10 best Local SEO tips for Small Business Optimization and Higher ranking
Local SEO Tips for Local and Small Business
For a business this is very important to come on the first page of Google when searched with their keyword/s. Even more precisely it is better to rank higher on the first page on Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Now there is not much difference in Local SEO and normal SEO but indeed Local SEO has some of the unique things which needs to get done for better results on organic local listing on SERP.
What types of businesses need Local SEO
Interior Decoration business
Doctors, Lawyers, Florists
Mostly any types of businesses which get most of their customers locally and have their physical business address should do local optimization.
How to do Local SEO
1. Google places for business Listing
First and foremost list your business in Google places for business.
- First input the actual name of your business (do not use any keyword/s)
- Mention proper and exact postal address of your business as Google will send you a postcard including your Local Listing PIN to that address. (Please make sure that Google identifies your postal address)
- Fill in all the fields with right information. Do not leave any fields blank.
- Select most relevant categories from the list. Always select those are in the list.
- Upload your business logo and other related photos. (before uploading save the images with proper name including your keyword/s)
- Write a small description about your local business with keywords placed intelligently.
Once you fill in all the details, review it carefully before applying for the local listing. Once you submit the Google places for business form wait for around 7 to 10 days. Google will send you a secret PIN for your business listing. Once you receive the PIN go to the Google places for business page and verify your local business by inputting the PIN and you are done. Now your business or company is listed in Google places for business.
2. Rich Snippet Markup Implementation
Rich Snippet Markups are great to tell search engine bots about your business and certain properties like Business Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) etc. Rich Snippets like Schema are nothing but HTML markups and do not need any type of programming skills other than very basic HTML knowledge.
- Go to Schema Creator.
- Select “Local Business” under type.
- Fill in all other required information about your business accurately (Minimum Business Name, Address and Phone number).
- Make sure your Business Name, Address and Phone (NAP) number must match exactly as they appear in the Google places for business Listing NAP.
- Generate the Schema code.
- Copy this code and paste it in all pages of your website (preferably in the footer section).
3. Do Proper OnPage Optimization
Proper on page optimization with relevant keywords boost the ranking of a website and it is not different for Local SEO except,
- Always mention your City and State name in Page Title, Meta Description, Meta Keywords (no or minimum value), H1, H2 and content of your webpages.
- Distribute keywords or local keywords (keywords with city name) meaningfully though out your page content with a keyword density not more than 3%.
- Mention keywords with city name in image “alt” and “title” tags. Ideally image alts and titles should be different.
- Implement smart Inter Linking between pages with keywords with city name mentioned in the anchor text.
4. Implement Geo Tags
Geo Tags can become important when we optimize a local business. Geo Tags are nothing but simple three Meta tags which come just after Meta Keywords. These are Geo.Placename, Geo.Region and Geo.Position.
- Geo.Palcename: it is the name of the City or State of your business.
<meta name=”geo.placename” content=”Kolkata, India” />
- Geo.Region: it is used for the ISO-3166 country code and the state of your business. Like if your business is located in West Bengal, India then your Geo.Region Meta tag should be like.
<meta name=”geo.region” content=”IN-WB” />
- Geo.Position: it is simply the latitude and longitude of the city of your business. You can get your city latitude and longitude from Google. Type City Name + latitude and longitude in Google and search. So if you are doing your business in Kolkata, West Bengal, India then your Geo.Position Meta Tags should look like
<meta name=”geo.position” content=” 22.5;88.3” />
5. Start Blogging Regularly
Create a blog for your business website and start writing new and fresh articles on different topics of your business niche.
- Publish well optimized keyword rich articles on topics related to your business category.
- Blogging regularly keeps search engines busy with crawling your web pages more frequently and thus more pages get indexed in search engines and that ensures more impressions and finally more clicks get generated from SERP which in turn deliver more sales conversion and ROI.
- Blogging and article publishing builds brand awareness about your business in your locality or city.
- Always mention the City name in your blog article Title and body.
