Google is focusing on local SEO, which makes sense since we’re all looking for things nearby. Investing in local SEO is a great move, but keep in mind that your brick and mortar store can also benefit from other digital marketing tactics.
For those who are unfamiliar with local SEO, we have broken down the top 10 ways to optimize your website for local SEO so that you can enjoy your browsing experience!
A clear description of who you are, where you’re located, and what you do should appear on your homepage. Provide Google with easy-to-understand information about your business. This information should be clearly stated in the title tag, header tag, and meta description of your page.
If you’re using WordPress, you can edit your profile under Settings > General in the left navigation. You can easily update your website page title tag. Using the Yoast SEO plugin, you can easily add your page meta data.
Title tags and meta descriptions have been subject to a lot of debate over the years. Even if they are no longer a ranking factor (which page title tags will trump meta descriptions), they still play a crucial role in the first impression your web page makes on a potential visitor.
In order to optimize for local SEO, you should include the city name in your page title tags. Use a title tag that includes the name of the city and a description of the product or service you are offering. Search engines will not only be able to find me this way, but they will also be able to see what I do at this location.
Consolidation isn’t helpful for SEO or local SEO. Each product/service offering must have its own page in order to apply product/service schema. Putting a schema on your products/service pages is not only a good SEO practice in and of itself, but it allows you to add schema to specific applications you may offer.
A sitemap lists all of your service offerings. Do you think you’d ever rank for Local SEO with only a web page titled “Our Services”? Probably not.
You should also create a page for each location if you have more than one. How will your Surrey location appear in search results if it’s on the same page as your Vancouver and Richmond locations? You’re right. That won’t happen.
Give your children their own rooms instead of having them share bunk beds. Even though it may take a bit more work, it will give them more space to mark their territory and be found when needed. So what did you say about schema?
Local business schema, or structured data markup, should be applied to every web page of your website to optimize it for local SEO. Getting into the infamous Google Local Pack is nearly impossible without this. By adding local schema to your website, you make it easier for search engines to understand who you are, what you do, where you are located, and how you might be relevant to people searching for your type of products or services.
Your website’s product and service schema will focus more on the details of each product or service. Once again, schema is designed to speak to a robot (search engines) in their own language. Make things easier for them. It’s true that they might understand English, but it’s their second language. To optimize local search results, speak to them in their language.
Alternatively, you can test a URL on Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and see the breakdown of various schemas on your website if you’re unsure whether your site has schema.
If you find yourself banging your head against a brick wall with Google My Business (GMB), you’re not alone. Claiming your business listing and filling out the content are essential for a successful local SEO listing.
Try your best to find the fit that makes the most sense for your business if your business category isn’t listed. While there are over 2,000 categories, some of them are weird, so try to find what makes the most sense for your business. Whenever possible, fill out your content with both primary and LSI keywords, as this counts for nearly 20% of your chance of getting into the Local Pack.
Make sure you claim each GMB you have, if you have multiple locations. The locations can all be managed from one login, so updating them won’t be a hassle, but you do need to own each location.
The NAP acronym stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. Be sure that your business is listed EXACTLY the same way on every page of your website as it is in your Google My Business listing. In order for this to work, the code for the footer must still load for each page so that the code for the footer appears on each page.
As mentioned above, if you have multiple locations, you should create a page for each location and apply the NAP relevant to that location.
You can optimize your website for local SEO through local directory listings and citation building. It can be a bit time consuming, but there are different tools out there (if you’re willing to pay for them) that can assist you.
Ensure that every entry is EXACTLY the same. Make sure to mirror the exact format and representation of your company from your GMB page in your local directories as well. Free audits of your current status in a few major directories are available through Moz Local. If you have deeper pockets, services like Yext and WhiteSpark might offer more comprehensive options.
Your business will grow, and you’ll need “votes of validation” that you’re who you say you are, that you do what you say you do and that you’re located where you say you are. The more rave reviews you get about your products and services, the better. It is possible to accomplish this through reviews, however. A search engine will look at a number of factors in its algorithm when trying to figure out what the best results might be for a particular search inquiry, and the number of reviews you have on Google, Yelp and Facebook will be among those factors.
Yelp will always appear on Google’s first page. Therefore, you should play the game. Don’t just focus on your Google reviews, but also on your Yelp reviIt is always a good idea to build up reviews on one of the top search engines in the world. If your brand name is searched for on Google, your Facebook page may also appear on the first page, so build up those reviews! Your website’s local SEO can be improved with reviews, even if they are not physically on your site.
Although this seems obvious, it is often overlooked. Band-aids are helpful, but they won’t make the boat sail across the ocean if it has holes. Without proper attention, it will sink. This is also true for websites. Don’t forget to take care of it. Moreover, the better your website is optimized for search engines, the better your content strategy, the better your blog posts, the more quality inbound links you’ll naturally generate. In addition, you want to drive quality links since they are a major ranking factor in local SEO and natural search engine results.
As a result, we understand this can be a bit overwhelming. It is important to keep in mind that local SEO is only one component of an overall digital marketing strategy. Contact Wet Coast Marketing in Hastings-Sunrise, Vancouver, if you would like to discuss how to optimize your brand online!