Local SEO: Three Things Small Businesses Should Know
September 26, 2016
According to 2014 Google study, approximately 50% of mobile users are more likely to visit your store after conducting a local search. As a small business owner, jumping into the local SEO game may seem daunting or even down right confusing. Don’t worry, here are a few things to consider when getting started.
It Starts With You. Is Your NAP Information Correct?
The most important factors of Local SEO start with your business. Is the information on your website optimized? Are your business name, address, and phone number – also known as NAP – consistent across your website and profiles? Have you ever moved locations or used tracking phone numbers?
All these factors are important in local rankings on a search engine results page (SERP). On and offsite signals, when consistent, point Google in the direction of your business. The correct information ultimately shows consistency, which translates into a trustworthy business.
So what are your options? There are various methods and directories, which supply information to smaller aggregate sites. By submitting to these larger directories or local directories such as Info Group or Super Pages you have half of a winning game plan for correcting your NAP. The same could be said for a new business or new location. By supplying these directories with the correct information, your business will have consistency and be ahead of the curve.
The Importance of Competitive Analysis
Another important factor to winning the local SEO game is the competitive analysis. Who are your local competitors? Where do you beat them, or how do they beat you? How is your product positioned? What are your unique selling points (USP) or value propositions?
The first step of a thorough analysis is to find who your competitors in your local area are. Compile a list of keywords based on your services. Examine the 7 pack and see what businesses are listed. Examine their NAP and landing pages to see how their sites are optimized. This examination will play a crucial role in strategy for building valuable backlinks from authoritative sites.
The factors above will also help you build a picture of authoritative backlinks, which your competitor may have already. Some of the tools you can use to analyze these backlinks are Majestic Site Explorer or Moz’s Open Site Explorer. These links have become more crucial since last year’s Google Pigeon update, so acquiring some of your competitor links will translate into better rankings on the SERP.
How Social Media Impacts Local SEO
The third part of a winning local SEO strategy is to focus on your social profiles and reviews. While most view social media as a means of interacting with your target audience, it’s actually much more than that. With Facebook and Google+ allowing you to add your business via a category, this actually makes the networks an authoritative directory, which Google references.
One of the biggest advantages to social media is social sharing. This means that a piece of content or post on your account has been shared, which opens up new linking opportunities. So the idea is to create engaging content, which encourages training. You may want to consider a giveaway or sweepstake, such as Woo Box, which drives traffic and engagement by creating customizable campaigns for your business.
These are just a few tips that will certainly improve your Local SEO. By following these tips, you can develop a strategy to establish an authoritative presence on the SERPs. By keeping the correct NAP information, analyzing your competitors and using user engaging social media strategies, you will build consistency and trust with Google, which will directly affect your local rankings.