Many local businesses have a hard time ranking in their area. They don’t know how to rank locally, and they do not understand its importance. If you want your business to thrive, you need to focus on these local SEO strategies, which our Houston SEO company, uses to rank other local businesses on Google! This blog post will go over five easy steps to help you rank more successfully in your area – starting today.
1. Claim an Existing or Create a New Google My Business Listing
You first need to claim your existing Google My Business (GMB) listing or create a new one. Claiming your current, live listing will ensure that all of the information listed on it matches what you have in other places, such as social media profiles, directories and more.
If you don’t currently have an account with Google My Business set up for your business, go ahead and make one! This step will ensure that all of the important features are there from day one so you can take advantage right away, including everything from sharing photos from events to boosting posts and much more.
Claim or Create Local Listings
Next up, you have to claim local listings online. Many different businesses market themselves locally but not necessarily nationally (or vice versa). That means they will rank more successfully in their area by claiming local listings on platforms like Yelp, Google Places and others.
It’s no surprise that Google loves what customers love, and the Google Maps app also favors businesses with positive reviews. So how do you get those coveted reviews? Well, when you create a Google My Business listing, it automatically opens up the opportunity for people who come across your listing online to have the freedom of leaving either praise or constructive criticism behind.
Don’t stop asking for reviews, even if you’re not getting them. Responding to these reviews shows your customers that they are being heard and can help mitigate the damage of negative ones. Plus, it makes other potential buyers feel like you care about their opinions! There are plenty of resources out there to help you get more reviews for your local business.
2. Perform Keyword Research (and Research Competitor Websites)
This step is an essential part of ranking locally, and it’s the first step of a successful SEO strategy. You need to research what keywords your competitors are ranking for and make sure you’re using them in your website copy, blog posts, business listings (including Google My Business) – everywhere!
How Do I Find the Right Keywords?
To find the right keywords, you can use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. It will allow you to see which words or phrases are popular in your area and what the competition is like for them. That way, you know what content to create on your website.
Another great choice if you want to research good keywords are paid tools like:
- Ahrefs: very detailed and the best choice if you want to know your competitors’ backlinks
- SEMrush: a great tool for keyword research and pay-per-click (PPC) analysis
- Moz: a great solution because it has tools created for local search
- Spyfu: another great tool to have in your arsenal
Your Website Should Contain Local Keywords Too
There’s another great way to boost your Google Maps ranking: You need to incorporate location-based keywords on your site’s main pages, such as the homepage and About Us page.
These can help people in your area find their way onto your website, and also influences how high up in Google Search you’ll appear for certain search terms pertaining directly or indirectly to what you do. Be sure not only to include these words in titles but also headings, body text, image tags (including captions), links – wherever possible, so there’s no mistaking it: We’re local!
3. Keep Information and NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Consistent
If you want to rank locally, you must ensure your contact information and other details are consistent. If you have a website, make sure that all-important business details (name, address, phone number) match what is on it. Do the same for social media profiles! Keeping this information up to date ensures that people can find you easily if they’re looking in their local area.
Always Use the Same Name and the Same Address
Google Maps evaluates businesses based on trustworthiness, and one way of knowing if they can rely on your business is the consistency of information about it across the web. Say you have a company called “LA Medical Center.” Be sure that across all online properties – such as your website, Yelp listing or Facebook profile – your name remains consistent with what appears in the Google My Business dashboard; don’t use slight variations like “Los Angeles Med.” It would be best not to change anything when filling out address information. You must be accurate with this information so as not to confuse Google.
Use a Local Number
Google has an interesting view on toll-free numbers. It seems they are a little too eager to use them for spam and other malicious activities. For this reason, it is best to avoid using these types of phone numbers in advertising or when setting up your website because you will likely rank lower than competitors who do not have one. A better idea would be utilizing local telephone numbers with the area code of where you’re located so that people can find out more about what’s happening near their hometowns!
Update Your Hours
Google Maps’ business listings help users know if the establishment is open, closed or closing soon. When these hours are updated on Google Maps, it signals to them that you’re active and trustworthy, which will lead to a higher ranking for your store. It also prevents customers from making the trip out to find they’ve arrived at a place with no one there. If they start their experience poorly, they are more likely to leave negative reviews in Google Maps results and hurt your local rankings.
List Your Business on Local Citations
If you want to rank locally, it is important to list your business on local citations. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- List your name and address in free online databases like YP.com or Manta.com
- Add listings for yourself onto various sites that aggregate information about businesses such as Yelp or TripAdvisor
- As stated before, you must claim your place pages on GMB, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo!, Bing and other directories where you’re active, so they show up when people search for businesses near them
- Add a link to your location on every page of your site that provides directions, contact information or other pertinent data for people who live nearby.
4. Optimize Your GMB Page With Local SEO Best Practices
When optimizing, the most important thing you can do is fill out as much information about yourself and the services/products you offer as possible in this section. Check off all relevant categories like Home Services, Professional Services and Products & Prices, so they appear prominently on search results pages.
Fill out detailed descriptions for each service/product with keywords related to what you provide within these tags – be sure not to include hyperlinks, though. Add staff photos if desired but make sure their images are of high quality and not too small.
5. Have a Mobile-Friendly Website and Create Quality Content
To rank locally, you must have a mobile-friendly website and create quality content.
A mobile-friendly site will allow people to navigate your page on their phones without sacrificing the user experience (UX), even if your content is being viewed on a smaller screen.
If you don’t have one yet, this is an easy step to take, as there are many great tools out there for building websites of all types – including ones specifically designed for phones!
Quality content helps rank local sites because Google trusts sources like review pages to post feedback about businesses in their area. You want these reviews coming from reputable places, so make sure that you ask these resources for customer service contact information or some other way of verifying legitimacy before posting any links to those resources online.
Here Are the Easy Steps to Ranking Locally in Your Area (Summary):
- Claim an Existing or Create a New Google My Business Listing
- Perform Keyword Research (and Research Competitor Websites)
- Keep Information and NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Consistent
- Have a Mobile-Friendly Website and Create Quality Content
I hope you loved this article; please share it on social media! If you’re interested in growing your business and ranking your business at the top of the search engines, visit our website at bizcaboom.com or call us at (832) 605-0924.