Go Mobile or Go Home: What You Need to Know About Local SEO
When it comes to searching for local businesses on-the-go, consumers expect search results catered to their current location. Local SEO does just that, optimizing a business’ online presence for a specific location so it shows up in local listings like Google Maps, as well as in organic search results.
Considering the skyrocket of mobile search in recent years and the continuing trend of trust in local businesses over large brands, geography cannot be ignored when businesses plan for SEO.
As a part of the ever-changing SEO guidelines, Google released an algorithm update in July 2014 called Pigeon, refining distance parameters, giving more visibility to review sites and integrating local results more closely with traditional website ranking signals. Since then, Google has released their My Business Guidelines to walk businesses through the first steps of catering to local consumers. Along with the guidelines, we’ve pulled together a few key tips to optimize your business for local search.
So Let's get started:
Remember SEO is not a 3 hour job but an on ongoing venture! Doing something is better than doing nothing at all =)
Make Sure Your Business Location is Optimized on Your Site
Include your city and province or other geographic region in relevant places on your website. This includes your About Us, Contact Us or Store Location page, as well as meta descriptions, headers, footers and body copy. Google references these signals along with your other listings and checks them for consistency.
Verify Your Listing on Google My Business
This is a very important step as most other search engines pull from google. This step could take up to 3 weeks to fully complete. Google will want to verify that you actually have a location and in some cases sending you a post card with a verification code. Complete this step first before completing other steps. Completley Verified is important
Google My Business allows you to create and update a profile on Google Search, Maps and Google Plus from one place. Complete your profile with pictures, hours of operation and a description of services. A few additional tips:
- Present your business the same way you would in an offline directory
- Don’t try to stuff keywords or attempt any other manipulative SEO tactics
- Ensure that your name, address and phone number are accurate
- If you operate out of multiple brick-and-mortars, be sure to claim all of your locations
Google My Places control panel
Stay tuned for more local SEO is coming weeks! Let's make your business #1 in your market.