Local SEO Tips for Small Businesses:
1) Mailing Address Required
To get your business rank in local search results for that location address is must, without the town or city address it is not possible to rank for local keywords like Moving Company Tucson, Cosmetic Dentistry NYC, etc.
2) Create and Verify Google+ Local Page
Use Google My Business to get a local business, brand, organization, or artist online. When you add your business using Google My Business, you’ll create a Google+ page.
Set up a Google My Business account if you haven’t already, and be sure to spend some time filling out all your business information such as contact details, description, photos, business hours.
Verification depends on the type of business you manage. Following are the verification methods:
– Verification by Postcard:
Google send a postcard with a verification code to the business address you provided. Make sure your address complies with address entry guidelines.
– Verification by Phone:
Phone verification isn’t available for all businesses. If you don’t see this option when you attempt to verify, request a postcard instead.
– Instant Verification:
You may be instantly verified to manage your business if you’ve already verified your business’s website with Google Webmaster Tools
Make sure you’re signed in to Google My Business with the same account you used to verify your site with Webmaster Tools. Note that some business categories may not be eligible for instant verification.
– Bulk Verification:
If you manage 10 or more locations of the same business, you may be eligible for bulk verification using Google My Business Locations.
3) Remove duplicate Google+ Local pages
Google Map Maker, an easiest way to find duplicate business listings. Or you can use Google+ local, using this page you can search the business phone number or business name.
4) Complete Google My Business profile
Write a unique description and be over 250 words if possible. This is where you can introduce yourself to your customers and teach them about your business.
And add some photos of your business that can appear in local search results across Google, such as Google Maps and Search, and if a customer clicks through, they should see an accurate representation of your business in a very professional manner.
5) Add an email Address with Domain name
To ensure Google that you as a business owner have the primary control of your business, the best practice is to have an email address with the domain name. And if someone else owns your Google My Business page you can transfer it to yourself with the help of Google’s Transfer Ownership guide
6) Add Category to accurately describe your Business
Choose categories that accurately describe your business and ensure that your category choices state what your business is (e.g. dentist, cosmetic dentist, dental clinic, etc.).
7) Use a Local Phone Number of your Business on Google+ Local & Website Page
List a local phone number for the corresponding location on on both your Google+ Local page and on the specific page of your website listed on your Google+ Local page.
8) Be Consistent with HTML NAP and Google+ Local Page NAP
The name, street address, and phone number (NAP) should be same on Google+ Local page and on your website’s page. If all the elements does not match then it will affect the Google local SEO rankings because it makes Google confused about the data of your local business.
9) Include Google map with Landmark Pictures and Driving Directions
Adding embedded Google map with landmark pictures and driving directions will increase the user experience. Search your business and get embedd code here. Implement the map on the specific page of your website listed on your Google+ Local page, but if not then on your contact page.
10) Create a Geo Sitemap and a KML file
Login to your Google Webmasters Tools to see if there is a KML file submitted in the sitemaps or not. If not, then create a geo sitemap and a KML file for your website with Geo Sitemap Generator
11) Include business Location & Primary Keyword within 70 characters of Page title
Google might choose your specified title tag to link to your website in search results. Hence, you will want to make sure it not only includes your primary keywords, but your LOCATION as well within 70 characters.
12) Include Primary keywords, Business Area, Phone Number within 165 characters of Meta Description
Google might choose a snippet of text from your website instead, but it never hurts to have an optimized meta description. Make sure it includes your primary keywords, areas your business serves and phone number, if possible, within 165 characters.
13) Add Business hours in Text format and NOT an Image
The business hours on your site should be in crawlable format and NOT an image because Googlebot will be unable to read it.
14) Content on the Landing Page should be specific to your business Location
The landing page content should be unique, relevant and helpful content that is specific to that location. What you’re able to write about on these pages varies by industry.
Start off by thinking about what city specific information is relevant to your page – are you in real estate? Talk about population, the economy, community safety, crime rates, the housing market, etc.
Are you in Hotel business? Talk about tourist attractions, city history, entertainment and nightlife etc. The opportunities are endless, you just have to think about what’s relevant to a user, and not just how to satisfy the demands of search engines.
15) Create a separate page on your wesbsite for each product/service that you offer
Create one page that summaries all of your products/services and have that page link to other pages that each cover in detail the specifics of one of your products/services.
16) Every Landing page should have ONE H1 tag with City and State Name
The landing page on your website site should have ONE H1 tag with city and state in the tag.
17) The Load time should NOT be more than 3.5 seconds
Google and user both won’t spend much time on your site and bounce back if you website takes too long to load. To have a successful site, page speed have a very crucial role. Here is a tool(http://tools.pingdom.com/fpt/) to check the load time.
18) Ensure your website looks good and is usable on multiple devices and screen resolutions
Responsive web design means that you don’t have separate mobile, tablet, and PC versions of your site: the site adapts to whatever size screen it’s being displayed on. Regardless of what device a visitor is using to access your site, they’ll see all of the content you have to offer and they’ll see it in readable way. You can also check out your site’s Mobile Friendly Test here
19) List your business on Local Citation Sites or 3rd Party sites
Citations are defined as on online presence of your business’s name with another piece of business information, such as phone number, address, website, or a combination of the three listed on trustworthy and authoritative 3rd party websites. Google uses citation when evaluating the online authority of your business.
20) Get reviews and ratings on Google My Business page and on 3rd party websites
According to Google’s review guidelines you can remind your customers to leave feedback. You should have at least 10 reviews with a 4 stars or higher aggregate. If not, work on it to get from your satisfied and existing clients.
For 3rd party websites, If they allow reviews it’s a good idea to raise your rating by adhering to the third party reviews site’s guidelines and obtaining them when possible.
21) Check your site’s backlinks and ensure that disavow file is updated for low quality and irrelevant links
Low quality, irrelevant links are considered as the bad links that can ruin your site rankings in search results. To ensure that your site will not get hot by any Google algorithm update, you should check your site’s backlinks on monthly basis and ensure that disavow file is updated monthly.
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