How to Dominate Local SEO in 2019

Local search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-shifting landscape. Many businesses neglect this crucial aspect of their marketing — and to their detriment. While the topic can be confusing, there are some clear-cut strategies to help you navigate your way to better search engine results. Not only can your business appear more often in searches, and nearer to the top, but you can also make sure the right people see you.

Following these local SEO strategies can give your business the advantage it needs in 2019.

Everyone Is Consulting Business Directories

When people do a local search, they almost always use a business directory, like Yelp. It’s a way to not only find businesses that offer what they are looking for, but also a way to read reviews from previous customers.

In addition to Yelp, Merchant Circle and Citysearch offer listings of local businesses, but there are others. You can check with your Chamber of Commerce to see if there are more for your area. This is an important first step in connecting you to the people who are searching for your product.

Consistency and Accuracy Are Key

Your company’s data must be accurate in every listing. If the contact information for your company is different across various listings, or even if just one listing differs from the others, this can hurt your company’s status. Make sure that the name, address and phone number, as well as any other information, is accurate for all listings.

Keep in mind that another party can make a listing for your business. The only way to be sure the listing has the correct information is to check it yourself. Once you find such a listing, you can claim it with services like Yext or Localeze and correct any errors.

Word-of-Mouth Advertising Is Cheapest

Reviews drive customers both toward and away from businesses. Many potential customers look at nothing else. This inexpensive method of increasing interest in your company appears on Google’s search engine results page (SERP).

Put a button on your web page to allow visitors to leave a review. Ask customers for a review after a purchase, both in and out of the store. Not only do these reviews generate interest among potential customers, but Google weights reviews heavily when it ranks websites.

RELATED ARTICLE: 3 Things You Might Not Know About Your Online Reputation

Photography Can Be Your Friend

Pictures catch people’s attention, even more than the written word. A picture lends familiarity to a new place, and makes people feel comfortable with it, like they already know it.

Accounts like Google+ Local will permit you to upload ten pictures or more. A photograph of your company’s building is a must, and uploading it is a simple matter of visiting your local listing and clicking on the link to add photos.

Keep Your Title and Meta Description Tags the Proper Length

Your title and description tags are displayed in search results. Every time your business pops up in someone’s search, you have an opportunity to advertise. Your particular search result will have a title and a short description. It’s your chance to let people know what you’re about, so don’t let your company’s description — or worse, its title — get cut off.

A good title tag will be 50 to 60 characters, while description tags can be up to 200. Any more than this and your carefully crafted meta description will end in ellipses (…) like a TV getting turned off right in the middle of the ad. SEOmofo or Yoast’s SEO Plugin for WordPress are effective tools that can show you what your meta description will look like in search results and allow you to make necessary adjustments.

For example, an urgent care in Hyde Park, IL (a community on the south side of Chicago) may have the following page title and meta description…

Page Title: Urgent Care Near Me | Hyde Park IL | South Side Chicago

Meta Description: Urgent care South side Chicago in Hyde Park. Walk-in urgent care services. Experienced doctors. Insurance accepted. No appointment needed. (773) 891-2890.

In the online world, a multitude of businesses are competing for attention. You need a way to stand out, to catch the eye of potential customers and entice them to give you a try. Search engine optimization, when done well, is the leg up you need to connect with the public.

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