Featured Image Caption: Local SEO Tips
Local SEO has become more and more important as time has passed. The introduction of the local pack and Google my business changed a lot in the SEO world. Since then, dedicated local SEO specialists and local SEO agencies have sprung up. This is because the modern consumer has become very aware due to the power of the internet and does tons of research online before buying a product or service. Hence, turning up in the local pack for good search intent keywords becomes especially important for local businesses in 2021. Here are some tips and ranking factors for local SEO to take you to the top of the local pack.
One thing that most local SEO experts do not focus on is keyword research. They just think that completing the Google my business listing is enough to get on top of the local pack for all local keywords. However, that is far from the truth. Competition these days is fierce and hence you should do deep keyword research to know high volume and good search intent keywords. Once you do that, you should ask your customers to write a review and include those keywords in their reviews. You can also reply to those reviews and include the keywords naturally in the replies. Google considers this as a great ranking signal for local packs.
Create Citations With Consistent NAP
Citations are nothing but listings in local directories that note down your contact info, the products that you offer, your USP, prices of products and services etc. Most of the time it also includes a link back to your website that makes Google aware of your information. It is vital to maintain consistency across your citations because you do not want to confuse the algorithm about your information. This is called NAP consistency (NAP stands for name, address, phone number). There are usually hundreds of directories for every city and that number goes into the thousands for big cities. Make sure you make as many citations as possible.
Create local content
The majority of the content that you create should be in the form of posts. Posts in Google my business are just like the ones you do on social media. You attach a thumbnail (Image) and write a caption that includes all the necessary keywords naturally. Use the keywords that have high volume and good search intent. The thumbnail is also very important as that is what the people will first see when they click on your GMB profile. Make it catchy and attractive. Google also provides a call to action button through which a customer can call you, visit your website, ask for directions to your store, email you or message you.
Optimize for Voice Search
This is one of the best things you can do for Google my business in 2021. We all know that voice search is gaining prominence slowly but surely. Voice assistants are present in all phones these days and many homes also have devices like Alexa and Google Home. This makes the probability of people performing voice searches more likely. Voice assistants also look at the local pack for local keywords. Hence, optimizing for GMB automatically sets you up for voice results too.
Gain Local Backlinks
Backlinks are really the backbone of SEO. This fact does not change for local SEO too. However, the catch here is that you need to get links from local sites. The best way to do this would be to create a blog section on your website and then create good locally relevant content on it. In such a way, local websites who want their readers to gain additional information about the topic will link your content to theirs and you can get the desired backlinks from them. This way, Google will recognize you as a local authority and boost your SERP as well as the local pack rankings.
Use Social Media for Brand Awareness
Other than Google, social media also plays a big role in gaining business through online mediums. So, use all possible social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc to increase your brand awareness. Post updates about your business like special offers, discounts, opening and closing times, customer testimonials, and some funny things in between to not bore your followers. Create a sales funnel where people move from your social media to your website and Google my business page and then transact. Social media also is a form of citation for your business and social signals are a website ranking factor in SEO. So, make sure to take full advantage of this.
Use Google My Business Insights
Data can be a really good thing for your business. Check out the insights section of your Google my business page to gain valuable information about how people are finding you, what mediums they are using etc. It shows a detailed map of your city and from where people are asking for directions to your establishment. It shows how many people found you organically and how many entered your brand name. It even shows you the keywords they entered to find you. This way you can identify keyword gaps etc.
By Hemanth Kumar
who is from Bangalore, India. He is passionate about SEO and hence works as an SEO Executive at Percoyo Pvt Ltd, one of the top 10 digital marketing companies in Bangalore. In his free time, hemanth loves to read books, listen to music, podcasts and watch Football. Hemanth believes that Local SEO is the future of SEO and is honing his skills in that domain.
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