Local SEO is a search engine optimization strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google. Local SEO is increasingly important to businesses with a physical location, especially small businesses.
Here are the most important steps of local SEO optimization:
- Optimize for Google My Business.
- Optimize website internal linking structure.
- Optimize URL, title tags, headers, meta description, and content.
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Ensure your name, address, and phone number are consistent online on all registered directories.
- Get inbound links or backlinks through content marketing. Here is comprehensive article on “How To Get Backlinks: 9 Most Effective Strategies“
- Engage on social media and add posts to Google My Business.
The first and most imporant step is to be visible in Google Maps?
It is important for your website to appear in Google Maps because you want people to be able to find your contact details. Perhaps people already know your business, but don’t know the phone number. If you set up your website right, this location data can easily be found through search engines.
More importantly, people often do not know your business yet and are searching globally for general terms like “pizza”, “lawyer” or “broker in New York”. Google search engine results pages (SERPs) often display local maps listings based on users’ location and keyword searches. That is why it’s of great importance that your business is listed there!
With mobile Internet use dramatically increasing, the relevancy for Google Maps marketing is on the rise for all types of businesses.
- Today’s digital environment revolves around mobile use, with 80% of internet users owning a smartphone.
- Over half of Google searches done on a mobile device are done so with the intent of looking for a local business, service, product, or information.
- Google Maps are featured prominently on mobile devices for users seeking local solutions. As a result, Google Maps marketing offers incredible advertising exposure for any company.
- Google search continues to focus on local searchers seeking products and services in their area. Beyond marketing, Google Maps displays general brand and business information such as hours of operation, physical location, customer reviews, and driving directions.
What do I need to do?
The first thing you have to do is to get your business on Google Maps.
In our SEO project with Tristan Lauber we optimized 2 websites for organic search traffic:
First, we worked on the website design and structure:
- perform a keyword search
- optimized the structure of the website for the SEO
- optimized content for the SEO
- Set up Social Media Networks
- Submitted business in local directories such as Google business page, Yelp and Foursquare.
Now both the English and French websites appear on the Google map, as well as on the first page in Google, as an organic search result.
While you don’t necessarily need to fully invest yourself in all the social media platforms, it’s a good idea to at least setup profiles on Google+, Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram.
If you choose organic SEO (non paid)method, first you will need to perform a keywords research analysis. Keyword research is one of the most important, valuable, and high return activities in SEO. It’s not always about simply getting visitors to your site, but more so, about getting the right kind of visitors.
In the next articles, we will talk about how to improve your Google Places rankings.