Overview of SEO For Local Business
If you are a local business owner then you can definitely understand the challenges that come with this kind of campaign vs. that of a non-geo-specific brand.
The above chart shows a breakdown of the weighting of various ranking factors within the local businesses SEO campaigns. One of the most important things to note here is that whilst there are a few slightly different factors compared to the usual SEO campaign (i.e. External Location Signals and My Business Signals), links and on-page SEO factors still play a vital role. The only difference is that the type of links you’ll want to focus on will be a lot different.
Now Revealing the secrets of some of the techniques that you can implement to get amazing results from your local business SEO campaigns
This 1st Step You Can't Avoid
Before you move ahead and start chasing links, you need to know that there’s a lot of up-front work needed on your website to ensure that you’re able to get the best possible results of Local Business SEO Campaign, especially if you want to rank within the local pack listings (see below):
To rank Your Local Business within the above types of listings, you’ll rely less on the link building side of things, and more on local NAP citations, local reviews and Your Local Business signals.
Google My Business
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to claim your Google My Business page so that your local business can appear in the search result on Google.
If You Want To Register Your Local Business On Google My Business and Want To Create A Business Page On Google Then You Can Apply Now.
All The Important Facts Which You Should Really need to know is that once you’ve set it up, you should include the following:
- Add a long And unique description that’s formatted correctly and includes links to Your Local Business.
- Choose the correct Business categories for your Local business.
- Upload as many photos as possible on the profile of your business listing.
- Add a local phone number to your business listing.
- Add your business address that’s consistent with that on your website and local directories.
- Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo on the profile section.
- Add your opening times/ working days (if relevant).
- Get real reviews from customers on business listing on Google.
Don't Forget NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Consistency is the key here. You need to ensure that you have your full NAP across your whole website (i.e. on every page). Furthermore, you must use the exact same details/format when you mention your address on other websites (i.e. local citations).
You’ll also want to use Schema.org markup on your NAP details to give the search engines all they need to display your company and your local business information correctly.
Here’s the code that you can adapt to your own website to the proper setup of NAP:
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness"> <p itemprop="name">COMPANY NAME</p> <p itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress"> <p itemprop="streetAddress">ADDRESS LINE 1</p> <p itemprop="addressLocality">CITY</p>, <p itemprop="addressRegion">REGION</p> <p itemprop="postalCode">POSTCODE/ZIP</p. <p itemprop="telephone">PHONE NUMBER</p> <meta itemprop="latitude" content="LATITUDE" /> <meta itemprop="longitude" content="LONGITUDE" /> </div>
All you need to do is change the text in bold to your own details — simple.
Local Reviews For Business
Local reviews have a direct impact and very high weight on local search rankings of local business listing, so you’ll want to spend some time acquiring them.
It’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t just mean Google reviews. You’ll also want to focus on getting customer's reviews on your Yelp page (they’re used by Apple maps), along with other local business directories but Your first priority should be Google reviews though.
To begin with, you’ll want to capture any low-hanging fruit by getting in touch with your existing customer base and see if they’d be interested in leaving you a great review. You could incentivize them for their time (maybe a discount for the next order etc.).
Local On-Page SEO Factors
On-page SEO for local businesses conforms to some pretty old school SEO tactics. There’s quite a large weighting towards the on-page content of the website in the local business search listings, so it’s important that, where possible, you squeeze the most value out of your content.
Mentioning those important factors of On Page SEO for local business listing which you should follow-
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page title tag.
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page H1 tag.
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page URL.
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page content.
- Try to add your City/Region, plus a relevant keyword, within your landing page image ALT attributes.
- Embed a Google map with your business marker into your landing page.
Local Link Building & Citations
Link building within local SEO campaigns is incredibly very important and it’s also something that’s often overlooked.
Compared to standard SEO campaigns, local SEO relies much more on links from other local websites that are really relevant to your business. It’s not more about getting links from high authority websites (although that obviously helps) and more about getting links from websites local to you that are talking about similar things to what you do in your local business.
This means that local directories are a useful resource for link building for SEO of Local Business, especially when it comes to building citations.
“A citation is an online reference to your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP).” (source)
These citations don’t even need to be directly linked to your local business website, as long as they’re referencing your business NAP consistently in the same way.
You can use a tool like Bright Local to check out any existing citations you have and then update them so that they’re all consistent. You can also use the tool to track your competitor's citations and add your own to the same websites.
There are a number of ways to get local citations, but here are a few that we are recommending :
- Use a service like WhiteSpark and get them to find and upload local citations for you.
- Go through the extensive list of citations on the Moz website and manually submit your citations.
- Use a tool like Ahrefs, Majestic or Open Site Explorer to run competitive link research and find citations that your competitors have gained.
- Set up alerts through Mention or Google Alerts to track new mentions of your competitors’ NAP listing.
Local Link Building Strategies
There are lots of ways for local link building but we recommend only a few good ways which can give you great results for your local business listing.
Here are a few of them to get you started:
- Go to Meetup.com and search for a list of local events relevant to your industry. Find those that have websites and contact them about sponsorship (most of the time you’ll only need to put on a lunch for them). If they accept, you’ll get a link from their website (local to you) and their Meetup.com page (highly authoritative, local link).
- Create a local resource from public data and reach out to local press to get coverage.
- Run your own local meetup or event and bring through links from the local event page.
- Sign up to press request services to get quoted in local publications (huge potential for high authority, local links).
- Run an AMA on Reddit (within a relevant subreddit to your industry) and within other local communities.
- Line up interviews and columns within relevant online publications.
- Give a discount to local organizations for your products/services in exchange for a linked mention on their website.
- Enter local awards (or You Can start your own if there aren’t any!).
- Spend time dedicated to local PR outreach to get online and offline coverage in local news.
- Run regular competitive link research and capitalize on any new opportunities that your competitors have gained.
- Offer scholarships (you get links from local universities) or offer jobs to students (you can get links from their careers pages).
That should be enough to get you started to get amazing results for your local business listing on the search engine!
SERP Click Through Rate
Another ranking signal that’s being talked about a lot more is CTR from the SERPs.
It’s no wonder that this is such a strong signal because it’s used as one of Google’s core Quality Score measures within their Adwords platform. It makes sense that they would measure the user experience that searchers are getting with this metric.
You also need to reduce bounces from search, as this is a negative signal to Google.
To maximize your SERP CTR, try the following:
- Ensure you have Schema.org markup set up, with reviews (if relevant).
- Make your title tag as readable and relevant as possible.
- Have a detailed meta description, relevant to what users will be searching for.
- Use Twitter/Facebook/Google+/Reddit to split test titles to measure CTR from social and then take those findings to adapt your SERP snippet.
Here’s a really good resource that looks at increasing SERP CTR.