Most of the small business owners already know the importance of local rankings. Especially if you have a physical location, you need local SEO to improve your rankings thus bring more potential customers to your website, which are highly targeted in your area.
What is the difference from local SEO and National/ Worldwide SEO?
Most of the rules for local SEO are same as for the national, but there are some of the methods which can boost your rankings just for the local area.
Two most important are: local listing and citations. You need to claim a local profile on Google which will help you to rank higher for local search results.
There is also one more strategy to rank high in search results – reviews on your Google places page. Encourage your visitors and customers to leave a review on your Google places page, because this is the one of the most important ranking factors for local search.
There is a great tool for locating the best citation sources for your area. It is called “WhiteSpark local citation finder tool”.
The most important ranking factors for local SEO are:
1. Having a business profile on Google places
2. Reviews- quantity and quality
3. Local listings- presence on other local directories such as yelp or yellow pages.
4. Foursquare and other local social media websites for business listings.
5. Domain authority of the website for your citations and backlinks.
According to my case study about local ranking factors, five or more reviews on Google get very high improvement in rank. Don’t forget to put a picture of your company (at least one picture) at your Google places page, because this also affects the ranking. Then, verify your listing. It is also a strong factor.
Did you know that rankings dropped by 0.5 for every mile away from your listed address? Count on that when you create your Google Places page. Find a proper category and sub-category associations in listings.
What is NAP?
NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone”. Include your name, address and phone number in your listings.
Sneaky tactic: Mobile Local SEO
I am sure most of you know how much mobile internet is potential. Therefore, you need to optimize your website for mobile devices. Did you know that more than 50% of the searches in America are local searches? Google and other search engines are making updates to their mobile platforms in order to enhance the results. You can easily take advantage over your competitors because, according to my research, very small number of business owners have mobile version of website optimized for the local search.
Find local and even regional directories such as local chamber of commerce or even local organizations related to your business niche.
These would be the most important ranking factors for your local SEO in 2013. You can take advantage of your competitors and increase your local rankings very fast. If you have more tips about how to improve local SEO, please share with us in the comment section.