If you have followed SEO strategies for any length of time, you know one thing: SEO changes all the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever that you optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your local business. Local competition is heating up, and if you’re not on top of your rankings, you can bet your competitors will be.
Now is the time to start focusing on how you’re going to move the needle for your business with these few local SEO tips.
1. Insert Keywords across Multiple Listings
Insert your local keywords into unique descriptions across multiple listings, make sure that your photos are current, and always include your business category. Once you compile a list, promote it: Reviews are essential not only to boost rankings but also to encourage viewers to take action.
2. Get Local Coverage
If you'd like to improve your local SEO, target top local publications for coverage and create and foster relationships with local journalists who will cover your news on an on-going business.
3. Get New, High-Quality Links
The quantity and quality of links directed to your website have an increasingly impactful effect on its local search engine rankings.
4. Improve Internal Linking Structure
Add internal links where relevant from within your pages' content, including blog posts, informational pages and key service pages. We consistently see lifts in rankings (maps and organic) after improving websites' internal linking structure.
5. Optimize Title Tags With Local Keyword
To help specific pages rank locally, optimize your title tags with the local keyword. For example, your title tag could be "basement renovations Chicago." This signals to search engines that this page is directly tied to Chicago, and will thus be more likely to show up in searches from your geographic area and explicit searches for the local term.
6. Claim And Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
One of the simplest things you can do to improve your local SEO is claiming your Google My Business profile. This is a business listing that shows up for local searches. You need to have a physical location and street address (not a P.O. box) to set up or claim a listing.
7. Create Local Business Profiles
Make it easier for searchers to find you by establishing a presence on popular review sites for your industry such as Google+, Yelp and Yellow Pages. Each local profile you create acts like another “platform” for local visitors to land on. It’s an incredible opportunity to improve local SEO and demonstrate social proof, which will help drive people back to your website.
8. Multi-Local Brands Should Build Hyper-Localized Content
For multi-local brands, focus on developing hyper-local content. Many brands have the same location page content for all locations. Instead, make every location page unique. Don't just find and replace the city name. Do some research.
9. Associate Your Business with An Area
Start with Google Maps and finish with your website, citations and local listings. Make sure (without being spam-my) to make it clear to search engines the area that your business wishes to dominate, and the full extent of your service area.
10. Be As Authentic As Possible
It's crucial to be as authentic as possible when listing your business on sites like Google, Bing or Yelp. Fill in and regularly update your business's description and upload photos that are current and high quality. But remember that images that appear photo shopped can hurt your SEO ranking.
11. Don't Ignore the Little Details
It can be easy to overlook small details when posting a blog or uploading a new image, but crossing your T's and dotting your I's can make all the difference. HTML elements such as meta description tags and titles are just as critical as the image or content itself.
12. Offer a Google Virtual Tour
A new tool for businesses concerned with local SEO is Google Virtual Tour. You can now add a 3-D photo tour of your business to your Google profile, which will show up in searches on Google maps.
13. Prioritize Reputation Management
Businesses must be proactive about their online reputation management to optimize local SEO. There are several tool options you can use to track, manage and proactively garner reviews, but the focus should definitely be on reviews on the Google My Business page.
14. B2B Marketers Need To Address Customer Needs
Most B2B buyers don't start by searching for your brand, product or service (and if they are, they're already finding you). They use search phrases that are problem- or need-oriented.
15. Manage Citations Effectively
After you claim your Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Places and other listings, claim your business with data giants like Infogroup, Acxiom, Neustar Localeze and Factual. Make sure your name, address and phone number is correct.