Local search engine optimization (SEO) is a pivotal tool to establishing and growing a successful online business. It’s about a lot more than just having a good website-although, that’s certainly an important piece of the puzzle. A successful SEO strategy needs to be well-rounded enough to appeal to a wide target audience range. Once you’ve found your niche, you can create well-written, informative, and relatable content that drives up website traffic and increases your overall ROI. With that in mind, here are some effective tips to improve your local SEO results in 2022 and beyond.
Manage Your NAP
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. These are three basic components of an online brand that should be consistent across all mentions of your business. Even the slightest variations in your business name, address, and phone number can cause a great deal of confusion and frustration for users trying to find your business. Consistency is the name of the game. Businesses with multiple NAP variations come off as illegitimate.
In SEO, citations are defined as any reference to your business in any way, shape, or form. It could be on someone’s website, in an advertisement, or on social media.
Google will penalize you if your NAP information appears inconsistently across multiple online citations. This will ultimately hurt your organic search results and SERP rankings.
Create and Optimize a Google Business Profile
Formerly known as Google My Business, Google Business Profile is an online platform that allows businesses to manage their local listings so that users can find and connect with them more easily. Your Google Business Profile should include a brief description of what your business does, contact information, services you offer, hours of operation, live popular times, address, a link to your website, a link to Google Maps directions, Google reviews, and a question-and-answer section.
Managing a GBP account includes regularly updating and optimizing it with appropriate and timely keywords to improve your SERP rankings. That way, every time people search for your business or use relevant keywords, a knowledge panel containing your business’s information will appear in the top-ranking position.
Be Approachable and Accessible to Your Customers
Approachability and accessibility are two pillars of excellent customer service. Customers need to know that they can reach out to your business either virtually or via phone any time of the day or night. Including contact forms on your website and an email address in your business listing keeps the lines of communication open.
It is also important to be active on various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so that you can be accessible to a much larger audience base. Users should be able to send private or direct messages to your customer service team with the promise of receiving a reasonably quick response within 24-48 business hours at the latest.
Get More Online Reviews
The more positive online reviews and ratings your business has, the more you can improve your online visibility. Businesses that have an average of a 3-star rating on Google and review sites like Yelp have been proven to garner more sales than those that don’t have any.
The simplest way to get more reviews is to ask for them. Every time you have a positive interaction with a customer, or someone makes a purchase, ask them to write about their experience.
Respond to all reviews, good and bad. Taking the time to thank customers who leave good reviews shows them that you value their opinion. However, ignoring bad reviews isn’t a good look for your business. Write a courteous and respectful response to try to rectify the situation. This is where excellent problem-solving skills come into play. Work with the customer to try to get to the bottom of why they had a negative experience and use their feedback to make improvements.
Get Quality Links for Top Business Directories
Link building is an important aspect of mapping out an effective local SEO campaign strategy. Make sure you only partner with legitimate affiliate companies to add to your online credibility. If your website is linked to a disreputable website, this won’t bode well for your brand. Google is cracking down hard to discredit brands that are exhibiting black hat or illegitimate SEO practices.
Make sure that your website and brand name are only affiliated with reputable and legitimate companies to establish trust and avoid getting penalized by Google.
Remove Low-Quality Links from Your Website
The same point can be made for your own website. Make sure that all online citations or mentions of your business are on legitimate partner or affiliate websites. Unauthorized, disreputable, or illegitimate citations of your business should be removed immediately as they can have negative repercussions by association for your brand.
Google penalizes brands that commit black hat SEO practices, and your brand could be considered guilty by association. Cutting all ties with these types of brands and businesses keeps you in the clear and gives you more control over your online presence and reputation management.
Get Verified on Google Maps
Verification across all Google platforms that are connected to your business increases your online rankability and solidifies you as a legitimate business. It also makes it a lot easier for customers to find your various business locations based on local search updates.
Optimize Local SEO with Quality Content
If your business has multiple locations and you want to target a few or all of them, then you need to create high-quality content that is custom-tailored to each one. Use location-based keywords throughout your blog posts, landing pages, static pages, product pages, and service pages that target specific areas to help boost your ranking in those regions.
Work on User Experience
Above all else, user experience is the single most important ranking factor Google uses. Websites with a fast page loading speed, easy desktop and mobile navigability, and high-quality content have a better chance at ranking higher on SERPs. Google offers several tools including Search Console and PageSpeed Insights to offer advice on how to improve user experience on your website. The goal is to make the user experience on your website as seamless and pleasant as possible.
Want more great tips on how to improve local SEO results in 2022? Contact Numero Uno Web Solutions today and find out why weâ€™re considered one of the leading local SEO firms in Toronto.