Last month, I outlined four major factors for local SEO. Today we’re going to dive in deeper, and since I like symmetry, I’ll give you four tips for each factor. Not familiar with these local SEO elements? You can find definitions here.
- Claim your Google business page. Once you have verified ownership, you’ll be able to do the following…
- Check the listing for accuracy and correct any errors (address, hours of operation, map location, etc.).
- Make sure your categories are correct, especially the primary business category. Add any other categories relevant to your business.
- Fill in all fields, upload photos, and write a 250+ word unique description that you use nowhere else online.
- Find the most important citations for your industry from the Moz Local category list and for the US as a whole from this comprehensive list from Vizion Interactive.
- Check to see what citation sources (Yelp, Angie’s List, etc.) come up when you search for your business category or service.
- Now claim the citations you found in steps 1 and 2, correct them if necessary, and fill in all the fields that they ask for.
- Do the most important ones first and fix any with errors, then go back and add a few more each month.
- Search for your business on Google and look to see how many reviews you have. If you have five or more, a star rating will show up in search results by your business name.
- Ask customers to review you on Google, Facebook, etc., but never ask for a Yelp review (it’s against their terms of service).
- Respond to all reviews, and respond to negative reviews graciously. (Need help to address a negative review? This post from Customer Lobby has some great tips.)
- Add links to your most important review sites (Google, Yelp, etc.) from your website and in your email signature.
- Have your business name, address, and local phone number in the text on every page.
- Have your business name, main service, and city and state in the title tag of your home page and your location page. Ideally this should not be over 55 characters long and should never exceed 65 characters. If you have room, add your zip code.
- Create a page for each service that your offer.
- Have a location page with an embedded Google Map and text about your location that mentions things like neighborhoods and landmarks. A great way to add text with local names is to show written directions from various major highways.
Approaching your local search optimization from a multi-prong approach will garner better results. If instead you only focus on one element like citations but don’t address reviews, your company may be seen by more people, but they may not feel confident in your company as compared to competitors with several positive reviews. Like many marketing elements, local SEO factors work together to support an overall strategy to get your company more exposure and more customers. If you feel that you need help integrating local SEO into your business, give us a shout and we’ll be glad to chat with you!