Local SEO Positioning:
7 Secrets That Every Company Should Know
If your company has a physical location and you want to attract potential customers located near your business, local SEO positioning should be of interest to you. Having just "done your homework" to achieve a good SEO positioning does not involve a good local SEO.
If you get a good local positioning of your website you will gain two additional assets:
- Appear twice in the results of Google searches, as an organic result and in the "Snack Pack"
- Better positioning in mobile searches: the "map of thumbtacks" appears ABOVE the organic results on a mobile screen.
So, if you've never paid attention to local SEO, it's time to do it.
To optimize your local SEO positioning well, there are some important elements that you have to concentrate on.
7 Secrets for Local SEO Positioning
Always Use The Same NAP
NAP is an acronym that corresponds to name, address and phone.
In order for Google to consider your local business you must have:
- A name.
- A physical address (not a postal address or a shared address).
- A telephone number including the local area code.
If the contact information (NAP) appears on different pages within your website it is VERY IMPORTANT that they are always exactly the same.
You must also use the same NAP when you register in any local directory. In fact, it is important to verify that your business appears with the same name, address and telephone number in any main local directory.
Include The Name Of Your City or Town
You must add your city or town in several places:
- In the title tag title: It is one of the most important places to include information about city/town. Your business could appear in local rankings just for this.
- In the meta description tag: Including city/town information could greatly increase the click-through rate for local search results.
- In the header H1: In any header you have on the page, it is important to include the information about city/town.
- In the URL: Create a page on your website that includes city/town information in the URL.
- In the content: Obviously, it is important to include city/town information in your content.
- In the labelling (Alt Tag) of the images: Most local businesses do not use the alternative text in their images. Make sure you have alternative text in all your images, and that you include the city/town information in your alternative text.
Optimize your page in Google My Business
Google My Business, is the new platform to manage your local business from a single tool, fully integrating Google Places and the company page of Google Plus (Local).
You can access the new tool either from Google Places or from your company profile in Google Plus.
If you were already registered in either of the two, when you log in, the new Google My Business platform will appear.
If you were not registered as a company this is a good time to do it.
Click here to create an account on Google My Business, fill in the requested information and upload an image (size 1000 x 1000 pixels) as an attractive cover page and another one for the profile (250 x 250 pixels). It is VERY IMPORTANT to also fill in the category section. Includes a minimum of three.
If you do have a business you can insert or modify any of the information, add photos or even share your Google page, all from Google My Business, with the convenience of doing it in one place. You can also see any reviews that your company has on the Google network, and respond to user reviews.
You can also create simple ads for easy integration through Adwords Express, automating these through the Google-focused advertising platform at the local level
Finally, if your business has several locations, you should sign up for each of them, that is, create an account in Google My Business for each location.
Get reviews / comments
Reviews are a fundamental part of Local SEO. If we want to be among the first positions of the "map of thumbtacks", one of the factors that takes into account the algorithm of Google are the reviews with a good rating (4 or 5 stars).
It is also important to have many good reviews to increase the conversion rate of views in clients since now that Google shows reviews that appear within the list of "thumbtacks" in a single drop-down menu, users will read your reviews before seeing Any other information about your business.
Google allows you to offer incentives or discounts to your customers in exchange for writing a review on your business Google+ page.
A good idea is to add logos or buttons on your website with a direct link to the company Google+ review page along with simple instructions to leave a review. You can also request reviews by mail or newsletter including the link. The important thing is that you make it easy. Focus on getting 10 reviews. If users end up leaving a review it is important that you answer. If the comment is negative, with more reason, your goal is to change your opinion and leave it in writing again in another review.
Do not make the mistake of trying to buy reviews through pages that offer these services on the Internet, because Google could penalize you. Ideally, a small company would get a review per month.
If you have your own business, why would you want to jeopardise your internet presence by buying services such as backlinks, social signals or reviews if your business was legitimate!
Include an embedded Google Map
Google Maps embedded in your website, but make sure you do it correctly. Not only do you embed a map that indicates your address, you have to embed a map in which your "thumbtack " appears, that is, that includes your Google+ company page (Local).
Register your business in local directories
Google expects local businesses to have NAP information on certain websites (Google, Yelp, Bing etc), so if you are not registered in these directories or information about your data (NAP) is incorrect, this can negatively affect how your business is positioned. Very important to always appear exactly with the same NAP.
There is a fantastic resource for all the necessary local business directories listed here.
Include review ratings in Google searches: rich snippets
The valuation of a product or service can appear as an "enriched fragment" as shown in the following images when doing a search:
Do not confuse it with the valuation that by default appears in local searches. It's about organic searches ("no thumbtack").
To appear, you must go to Google Webmaster Tools and register this functionality.
Here is a link that tells you how to do it: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/146645