Posted by Vikram Rathod
October 21, 2019
Table of Contents
We all know that local SEO is essential. But basic tips like registering your company in Google My Business, updating contact details, etc. are not enough. You have already applied these tips, and they are not going to keep you ahead of competitors. Nor do they help you deal with often-upgrading Google algorithms that improve day by day to find the best matching search for users’ intent.
The icing on the cake is Google’s Possum Update had already allowed out-of-the-city businesses to compete with local spots.
Now is the time to focus on advanced local SEO tips that not only help you improve local visibility in 2019 but also outshine you in 2020 as well.
These ten advanced and actionable SEO tips set you up for success in local visibility.
As per Moz’s Local Ranking Factors survey, Google My Business (GMB) is one of the top-ranking factors. GMB signals have become more critical than ever before.
If I am not wrong, you have already registered your business in GMB. If not, register it now.
Let’s take a step ahead and follow these quick tips to optimize GMB.
When a customer searches for a particular business, the Post comes up first in Business Knowledge Panel.
For example, I searched for Kama Bistro on Google. Here’s the brand’s Google My Business Post
Adding your business in GMB allows you to put the necessary details of your business. But the Post gives you a broader room to add more events for your dear customers. Google My Business Post allows to add:
Tip: Each Post offers you a 300-word limit but Business Knowledge Panel showcase only the first 100 characters. Make sure your first 100 characters are attention-grabbing.
Build Local Backlinks
SEO talks are never complete without link building. The rule applies to local SEO as well. Link building has always been the heart of SEO but to get them for Local SEO is quite tricky.
Apart from listing your business on GMB, here are four other tips to gain local backlinks:
1. Reach out to local newspapers and local news channels to announce updates on your business. Any upcoming event, a new product launch, upgraded product, etc., will do the trick
2. Create local-centred content (more on that later)
3. Get as many customers as you can to post reviews
4. Offer discounts or deals every week or month or season and announce the same for local customers via news
The above tips help you gain local backlinks which add to your improved local visibility.
The importance of customer reviews is common knowledge. Even Moz’s Local Ranking Factor survey reveals customer reviews as a note-worthy ranking factor.
The more positive customer reviews you have, the more customers prefer you over others.
But managing reviews is as crucial as getting reviews from customers. You can’t just sit and see the flow of reviews coming. Negative or positive, you must respond to each of them to showcase your care for customers. Your response works like a guarantee for customers that if something goes wrong, you will remain there to sort out the issues.
Moz states citations among the top 5 local ranking factors.
Citations mean your business information like name, number, address, etc. Whether it’s directory sites, social media channels, local newspapers, etc., all must have your updated and same business information. Search engines crawl such data from different sources; they must not be confusing.
Recent research on page speed shows that half of the visitors bounce back from pages taking more than 3 seconds to load. Studies also mentioned a significant drop in mobile conversion due to 4+ seconds of page loading time.
Considering 51% of the time is spent on mobile devices and users’ impatience for the site load, make sure you have a fast-loading mobile-friendly site.
If you have a presence in multiple locations, it’s time to localize all your brick-and-mortar stores.
Putting multiple locations on a single website won’t help for local visibility. You have to dedicate an entire web page to a single location to give a clear idea of your business location to search engines and local customers.
Keep each page updated with full address ranging from block number to street name to contact information.
Global content is all about creating high-quality content revolving around the emotional title and search intent keywords. Whereas local content targets only local customers, so choices are limited but creative enough to catch the attention of locals.
Owners help people buy and sell homes without third-party agents. To attract local people to local homes, the brand offers its city guides furnished with customized advice for local people looking to move to any desired region. For example, if I want to move to Chicago, here’s the local Chicago content from Owners to help me make a conscious decision.
These days Google is trying hard not to bother users with more clicks. That is the reason; it showcases details on Featured Snippet and Local Snippet. You may have noticed something alike.
Yesterday, I was in a mood to eat out, so I Googled “best restaurants near me.” The search engine giant availed everything within Snippets.
These are local snippets helping online users to take quick decisions for a particular place. Search engines crawl such data via structured data (also called data markup and Schema Markup). You have to add Schema Markup code to your website to give a surface idea of your business (location, image, hours, etc.) to search engine snippets. If you don’t add it, search engines will jump to companies who add business information via Schema Markup code. Schema.org will help you add structured data.
Don’t give up on the misconception that meta titles and meta descriptions are of no good use. They are not ranking signals, but they do offer the opportunity to attract local visitors. Also, SERPs use meta descriptions for snippets. A local-focused, compelling, meta title and meta descriptions will encourage users to know more about your business.
Here’s a mouth-watering example of FRITOS, a chips manufacturer and subsidiary of PepsiCo. Read it and observe the importance of meta titles and meta descriptions.
Google determines local listings based on three factors:
1. Relevance: to what extent local listing match with users’ search intent
2. Distance: the distance between searchers and locations. Nearby locations come first
3. Prominence: the popularity of your business.
Creating local content helps you with relevance. Let Google take care of the distance as it will show the nearest one at first. For prominence, you have to strive a bit.
I have noticed that Google recommends most-talked-about local businesses at the top of the list. One day, I was searching for “music classes near me.” The nearest classes with maximum reviews appeared at the top.