knowing the basics of SEO can make a big difference. Here is what you need to know to get started.
Not only are these two local places (Google and Bing directories) accounts critical to your business, but there are many other local directories that you need to list your business on. Here are the top five business directories where you should have your business listed.
– Better Business Bureau
By having your business listed on these sites you will not only sent strong signals to Google that your business in a credible business, you will also begin to build a strong online local presence. There is definitely more that you will need to do to build your presence as these steps ensure that you build a strong local foundation. It is also important that your business listing or NAP (Name, Address and Phone) is the same and consistent on all of these directories.
Here is an example of some common mistakes to avoid. If your business name is XYZ Company, LLC then you will need to ensure that your business is exactly the same on all business citations. Not only that, you will need to make sure that your business address is exactly the same across all citations. Here is another example. If you are located at 559 Main Street, Boston, MA, then you should list that same address with no abbreviations.
Best Practices For Local SEO
Doing your own local SEO is possible with some basic web design and technical knowledge, but there are more complex areas that “do-it-yourselfers” probably won’t be able to handle. Technical SEO updates like schema markup / JSON, website speed, and design optimization require a deeper understanding of SEO and web design practices. In these instances, it will be best to contact a reputable internet marketing agency to assist with these efforts.
First and foremost you will need to verify your Google My Business. When doing so make sure that all of your business information is filled out correctly. You will need to include all service area cities and your hours of operation. You will also want to make sure that you list the specific services that your business offers. Also, selecting the appropriate main business category is extremely important. You will also want to include any sub categories related to the services that your business offers.
Pro Tip – You will want to ensure that the individual services listed match those services listed on your website service pages. You will also want to ensure to fully complete all sections of your Google My Business. Your business description should include your main keywords for these services that you provide. You will also want to include the name of your city and state within the business description as well.
Once you have completed your business listing, you will want to post short articles on a regular basis. When posting your articles be sure to link to a previous article from specific keywords in your article content. Continue this practice for each article that you post.This will help with your SEO efforts.
You should also include your Google Business map on your website in the footer section. In the same section you will also want to include your NAP beside your Google Business map. On the contact page of your website you should also include a map embed of your business along with the NAP.
By following the steps that we have laid out above you will be well on your way to increasing your local rankings on Google.