Bringing More Local to Local SEO: 7 Further Steps to Your Business Being Found
by Mike Khorev
As someone who’s finally delved into working with local SEO of late, how successful have you been at it? If going about it on your own, you’re perhaps missing a few steps that could still hurt your search results.
No matter how much you think you know about local SEO, you’ll always find more to learn. It’s why you should always work with an expert when using local SEO. They’ll show you more of what’s possible so you don’t overlook anything.
What you’ll discover is that there’s a lot more local in local SEO than you perhaps knew. These techniques are going to help round off the edges of your local SEO campaign to assure your business is always found during searches.
Take a look at these seven steps you’ve maybe ignored until now.
Optimizing for Google My Business
No doubt you’ve used a lot of Google tools for local SEO, but have you ever used Google My Business? Even if you have, you perhaps haven’t optimized there in a way that gives you a stronger local presence.
So what practical methods are there to optimizing your profile on the site? You’ll be glad to know Google My Business is a free service, saving you on any charges adding pertinent information about your business.
Some things to optimize:
- Uploading your business logo and photos of your staff can do wonders for your SEO and give more visuals to your brand. It also helps personalize your business more by showcasing the photos of your employees. The same goes with uploading a photo of your office building.
- Include your business category as well so you can better identify your business niche. Perhaps you haven’t thought enough about what your business category really is. Take some time to analyze what industry you represent so you’re easier found.
- Don’t forget to include contact information in your profile. Far too many businesses neglect to add simple contact info, like a phone number. Be sure to keep this updated if you make any changes to your contact methods.
Hyper-Localizing Your Location Pages
With all your location pages spread throughout the web, how many of them look alike? It’s easy to get complacent and think you can design the same page for use across the web and gain successful SEO results.
In truth, you’re hurting your SEO if making each page the same for multiple business locations. If you have multiple locations, you need to make each location page unique since franchises aren’t all uniform.
You may use slightly different procedures or use different branding in your other businesses. Reflect this by taking time to optimize each location page you have posted.
As Forbes notes, don’t just replace your city name. You’ll need to make your pages useful and engaging to enhance your branding.
Make Your Title Tags More Localized
Title tags are still relevant in local SEO, and you shouldn’t ignore what kind of local keywords you can use in each one. The danger is in using overly basic keywords that don’t pinpoint exactly where your business is.
A good choice is to use your business’s city in the title tag using a little creativity. The most common method is to place your city after the business category in the title.
Think of other localized terms you can place in the title tag that identifies your geographic location. When you get more specific, the faster people can find you on Google Maps. After optimizing correctly, you’ll show up on Google Maps for those searching on mobile devices.
Create Relationships With Local Journalists
Sometimes improving your local SEO means doing overly practical things in the offline world. To balance things out in your SEO, it helps to do a combination of online and offline activities that help get you into the minds of potential new customers.
One of the best offline opportunities is to link up with local journalists and other media. If you’ve already spent time nurturing relationships with prospects on social media or through marketing emails, it’s time to do the same thing with your local TV stations, radio, or newspapers.
To do this properly, you’ll want to start building relationships with local reporters in your area first. They’re always looking for human-interest stories, and if you have a good story about your business, they’ll want to cover it. However, make sure your business story has good timing. Considering reporters work on tight deadlines, you’ll want to contact in advance to allow time for a quality story.
Some other tips for building media relationships:
- Keep interacting with local reporters or media outlets on social media so they’ll keep you in memory for future stories.
- Send local media pertinent information related to your industry. When you help them out, they’ll appreciate your insights. If they haven’t done a story on your business yet, they may when you prove your clout.
Using Google’s New Virtual Tour
It’s gratifying how Google keeps coming up with new tools that help businesses improve themselves. If you didn’t think they have anything left to add, they’ve recently added Google Virtual Tour to help bring virtual reality to your local marketing.
Now you have an innovative way to further improve your local SEO. The tool allows you to create 3D tours of your business that automatically show up in search results. Most importantly, these virtual tours show up automatically on Google Maps, giving more incentive for searchers to click on your business link.
These tours work very similarly to the Street View function on Google Maps. Arrows allow users to move throughout various floors or departments, including 360-degree control.
It’s possible to go off the grid for further business tours, and it’s perfectly capable of taking on large venues.
You can do all of this for free through Google My Business, giving you further inspiration to stick with Google to improve your local SEO campaign.
Keeping Your Business Information Updated On Local Directories
Yet another practical method for improving local SEO is to update your business citations and information on local directories. Managing these should come after you’ve claimed your stake on Google My Business, Yelp, or Bing Places. All of these should become first priority, but so should claiming your business with local directories like Info Group or Factual.
You may think leaving your business information there is enough to keep your local SEO results solid. With so many local directories out there, you may forget how much information you have there that’s outdated.
All businesses update information over time. Perhaps you’ve moved your business to another location, changed your phone number, or updated your site’s URL.
Forgetting to update just one of these could end up costing you in your search engine rankings. Check out all local directories where you have listings and update each one.
As Forbes reminds, if you don’t update in one place, it could trickle out into other citations on the web. It just goes to show how much of a chain reaction you create when you don’t handle local SEO tasks correctly.
Optimizing to Claim a Local Area in Your Town or City
The point of local SEO is to dominate in your local area so you can overcome your nearby competitors. While this might seem easy enough based on the unique services you bring, only proper SEO is going to help you be found above competitors.
Once again, proper optimization is the key to success, and it’s going to involve being found on Google Maps as just starters. This also relates to your website where using meta tags with your local city keyword helps Google Map placement.
Citations and local listings are also a huge part of the optimization process to claim a local area.
Remember, going simple with your local SEO campaign isn’t going to help you rank and claim a local area for yourself. It’s going to take quality content, and hard work with an SEO expert to assure effectiveness.
With these seven steps, you’ll enhance your local SEO results exponentially, even if it sounds overly daunting. What’s important is to work with someone who knows how to approach local SEO, including understanding the latest trends.
Mastering local SEO also takes more than seven steps, and if you need help with improving local visibility of your business hire me as your SEO expert. The more you learn, the better the partnership. Plus, knowledge helps your entire business staff understand the important role local SEO plays.
March 14, 2018