The problem with local SEO is that making a mess of it and missing out in a big way is pretty easy to do. On the plus side, effective local SEO isn’t all that difficult to master. It takes time, effort and commitment, but promises the kind of ROI that’s just too enticing to pass up.
So for those looking to get the most from the SEO strategies, here’s a quick rundown of seven golden rules to work in accordance with:
1. Claim and Verify Your Google Maps Business Listing
First up, consider this the starting point you should have sorted a long time before now. It might come across as obvious, but you’d be surprised just how many businesses simply don’t bother to claim their Google Maps listings. It’s a case of scoring the exposure that’s yours for the taking and making sure nobody else takes control of publishing information about your business.
2. Ensure Your NAP Is On Point
When it comes to the Name, Address and Phone Number of your business – aka NAP – this information needs to be both clearly presented and crawlable. After all, Google won’t be able to index you locally if its bots are unable to read the information from your website.
3. Be Consistent
Interestingly, if there are any, even very slight consistency issues with your NAP, it’s perfectly possible that Google might throw a wobbly. As such, it’s crucial to ensure that it is formatted and presented in exactly the same way across every webpage in which you decide to include it. Google’s crawlers may be intelligent, but they are still very easily confused…VERY!
4. Local Term Optimisation
From meta information to headers to body text to blog posts and so on, focus heavily on local keywords and search terms. It’s so much easier to rank highly for local terms than it is for those of a global nature, given the way in which competition is exponentially smaller in size.
5. Pimp You Google My Business Listing
There’s a lot you can do with your Google My Business listing that goes above and beyond simply claiming it. From customer reviews to your own comments/responses to photographs to opening hours and so on, it’s more than worth taking the time to complete your profile in full. Doing so will help curry favour with both Google and your primary target audience alike.
6. Market for Mobile
Don’t forget that mobile devices are beginning to dominate local search in terms of overall web traffic. Which means that as part of your local SEO strategy, you need to think carefully about how well presented and indeed how easy to find you are, for those using mobile devices with very little time to spare.
7. Analyse and Adapt
Last but not least, just as is the case with a wider SEO campaign, you need to be constantly looking at how things are performing and making the necessary tweaks and changes accordingly. From keywords to conversion rates and all else besides, give your local SEO strategy the same meticulous focus and attention you would any other element of a marketing campaign of any size.