If you are wondering how to improve local SEO and climb up to higher positions in the Google SERP, you first need to understand what the difference is between regular SEO and local SEO. In a nutshell, local SEO activities help you rank your site in a particular area (such as country or a city). For example, if you type in “educational centers” in Google right now, you will be recommended search results based on your location. This happens because Google assumes you are searching for something nearby instead of giving you general worldwide results.
If you work in a specific area or region, you want to rank high when people search for your products or services. The problem is, there are probably hundreds or thousands of other local businesses who want their site to be displayed in the same position.
If you want your site to rank in the top 3 or even on the first page of Google search results with specific keywords, you should consider all Google ranking factors and adjust your website accordingly. However, there are a few tips for local SEO we would like to share with you which will help you to improve Google local ranking of your website.
Why local SEO is important
Statistics show that local SEO optimisation can truly benefit your business. Here are some insights:
- 50% of people who searched for local businesses on their phone, visited the physical store within the next day.
- 34% of people who searched with tablet or computer visited the physical store within the next day.
- 18% of local searches on mobile, end up in a sale within the same day.
- 33% of consumers in the U.S. were using the internet daily to look for local businesses in 2019.
It’s safe to conclude that local SEO practices is essential for your business to be found by internet users in your country, region or city. Take a look at the following local SEO optimisation tips and start to rank higher in local Google searches!
How to improve local SEO
1. Make local keyword research & use relevant long-tail keywords
We all know that keyword research is one of the key Google ranking factors. However, when you are optimising SEO for a local audience, you need to consider specific local keywords.
Start your local SEO keyword research by determining phrases or words related to your business and combining them with long-tail keywords related to your location. Look into questions and conversational type keywords.
Examples of local keywords:
“What is the best barber in the Toronto area”
“Toronto lawyers specializing in taxation”
“Gluten free bakery in Toronto”
When you conduct your keyword search, make sure to look for less competitive, long-tail keywords with high search intent. By implementing these keywords, you are more likely to rank with specific searches and give the internet user what they are looking for – and that is the aim of Google as well.
2. Fill your website with high-quality content
If you want your website to get any traffic from Google, you need high-quality content. All your local SEO optimisation activities will go to waste if you don’t have good quality content on your site.
So what is good content?
In order to rank high in search engines, your website content has to be considered educational. One criteria is content length; a small word count is unlikely to provide a sufficient amount of information to readers. The more content you have on your site, the more likely you are to gain a good spot in the search engine results.
Some other criteria of good quality content are:
- Site and content are clearly structured
- Pieces of content are divided with subheadings for a better reading experience
- Your content is regularly updated
- You use descriptive language and correct punctuation
- You display dates in your publications to validate the freshness of your content
3. Get backlinks from local websites
Linking strategies are in general essential for your website’s success. However, linking is also an important local SEO ranking factor, and specific local linking actions can help you improve your local visibility.
There are numerous business listing websites out there where you register your business online. Most of these listing sites carry a high domain authority.
They can be government listings, or for example, review websites like Yelp. Other examples include Yellowpages phone directory, Craigslist and the Business Bureau.
Type in the country you live in, followed by business listings, and you should get several options for websites to submit your business. Get your link in as many listings as you can, at least 4-5, and you might see an immediate boost in your Google local business ranking score.
Social media & forums
Social media activity will not have a direct impact on your site’s position in the search engine results, but active social media presence is known to have a positive effect on your website’s ranking. Shares and reactions to your posts in social media are likely to drive more traffic to your site, which in the end, will improve your site’s authority.
In addition to sharing information actively on your company’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages, consider posting on forums such as Reddit, Quora and Warrior. They’re all good platforms to present your brand, find new customers and drive traffic to your website.
Popular blogs and local news outlets in your town or country should be on your target list for building up a good local reputation. You should aim to get links from local high-authority websites, such as news websites and popular blogs with many followers. You can reach out to them via email and make a proposal on how you can cooperate together and exchange links.
4. Create a Google My Business account
If you do not already have a GMB account, create one now. When you have an account, you can submit your address to Google Maps. This is an indicator to Google that you are indeed a business, and it will be more likely that Google will show you in local search results.
Your business will eventually make it to the top of the recommended lists for nearby users, connecting you to an eternal traffic source for years to come, without putting any extra effort.
Make sure you post regularly on your GMB account to let Google know that you are active!
5. Make sure your website is mobile friendly
One of the most important criteria on how to increase Google local ranking is making sure your website works seamlessly with all mobile devices. Nearly 60% of all searches were done with a mobile device in 2019. You must make sure your website works smoothly with all devices or you will lose your position and customers to the competitors.
How to improve local SEO: Bonus tip!
We hope this guide to local SEO has helped you to draft a plan to optimise your website for local searches. We guarantee that following these local SEO best practices will help you gain more revenue generating traffic to your website.
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