- Google My Business Signals
- Link Signals
- Review Signals
- On page Signals
- Citation Signals
So based on this awesome gathering of data we can see that applying 100’s of citations just isn’t going to cut it any more and get you ranking in local search by itself. From now, you need to be thinking about how you can focus on those other ranking factors are most important. Below we’re giving you a helping hand by offering a few crucial local SEO tips. Hopefully these will help get you on your way ranking your website locally.
#1 – Have an address in your local area.
It probably sounds a bit daft and obvious but you need to make sure that you have an address in the area you want to target. If you’re trying to rank in Milton Keynes and your business is located in London, Google is never going to add you in the Milton Keynes map pack. I guess with enough SEO you could eventually get your business listed amongst the organic results but let’s face it, the bounce rate is going to be through the roof and its not a good way to start relations with your new customers.
#2 – Get your business listed on Google My Business
It’s a simple one but a very important step which should never be missed. Remember after all it’s now the #1 key ranking factor! Get signed up and verified (this will come in the post) and head over to the dashboard and fill in every single box that you can. There is an opportunity here to let your customers know plenty of key information and a chance to entice with great looking photos, opening times, business information the lot. You can also get involved in reviews, messaging and Q&As. Compared to other lazy listing you could easily get your listing to shine. And remember, Google loves it!
#3 – Grab some new citations and clean up the old ones
As we mentioned citations used to be a big thing and it still is in some ways but you need to be careful. No longer is it suitable to just going and find as many places to post your business as possible as this will only create problems later. For example if you have 500 citations then change your phone number… you’re now going to have to change it 500 times. Think about the quality of places you post and keep them as consistent as can be. Get out there and clean up your old ones and start getting some new ones. I recommend creating a new login that can be used on each site so it’s easy to keep on top of maintenance. For the old citations make sure that all of the details match and also ensure that your NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) information is perfect.
#4 – Fix your On-page optimisation
People often trust organic listings more than paid listings. Customers can sometimes be put off by paid ads, especially if they don’t rank on the first page organically as well. With local SEO we have a unique opportunity to get our businesses listed in 3 different places! The organic listings in and around the map pack, the map pack itself and if you have the budget paid ads. That’s 3 times the coverage on the first page!
The list could be huge so I’ll just give a few key examples.
- Get your Page titles sorted and try to get in your keyword. For example: Keyword | Business name
- Update your pages with properly thought out descriptions. Don’t spam your keywords here as Google will replace the description with a generated version. These don’t have much of an effect on the SEO rankings, but more how they will be viewed visually on Google when someone spots your site in the list.
- Decent sized relevant content. Don’t waffle, don’t spam, but provide some cleverly crafted text getting a few keywords where possible, but don’t over do it.
#5 – Obtain more positive reviews
These are less about ranking but more about how your business will appear in the map pack, but also on other sites where your citations could be listed. You know like Google, Facebook, those directory sites like Yell and even those portal sites like checkatrade.com – Pretty much any site that will rank for your keywords.
Be careful when adding them in bulk as that will look fishy even if they’re genuine and please make sure they’re genuine as fake reviews are easy to spot. Aim to get a couple a month and in no time you will have a tidy amount of reviews. Don’t be afraid to ask customers after delivering an excellent service.
And that ladies and gentlemen is pretty much it. I would offer more on this subject as I could talk for days about local SEO, but for the sake of my fingers and keyboard, I’ll be off. Thanks for reading and I wish you all the best on your local SEO journey.