Local search is an ever-changing section of search engines. For businesses that rely on customers visiting a physical location, ranking high in local search is critical. It has become one of the top priorities for SEO agencies to help aid local businesses.
These results are related to the user’s location when searching on Google or other search engines. When looking for local results, people tend to be at the purchasing stage of their buying journey, meaning there’s potential for higher conversion rates and sales. The popularity of local search is increasing due to mobile and voice searches becoming more commonplace.
Here is a guideline of how you can get your site to rank in local search:
Step 1 – Refine general site SEO
Before focusing on local SEO, it’s imperative to have decent headway with overall SEO, as it serves as a foundation for local SEO efforts.
Step 2 – Make sure your content is optimised for the desired location
It’s essential to have plenty of inbound links and high-quality content when optimising the site for locally relevant content. All inbound and outbound links should lead to your service or product pages or (for inbound links) to blog posts that link back to service pages. This allows link benefits to flow effectively across the site.
As search is becoming more local-based, getting the most from local authorities requires your site to include more detailed content. This content refers to the location of your business and has inbound links containing anchor text with your local suburb or town names. Getting links from locally relevant sources such as local magazines and newspapers can also assist in meeting the hyperlocal criteria for Google.
Step 3 – Claim your business address
Google My Business, commonly referred to as GMB, is a free business listing service that allows your business to register its information to be listed on Google Maps. This information includes operating hours, phone number, website and address. Without a GMB listing, a business will not appear in Google Maps. This listing is not only valuable for you and potential customers; it’s crucial to visibility for local search results.
Step 4 – Utilise customer reviews
Google My Business allows users to leave reviews for your products and services. Positive reviews help your SEO, by serving as positive ranking factors. This is due to businesses with higher ratings being more likely to rank in map results.
Step 5 – Structure data
While search engines are getting smarter, they still aren’t smart enough to fully understand all the information found on your site without extra help. Using resources such as Schema.org and structured data allow you to structure your data in ways search engines can understand.