It’s only been around for the last few years, but to say that local SEO has transformed search engines and businesses would be a gross understatement.
Prior to the technology, users were left to rely on typing their location as a query to see localized results. While this can still occur, developments mean that the search engine can understand where the user is based and serve websites accordingly. These websites can also occur in the map pack, another fairly recent invention, which has again been something of a game-changer for businesses.
Suffice to say, Assertive Media is one SEO Agency that understands the value of these techniques. Taking this into account, we have outlined some of the best methods you can adopt if you are serious about the local SEO business and getting ahead of the game.
Google My Business
Undoubtedly the biggest step you can take is to register your company with Google My Business. This process is called “claiming” a business, in a part of Google which is effectively a directory of all of the companies that they cover.
When you register your business in this way, you’ll immediately qualify to be listed in the famous map pack. This is just the start of things as well, as things progress you may also be featured in the knowledge graph (the area on the right of the main search results). Clearly, both of these can be huge for a small business.
You might find the process somewhat cumbersome, particularly as you generally have to verify your business through a postcard that arrive via snail mail. However, it’s undoubtedly worth it, and should be the very first step that you take in this process.
Structured Data Mark-Up
While pretty much anybody can implement the above, when it comes to this next suggestion you might need to wear your technical hat. Some sources class this as Schema but regardless of the terminology, you need to mark up your page.
You’ll need to add some technical code to the site which tells the search engines exactly who and what you are. This is something that allows Google to gain a much quicker understanding of your site and considering how few businesses use this, it really could give you the upper hand.
The Citation Factor
As we all know, traditional SEO has relied on links. In relation to the local game, it’s all about citations. In simple terms, this relates to “mentions” on the internet about your business.
These mentions have to match your NAP (your name, address and phone number) in a bid to be classed as accurate. It means that you have to be particularly vigilant about misspellings and other inaccuracies which might make the citation invalid.
Examples of these types of citations include the big players such as Yelp and Citysearch, as well as smaller (but respected) local directories. As is the case with link building, the best suggestion is to see what citations your competitors are building and start building them from there.