Local SEO – How To Rank Your Local Brick and Mortar Business Online
Anyone that owns or markets for a local business already knows that trying to rank a local business is a completely different challenge when compared to trying to rank a general search website. Local rankings and the factors that go into this type of ranking are changing it seems like daily.
Above you can take a look at a graph that we created. It outlines the important factors in local seo. You will notice that this is similar, but drastically different, than national ranking charts.
You need to worry about ranking in the Map or local pack as well as in the traditional organic listings. Let me talk a moment about the Map Pack Listings.
When trying to rank in the section that shows different local businesses on a map, you need to worry about NAP citations, reviews, and Google My Business Signals. Of course, you still need to spend some time with traditional link building as well, but the NAP citations and such are much more important.
That being said, if you have not already done so, be sure to create, claim, and verify your google my business page. I will not walk you through this step as Google does a good enough job of doing that upon the sign-up process.
What is important when creating the My Business page is to ensure that you have the following:
- A unique description. Ensure that in this description, you include some keywords (naturally of course), to help ensure that the search engines can understand what your business is all about.
- Choose the correct categories. Do not go overboard and select too many. Keep it simple, it will pay off to use only the MOST relevant categories offered.
- Upload photos, the more the better. Be sure to name the photos before you upload them to either your business name or keywords as it will help properly SEO you images.
- Use a local phone number, part of local seo is having a local phone number.
- Give your local address, of course local addresses help with performing proper seo for a local type of business.
- Add your hours (not for seo purposes, but good practice either way)
- Get real reviews from real customers. Be sure to ask every happy customer to provide you with an honest review. Reviews give you star ratings in the map pack and provide you with an unfair advantage in local search marketing.
Importance of a Consistent NAP
When performing search engine optimization for a local business, you will be creating lots of NAP citations. You will want links from places such as yelp, foursquare, houzz, google my business, etc.
What many people fail to realize is that they are including inconsistent name, address, and phone number. Most commonly, an inconsistent name. What I want you to understand is that when building citations “My business” and “My business LLC” are not the same. If you say simply “My business” on one, you need to have that EXACT name on all citations. Same for address and phone number. Make them IDENTICAL on every citation page you create.
Other things you will want to do when trying to rank locally in the search engines will be the meta tag, title, and description. When you create these on-page factors, you need to include local terms in all of them.
Also, be sure to include shcema markup when you can. This is becoming a standard and without it you are missing out on some of the most basic but powerful ranking factors when it comes to local rankings and google.
The SEO experts in Macon have advised us that these are the first steps that they provide for every local client they take on. After that, they claim that rankings come easy within weeks. Hope you have enjoyed this article, we will post more soon on the use of social seo.