Local SEO can be defined as optimization of the online sites so that the search engines find it and rank it. Today, having your business in the online world is crucial for the business. To ensure that your brand and company is recognized by people across the globe, it is pretty important to take your business to the digital world. The best part is the advancement in technology has made it far easier for business owners to introduce their brand in the online world. Today, all you have got to do is build a presentable website and add content to it. But is that it? Is that all you need to gain the customer’s trust? Well, there are millions of websites established on the web. And, these websites have been in the digital world for years.
So, what should you do to make your website rank on the search engines? How can you improve your local business and ensure that the customers find it every time they search? And most importantly, how to make your business stand out on the search engines and ensure that the customers choose your products and services over the competitors? Here, the local SEO comes into the picture.
What is Local SEO?
First of all, local SEO shouldn’t be confused with general SEO. Local SEO is specifically designed for all brick and mortar business owners who want their company and brand to be ranked on the local search engines. To put it in simple terms, local SEO can be defined as the technique used to optimize a website for local search engines. For example, all the searches that are based on a specific geographical area fall in the category of local searches such as ‘doctors near me,’ ‘lawyers in my city,’ ‘schools in my state,’ etc.
A Local SEO company in London called ClickSlice states that approximately 50% of the people who do such searches through their smartphones are likely to hit the brick and mortar stores within the same day. Overall, 78% of the total local searches result in an offline sale. Now the question is ‘how to begin the local SEO optimization for your website?’ Read on to know the fundamentals and advanced local SEO techniques that will rank your site on the search engines.
- NAP Consistency
What is a NAP? Well, NAP is the abbreviation for the Name, Address, and Phone Number of your business. First things first, you should make sure that the contact address of your company is available on the local search engines so that your customers can find and contact you. To do that, you must add the NAP to the external websites and other crucial business directories that sell the same products or services. The consistency of the NAP is the key component here. The wrong details can lead your potential customers to the wrong place. And this minor error can annoy your customers.
It is the responsibility of the business owner to check and confirm the NAP details of their company on Google. It should be accurate, up-to-date, and consistent. It is worth noting that accurateness across the NAP is one of the simplest techniques that can help businesses stay consistent on the local search engines.
- Schema Markup
You might not have heard of schema markup before, but these two words are super crucial for local businesses. In the simplest terms, schema markup informs search engines about the specific content on a website. Of course, this is what the NAP does. But Schema Markup ensures that all your business information such as name, address, contact, hours of operation, services, etc are accurately displayed in the search engine results.
It might look intimidating to the beginner, but there is nothing complicated. If you want to get started with the schema markup, check out the local business schema attributes. You can also find schema tools that do the coding part for you. Furthermore, you can take the help of schema scanner tool to confirm that your business information is properly displayed.
- Google My Business
Google My Business profile is one of the most important factors for local businesses. Basically, it is the profile of your company that people go through before making their purchase decision. An ideal Google My Business profile suggests people what exactly you do, where your company is located, what all products and services you offer, what are your hours of operation, and other such basic information about your organization.
As mentioned above, it is important to check and ensure that all the information you have added to Google My Business profile is up-to-date and correct.
Once you have made your information available on the search engines, it is time to move to the next step, which is drawing the attention of your customers and gaining their trust. The most important factor that helps us determine whether or not to purchase from a specific company is the reviews. A majority of customers prefer word-of-mouth marketing. Now that the people have started to conduct online searches for their required products and services, they are more likely to trust online customer’s reviews. Just like the neighbor’s referrals, online reviews help customers make the right purchase decision.
Have you seen the local businesses with poor ratings and reviews on the search engines? Well, customers give these reviews for a reason. If they aren’t satisfied with the company’s services, they post a negative review on their profile. The worst part is a few negative reviews on your profile, and your competitors win your potential customers. Hence, it’s important to build a loyal customer base and provide them with effective services so that you get positive reviews on your page. The more the number of positive reviews, the higher the chances of your customers buying your services.
Other than the features mentioned above, Local SEO Business strategies involve responsive website design, amazing content and links, standard SEO, juicy photos, analytics, and so on. So, make sure that you integrate all the SEO features to take your local business to the next level.