How to Improve Local Ranking

What Is Local SEO & How to Improve Local Ranking?

Local advertising and word-of-mouth are great ways to draw customers from your local area. Online searches can have as much impact, if not greater. Social Media Today reported that 97% of search engine users used the internet to locate a local business, and 46% of all Google search results were for local information.

If a business is not ranked in local search results it may be missing out on customers and traffic. Local SEO could be the key to growing and staying relevant to your business.

Local SEO can be confusing if you are new and don’t know where you should start. This guide will help you to understand the local SEO landscape and provide you with some key solutions. Let’s get started.

What is Local SE Optimization, Do I Need It For My Business?

Let’s start by understanding what local SEO is. When someone searches for local businesses, products, or services, they are called “local search”. For example, they could search for “concerts in my area” to find a concert near them or “best SEO services in [location]” in order to find a nearby SEO service.

Local search, in other words, is more targeted to a specific location than general Google searches. Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online visibility so that you appear in local search results.

Local SEO is very important for your business because it allows you to:

  • Increase your online visibility
  • Increase foot traffic to brick-and-mortar locations
  • You will attract more targeted traffic which increases your conversion rate
  • Boost your credibility and increase trust

Organic Search Result vs Paid Search

Local SEO can help you increase your online visibility by displaying local snack pack results. Google divides local search results into three categories: organic, snack pack, and sponsored. Sponsored results are prominently displayed at the top search results pages, with the “Ad”, or “Sponsored,” labels. However, they cost money.

The snack pack results appear in a box that highlights three of the most relevant business listings for that search. The snack pack results are more prominent than organic local search results. This means that you have a greater chance of visibility if your business is featured in the snack package.

The best part? Not all local search page has sponsored results. As you can see, your business could be prominently displayed on the search results page.

The organic results rank lower than the local snack packs results. Even if your business ranks on the first page, it might not be as prominent as those that are featured in the snack pack results.

Your local SEO strategy should aim to rank on the first pages of both organic and local searches. This will ensure maximum visibility and increase your chances of attracting targeted visitors.

5 Ways to Boost Your Local SEO

Let’s now move to the most important part: how to improve your local SEO strategy. This is a complex topic, but let’s just focus on the most important.

1. Claim and optimize your GMB listing

GMB, or Google My Business, is the core of any local SEO strategy. Google’s GMB tool allows you to create business listings for free. According to Moz, this is one of the most important factors Google will consider when ranking businesses for organic local search results and snack pack results.

Go to Google My Business to claim your listing or create it.

For your GMB listing, you will need to enter the following information:

  1. Your correct and complete business name
  2. Address of your physical store/office
  3. A map showing your exact location
  4. Your business category
  5. If applicable, your phone number and website

After your listing is live, you will need to verify it. This can be done either by phone or postal mail. After verification, here’s how you can optimize Google My Business.

  • Upload photos of your business. These photos could include images of your business’s interior or exterior, as well as shots of the area around it.
  • Please provide your business hours.
  • You may also want to add categories that are relevant to your business.
  • If possible, provide additional numbers.

By sharing updates from your business and new content frequently, you can optimize your GMB profile. Sprout Social has a new feature that allows you to post directly on your GMB profile. 

2. Keep Mobile in Mind

Smartphones are now a regular part of our lives. It’s natural that many people will use their smartphones to search for information and local businesses. Uberall conducted a survey that found 82% of respondents used their smartphones to search for “near me” information. This shows how many people use their phones to do local searches.

It is crucial to cater to these searches by optimizing your website so it can be viewed on mobile devices. Mobile visitors will find it easy to navigate and find the information they are looking for.

Make sure to include click-to-call links on your website and in your GMB listing. This could make all the difference, as 60% of mobile users contact businesses directly via search results.

3. Gather a lot of customer reviews

Moz also found that reviews play a significant role in local search results as well as snack pack rankings. Positive reviews can improve your visibility in local searches and your reputation. You should aim to get more reviews from customers for your business.

Pay attention to websites where Google expects businesses have reviews. Google will also collect reviews via social media and consumer directories, in addition to your website. You should focus on collecting reviews through Facebook, Yelp, and Thumbtack, as well as Foursquare and Foursquare and Angie’s List and other social media. You can choose which one is most relevant to your business.

4. Focus on building local connections

Moz reports that link signals like linking domain authority and number are the most important factors in determining your rank in local searches and snack-pack results. Local SEO is just like regular SEO. To increase your backlink profile, you need to build backlinks. The backlinks should be taken from the relevant sites as well as the targeted area.

This means that you need to target authority websites in the target area. These could include licensing bureaus, trade associations, the Chamber of Commerce, or websites.

Partnerships, scholarships, guest posting, etc. These are all great ways to get backlinks from local websites. You can see that Connecticut College’s website links back to many local establishments on its “Attractions” page.

5. Assure consistency in NAP/citation

Moz found that Google also considers citation signals like citation volume (name, address, and phone number) consistency in local search results. Your information should appear on the major citation sites. Concentrate on directories with higher domain authority than smaller listing directories.

Importantly, ensure that your NAP for your business is consistent across all platforms. To improve your local SEO, you should be aware of any spelling errors, duplicate listings, and phone numbers.

6. Make the most of Social Listing

Although social listening was initially used to gather marketing insights, it can also be used for many other purposes. If you are able to identify the right insights and make the most of them, it could help boost your local SEO strategy.

Social listening can be used to learn what people are saying about your business and the general area. It could also be used to gather information about audience priorities and interests. These insights can be used to make improvements to your strategy, or to your products and/or services.

You might have noticed that people complain about the lack of outdoor seating in your cafe. Perhaps it is time to make it more appealing to a wider audience. You can optimize your GMB SEO by sharing information about your new seating arrangement.

Perhaps you have noticed that people want manicure services at your salon. This update could help you expand your service offerings and be shared on your GMB profile.

Your social listening efforts can also help you identify the types of local content that your target audience is looking for. This will allow you to create a strong local content strategy that meets your needs. You might also be able to find long-tail keywords that you can use in your content optimization strategy.

Final Words

These are the basics of how to elevate your local SEO efforts. Remember that local SEO can be applied to multiple locations. These ideas can be applied to your local SEO efforts for multiple areas if you are targeting more than one. These ideas can help you increase your online visibility for local searches and grow the business.

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