Many businesses obsess over improving their Google search engine ranking for a number of keywords relevant to their products or services. What’s often overlooked, however, is local presence.
Local SEO focuses on enhancing search engine visibility for local searches, allowing businesses to attract more customers and build a strong reputation in a particular area.
Nowadays, most digital agencies will offer Local SEO services as an essential part of an overall SEO strategy. Whether you chose to hire the pros or go full DIY, the digital experts at Champions UK plc have shared a few tips to help get your business noticed locally.
Verify your Google Maps account
Make sure you register your company for a business page with Google Maps. It won’t take long to set up, but make sure you verify your account. Your Google My Business account will play an instrumental role in drawing in more customers, while also allowing you to interact with your target audience.
Audit your information everywhere
Check your information on these sites each month to make sure everything is correct. It’s vital that your company name, address, and phone number are the same everywhere.
Take advantage of subcategories
While your company’s primary business category should remain at the top, you can also register under different subcategories. The other categories should reflect any additional services that you offer. This way, your business can be found by those looking for something specific. Listing as many subcategories as possible gives you a competitive edge.
Reviews are important
The more reviews you have for your company, the better the odds are that you’ll get the top spot. Don’t be shy about asking customers to leave a review for your services. You can do so by emailing them a direct link to the platform you’d like them to use. If you struggle to get enough responses, offer an incentive, such as a gift card or promo code.
Old reviews don’t rank as high as new ones. Adding new reviews on a consistent basis is a must.
Optimise your homepage
In order for your site to rank well, you need to make sure the landing page for your Google Maps listing is up to date. Use an H1 tag to reiterate your company name, location, and category. Neil Patel offers up a useful article on creating a solid H1 tag.
Basically, the line for your company name would be:
<h1> Your Company Name </h1>
A META description tag and webpage content should both reinforce these same elements: 1 H1 Tag followed by keyword-targeted subtitles as H2 tags.
Embed your Google My Business listing
Your website should also include an embedded visual of your Google My Business listing. Place this map on the landing page for your company. This makes it easy for customers to see where you’re located, and it also improves your ranking in the eyes of Google Maps.
Don’t let the cheaters win
Many companies will try to violate Google’s terms of service. You may come across multiple fake accounts in your category. Don’t let these go unnoticed. It’s simple to report spammers directly to Google. After they’re removed, you may see your ranking instantly improve. Of course, you must also follow all the rules, as someone else may flag your page if you’re not careful.
Google Local Map Packs
Customers need to know the exact location of businesses for a particular query. While an address is helpful, seeing the placement on a map helps customers make a decision on which business is nearest to them.
When you search for a service, Google automatically generates a map from the top search results. Visitors don’t have to perform a separate search, which streamlines the process. The produced map is known as a Google Local Map Pack.
A few years ago, Google included the names and contact info for 7 relevant results. However, no map was included. Since 2014, the search engine only displays the top 3 results for any query, along with a helpful map. These results are known as the Local 3-Pack.
Here is what a Local 3-Pack looks like for the query ‘plumbers London.’ Notice the place markers for each business on the map:
You can’t rely on Google to automatically include your business in a Map Pack. Instead, you need to optimise your site to have it listed. To begin, create a Google My Business page. If you find a listing already there, you should claim ownership. Verify your business address with GMB.
After verifying your business, it’s time to begin optimising your business listing. Fill out the business name, category, and NAP data. Including pictures and reviews is also helpful. Finish by optimising your website content to boost your Google ranking. This will increase your chances of being included in relevant Map Packs.
Beyond Google Maps
Local SEO isn’t just about your Google My Business listing. Although it’s considered the most important thing to get right, there are a number of other local SEO ranking factors including links, on-page content, citations and social media that if you master, will make a huge difference to your local visibility. If you’re serious about wanting to grow your brand, be sure to check these out and put them into practice!