Why Local SEO is Important?
69% of Google searches were found to involve a specific location, 20% of searches are completed to find local information, and 97% of consumers search for local businesses online.
1) Choosing Category
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.), rather than the services you provide or the products you sell.
All the categories must be chosen from Google’s pre-set category taxonomy.
Here is the Google Places for Business category tool to check the availability. Just Type in keywords that you feel best to describe what your business is and the tool will show you which categories are available.
For other local business listings, you have to discover the most relevant category of your business that is similar to those in Google’s system.
2) Consistent Local Citations
When you list your business’s complete name, address, and phone number (NAP), then the citations should be consistent in all local listings
Inconsistent Citations might involve
- Difference in the business name (i.e. Smile Dentistry vs. Smile Dental Clinic)
- Wrong street address, a typo in street address numbers, or a missing suite number
- Wrong or different phone number, a toll-free or call tracking number
- Different or wrong website URL
if there is enough inconsistency in what Google sees these trusted places , then it put down the Maps rankings for that company location.
Inconsistencies also commonly arise if a business has moved at any time in the past decade or so.
If you are moving your business or company to a new location then you’ll need to edit the citations and update them
To Check Your Company Citations Consistency
Search for your business by simply typing the business name and see what search results come up.
Go through each of your business listings and make sure that name, address, and phone number(NAP) are identical across all listings of your business
3) Quality of Citations
The quality of structured citations plays an equal part in the authority of search results. Focus first on getting listed your business on high-quality websites is going to help you more than being listed on sites of low quality.
Tools like MOZ local provide checks and tools for making sure that listings are numerous and of sufficient quality.
Here is the blog post written by Darren Shaw on How to Identify Quality Citation Sources
4) 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 do not match then it will affect the local search rankings because make Google”confused” about the data of your business.
5) Quantity of structured citations
Quantity is equally important as quality. More the number of citations. A good rule of thumb is to keep in mind that the more competitive your market, the more structured citations you will need.
6) Verified Local Google+ Page
Creating and verifying local Google+ page for your local business allow your customers to easily connect with that business’s physical location
Google sends a postcard/letter containing a pin number that you must enter in order to complete the verification
7) Link Building for Local Keywords
Once you’ve built your local business listings up, the next thing you should start doing is building links to your website.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to overdo things as Google is hard at work on an over-optimization penalty as we speak. That said, there are many great ways to acquire links.
For a local business, high quality, authoritative links may come from a variety of places, including local and national newspapers, local business indexes, high profile bloggers and professional industry associations.
8) Google Places Reviews
Reviews on your Google+ Local page are more influential than reviews on other platforms. Try to acquire positive reviews from your happy customers one by one over time. Don’t run for the quantity of reviews
Reviews must come directly from your customers’ Google accounts. Never hire anyone to post fake reviews or on behalf of your customers. Request your customers to post the review.
9) Locally Optimized Title Tags
The SEO title tag is still one of the most important elements for on-site optimization even if Google sometimes chooses alternate titles for search results. So make sure it not only includes your primary keywords but your location as well within 70 characters.
10) Locally Optimized Meta Descriptions
Again, Google might choose a snippet of text from your website instead. Make sure it includes your primary keywords, areas your business serves and phone number, if possible, within 165 characters.
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