Why is it important to know the 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors?
If you want your business to succeed and dominate the local market then getting to grips with the factors that are influencing Local SEO rankings in 2017 is crucial. By getting the best possible local SEO rankings for your company, you can help your business grow, and promote your products and services to local customers. It’s an essential marketing component for companies that want to make sure consumers are aware of their company and their offerings online when searching for specific products or services.
With over 60% of all searches conducted on mobile devices being localized to include names of places, local SEO has never been more vital. Having visibility is your local area can be life and death for some businesses. Because increased competition in a small geographical area can often put a huge dent on profit margins, understanding the 2017 local SEO ranking factors is truly a core survival strategy.
Doing a Local SEO audit and analysis
Before getting into the grind of local search engine optimization rankings, as a business, you should be able to establish what parts of your website or landing page do not meet best practice standards. This will help you get a deeper understanding of where your business currently stands, and it’s lacking and how you can improve. Also, this will provide you with much-needed insight into your competitors so that you can apply all the techniques that will push your listing above theirs.
Getting new business with Local SEO
There are many reasons for favoring the implementation of local SEO strategies. Here are some of them:
- Significant numbers of people conduct local searches.
- Large percentages of Google searches are localized.
- Local search is used primarily to find business information and contact details which can mean a huge chunk of searchers are likely looking and ready to buy.
- Many local mobile searches often lead to offline purchases.
- Local search marketing is very targeted and timely.
- Local SEO gives higher conversion levels than most local advertising channels.
It is reported that over half US mobile queries is a local search and roughly over 85% of people use their mobile device when they are on the move. What’s an even more impressive statistic is that over 90% of mobile users search for local information on their phones and they tend to be looking to engage with businesses.
The basics of optimizing for local search
The online marketing approach to local SEO is very targeted which makes it possible for you to position your business on search engines and other digital marketing platforms in a way that guarantees broader visibility.
Local SEO uses a variety of strategies. Securing high rankings on search engines like Google and business directories such as Yelp is key. Scores of consumers use local search every day to find the best local businesses in their area so optimizing your pages can help increase your chances of getting found by potential customers.
Research local keywords
This is one of the fundamentals. Remember, when people are out in your local district shopping or looking for particular services, the first thing they are going to do is run a quick search on their mobile device. This means if your web pages are already optimized much of that traffic will be driven your way. All you’ll then need to focus on is providing clients with the best customer experience.
You should never forget that if it so happens that customers searching for services and products cannot find your business, chances will be that they will indeed find your competitors. One of the most reliable tools for keyword research is AdWords Keyword Planner. To provide the most helpful result, you should consider using a combination of short and long-tail keywords. Never underestimate the advantages of understanding the Best SEO Tools to use.
Optimize content for local keywords
If the content on your website has not been optimized for local search, then this is one of the basics you have to cover. Content optimization can include things like meta descriptions, tags and alternative descriptions on your web pages. Another important step is to make sure that your web pages are optimized for local keywords. This is critical because it influences your 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors.
What you need to ensure, is that while optimizing the content on your site for your selected keywords, you also maintain the focus on quality and not quantity. Keyword stuffing can be detrimental to your search engine ranking efforts. Limit the use of keywords to the critical sections of your content such as titles, subheadings and the initial paragraphs of your material.
Although there no real fixed keyword density specific to follow, try and aim for around the 1% mark. So for instance, if your article has around 500 words then ideally your keyword should appear about five times across the length of the content piece. Effectively try and use tools such as Keyword Density Checkers to measure if you’re keyword use is in line with the 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors. For example, on our site for Dallas web design business, we do not repeat the same terms over and over again.
Keep Business NAP Listings updated
A NAP listing is any listing on the internet where the name, address, and phone number of your business is shown. The trick here is to ensure that your NAP listings all have consistent information. This will help optimize your local search ranking a great deal.
