Google has seen a dramatic increase of “near me” or local searches over the years.
For this reason, Google has made some measures to ensure its users get what they need. As a result, it has become so influential that today, 76% of people who look up a business on Google visit within the day.
This is why businesses should take advantage of local SEO. It’s the same SEO, but this particular area caters to showing up on local searches. This allows you to focus on your market, which is, in this case, the people near you.
However, there are some local SEO tips that website owners can often overlook. Read on to see 5 of them and how you can fix them.
1. Google My Business Account
You may claim your business on Google My Business now if you haven’t yet. First, create an account and then add details to your business.
This is an excellent offering by Google as it’s free for all businesses. It also increases your authenticity in the eyes of Google and potential customers.
What doing this does is that it makes your business show up on Google Maps. With Google Maps optimization, your customers can find your location and get directions to your business with a click or so.
It also increases the chances of your business showing up in Google’s local pack. This is an area in the search results page that shows three listings of a company and a map showing where they are. Each listing consists of details and two buttons that take visitors to their website or the map.
To further increase your chances of getting up there, make sure to choose the right category for your business. Add a description and updated information, such as your address and a local number. Make sure that these details match the ones on your website, too.
2. Getting Reviews Online
Some businesses still don’t get how much online reviews can impact their sales. Did you know that 90% of people read online reviews first before visiting a company?
That’s because a vast majority of people trust reviews. But unfortunately, they also let these reviews affect their purchasing decisions.
This is why you must start focusing on getting customer reviews. Be it on Yelp, your GMB profile, or your website, reviews are a great way to make customers trust you even more.
Make sure to read these reviews as well, as they’re a great way to spot any problems a customer might have had. In most cases, you can comment on the review to reach out and see how you can fix the issue.
However, businesses still aren’t sure about the best way to get reviews. Some encourage asking for reviews, while others say it’s a no-no. At the least, ensure that you have excellent and authentic products and services that customers will do by themselves.
If you have enough reviews, you also have a higher chance of showing up on Google’s local pack results.
3. Different Pages for Different Products/Services
Often, businesses use one or two pages to summarize all their products and services. However, this is a wrong local SEO move as it doesn’t send a good signal to Google.
This is because the search engine won’t see your website as an authority on the subject. While this won’t make Google penalize you, it will hinder your ranking potential.
To set your website as an authority, make separate pages for each product and service. Sure, you can still have that page summarizing all of them. Still, make sure they contain links to the individual pages.
If you have a separate page for each product or service, ensure all the details are there. It will force you to create content about the subject, allowing you to focus on specific keywords. As your authority on the subject increases, so does your website’s ranking power.
4. Location-Specific Web Pages
If you don’t have more than one product or service but operate in several locations, apply the tip above. The logic is somewhat similar, but it also ensures your customers can find all the correct information in one place.
Each page should have the basics: the name, address, and the local phone number (NAP). Then, insert a Google Maps code so visitors can get directions to your business on your website. Include your store hours, too, and if there’s any parking availability.
You may include other information as you see fit, such as if it’s friendly to PWDs, pets, and such. However, make sure also to have unique content for each page. Please don’t copy content from your other pages. Google will see it as duplicate content and will penalize you.
An About Us page should do the trick if you only have one location.
5. High-Quality Inbound Links
Last but certainly not least is to focus on solid inbound links. This is one of the most crucial SEO tactics to spend resources on.
Link signals are some of the essential factors for showing up in the Google local pack results. However, to gain recognition from Google, you must first gain recognition from other reputable websites.
To do this, create high-quality and original content that will make others want to link to you. Establish some link-building strategies, like reaching out to other websites to encourage them to include a backlink to you.
Please note that for Google to acknowledge these links, they must be of high quality. This means that they should come from high-quality and authoritative websites. Links from questionable websites, like link farms, will only get Google to penalize your website.
More Local SEO Tips for You
To summarize, the best local SEO tips that you might overlook include: local map optimization, getting reviews, getting backlinks, and using different pages for each location and each product/service. Other than these, there are a lot of other SEO techniques to improve your rankings.
Read more affordable SEO tips in our other blog post.