Google reports that “near me” searches keep trending up. In 2018, local SEO ranking was up 200 percent, which surpassed growth from the previous year. Local search showed no signs of slowing down either. Additionally, these local searchers were more likely to make a phone call, visit a local shop, and most convert to customers.As a marketer using SEO, that’s important information to have. What can you do to make sure you’re capitalizing on the trend?
These ten tips will boost your local SEO ranking so you can capitalize on this trend.
1. Ensure Your NAP is Consistent
Local SEO hinges on what’s known as your NAP. NAP stands for:
- Phone number
Ensure this information is consistent and accurate across all listings. If your website and your Google My Business profile have different information, it could hurt your ranking. Even small changes, like using a short form, can hurt your SEO.
Take the time to check this vital information across the Web, including your social media. A consistent NAP makes it easy for your customers to find you, so copy and paste to ensure zero human error in entry.
2. Claim Business Profiles Online
Chances are you’ve searched for a business and found an invitation to “claim” the business. Google may have reviews for a business, even if the owners haven’t set up a profile yet.
If you come across this in any directory for your own business, it’s best to hop to and claim the listing. Doing so prevents anyone else from claiming the profile, such as your competition.
It also allows you to create and manage your profile on that platform. This demonstrates to potential customers that your business is active and involved.
3. Get Listed in Relevant Directories
What should you do if you search a platform, and your business doesn’t appear? It might be time to submit a profile.
Aside from the major listings like Google, there may be other directories for your industry. Yelp is an example of the restaurant industry.
What if you don’t own a restaurant? It’s not necessarily a good idea to submit to Yelp then. In the past, submitting to every directory you could find was a great idea.
Today, that’s more likely to hurt your local SEO ranking efforts than to help. Search engines have more contextual understanding, so they’re more likely to flag irrelevant listings. Beyond that, users are also aware of when a listing is irrelevant and may find it annoying.
4. Create Quality Content
Content creation is one of the foundations of online marketing. Quality content drives traffic to your website, and it can generate views on your social media profiles. Content is what gets shared or entices people to sign up for your mailing list.
The difference with local SEO is using localized keywords and linking strategies.
In turn, this will drive your local SEO ranking higher. Since there’s a shorter SERP line for local businesses, you should see results much sooner. You’ll be able to get your business in front of users who are actually looking for you faster.
5. A Picture Says a Thousand Words
Almost every type of business marketing can make use of high-quality images. In some cases, an image might be the content itself.
In other cases, you’ll want to add high-quality images. This is especially true for your website. The images you use are key to creating a lasting impression on your visitors.
You should also optimize images for performance, as well as add alt tags to them. This can improve your SEO.
Finally, try to use original images wherever possible. They’re more authentic, and your audience will appreciate them more.
6. Remember On-Page SEO Elements
There are many SEO elements you can control on every page. These include meta descriptions, URLs, and more.
If you want to improve the local ranking, then adjusting these on-page elements is key. In fact, some SEO experts consider it the most important part of your local SEO strategy.
Make sure to include a localized page title, as well as a localized meta description. Don’t forget about your NAP here, either. Finally, make sure to use structured data to create rich snippets for search engines.
7. Add Schema Markup
Another step you can take to boost your local SEO ranking is to use Schema.org’s business markup. Doing so ensures search engines receive consistent information about your business.
Schema markup is a great idea for anyone who wants to improve their SEO, so don’t stop with the business markup.
8. Get Reviews to Boost Local SEO Ranking
Another factor in Google rankings is reviews. Google looks for reviews as a form of social proof for your business. Your potential customers like them too.
You can get reviews on your website, but reviews on other sites may be more important. Google prioritizes Google My Business reviews. All three major search engines have deals with Yelp.
Reviews show your business is active and tells your potential customers how great it is to work with you.
9. Drive Traffic with Good Reviews
Good reviews can also help you drive traffic. Reviews on major sites like Yelp can be marketed directly. People see them as more authoritative than ads or reviews on your website.
In turn, they can drive more people to your website. This consistent traffic flow feeds back into your SERP since search engines will see you’re trustworthy.
10. Keep it up to Date
Last but not least, remember to keep your business information up to date. As soon as you update it in the real world, make sure the change is reflected on the Internet too.
If you undergo a rebranding process, you may need to scrub old information. Also, watch out for dead links since they can harm your business SEO.
Capture More with Local SEO
These ten tactics will do more than raise your local SEO ranking. They’ll help you increase visibility, get more leads, and even make more sales.
Ready to take your local SEO strategy to the next level? Get in touch with an expert team who can take you beyond these tips and supercharge your digital marketing efforts.