If you’re a marketer or business owner, you probably already know how important local SEO is to the success of your business. However, many people get stuck with implementing SEO best practices for local search because of the long-term nature of the effort.
If that resonates with you, this article will walk you through three quick and easy local SEO wins you can accomplish in just one day. While you might not see results immediately, you can rest assured that these three wins will pay off sooner rather than later.
With that in mind, here are our five tips for improving your local SEO today.
1) Set up a Google My Business Profile
If you don’t already have Google My Business account set up for your company, this is undoubtedly the first task to improve your local SEO. Google My Business acts as your brand’s business profile within Google. It’s responsible for the listing that pops up on the right of the search page when you look for a business, and it’s the source of information used to determine whether Google should show your brand for a user’s search query. You cannot improve your local SEO without setting up your Google My Business profile.
The very first step to optimizing Google My Business is to make sure you claim your profile. Then, make sure to fill out all the fields you see in the back-end of the page, like your business hours, a brief description, your location address and phone number, and even photos or videos.
The more helpful information you can fit into your Google My Business profile, the more likely it is for prospective customers to find you in localized searches such as “coffee shops near me.”
2) Review Your Title and Meta Descriptions
Next on the list to improve your local SEO is reviewing your web pages’ title tags and meta descriptions. Your title tag is significant to help search engines understand the subject matter of your site. It’s also important to make sure that you have your location’s city and state in your title tag and meta description (in addition to your website copy). However, meta descriptions are no longer a strong ranking factor for search engines. It is essential to understand that the description tag acts as a descriptor on the actual search results.
Your meta descriptions are the summary snippet that Google shows on the search engine results page (SERP). Optimizing those few lines according to the content they link to is critical to your local SEO efforts. While local SEO is considered the “map” section of the search results, localization is also a key factor of general search results. Meta descriptions play a significant role in your site’s click-through rate on local search results.
Depending on your content management system (CMS), you should have an option to add or modify your meta descriptions in the “edit” portion of each site page. Try to write a concise but accurate account of what users will see when they land on your page—and make it as enticing as possible.
Google may override these descriptions if it has a better alternative, but doing this due diligence can help inform the algorithm about what your content contains.
3) Update Local Content That Used To Rank
Lastly, look at your older website content (either main site content or blog articles), and make some updates to pages that have stopped bringing in as much traffic.
You can use Google Analytics, or your SEO tool of choice, to identify pages of your site that have dropped off in popularity. Once you know which pages you need to improve, give the copy a quick refresh. Make sure any stats and figures are up-to-date, double-check references, and maybe add or update a few sections to ensure that the information is relevant and timely. Make sure you create local content by adding your name, address, and phone number, so the localized content can send clear local signals to the search engines.
Then, republish the page, and you’ll likely improve your local SEO once Google registers the update and understands your localization.
There you have it! If you’ve been putting off your Local SEO efforts because they seem overwhelming, then these five quick actions are as painless as it gets while still delivering results. Check them off your to-do list today and watch your local search traffic improve over the coming weeks and months.
4) Add structured Data For Local Search
When it comes to local SEO, one of the essential actions is adding structured data (also known as schema). Besides setting up Google My Business and adding address and phone number to your website, structured data is an easy way to communicate your location to the search engines. Think of structured data as code that wraps around content on your site and helps Google understand its relation to local SEO information. Things like NAP (name, address, phone number), business hours, reviews, departments, and more are easily accessible and appear in the search results below your title tag.
Besides improving your local SEO visibility, it also helps your listing stand out and can increase the number of clicks you receive because many websites are not using structured data. Beyond local SEO, it is a great practice to review your options for structured data and use it throughout your site to help search engines learn more about your content.
5) Verify Your Address and Phone Number
It is critically important to your local SEO that your Google My Business page and website have identical information for the business name, address, and phone number (NAP). Google receives localization data from many different providers and aggregators like Acxiom and Infogroup. These local data warehouses are responsible for feeding thousands of websites with local data. All of your NAP information, anywhere it appears online, must be identical to send consistent “trust” signals to search engines about your business.
One of the first things a local SEO agency will do on a local search campaign is correct these issues. You can use one of many available free tools to check your current listings. Fixing these errors can take time, but several paid solutions will allow you to resubmit and overwrite the older listing. Still, they can take months to finalize and improve your local SEO results.
While Local SEO comprises many ranking factors and subsequent tactics, realize that ranking well in local search results takes time and skill. While these are just a few local SEO tips to help you get there, it is by no means a replacement for a professional local SEO campaign. Good luck!!!