4 Ways to Boost Your Local Search Rankings
Where your business appears in local search rankings directly impacts your businesses ability to reach customers, learn how to boost your local rankings.
If your business is looking to stay relevant in today’s world, it is essential to consider the importance of online visibility. While global rankings are crucial, we cannot ignore the importance of local search rankings. Research shows that fifty percent of customers who carry out a local search online patronize the business that same day. If your business is not ranking highly enough locally, you will lose a good chunk of customers to local competitors.
You must ensure that your business ranks highly on your local SERPs (Search Engine Result Page). Any relevant keywords searched for within your location that is related to your business should instantly pop up on your website.
If you are not currently enjoying these benefits, then you are probably not doing the things on this guideline.
Local search ranking and global search ranking are often confused for the same thing, whereas they both target different objectives. While global rankings seek to amplify your global online presence, local rankings ensure that your business stays visible to your local customers. This way, you will not lose your customers to a nearby regional competitor.
This article features a list of simple guiding principles to ensure that your business stays on top of local search rankings. The strategies shared here will keep your brand ranking high on popular search engines like Google, and other popular engines.
Let’s take a look at some guiding principles:
4 Steps to Boost Your Local Search Ranking
1. Optimize Your Business Information
Perhaps the best way to verify your business’s ranking is to carry out an anonymous search yourself. Search for your keyword and location yourself. This way, you can have a firsthand customer experience.
Take note of the results you get. From your search, where is your business’s website ranked? 1st, 2nd, 7th place, or somewhere down the line? Also, notice whether information related to your business is accumulated in one result or spread out across different pages. Chances are, if you had a difficult time finding relevant information regarding your business, then others are experiencing the same.
To get it right with your business information, you must consider optimizing your Google My Business listing. The process is quite tedious, but it is worth it in the end.
The first step is by authenticating your ownership of the business. You will also have to verify that Google does not have duplicate pages of your website. You will get a verification code via email for the process. This process will help you to verify whether the information on your website is accurate. Also, it should include the following:
- The full name of your business (the same way it appears on your website and storefront).
- Your business category.
- Your opening hours.
- Your local phone number.
- Include your business email address (it should use your domain instead of a third-party provider like Hotmail).
- Your most important keywords included in a brief description of your business.
Getting this process right will help to assure Google that your local business is authentic and trustworthy. Google also allows you to add several extra features like a virtual tour, for instance. With a virtual tour, you can integrate videos and photos to show customers an all-round waypoint to your storefront. You can also add lots of other customizations.
2. Leverage Local Traffic
Localize your website so that you can leverage local traffic. To achieve this, you must make it clear on your website that you are a local business. Be bold about it. Put location information like your business address, its region, city, and neighborhood right on the homepage of your website. Also, include additional information like your opening and closing hours, your local phone number, etc. on your homepage.
If your business has other branches spread across the region, then give each of them their unique page on your website. A move like this will help you leverage local traffic on search engines.
You should also consider keywords. Take full advantage by ensuring that you have meticulously distributed the appropriate local keywords across your title and description tags. Also, install Google Analytics; this will help you keep in touch with what customers are saying about your business. Analytics will also help you stay tuned with customer activities on your website to know how best to improve it.
Finally, consider integrating standardized web coding for your website. Google has recommended this for the best results for business sites.
3. Leverage Local Coverage
One surefire strategy to improve your local search ranking is to feature in major regional publications. Search engines like Google, etc. index featured publications highly. Top local web-publications are the way to go. You should try to create good business relationships with local journalists. Citations by top local journalists around you can help boost your local rankings immensely.
Also, you should consider featured publications on other popular local websites. Mentions about your business on other websites go a long way to intensify your business’s local online ranking.
Another complementary strategy with which you can build on your existing local coverage is by investing in a mobile app. It is statistically proven that businesses with a comprehensive and stable functioning mobile app amplify customer conversions. With a mobile app, your business will feel closer to your customers. Downloads of the app will also improve your online search rankings and amplify your local presence.
4. Leverage Data Giants
After successfully claiming your business listing with Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Online Writers Rating etc. also consider listings with the data giants. Names like Infogroup, Factual, Acxiom, and Neustar Localeze are all names of data giants to keep in mind. You must ensure that your details on these listings correspond with your details on other listings.
These data giants are the goto providers for most sort after information for a ton of online businesses. If your business info is not accurate with them, the wrong data might filter into other publications concerning your company.
Finally, consistency is the key. The most rewarding input you can contribute to the success of your business’s local/global search rankings is consistency. If all the information about your business online is one and consistent throughout, you stand a better chance with search engines.
Keeping a consistent data profile across all your listings will reinforce your identity and credibility across multiple search engines. Through consistency, you will stand greater chances of higher search ranking against your local counterparts.
Additionally, you should also consider taking ownership of your online presence through social media and other channels. Mentions about your business on social media platforms often produce leads that develop into conversions. Social media brings your company closer to the people who are interested in what your business has to offer. You can find people through specific niches. Building a strong social media presence through online communities on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. is vital. You should actively engage with your audience through relevant content; keep it exciting and appealing. Don’t forget to include your business link boldly (sometimes) and organically (other times) on your posts.
Social media is, by extension, an informal data giant itself; treat it as such; ensure consistency across all your business channels.
To be relevant you have to be visible. Most business owners find this a daunting task since they are not well versed in the strategies implemented by professional SEO service providers. Because of this problem, most trustworthy local businesses lose chunks of customers to average local competitors. With determination and the guiding principles shared above, however, you can achieve visibility and top ranking all by yourself. You can now take your local business from lost in the crowd to online prominence through these simple strategies at your grasp. Good luck!