SEO Tips To Help You Dominate Local Search Rankings
Today, more and more users are taking their time to look up businesses online before they visit the actual store to make a purchase. If your business doesn’t show up in the first results for local searches, you are losing customers to your competitors.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO encompasses the different processes aimed at optimizing your Google My Business listing and website to generate more traffic from location based searches. Most of the customers for small businesses are local, making it very important for your business to appear in the top results. Search engines such as Google ad Bing use algorithms to rank the listing relevance for local business in searches performed in and for a certain geographical area.
Types of Search Engine Results
Presently, the Google search engine results come in different formats, depending on the keywords. Local search results can either provide organic search results, or local pack listings, which are typically three businesses listing placed below the map of the location.
The local organic search results in Google SERPs are now placed below local pack listings. When a user clicks on one of these links, they are taken to Google Maps, and are given an extended view of the business they have clicked. The business listing is based on the proximity to the user, and the local SEO efforts of that business.
What Influences Local Search Results?
You might be wondering the kind of factors that actually influence the local search rankings. If you have been following the SEO trends of the last few years, you have probably noted that the ranking factors are very dynamic, as Google continues to update its search algorithms. When it comes to local search, the following are the most important elements that contribute to higher rankings:
Local SEO Tips to Help Improve Your Search Rankings
1. Set Up and Optimize your Google My Business Listing
This page sends signals to Google that helps your business to appear in the search, including reviews, user photos, and association with an Owner’s verified profile. Considering that there are only 3 spots for the local business listings for local searches, only the most local, relevant, and optimized Las Vegas listings will be featured in this prime location.
Google My Business is also free, and serves as a very powerful tool for getting your business incredible exposure provided that your website is optimized enough to appear in the pack. Keep in mind that you have to undergo a verification process, for Google to confirm that you are a legitimate Las Vegas business and that you are the actual business owner.
Be sure to optimize your listing with a solid description of your Nevada business, operating hours, categories, the type of payments you accept, etc. make sure you also upload at least three pictures of your business, your products and/or services. Keep in mind that Bing also has a similar page called Bing Places for Business, and the process is similar to that of Google my Business. If your business is not signed up to Google My Business you can sign up for free by clicking here.
2. Optimize your Business Listings on the Web
One of the most essential steps for optimizing local SEO is making sure that your business citations are properly listed online, and that they are all consistent. Make sure that your Las Vegas business is listed on the top directories such as Yelp, CitySearch, Merchant Circle, TripAdvisor, etc. You also need to try and get Las Vegas’ respectable local directories to list your business.
Check out your chamber of commerce and your local newspaper’s website to find out if there are any local business directories you can get listed on. Perform searches on keywords such as “Las Vegas business directory” to find the rest of the citation directories and sites. Always make sure that the Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) of your business is consistent, and updated an all the directories and citation sites. Any discrepancies such as abbreviations, misspellings, and wrong number or address can not only hurt your local SEO, but also mislead and frustrate your customers.
3. Online Reviews are Very Important
A recent survey outlined that 84% of people trust online review as they would personal recommendations. User reviews and your engagement in response to them can build the visibility of your business online, especially with the local search results. Overall, the more authentic and positive the reviews your business gets, the better its rankings on the search results, and the higher the trust new customers have on your business.
The most crucial places in which you efforts should be focused on getting reviews are on the Google my Business page and the Facebook page of your business. These are the big ones, and they mean a lot. Most people will turn to Facebook to see what their family and friends say about a given product or service, and having good reviews on your Facebook page can help attract more prospective customers to your business. It’s crucial to have and to maintain positive reviews on your Google my Business page, since the reviews will show up whenever someone searches for your business.
There are a number of reputation management tools you can use to monitor, track, and actively try to get good reviews. These include Trust Pilot, Reputation Loop, Vendasta, and Get Five Stars. You can also use tools such as Tiny Torch and Hootsuite to get alerts when your brand is mentioned online.
4. Pay Careful Attention to Titles and Meta Descriptions
Writing creative titles and descriptions are often regarded as an art in the world of SEO. When competing for the top ranks, if your text isn’t compelling, unique, and efficiently descriptive, your click-through rates might suffer significantly.
To reach the local customers, you need to include the name of the city in the area your business serves. Remember to use a targeted keyword, and place it as close to the beginning of the description as possible. Don’t blow your chance of getting a user to click on your link by using characters that won’t help them want to check you out.
5. Using the Local Business Schema Markup
This will provide a detailed message to the search engines on exactly what your business is all about. Schema Markups essentially helps Google to identify the location of your business. This is vital in getting your website to show up in the carousels and rich snippets of the search results.
If you have any questions about how you can leverage this local SEO checklist for your business, we can help. We specialize in developing local SEO strategies for Las Vegas businesses that will help your website rank higher on both search engines and maps, and in turn drive more organic traffic to your site. Learn more about how we can help your business here.