It was easy to dominate Google search rankings locally even just a few years ago.
Pay attention to your on page SEO, dial in your keyword research, and focus on building some NAPs and you were good to go.
But after the Google Venice update local SEO changed completely.
Like with most Google updates and their effects on SEO, almost overnight competition for the top spots went through the roof – making it a whole lot harder for small businesses to dominate the way they had previously.
Thankfully though, armed with just a little bit of inside information like the tips and tricks below, you can skyrocket back to the top of Google again while formulating strategies to avoid a Google penalty.
Implement the five strategies we in this quick guide and you’ll be able to take your SEO to the next level in a hurry.
Of course for best results you’ll always want to consider partnering up with an expert SEO agency who can focus on what they do best while leaving you to navigate what you do best.
Let’s get right into it!
80% of ALL local searches on mobile phones end up converting.
Think about that for second.
If you had a magic machine that converted 8 out of every 10 prospects that searched for your products or services, especially in your local area, you would run it on a 24/7 basis every single day of the year.
Well, that’s what location specific landing pages can do for your SEO efforts.
Far too many small business owners are (understandably) going with one-size-fits-all marketing approaches for all their lead generation efforts. This is a huge mistake if you’re trying to maximize local search engine results, as the more targeted you make your landing pages – and the more location specific you make your landing pages – the better your conversion rate becomes.
Not only that, but when you hyper focus your SEO efforts to a specific location you’re able to weed out a lot of extra competition. You’ll have an easier path to the top of Google and you’ll have to spend less time and money defending that top spot, too.
Listings in local directories (like YellowPages.com, Yelp, Super Pages, City Search, Yahoo Local, Facebook, etc.) can give you a huge bump when it comes to local SEO.
For obvious reasons all of these directories are considered to be very influential and very authoritative. When your listed on these directories that Google has a favorable attitude towards your own credibility and authority skyrocket, and so do your search engine results.
It is, however, important that you get citations that accurately reflect your web information on these directories.
It’s not a bad idea to look at the local directories you’ve already listed in every once in a while to make sure that your information is relevant, accurate, and up-to-date. Anything that needs to be changed should be ASAP.
You want to make a big point of linking to those directories while leveraging any of the back links and “link juice” they push your way, too.
If you have been in business for any amount of time the odds are good that you have partnerships and relationships in your local industry and business community.
One of the smartest moves you can make (especially as far as local SEO goes) is to reach out to these business owners, partners, and relationships to see if you all can get a link sharing setup going with one another.
It doesn’t take a lot of convincing to get people on board, either.
Every successful business owner understands the power of Google these days and how important it is to be ranked highly for core search engine keywords. You might not necessarily get your closest competitors to share links with you, but even partnering with similar businesses (or just locally targeted businesses) and swapping links on one another’s platform can give you a big bump, too.
If you don’t feel like doing the heavy lifting of getting these agreements in place this is something that can be outsourced pretty easily. You don’t even have to necessarily hire top-tier SEO agencies to do the heavy lifting for you.
People on your sales staff, interns, or even just freelance SEO pros cannot these kinds of agreements out for you pretty quickly and get your links placed where they’ll give you the maximum return.
Your My Business listing on Google is going to be a huge source of organic traffic – if you’re using it correctly.
Google properties are (no surprise here) always given a bit of priority access in search engine results. You may not be able to grab the top spot just because of your My Business listing with Google, but you’ll definitely be in the top five – and can push your own site closer to the top, too.
Be sure that you are using a keyword rich description that doesn’t feel written for robots. Carefully craft a marketing message that can attract people to your website with SEO tactics littered throughout for the best results.
Make sure that all of your images are geo-tagged (to cash in on local SEO benefits) but also make sure that they have the right title tags and alternative text with SEO keywords sprinkled in, too.
Anytime you create content for the web you need to be sure that you are first creating it with your perfect prospect or customer in mind.
After that, though, you need to back fill in effective SEO tactics like the ones we highlighted above – especially on something like My Business on Google – to push a flood of targeted traffic your way.
Lastly, Google still loves fresh and relevant content that isn’t keyword stuffed beyond all recognition.
Content marketing from a search engine optimization standpoint is still a huge piece of the local SEO mastery puzzle.
If you are going to blog, however, you want to make sure that you stick to a regular posting schedule. You can’t take a willy-nilly approach to this. It just won’t work. You’ll actually end up taking your search engine results if you post infrequently.
Semi-daily posts are best (especially if they target different keywords you want to rank highly for), but weekly or even biweekly updates are okay – not only from a content standpoint but from a search engine optimization standpoint, too.
Build up a library of blog posts and you won’t only be able to grant the top spots for the local keywords you are after. You’ll also be able to dominate and defend those positions from competitors not willing to do the work you have to get the spots in the first place.
So the next time you wonder why isn’t my website performing effectively in the search results, consider adapting the suggestions we’ve outlined above.
Best of luck going forward!
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