6. Create your Google Plus Page G+
Google Plus pages are great for overall SEO and if you have not already created your profile and Business Page on Google Plus (G+) then this is the time to build it.
- Ideally use the same Google account (which you have used to create your business listing on Google places for business) for Google Plus, Google Webmaster and Google Analytics.
- Mention all information about your business in Google Plus Business Page.
- Upload good quality and attractive photos of your business in Cover Photo, Profile Picture section in G+.
- Engage with people on different posts on G+, share them, like them and comment on them.
- Post 3 or 4 times daily on G+ to make the ball rolling. Upload photos, quotes, achievements, success stories to brand your business and engage with your fellow customers or clients or general people (prospective business).
- Leverage other Social Media sites to boost your overall SEO ranking.
7. Start Building Citation with Proper NAP
Creating citation with exact NAP that is mentioned in Google places for business and the implemented Schema on your website is very very important for Local SEO.
- List your business in all Local Business Listing Directories and sites with exact NAP.
- Do it as much as possible with NAP accuracy.
- Most of the time your listing will go under reviews from the administrator of that listing site and you should get an email once it is approved.
- Once you get an approval email, do visit the business listing site and your listing page to ensure that your NAP is intact and accurate as it is on the Google places for business. This is very important and most of the time overlooked.
- You can use Moz Opensiteexplorer or other backlink analyser to analyse the inbound links of your competitor sites to identify the local listing directories they got listed. Even you can use Google to mark them. Simply search with the “name of the business” + “part of their address” (including quotation) in Google and you will get the results where that particular business with their address got listed.
- If you are listing your business website in a general directory then check their PR first and add your business in a relevant category into that directory.
8. Reviews on Google places for business and Other Third Party Listing Sites
Reviews or more precisely positive reviews play a major role in Local Optimization.
- Try to get as much reviews as possible from your customers or clients on Google places for business listing page.
- Also get reviews on the other third party local listing websites where you have got your business listed.
- Encourage people to write a review on your Google Listing page (Google places for business) by mentioning your Google Listing page link on your website and emails.
- Do not Buy Reviews (by any means) or write reviews on your own from different email ids. Remember that you cannot fool Google and other major search engines. They will surely catch you and may penalize you.
9. Build Good Quality Backlinks from High Authority Sites
Concentrate on building quality inbound links from high authority websites or blogs to boost your ranking on SERP.
- In link-building quality matters more than quantity. So try to get links from high PR (Page Rank) sites.
- Diversify your anchor text in your backlinks. Mention exact match keywords with your city name, variation keywords and other generic words (e.g. click here, visit site, company name, owner name etc.) in the anchor text.
- Get some high quality do-follow links from high PR sites.
- Remember no-follow links are also good for SEO as they generate targeted traffic and increase in traffic can further boost your ranking.
- Backlinks from local blogs on your business niche (or related to your business/product/service category) is good for local SEO for a local and small business.
10. Google Webmaster Geographic Target and Server Hosting
In Google Webmaster Tool you can set your preferred geographic target provided you are having a Top Level Domain (e.g. .com, .org, .net, .info etc.). Country specific domains (e.g. .in, .fr, .jp, .it etc.) can’t be targeted as they are already specific for a particular country.
- If you are using a Top Level Domain and if your Google Webmaster is already activated then go to Site Settings (click on the gear icon on the right side of webmaster dashboard) and then under Geographic Target select your preferred country.
- If you have not bought your website server hosting yet then try to get the hosting from your targeted country where you want to do the business. Search engines check the server location and it has an effect on your local rankings. Means if you are doing your business in Kolkata, India then you should buy your server hosting which is located in India.
Last but not the least try to optimize website for mobile users. Build a responsive website for a better local SEO result. With all these points you should always remember that we should create contents or websites for our human users and not for the search engines. So please do not opt any unethical or unnatural SEO tricks to outsmart search engines. This can be devastating for your business and online reputation over time.
SEO Training KolkataHarish Chandra Dutta Road, Panihati, Sodepur,Kolkata, West Bengal 700114098 04 457170