Google is continually improving how it understands and rate websites, but artificial intelligence (AI) is not ready for us to leave it up to chance just yet. If you want your local business to capture a coveted slot in Maps, keep reading!
After announcing plans to move to a "mobile-first" index, it is clear that Google knows mobile searches are the future. Couple that with the fact that many searches done from mobile are voice searches and you have all the makings for a unique year in local SEO.
Not So Fast
Before you get too worked up, this is not another of the 496 million "the sky is falling" articles that are bound to get published this year. The basics elements of local SEO that have been important for the past few years are still necessary.
A Quick Review
Before you worry about the latest and greatest ninja tactics or tools, make sure you have the most basic elements covered:
A well-optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing
Citation building and NAP consistency
Proper on-page optimization
Quick loading times
Quality content creation
Authority link building
Ensuring that you have those items dialed in will establish the strong foundation you need to benefit fully from advanced local SEO tactics. If you are new to local SEO or in need of a more in-depth refresher, check out "The Definitive Guide to Local SEO".
Beyond the Basics
Once you have the basics mastered, there are several things you can do to push your local rankings above the competition. Here are a few additional steps you should add to your local SEO process.
Creating and embedding maps
Developing a process for gaining customer reviews
Adding structed data including reviews markup
Setting up a social syndication network for social signals
Create and publish a press release including your NAP data
Contacting and generating links from other local businesses (e.g., resource page, guest posting)
Once you have the basic elements in place and you implement the more advanced steps listed above, you will be on track for great local rankings.
Don't Stop Believing....
If you see that your business is still struggling to rank, continue to push for more local links, locally themed content, and compare your on-page SEO to that of your competitors. When comparing on-page, check at least:
Usage of LSI keywords
Average content length
Service + location use in page titles and headings
If your business has been online for a while already, starting with a citation and link audit is always a good first step. Even though there are a few hundred ranking factors in play, the basic elements above are more than enough to get you off to a great start with local SEO.
What is one thing you have found effective in boosting your local SEO rankings?
Struggling with local SEO? Leave your questions below and let's get you past those hurdles.
I am fiercely competitive and passionate about SEO, which means working with myself and the Stellar SEO team will put you on the winning side. Nothing about SEO is guaranteed, but we make a habit of helping brands dominate, even in the most competitive of industries. Since 2012, my company, Stellar SEO, has become one of the most highly regarded names in Search Engine Optimization. Taking the unconventional route, my journey to becoming an SEO industry expert began after reading a magazine article with a "Best Business to Start" headline. Starting with no funding or prior business experience, I began researching everything I could about entrepreneurship and SEO. In the process, I personally tested every theory, piece of sales advice, and "proven" method to deliver effective link-building campaigns. I found that there is no one-size-fits-all method or magic guru tricks to link building.