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.
- Geo-tagging images
- 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:
- Keyword density
- 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.