People prefer to deal with local businesses because unlike virtual shops these businesses have a physical existence and can be accessed anytime due to their geographical location.
Whether someone is searching from cell phone or PC, a search for
“Italian restaurants near me” or “Baltimore Location” will show the list of local businesses, not the big brands that generally dominate the SERP. Optimizing your website for local search is not as much complicated as the technical SEO. You don’t need to write lots of codes to influence the search engine ranking. Still, if you are confused about what to do and what not to do, here is a list for you.
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Local SEO: What You Must Do
You must use the location based long tail keywords in your website content to help Google locate your company faster. For instance, the primary target keyword of a bakery can be “cake shops”, but using a long tail keyword “cake shops in Mumbai” can narrow down the search and make your brand rise above the competitors. Also, your website must contain store/office address, phone number, and other contact details to earn consumers’ trust.
NAP Should Be Flawless
Name, address and phone numbers (NAP) are the three most vital facts about any local business. People want to know where your office is located and how they can contact you instantly. Type your company name on Google like “Action Gem” and find out if the NAP is correct across all the business listings you have on the World Wide Web. In case you have changed the phone number or opened a new office, make the necessary changes in the local listings to ensure smooth buyer-seller communication.
Use Social Media for Branding
Facebook, Twitter and Google+ marketing can give your local brand the exact exposure it needs. The correct use of hashtags and paid marketing will help you reach the customers based on your geographical location.
Local SEO: What You Must Avoid
Writing Fake Reviews
Reviews on local business directories and Google My Business page is an indicator of your brand value. It helps people and search engines understand how professionally and dedicatedly you are taking care of your customers. Don’t ever try to write fake positive reviews about your business on these local directories. Google will detect the suspicious activity and penalize your website.
Don’t List Your Business on Extraneous Categories
When you are listing your business in Google and other search engines make sure that you select the right category as it will bring you the truly interested customers. Some categories may be very popular, but if your operations do not fit under them then it is a waste of time. After all, you don’t want to misdirect the buyers and make them annoyed.
More people are searching for local businesses from their cell phones thanks to Google Now and Siri. If you follow the correct steps to optimize your website for local search, there is a bright future ahead of you.