There are many factors that search engines use to rank local search engine results. The prime difficulty for entrepreneurs and small businesses is that large corporations are spending a significant amount of effort to capture local internet search results. The good news is you don’t need to spend a ton of money to compete, and most standard SEO practices apply.
Consider for a moment the local real estate agent. She has spent the time and money creating a professional website. However, she is not coming up in local search queries. What we find is a list of local offices for national brokers, and a long list of geo-targeted web pages from the likes of Zillow and Trulia. If she wants to capture these potential leads, the real estate agent will need to buy ad space on the real estate data sites, purchase leads from her broker company, or have a paid keyword marketing campaign. Is organic search engine traffic not an option?
Nonetheless, there are ways to increase your local search rank. On-page SEO is the prime factor in all search engine results. Moreover, domain authority is essentially a measure of a website’s power and influence. Search engines are looking to provide results that users will consider reliable and authoritative. Therefore, they will consider a website’s age, size, and popularity. This explains why, in the above example, Zillow consistently beats out our local real estate agent. So, how can you compete?
Content Quality – Search engines love fresh content. Every website should have a regularly updated blog. Moreover, craft blogs, images, and videos that are shareable. This means content that is either useful, informative or entertaining, not promotional. High-quality content will encourage visitors to share your linking on social media and within other content. Good content will increase your popularity.
Quality Links – Use a thoughtful internal and external linking practice. First, ensure all existing links are still valid. Next, consider the anchor text for all internal links. Therefore, the anchor text should match the focus keyword of the linked page. Finally, do not link to low-quality external websites. Poor links will diminish your website’s authority.
Social Media – It is not enough to have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. One must integrate their social media into their website, and provide sharing tools for visitors. Many people are more likely to follow your social media accounts than subscribe to your newsletter. Therefore, social media will expand your audience and extend your organic reach. The result is more of your content is shared, improving your trustability and authority.
Your NAP – This is your company’s name, address and phone number, and essential for local SEO. Experts recommend including your company’s NAP on every page. Moreover, if your company uses an 800 number, also include a local telephone number. The thought behind this is legitimate companies do not hide their contact information. Therefore, your NAP adds to trust.
Schema.org Markup – The code provides search engines with structured data and a way to more easily decipher relevant information. The value of this microdata on SEO is debatable. However, the benefit is the certainty. You are specifically telling the search engine this is your name, this is the type of business, and these are your yours of operations.
Keyword Strategy – The way to truly attract local traffic is by creating content using community-centered focus keywords. Content focused on your location will boost local search results and will set you apart from national or global companies.
If you would like to talk about why your local search rank is low, or need more information, please contact us.