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Location Based SEO – How To Rank Your Business
Location based search results are very different to average search results, and the search engine optimization you complete will be different as well. It is important that you rank your business for these local searches as they can increase your returns significantly. There are certain steps that you need to take to list your business and to ensure your location based SEO is correctly set up.
Google My Business
One of the first steps that you need to take in location-based SEO is to claim your Google My Business page. There are some fields that you will have to fill in to set up the page. When you are doing this, you need to remember that your description should be unique, long and correctly formatted with links.
You need to choose the correct categories for your business as well. Choosing the wrong types can affect your local ranking and will cause problems when you do appear in the ranking. You need to upload as many pictures as you can for your business. If you have videos, you should also include them when you set up the page.
Your local phone number has to be included in the listing along with your business address. The address will also need to be consistent with your website and any local directories you are listed on. This will help the search engines find citations for your business and validate your location.
If relevant, you should include the times and days when you are open. You also need to add a menu if you are running a restaurant. The last point you need to consider is getting real reviews from your customers.
Consistent NAP Information
Your NAP information or name, address and phone number has to be consistent across the board. You also need to ensure that you have the information on your entire website which means it is somewhere on every page. If you look at any website that appears for local searches, you will see that their physical location is present on all the pages of the site.
The easiest way to do this is to add it to your website template at the bottom of the page. This will ensure that your address appears on new pages and that the format is always the same. The format you use for the address will also need to be consistent across your website, My Business page, and the local directories.
The primary reason for this consistency is the search engine spiders. As they are computer programs, they can only read web data in certain ways. This is why having the information appear consistently ensures that the spiders can index your website correctly.
Getting Local Reviews
A major part of your regional ranking will be the local reports that you have. It is important that you spend time getting your customers to leave reviews for you. You should not only focus on Google reviews but, online directories as well. This is an integral part of your online reputation.
Yelp is a good list to focus on because they are used as part of Apple Maps. If you have a good review rating on Yelp, you are more likely to appear in the local results for Apple Maps. However, most marketers recommend having Google reviews as your priority. This is because more people will be looking at Google than other search engines.
To start getting reviews, you will want to contact your existing customer base. You should ask if they are interested in leaving you feedback. You could try incentives to help them exit the feedback such as discounts for when they do. You can also create a page on your website where customers are redirected to leave a review for your business.
On-Page SEO Factors
There are certain on-page SEO factors that you need to look at for location based searches. Many of these factors will be the same as average SEO including the quality of the content and the appropriate use of keywords. The primary factor that you need to look at will be the keywords which will differ for local searches.
If you want to rank for local searches, you will need to have keywords that have the area you want to list for included. When you include these keywords you need to ensure that they seamlessly fit into the content otherwise, it could become hard for visitors to read the content. You should also include these keywords in your page titles and headers.
Local Link Building
Local link building is something that is often overlooked but, could add considerable value to your location based SEO strategy. The link building strategy you need to have will be more locally focused than your average SEO strategy allows. Instead of getting links to your site from authority websites you are going to be looking at getting links from other local places.
There are some strategies that you can consider, and you should use the one that you are most comfortable with. One of the strategies that you could use is to think of local businesses that are related to your niche but, are not direct competition. If you run a pet accessory business, you should consider local pet stores or animal shelters.
Once you have the domestic firms that are related to your niche, you need to contact them about links. The best way to get a company to put a link to your website on their website is to offer a link exchange. This is considered a win-win situation as they are getting a local connection at the same time that you are. Of course, if you make the mistake of contacting a company that offers similar products or services to you there is no way they will give you a link.
Another way that location based SEO differs from average SEO is through the use of quotes. Citations are the online references where your NAP information is stored and will play a significant role in your ranking. If you do not have many citations, the search engines are unlikely to rank you very highly.
To create a quote, you should list your business on local online directories like Yelp and the online Yellow Pages. These citations to do not have to be linked to your website but, they do need to have the correct NAP information in the same format. If the information and form are consistent, the search engines can link the information for you.
If you are unsure as to whether or not you have citations, there are tools you can use to help. Bright Local is one of these tools which will look for existing citations across the internet for your business. You will then be able to amend the citation to match the format you have on your website and Google My Business page.
It is also possible to use these tools to look at your competitor's citations. When looking for this information, you can see where they are listed that you are not. You should try and have listings in all the same places as your competition because this increases the number of people who see your business information.
There are also tools that you can use which will find and upload citations for you. This is helpful because you may not have the time to create all of the citations yourself. It is also recommended that you use alerts to inform you when your competition gains new citations.
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