Search engines are constantly evolving their local search capabilities. Local search optimization is a crucial component of any marketing strategy for any business that needs to attract customers to a physical location. It has also quickly become one of the most crucial SEO areas.
The local search results are those that are relevant to the user when based on their current location or if they manually type the location into the search box. Ranking well in local search has the potential to lead to a higher than average conversion rate, or an increase in profits since people performing local searches are usually at the purchasing stage of their buying journey.
Local search will likely rise in popularity as mobile and vocal search usage rises due to their symbiotic relationship. SERPs for local searches appear higher than organic search results in Google, as shown in the example below. Local 3 pack results on Google Maps are not organic search results at all and do not appear in organic search results. A completely separate set of results is based on different ranking factors.
The following guide will help you get your website ranked by the local search for your marketing team or agency.
Start by improving the site’s overall search engine optimization
You should make decent headway with your overall SEO campaign before you worry about ranking well in local searches. This will lay the groundwork for successful local SEO.
Consider location when optimizing your content
Then, you may consider optimizing for local keywords, such as high-quality content and inbound links. Links, both internal and external, should either point back to the key services pages of your business or (in the case of inbound links) to blog posts linking to those service pages so that links flow effectively within your site.
As search becomes more hyperlocal, to maximize your business’ location authority, make sure your site contains detailed information about its location and some of your inbound links (where possible) should contain names of cities, towns, or neighborhoods. Linking to local sources, such as a local paper or magazine online, can also assist in meeting Google’s hyperlocal criteria.
Establish a business address
Google My Business (GMB) is a free business listing that allows you to set up business information such as contact information, hours of operation, and locations on Google Maps in one location.
A Google My Business account is required to be listed on Google Maps. You and your potential customers can both benefit from GMB listings, and your visibility in local search results will also be greatly enhanced.
Consider using customer reviews
Your product or service can also be reviewed on Google by users. A business’s position in Google’s 3 pack (map results) is affected by the quality of its reviews, as businesses with better reviews than the competition tend to rank higher. In addition to creating links and embedding successful Yelp reviews on your site, you can also create a link for users to click on to leave reviews for your business.
Data should be structured
There is simply not enough code on your website to allow search engines to understand all of the information on your site (yet). Schema.org and structured data both contribute to this.
Schema.org provides a database of code that you can use to structure your website’s data so that search engines can understand it.