You probably have noticed that whenever you search for something on Google, especially if it is location-specific, there are a Top 3 of businesses that pop up along with a map.
This is the “Local 3-Pack”. The 3-Pack replaced the “7-Pack” which used to show…. well 7 local business related to your search instead of 3. Obviously, 3 is a smaller number than 7, which means it is now harder to be at the top of the search engine results page (SERPs).
And in case you didn’t know, the SERPs are not random.
These businesses have been putting in some serious work to reach that spot. And their efforts aren’t going unnoticed; they are benefitting heavily because of it.
Believe it or not, with the right guidance you, too, can achieve this level of local SEO superstardom.
But where will you find such trustworthy tips and tricks related to local SEO?
Alas! Your humble friends here at Effortless Web are here to help. Just get in touch
So, without further ado, here are our 15 best local SEO tips to get your business to the top of Google Maps.
Google Ads Keyword Planner is a great tool for choosing your local SEO keywords. It will show you what people are searching for the most and will assist you in finding similar keywords that your target audience are also searching for. And like most things Google, it’s absolutely free to use. So why not take advantage of it and improve your local SEO game a notch or two.
Google is by far the most used search engine, but it is not the only search engine. Bing has its own version of GMB called Bing Places for Business. It is worth listing your business and putting your accurate NAP info on there as well. Definitely couldn’t hurt.
What usually happens is that before you create your own GMB profile, it is created by someone else. Sometimes multiple are created and the information is inaccurate which could end up hurting your business’ online presence. Make sure to claim any and all listings that have your business’ name on it, get rid of any duplicates, and ensure all your NAP information is accurate.
If your business has more than one location, it is important to have a distinct webpage for each individual location. Make sure it is fully optimised and that all the information is correct and you are good to go.
Probably one of the most important components of local SEO is GMB optimisation. GMB is a very powerful and, most importantly, free tool to get your business noticed on Google search. If you are unfamiliar with GMB refer to our blog specifically on GMB here (insert hyperlink).
To really get the most out of your profile, you must make sure you are doing everything in your power to use GMB to its full potential. As we said before, accurate NAP information, selecting the right categories, having a well-detailed description for your business, customer reviews, responses to those reviews, pictures, and using your target city in the landing page title are a few of these. If you are unsure what some of these things mean, not to worry, we’ll be going over most of them in this article.
A really cool feature on GMB is that any information that you add on your profile will automatically be able to be found on Google Search and Google Maps. This makes it heaps easier for your business in terms of visibility.
Taking all the necessary steps to ensure your GMB profile is fully optimised is one of the easiest ways to get climbing up that SERPs ladder.
Customers are a bit like children. They complain when they don’t get their way, they drive you insane, they prefer pictures to words. Think about a child in a library, they are gonna go for the visually appealing picture book over the chapter book 9 times out of 10.
So why not accompany your GMB profile with some images as well. It is always a good idea to put a “face” to the name. Keep it exciting.
Be sure to use keywords that are relevant to your industry and audience. Use these anywhere you can which includes on your website, in the domain name, in your GMB title, in the reviews (if you can), and on your social media pages.
Link building is a way of using inbound links from an external website that sends a customer directly to your website. This is done to increase traffic and ultimately boost up your ranking in the SERPS.
Link Building can prove to extremely important for your business. Trying to establish a rapport with other local websites in a similar industry can help to optimise your links. If you are able to get links from a few websites that have a local high domain authority you might see that it is more valuable than you think.
On your website, it is crucial that you have an actual map to show your customers exactly where you are and how to get there. Go here for how to add a Google Maps location to your website.
We’ve mentioned NAP briefly, but it cannot be stressed enough how important it is to make sure your NAP information is up-to-date, accurate, and consistent.
Make sure your NAP information is identical across all websites. If your GMB profile says “Ave” instead of “Avenue”, make sure it is the same across all your other listings. This affects how your business pops up in local search.
This should go without saying but great customer service goes a long way for your SERPs ranking. Word of mouth about your outstanding service can lead to searches (and hopefully visits) which improves traffic and ultimately ranking as well.
It can also lead to 4 and 5-star reviews which does wonders for your online presence. Customers trust online reviews wholeheartedly – but more about that in a bit.
Reviews can make or break you. A thoughtful review from a customer detailing their experience, what they did and didn’t enjoy, how (un)friendly the staff was, etc. will go a long way for your business.
Most people that search for local businesses rely on the reviews of others to make their final decision. Weird, right? Trusting the words of complete strangers to decide where to go spend their money. No judgement here though, do whatever makes you happy.
It is also worth noting that replying to all reviews, good or bad, will help customers see what kind of owner you are and that you care. A blow from a bad review can be fixed with a genuine response to the angry customer.
Social media handles are extremely effective ways to promote your business. Social media profiles can pop up on a search results page with anything from your business information or a recent post.
With the addition of stories and live stories, possibilities are endless to promote your business and products or any specials you may have. And unless you utilise the optional paid ads feature on most social media websites, it is also completely free.
In short, what schema does is it gives a search engine more information about your business.
When a search engine does its thing, it scans websites and tries to interpret information about it. Search engines are good at doing this but they’re not perfect. You can put schema information directly into the HTML and this will improve your ranking in search when someone searches for anything related to your business.
This can give you an edge because many businesses simply aren’t using it.
But there is a reason for this. Schema markup is a bit of a complicated process and will most likely take an experienced web developer to do.
It’s a bit confusing to say the least.
Now this one isn’t essential, but for those overachievers that want to be the very very best, using this relatively new tool from the comfort of your smartphone can give a really unique insight into your business. This will be especially useful for those businesses that are visually appealing, be it really funky artwork and bric-a-bracs or a château-esque lounge or garden.
That’s all folks! It is vital that you optimise your website for search engines if you want to be a competitor within your chosen industry. If done properly these 15 local SEO tips should have your business topping the SERPs in no time.