How important is local SEO with your ongoing marketing campaigns? In the past, the notion of “more is better” was quite commonplace; the theory being that this strategy would yield the highest return-on-investment (ROI). Times have certainly changed. Adopting a localized approach is now taking center stage and for good reason.
Studies have highlighted that no fewer than 97 percent of all consumers employ local phrases when searching for a product or service. So, appreciating which ranking factors are the most relevant will often spell the difference between success and failure. Let us examine the top seven local SEO variables and what each one entails.
Trustworthiness is critical today; particularly when establishing the reputation of a local business. Positive customer feedback will help to establish a greater degree of transparency and therefore, websites can enjoy a higher number of inbound hits. Google and Bing also look favorably on reviews.
On-page SEO factors are just as important, as these will help to determine the user-friendly nature of a website. Some variables which are included within this category include the use of the most relevant keywords, a mobile-responsive site design and NAP (name, address, phone number) listings so that search engines can better understand the physical location of a business. Therefore, working in tandem with a well-known website development company is often a wise decision.
Google My Business Listings
Google My Business is arguably one of the most important local SEO benchmarks in these modern times. This free tool allows businesses to work with Google Maps to provide users with a clear profile of the business. Furthermore, search algorithms will employ Google My Business to present results based on factors such as proximity to the individual performing the search query, relevant products and contact details.
We can think of a backlink as an algorithmic “word of mouth”. These links originate at another portal and direct users to your website. However, they can also be employed to establish an authoritative and trustworthy appearance. Consumers will then be much more likely to look at what is being offered. These observations have indeed been reinforced by solid statistics. Research indicates that a staggering 92 percent of all websites never receive any organic search engine traffic. This is largely because they have not employed any backlinks.
How are behavioral signals directly related to local search engine optimization? There are three primary factors that can influence how a business ranks within portals such as Google and Bing:
Mobile click-to-call widgets
Social media interaction
Let’s examine each in a bit more detail.
Clickthrough rates signify the number of inbound hits a website receives.
This next factor involves how many users contact a business via a click-to-call widget embedded within a website.
Social Media Engagement
We are not only referring to online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in this sense. Google has now developed algorithms that can determine how many individuals “check-in” to a specific physical location (such as a retail outlet) with their mobile devices.
Citations are essentially nothing more than listings found within local online directories. Search engines will use citations to better understand how much digital exposure a site is receiving. Digital directories which offer the name, address and telephone number of a business represent excellent ways to strengthen brand identity and once again, to enjoy a higher number of inbound hits.
Curating high-quality content is a final facet of the SEO equation. However, it should be provided with a decidedly local twist. Blogs about recent events, location-specific keywords and links to trusted community news sources will all fall within this category. While the notion of stellar content is certainly nothing new, it is important to highlight that it is now being imbued with a local flavor. As a result, it will be much easier to engage with the intended target demographic.
Local SEO is extremely important for small businesses. In fact, it has been found that more than 1.5 billion physical locations around the world are visited every month as a result of a local search. Use these seven local SEO tips to stay ahead of your competitors.
Ciaran Hourican is the Managing Director of H-Training, a Learning and Development company, who offers career and corporate services such as interview coaching, career guidance for adults and leadership programs. Click here to learn more – https://htraining.net/interview-coaching/
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