Local search: 5 easy ways to dominate the local market
Local competition is fiercer than ever, and if you’re not on top of your rankings, your competitors are. Here are five local SEO strategies you can implement to improve your ranking for local search terms. Your title and description tags are displayed in search results.
Think of this text as a “mini-ad” that you need to craft carefully.
Your title and description are your one shot at grabbing a searcher’s attention and getting them to click on your links to go to your website – so put careful thought into what you put in these areas on your web pages. If your title or description tags are not present or Google does not think they are good enough, Google will often “rewrite” or make up something. The length of title tags should be between 50 and 60 characters. Description tags can range from 160 to 200 characters. Take advantage of this space and use it wisely.
If you’re not sure how your title and meta description tags will look or how many characters you can get away with, try using an emulator like Yoast’s SEO Plugin for WordPress, where you can see what your title and description will look like on both a mobile device and desktop:
Writing titles and descriptions is considered an art in the SEO world. If your text is not unique, descriptive and compelling in a sea full of search results that are competing with each other, it will affect your click-through rates (which could hurt your ranking).
Additionally, extra words or characters could cut off your text with ellipses (…). This may not be the end of the world. Some SEOs encourage you to exceed the maximum character count. But I think this looks unprofessional, especially when it appears in the middle of a sentence, cutting off your thoughts mid-sentence.
The lesson? Here are some tips:
Never waste space on page names or words that don’t provide helpful information to the searcher about what your web page – or business – is all about. Here are some tips:
Never waste space on page names or words that don’t provide helpful information to the searcher about what your web page – or business – is about.If you want to stand out to local customers, include the name of the city your business is in and/or the area your business serves (e.g., “Serving Iowa City and Cedar Rapids”).Focus on using one targeted keyword and carefully place that keyword as close to the beginning of the tag as possible.
Remember, if your business shows up in the search results, you have one shot at getting that person to click on your link. Don’t waste characters on words that will not convince searchers your site is worthwhile. Google Business Profile: Claim and optimize
Google Business Profile (GBP) is one of the best local SEO strategies for local businesses that meet with customers face to face. If your business is eligible for a Google Business Profile listing, then you must claim
optimise your Google Business Profile. It’s the best way to make your business rank highly on Google. )
Google Business Profile is free, and your business can get incredible exposure if you’re optimized enough to show up in Google’s local three-pack:
To claim your Google Business Profile listing, visit
. You’ll have to complete a process of claiming your Google Business Profile listing. This verification process is required by Google to verify that your company is real and legitimate. The owner of the business should claim GBP listings. You can give permission to a digital agency that is helping you with your SEO efforts to manage your business profile. That way, you remain in control of your profile if you end your relationship with the agency.
- The next step is to optimize – and continue to improve – your GBP listing by:
- Selecting categories.
- Adding business hours.
Writing a solid description.
Uploading photos and videos.
Answering questions potential customers ask.
Replying to reviews you receive and so on. Include any products or services that you offer.You can also create posts.Answering questions from potential customers.
Replying to reviews you receive and so on. Get the daily newsletter that search marketers trust. Online reviews matter
Up to 84% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations, according to BrightLocal’s 2023 Local Consumer Review Survey,.google.com/businessOnline reviews are like gold to a business – especially when they are 5-star reviews. Online reviews are gold to a business, especially when they’re 5-star ratings. Your goal should not stop here. You want to continue asking your satisfied customers to leave reviews. Why? Online reviews are a known ranking factor – so getting great reviews should be one of your top priorities!
“High-quality, positive reviews from your customers can improve your business visibility and increase the likelihood that a shopper will visit your location,”
Two places where you should focus on getting reviews are your Facebook page and your Google Business Profile. They are the most important. It is important to get positive reviews on your Google Business Profile because these will appear when someone searches for your business.
- Getting positive reviews on your Google Business Profile is crucial because these reviews show up on Google when someone searches for your business.
- Whenever a review is left about your business, positive or negative, be sure to respond to it. This shows that you care about what customers think. Here are some to check out:
- 4. Build out separate service pages
- If you run a service-based business, one of the best things you can do is build out individual pages for
- each service
you offer instead of just putting a list of your services on one page.
Creating service pages allows you to optimize for the location you’re targeting and for keywords associated with the specific service you offer in a much more targeted way.
Instead of a line list or only having a short paragraph on a “Services” page, you have an entire page to talk about each service that you offer which means you have more content and ways to optimize the text to serve better your readers
Google (for SEO purposes).
So spend some time creating individual pages for each service that you offer – even if you only have time to create the pages one at a time. You will see the benefits in the long run. I promise!
5. Online directories and citationsGoogle statesIt’s important that you get your business listed correctly and consistently on top online business directories (a.k.a. Citations, such as Yelp and Facebook, Merchant Circle, Citysearch, etc.
Why? Online directories are often found in the organic search results.
If your business isn’t listed on these directories, when a potential customer clicks on those links in search results, they won’t find your business’ information.
You will also want to try and find high-quality
directories to get your business listed. Check with your local Chamber of Commerce and newspaper to see if there is a local directory that you can be listed in.
- You can also search for keywords like “
- directory” to find other local citation sites or directories.
- It’s also essential to get your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on the major citation data aggregators like Foursquare, Data Axle and Neustar Localeze.
Data aggregators take your company’s information and distribute it to hundreds of other online directories!
Always ensure your company’s NAP is consistent on as many of these directories and citation sites as possible.These five local SEO strategies are just the tip of the iceberg regarding local SEO. The five local search strategies above will help you gain an edge over your competitors. Get started today!Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Here is a list of staff authors.