Also, you never want potential customers to be annoyed because they couldn’t contact you on the right number or find your location. Consumers support businesses which take the time to do the little things that enrich their overall buying journey. Make sure your social media accounts are also kept up-to-date.
Claim you Google Places for Business Page
This free listing can help tremendously when it comes to optimizing your pages. You need to keep this updated with your current contact details, opening times, address and other relevant details. Google local business listing optimization should not be overlooked.
If you can ensure that all categories are filled in correctly including categories which describe your business offering. This also helps your business to get indexed in mapping data, allowing your customers to find you with greater accuracy.
Embrace customer reviews
If you’re not encouraging customers to leave feedback on your local pages listings, then it can be safe to say perhaps you have some doubt about the quality of service you’re providing. But of course, you may simply not be aware that reviews are one of the biggest local SEO ranking factors. They have the same power of influence when it comes to Local SEO Rankings.
If you want your listings to stand out, then you should certainly consider soliciting reviews as part of your SEO for local businesses. This can also push you and your team to live up to those values of good customer service and quality product delivery standards required for entrepreneurs and small business to thrive in today’s competitive business environment.
Separate business listings for different locations
If your business operates in different locations, you should have a separate listing for each of your physical locations to optimize for local google search. This helps to direct customers to the right locations within their immediate proximity. It’s also advisable to optimize the pages on your website so that they can become more visible in local searches.
Don’t forget to embed a map on your contact us page or other listings which have the feature because this will also boost your local SEO rankings.
A Summary of the 2017 Local SEO Ranking Factors
SEO has become a critical element of marketing since consumers don’t use the yellow pages as much as they used to and instead turn to Google for faster, more convenient and up-to-date listings. For local SEO rankings, many things have to be considered if your business is to rank high on search engine result pages.
Some of the essential things to remember and incorporate into your SEO checklist include:
- Claim your Google My Business Page.
- Name, address, and phone on the website should match Google Places.
- Making sure you optimize Title Tags and have Clean URLs.
- No duplicate content.
- Your website should be mobile responsive.
- Have a blog on your site where you share insights with your customers to keep them engaged and updated.
- Set up a Google+ Profile and be active on it. Remember, Google always loves Google.
- Install Google Analytics Snippets.
- Have menus that can be indexed.
- Do keyword research.
- Research your competitors.
- Restructure your site is that it is entirely optimized for easy navigation.
- Install the necessary plug-ins to enable better functionality.
- Create localized content so that the customers within your local market which you are targeting can have a personal identification with your brand.
- Optimize on-page elements and tracking results.
- Acquire local citations.
- Optimize your logo and other images.
- Add town, county, city, or state service pages to your website.
- Build genuine backlinks but producing shareable content and build relationships with credible sites but try to submit your content to niche specific sites.
- Encourage customers to leave reviews but make sure that you are delivering great products and services because this can backfire. Also, make sure you make it easy for clients to your pages or listings. If weary of slander you can always moderation functions on your blog.
- Ensure that your business listings are consistent and that spellings, addresses, and phone numbers are kept accurate in Google Places.
- If you have operations in multiple locations within a district or province make sure you have separate listings for individual locations where necessary.
- Setup Google Webmaster Tools. This will make certain that Google crawls your site correctly.
- Use sites such as Yelp, Bing, and ExpressUpdate to create and claim listings and use Foursquare to claim your venue. Also, submit your listings to Hyperlocal Directories.
Why local business owners need to act now
This guide and review are meant to assist local business owners that want to see a higher ROI on their marketing spend. The Local SEO Ranking Factors we explored are some of the many things you need to consider as a small business. This is the one sure way of ensuring you’re staying ahead of your competition and certain to grow your market share locally.
The question of finding the time to get it all right when you’re so busy running your small enterprise is one that comes up often. But you don’t have to worry. The best companies appreciate that it’s a worthy investment to make for the incredible results they get in return.
Hiring an experienced professional to help your businesses rank higher should be a strong consideration. Make sure to do your research on local marketing companies.