What does local SEO mean?
Local SEO is vital to the success of a business that depends on local clientele. Examples include a dentist, a barber shop or an institute offering yoga classes. The best way to optimize your business so that it appears not only in organic searches on the Internet but also shows up in local searches is to use a judicious combination of both local and organic SEO.
Comparing search result of Local 7- Pack with organic SEO.
Local SEO – also known as the Local 7- Pack comprises listings of businesses that have tied up with Google and their names come up in the right column when the results of a search show up. On the other hand organic SEO comprises comprehensive and relevant results across the web. This includes directories (Yellow Pages), review Sites (Yelp) and other local businesses. Experts say webmasters must ensure that their website is optimized for both organic and Local 7-Pack SEO.
Signing up ‘free’ for local listings in Google
This takes less than 5 minutes and it is advisable for businesses to list themselves in Google. For this purposes webmasters should select existing listings and add their telephone number if the field so that the listing is saved and their business names and contact details come up in search results. In case the existing listings are not serving their purpose, then webmasters should create new listings for the search items.
When the listing has been done webmasters should register themselves on Google by filling-in all relevant information and hitting the enter button. Google takes a few days to verify the information and thereafter sends a postcard as a way of confirmation.
Add more information in the profile
While Google verifies the information, businesses should enhance their profiles by filling-in all necessary details. Some of the ways in which this can be done are as follows:
- Add eye catching images.
- Accurately fill in the hours of the business.
- Ensure that the listing is under the correct category.
- Put a thorough description of the business.
Build local presence
It is important to build up local presence for a business and this can be done in one of the following ways:
- Building citations – Citations are nothing more than a mention of the business on the web. These do not have to include a web link, rather a simple mention of the company name and business type or a detailed description of the business. Citations are a validation of the business and tell Google about the legitimacy of a business.
- Adding citations – It is important to ensure that citations are added in the correct directory and under the proper listing. Example – For a Toronto based dentist, it will be more relevant to have the dentists details added in the directory of Toronto dentists rather a worldwide generic directory.
- Paid services – As listings in directories can be very tedious, businesses can make use of the following paid services:
- Bright Local
- White Spark
- Moz Local
- Add City and Locality in your website in the Title tag, H1 tag and website content – This is important as it shows up in search results.
- Adds Schema Markup – This helps Google understand the structure of a website when Google is indexing a website.
- Add Reviews – This helps visitor checkout a business or a product or a service by reading the comments and feedback of other users. As a per a study done by Bright Local, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations.
The above are a few strategies that can help in local SEO. Of course there are more advanced strategies that are also available, that can be put to use, but these strategies will go a long way in optimizing a business, product or a service locally.