June 11, 2019 Last updated June 11th, 2019 54 Reads share

How to Master the Art of Local SEO To Rank Your Local Business

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For anyone actively managing online marketing, SEO is not an easy task. Managing our local business has gotten a lot more complicated with the advent of the Internet and an atomized and highly-competitive market. Local and other geographically non-specific SEO are completely different from each other, not accounting for the very basics. The latter tends to be much difficult to hone in. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing and evolving to keep up with customer demand. This further complicates local SEO campaigns even for the most experienced digital marketers. Still, it is crucial to focus on this marketing aspect for growing our business and online presence. So, what are some of the factors that affect local SEO? That is the subject that we are going to be dealing with in this article.

The definition

First things first, what is local SEO? It is an essential part of our SEO strategy, especially if we are a smaller or medium-sized company. It is a way for local businesses to stand out when it comes to people looking for what they have to offer. It is a tool to rout search traffic directly to a local company’s website.

Website updates

Customers like to be well-informed when trying to make a purchase. They want all the key information regarding their object of interest. Outdated or missing information on a product or service that we are selling will impact our traffic greatly. It is best practice to keep our website and its content updated on a regular basis. Blogs are also a great way to periodically reach a wider audience as we can provide them with beneficial information while promoting our agenda at the same time.

Speed and adaptability

Site loading speed and compatibility for mobile devices are two very important factors to have in mind. Most users have the tendency to make online purchases via their smartphones rather than bulky, stationary computers. Today’s environment is increasingly on the move and we need to follow those trends by optimizing text and image readability for best user experience possible. The attention span of an average online consumer is surprisingly short at about just a couple of seconds. If we do not meet their needs in that very short time span, they will look for someone else to fulfill those needs. Slow loading speeds will make us lose customers that are spoiled for choice when it comes to other suppliers. Those precious seconds will make the difference between a successful purchase and a botched one. Making sure everything works smoothly on all online platforms and devices will give us an edge over the competition.

Social media

Social media marketing has for some time now been one of the main tools for success for many businesses. Viral campaigns are a big driving factor for more sales and revenue. Having a substantial following on Facebook and Instagram brings in a lot of traffic and is present in Google Business listings. Tightly related are influencers that offer us another form of marketing altogether. Having someone with a significant, relevant following talk about our brand and offerings can have a great effect on our business and bringing more customers. It is the biggest indicator of keeping up with the times to have a great social media presence. It is an ingredient for success that is absolutely necessary to get a firm grasp on.

Negative factors

It is important to take a look at the other side of the coin where the negative factors can be found. What are some of the factors that negatively affect local SEO and should, therefore, be minimized or completely avoided? One of the most negative ranking factors is choosing incorrect business categories for our Google My Business page. If our business deals with electronic components and we mistakenly categorize it under “machine parts” that will have great negative effects. Search engine algorithms also consider our business address and contact information as critical ranking factors. If we make a mistake to list a false business address, it will also bring down our ranking significantly. Further along, if we mismatch our name, address and phone number (or NAP for short), guess what, the algorithms will pick up on that as well. The proximity of our address to the point where the search query originated from also affects our ranking. This is not necessarily something we can have a great influence on, as people from all over the world can look us up at any time. Considering these factors, there are plenty of takeaways that can be applied to our SEO strategy.

Beneficial practices

Now that we understand the factors that affect our local SEO, how do we optimize them to work for us? Experts in SEO Brisbane want to point out that this campaign takes a lot of time, effort and will not be accomplished overnight. The first step will be to optimize our Google My Business page. There is a bunch of information’s that we can fill up about our business. This, in turn, helps Google identify and categorize us correctly and optimally. We can follow the provided business guidelines presented by Google. First of all, we need to make sure our page is verified. This step should be prioritized as it opens a number of optimization options for us. Once it is completed, the “Verified” stamp will show up next to our business name when we log in with our dashboard. That is how we know that the process is complete. Next, our information needs to be up to date. This includes our business name, address, phone numbers, website addresses, categories, workings hours and anything else that is specific to us. As with the previous step, Google provides some basic guidelines for this one too, in order for us to fill this section correctly and further optimize our rankings. Our business name on our Google My Business page needs to be exactly the same as our actual, legal business name. Symbols and case-sensitive letters alike. The same goes for other details like the address, phone numbers, etc. Any inconsistencies will have an unnecessarily negative impact on our SEO. For a proper boost in our local SEO ranking, we need to provide an adequate description of our business and what its role in the world is. This comes in a form of free text and is the time for letting our creative juices flow. The description itself needs to be a couple of hundred to three hundred words at most. It also needs to be readable, to the point, inspirational and not stuffed with keywords and buzzwords. If we can make it unique in order to stand out from the crowd as per yet more guidelines, we will distinguish ourselves from the competition. Multimedia also plays a huge role in our local SEO rankings. Google gives us an option to upload three photos. Profile, logo and a cover photo. It is not much to go on but is just enough to get the perfect first impression. These are the pieces of content that will appear in the search results. If they are attractive enough, they just might compel a casual browser to click on the link that they provide. It is up to us to make sure that they are of high quality and are accurate for the greatest effect. 

Optimizing for Local SEO

The title needs to contain the city as well as the state along with the keywords. They also need to be coordinated in such a manner that makes them not appear spammy as it would deteriorate our SEO ranking. The same goes for our meta description. It needs to spark interest and be meaningful while still containing these elements. Our landing page is one of the most crucial parts when it comes to acquiring and retaining potential views and clicks. It is the tip of the spear for digital marketing strategies. It too needs to be unique, relevant and above all, of value for readers. Not to forget that it too needs to be optimized with top-ranking keywords to help us with that all-important SEO ranking. Three to five hundred words in a well and pleasantly formatted text should be the norm for an optimal reading experience.

Local businesses are optimizing their websites, My Business pages and other equivalents for the best local SEO performance. All businesses are moving their services online. It is a very turbulent market and it is not easy to get an edge over the competition. We have identified negative local SEO factors and practices as well as positive ones. With that, we understand the effects our actions have on our SEO rankings. Most importantly, we now have a clear view on how to optimize all the aspects relevant to our cause. By using these basic principles, it is easier than ever to implement our local SEO strategies as well as to track and measure their performance. This way we will ensure that our local SEO efforts are on point and are promoting our business and brand alike.

 

Local SEO

Nick Brown

Nick Brown

Nick is a blogger and a marketing expert currently engaged in projects for Media Gurus, an Australian business, and marketing resource. He is an aspiring street artist and does Audio/Video editing as a hobby.

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