4 Ways to Dominate Local SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) seems to be changing constantly. Optimizing on-site and off-site SEO can skyrocket businesses to the top of the list of local competitors. Whether business owners are new to SEO or have been at it a long time, there are things they can do to boost their brand’s local SEO rankings.

Customize Title and Meta Description Tags

These HTML elements tell searchers what’s on your webpage and why they should read it. The title tag can be between 50 and 60 characters, and should attract their focus. The description tag follows, and it gives sites between 160 and 200 characters to explain their services or the content users are about to see.

Test the appearance of your title and meta description tags by plugging them into the Google SERP Snippet Optimization tool.

Watch out for tags that are too long. If you exceed the number of characters you’re given, your powerful statement will fade off into ellipses… It looks poorly planned and makes your content less likely to be viewed.

Be sure to include your city name in both the page title tag and meta description to help search engines find you.

For example, if you’re trying to rank for “accounting firm” in Toledo, Ohio your page title and meta description may looks something like this:

Best Accounting Firm | Toledo | Findlay | Ohio | Gilmore Jasion Mahler

Gilmore Jasion Mahler is the largest locally owned public accounting firm in NW Ohio. They specialize in construction & real estate, healthcare, and manufacturing. Click to learn more.

Register with Online Directories

Google conducted two studies to analyze search behavior across devices and found the following:

  • Consumers are more likely to act on location-based ads.
  • Four out of five users prefer ads linked to their city or nearby surroundings.
  • 60 percent of customers value seeing the store’s address, phone number and directions on ads.

While the evidence shows local listings bring profit, most small businesses have not registered with online business directories like Yelp, Angie’s List or Merchant Circle. Your local newspaper and your Chamber of Commerce may also have online business directories.

Make sure your name, address and phone number (NAP) is listed correctly and consistently. If your competitors aren’t listing with local directories, your business will rank high on the list.

Register with Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) might be the most important online directory. Claiming your GMB is free and allows you to optimize to show up in Google’s local three-pack.

When users search, Google displays the top three search results on a map with links to their website and directions. Previously Google offered a seven pack that gave users more choices and listed business address and phone numbers, but was too large to fit on one mobile page.

Google trimmed it down to just three businesses that rotate depending on the searcher’s physical location. Users searching from out of state get different results from those searching locally. Google uses GMB to confirm your physical location and that your business is legitimate.

To claim your GMB page go to google.com/business and complete the verification process. Google will mail a pin number to your physical address and once you type that in, you can optimize your GMB listing.

Add as much information as you can. Many businesses only input their logo and a brief description. The more information you complete, the more Google has to identify your business.

Obtain and Respond to Reviews

A local consumer review survey found reviews affect where people choose to spend. Many customers read about ten reviews before they feel they can trust a business, but 68 percent form an opinion about your business after reading between one and six.

Users read reviews on search results and social media most. Prioritize getting reviews from your Google My Business page and your business Facebook page. Positive reviews boost your business’s visibility. Immediately respond to negative reviews to show your business cares.

Local SEO is extremely different from global SEO campaigns. The right strategies can help your business have higher visibility and give you an edge over your competition.

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