7 Actionable Tips to Rank Your Business Locally
Nowadays, most people find local businesses through online searches. If your business is not easily found, then you are probably missing out on a substantial amount of potential customers. Most people don’t even go beyond the first page. Hence the traffic drops drastically after page one. Contrary to a popular myth, you don’t need millions of fans on social media to get on page one. It is actually quite easy to rank on page one. It’s not a miracle process; it doesn’t happen overnight. However, it doesn’t necessarily take years. Here are some useful, actionable tips that will help you rank faster and better.
Utilization of Region-Specific Keywords
Most people are using google to search for local businesses online. The volume of area specific searches is lower than the generic ones, what makes it favorable for local businesses is the intent of the user. These local visitors are high intent consumers, that is they know what they want, they are just figuring out how to get there. You must optimize your site for local SEO using region specific keywords to drive more traffic that is ready to convert.
For example, if you own a towing company in Kent, it’s a region-specific and local business. It is not a service that you can offer to people residing in China per se. Let’s consider two keywords here; the first one, “Best towing services,” and the second one, “Best towing services in Kent.” The first keyword makes you a part of the general search; it may give you traffic but not necessarily a converting one. However, people in need of a towing service in Kent will look for the region-specific towing company and are more likely to type the second keyword on popular search engines and hit search. When users’ type localized terms on Google, they are presented with relevant local business results. This fact makes the second keyword more relevant and conversion friendly.
Google My Business (GMB)
90% of all searches with local intent triggers the snack pack in the search result. Creating a Google My Business listing becomes a pre-requisite to rank in it. While setting up ensure you fill out the right business information such as name of your entity, address, phone number and website URL. GMB indexes the content of your input consistently throughout Google Search and Google Maps, building a foundation of your local SEO. Adding the basic information is just the start.
Here’s a checklist to make sure you get the most out of GMB Listing:
- Ensure all the information is accurate and up to date
There are so many parts to google my business listing. Start with the key information of your business.
- Phone number
- Talk to your customers through Google Messages
Google my business asks for a lot of relevant details but what if your customers have a query or want to have information about your product?
Google messages can be an extremely helpful tool to connect with your customers. This creates user engagement and helps in closing more sales.
- Use Posts to share business updates
GMB Posts are like mini ads or social media posts that appear on Google Search in your GMB Listing. You can share your business content in a variety of ways. Some are:
- Promoting an upcoming event
- Sharing a new offer
- Informing about a business advancement
Consistent Website and NAP Information
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number.It is important that your NAP is consistently listed the same across the web. In order to rank well, it is imperative to keep your company’s business information consistent and accurate. Lack of consistent NAP can negatively impact your local search rankings. Outdated or inaccurate information tends to confuse your customers and search engines. Accurate NAP on your website is very critical to the success of your business.
If you deploy any or all the above actionable tips, it will dramatically improve your local business rankings. These strategies will get your business found and help you leverage the power of ranking on Google’s first page.
Citations can be defined as “Mentions” of the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your local business on different web pages. Citations are the key component of ranking algorithms of popular search engines. Citations on well-indexed and well-established portals largely impact local search engine rankings. In addition to NAP, citations may incorporate some other elements such as business categories, hours of operation, driving directions, images, videos, business description, taglines, reviews, owner responses, email addresses, alternate phone numbers, attributes, link to social media platforms, website link, and geo-coordinates.
You can make local citations on major local business data platforms such as Google My Business, Foursquare, Yellowpages, and Yelp. You can also create citations on industry-specific and geography-specific data platforms. Ensuring Consistency is of utmost importance.
Customer Local Reviews
Customer reviews add credibility to your brand. It gives your potential clients the confidence in your product or service. This leads to a high rate of conversion. Positive online reviews are good for business. The purchase decision of most customers depends on online reviews. A large percentage of customers consider local customer reviews as personal recommendations. Reviews give the impression that your company delivers what it promises, and you have satisfied customers willing to talk about your company. Hence the more reviews you have, the better you rank.
Separate Web Page for each Location
Separate location pages for multiple locations of any business is not only a good local SEO strategy, it also helps in general SEO of the website. If your business has operations in multiple locations, create location pages. Location pages provide customers with specific information of NAP, Store timings, promotions, reviews, ratings and more. Adding a google map on respective location pages to the website is a huge bonus.
Quality Link Building
Quality link building is important for establishing authority. In order to outrank your competitors, you will need to establish profound authority. As per Google quality link building are one of the top three ranking factors. Setting up a smart linking strategy is what you should do to really get a bang for your buck. You can link to Google Sites, GMB Posts, Yelp, etc. to directly link Google My Business and its various components. Links on different high authority web properties associated with your brand are bound to strengthen your local business rankings. Quality link building is what gives you a competitive difference
Another brilliant way to accelerate your local business ranking is using schema markup. It is very powerful yet one of the most less utilized forms of local SEO today. Schema markup uses code or semantic vocabulary in different formats like Microdata,RDFa and JSON-LD. Use JSON-LD, it is much easier to maintain and is recommended by google. Schema markup tells the search engines what your data means, not just what it says.
A collaborative team from Google, Yahoo, and Bing has created www.schema.org, the website for schema markup to help businesses get more traction while creating more information rich SERPs for searchers.
Schema Local Business Markup can be implemented on sites with brick-and-mortar locations to impact local listing. This is used to point out your business information such as physical address, opening hours, payment types accepted and more to Google.
While adding schema markups, it is necessary that it complies with google’s guidelines. Also keep in mind that there are industry-specific schemas, such as Automotive Business, Self Storage and many more.
“@context” : “http://schema.org”,
“name” : “Digital Magus”,
“image” : “https://digitalmagus.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Website-Development.jpg”,
“@type” : “PostalAddress”,
“streetAddress”: “20 Lighthorse Crescent “,
“addressLocality”: “NarreWarren South Victoria Pty Ltd. “,
“telephone” : “61 430 081 401”
“openingHours”: [ “Mo-Su 09:00-18:00”],
“hasmap” : “https://www.google.com/maps/place/Digital+Magus/@-38.0592998,145.2869253,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x6ad61195c19eca43:0x544dbb3f0ea99d39!8m2!3d-38.059304!4d145.289114”
Please make sure to test your schema code before implementing on the website. Here is the tool you can refer Structured Data TestingTool.
Connect with Local Influencers
Influencers these days are mini celebrities. They have dedicated and engaged group of followers on social media. Collaborating with an influencer is like a local advertisement. Specially If you are a B2C business influencer marketing should be a part of your marketing strategy. In today’s digital age influencer marketing is one of the powerful tools for branding. It can help you reach customers, sell products and boost brand awareness.
There are more than 500,000 active influencerson instagram alone. That means there are many opportunities available but collaborating with the right influencer is the key. The right influencer can help you reach targeted audience and drive engagement with niche audiences. This also increases your brand’s social media exposure.
There are many platforms to help businesses find and connect with influencers. Some of the popular ones are AspireIQ, Upfluence, and Famebit.
Kaynat Nasir is a Digital Marketing Strategist with nearly 7 years of experience. She offers SEO and other online marketing services to brands. And she is also proficient in providing Digital Marketing Training to the individuals.