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When planning a local SEO strategy, it is important to fully understand the different components that all contribute to delivering high local search engine rankings. When done correctly, local SEO can deliver the most targeted consumers to both a company’s website and its physical location.
As smartphone search requests continue to increase daily, local SEO is crucial to be found on mobile devices. A properly executed local SEO plan can ensure that consumers searching on mobile devices and personal computers find your business. To get the best local SEO results, be sure to incorporate the following into the campaign:
Proper keyword research: It is important to identify the keywords that will drive a conversion (an online purchase, a phone call to the business, or a physical visit to a location) rather than just focusing on the keywords with the volume of seek the highest. High search volume doesn’t always translate to high ROI.
On-site optimization: Once the keywords have been identified, make sure that the site is correctly optimized for the chosen search terms. The title tag, meta description, images, and header tags should all be adjusted for the targeted keywords.
Website content should be written for the visitor instead of stuffing the website with major keywords. The days of keyword stuffing are long gone, so write for the visitor and optimize for search engines. Also, be sure to include a contact page on the website with the company’s address and contact information.
Optimized location pages: The two most important business profile pages are Google+ Business and Bing Places for Business. These are the listings that appear at the very top of Google and Bing search results, noting the location of the business on the accompanying map.
Many companies create these pages, but they don’t completely populate the profiles. Be sure to upload photos, videos and fill in all company details, making sure to list the company’s address and contact details exactly as they appear on the websites contact page.
Comments: Positive customer reviews on the aforementioned local business pages as well as sites such as Yelp play a major role in local SEO. Businesses need to get creative and let customers know about these review sites and encourage them to leave reviews.
An example of one way to do this would be to create a weekly newsletter that is emailed to corporate customers, with access to all review links at the bottom of the newsletter. Creating a mailing list also provides an opportunity to keep customers informed of new special offers and promotions.
Directory listings and citations: It is important to list your business on the most popular directory sites such as PagesJaunes.com and Local.com, and quality trumps quantity when it comes to directory listings. Focus on the best directory sites instead of using some of the directory services that claim to submit to hundreds of websites. These are usually low quality spammy sites that offer no real SEO benefit.
It’s so important that your business, address, and telephone number (NAP) are listed the same on the website contact page, location pages, and all directory listings. Search engines consider these citations when determining the authority of a local listing, so be sure to go the extra mile to ensure your NAP is consistent across the board.
Building high quality links: Links also play a role in local SEO, and again quality trumps quantity. Focus on getting high quality links rather than buying link packages that just spread links around the web. Incorporating user-engaging content and infographics into the local SEO plan are two great ways to build natural links because they drive social sharing. This is the type of natural link building that search engines love to see and reward accordingly.
It’s important to understand that local SEO results don’t happen overnight. There is no top secret method that will take your website to the top right away. It takes hard work, a well-thought-out plan, and consistent tracking and execution in order to see top local search results.