With an increasing number of customers now relying on search engines to find information on businesses in their area, local search is becoming more important for your local business listing than ever before. By following these four tips for optimising your business listing, you will be able to reach out to more potential customers within local SEO results, and in turn receive more targeted traffic to your website and increase sales for your business.
Follow the four simple tips below to optimise your local search rankings:
- Local search is largely dependent on a new kind of link building called citations. So what are citations and why are these so important to your local business listings? Simply put, citations are a mention or reference to your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) online, even if there isn’t actually a link to your website. Citations are an important aspect of the ranking algorithms of most search engines, and businesses that have a large number of citations often rank higher than those with fewer citations or with ineffective citations (source: http://moz.com/learn/local/citations)
- Although citations are critical for strengthening your local business listing, ineffective or inaccurate citation building can be similarly detrimental for local business rankings. Before setting up your business listing, it’s important to complete an audit of where you are currently listed to determine whether any citations you have are irrelevant, and whether any need to be altered. If you have changed any of your contact details, it’s important to make sure these details are accurate in your local business listing and altered as soon as possible. When setting up a business listing, make absolutely certain that your NAP details are accurate before submitting them to any business directory, otherwise the listing will not be of much use.
- Another critical stage when improving rankings for local search is to optimise your pages for local keywords. As many businesses are aware, keywords are essential for SEO rankings and this is no different with local SEO. However, when choosing keywords to target for local search, you need to ensure they are as specific as possible by using local keywords that include the location in which your business resides. By optimising your pages for the appropriate location-based keywords, not only will this strengthen your organic rankings by making your listing more relevant, you’re also more likely to receive a high volume of qualified traffic, as the use of targeted keywords will increase the chance of conversions for your business.
- Finally, don’t underestimate the power of customer reviews for your local business. Online customer reviews are important for local SEO, and these are taken into consideration by search engines. While any positive customer review of your business is useful, encourage your customers to rate their experience with your business on your Google+ profile page in order to optimise your listing in Google’s local search rankings. Not only is this an important aspect in Google’s local search ranking algorithm, as it makes your business appear highly relevant, but this will also be significantly useful for any prospective customers to see when coming across your business listing online, thereby making customer reviews increasingly critical for local SEO rankings.
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Disclaimer: This article was produced as part of a learning initiative for our graduate program. The tips and facts presented are not necessarily shared by roi.com.au