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SEO for Local Businesses: How to Get on Top Online Fast

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Are you wondering how to get on top online?

Did you know there are over 1.89 billion websites in existence? You read that correctly. We said billion with a “B.” So how will you ever achieve a high enough page ranking to attract an audience?

Fortunately, popular search engines, like Google and Bing, know all about your dilemma. With the advent of complicated algorithms and the introduction of AIs, they can predict how useful your website will be to web surfers.

Unfortunately, they can’t always make an accurate prediction. They build tools for website owners to use which will help them better forecast the value of your site. A higher value equals a higher page ranking.

One of the most practical methods to boost those rankings is through a new type of optimization called Local SEO. The sections below outline the process. Read on to learn more.

What Is Local SEO?

Search engines now give web surfers geographically relevant search results. What does that mean? It means search results now include sites located in your area.

If you happen to own a brick-and-mortar store, it’s a phenomenal breakthrough in web technology. If you own a business that only caters to local customers, it’s just as amazing.

Even if you don’t, it’s a way to give yourself a leg above your competition and connect with new customers in your area.

Google My Business

If you want to drive traffic to your website, this should be your first stop. The information on Google My Business is what Google uses to display on their maps, knowledge graphs, and local rankings. If you don’t already have a profile on this site, today’s the day to change that.

Head over to their site and fill out their form with your business name, address, and phone number. Be sure to use the same info you have on your website. If you don’t, Google may get their wires crossed. Be forewarned.

Then you give Google more information on the type of business you offer, so they better understand who might benefit from your company. Don’t worry; they provide detailed instructions for each step. Be sure to complete your profile on Google My Business before you move on to anything else.

OnPage Local Search Engine Optimization

Format your content in a way that search engines understand. If you do that, your page ranking will shoot up overnight. Follow local SEO best practices and pay attention to the following steps.

Create Separate Landing Pages

When you serve multiple locations, you need a landing page for each city. If you try to build a single page that ranks for numerous cities, Google is likely to misunderstand your intent. Google algorithms rank each page for only one keyword.

This is likely to change in the future, as AIs predict your web pages more accurately. But we’re not there yet. If you want to rank organically, you need to have a page for each city you serve.

Adjust Headers, Content, Tags, and Descriptions

All the usual SEO hints and tricks apply with one addition: add your city. Include it in your H1 header. Include it in your title tags. Include it in your meta description.

Also, add it to your content. But stay away from keyword stuffing. Google has declared war against over-optimizing your website.

Throw out your old more-is-better handbook. Work with this new motto: create accurate, actionable content. Write like a journalist instead of a web designer.

Journalists take advantage of synonyms. They rarely use the same word twice, unless for emphasis. They know the words they use must accurately portray the ideas they want to share.

Try to limit the use of your city name to three times in your content. Use one in the first couple hundred words, and spread the rest out.

Format Your Information for Schema

What is a schema, you ask? It’s a type of format which helps web crawlers better understand your website. Include your name, address, and telephone number in this format. It’ll guarantee search engines accurately portray your info for local listings.

Include a Google Map

This is less about SEO optimization and more about common sense. It makes it easier for website visitors to find you in the real world. Well over 50% of web searches are performed on mobile devices.

Many of those are looking for solutions to their problems. Make it easy for them.

Make it Mobile Friendly

While we’re on the topic, build your site and your contents for mobile devices. Remember earlier when we mentioned factors that search engines look at to calculate page ranking? Guess what? Your sites ability to perform well on mobile devices is now a primary factor.

Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to find out how well your site runs on mobile devices.

Link Locally to Get on Top Online

Another factor in those complex search engine algorithms is the link. We should say links. Websites contain many.

If you read a blog article, you’ll find words which are usually underlined and in a different color than the rest of the text. When you click on these words, your browser opens up a new page. That group of words or numbers is called a link.

If you write a blog article, you should always include links to your sources and links to other, appropriate pages on your website. When other bloggers read your amazing articles, they too will include a link back to your site.

The trick is to get the right people to link back to your site. Often the best way is to simply ask. Offer to give them something in return, such as mentioning them in your marvelous article.

Not sure who to ask? Hit up local business directories, charities, non-profits, schools, newspapers, or city governments.

Land Local Reviews

Reviews help drive search rankings. That’s why you should claim your business profile on review sites. If you sell houses, jump on Zillow. If you rent houseboats, check out TripAdvisor. You get the idea.

No matter what kind of business you operate, be sure to claim your listing on Yelp. They boast over 100 million users, and they’re bound to already have a profile on you. Make sure it’s accurate, and make it yours.

What’s Next?

Simple, right? Local search SEO strategies aren’t tricky. You just need to jump through a few hoops to get on top online.

Start with regular SEO strategies. Make sure you understand and utilize them correctly. The addition of a local strategy only takes a few extra steps.

If you found this article helpful, pop over to our site to browse our other great articles. Do it now, while it’s fresh in your mind.

So long and good luck!