There are a number of unique challenges when it comes to local SEO. Google has made some big changes to local search results in the past year, so it is now even more important for small businesses to get to grips with local SEO. A failure to do so could negatively affect your position in local listings, which in time will have a detrimental effect on your business. So how do you make sure your business appears in the top three local listings for your chosen keywords?
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There are a number of factors involved in local SEO. General on-page SEO and links back to your website are still important, but there are other techniques you need to be aware of if you want to make sure customers looking for an auto body shop can find www.autobodynow.com in local pack listings.
Google My Business
The first thing you need to do is set up a Google My Business page. Luckily Google makes this a very straight forward task. Make sure you choose the right categories, add correct details, opening hours, address, etc. All details should match information on your website and be in the same format.
On-page SEO is very important for local listings. Your website needs to have good content and relevant keywords. Keywords plus city/region should appear in various landing page attributes, plus you need a Google map embedded on there, with a nice red pin showing readers where you are located.
Local Link Building
Google places importance on local links. All links are important, but for local SEO purposes, links to relevant local websites are arguably more important than links to high authority websites without a local connection.
There are lots of ways to build local links, but start off with citations on local directories, and then reach out to other businesses and local resources to see if you can grab a mention on their website.
Good Local Reviews Are Important
Google algorithms take local reviews into account, so it is important to have as many as possible. Customers also use reviews to help them decide whether (or not) they want to do business with you. You don’t even need to have hundreds of reviews; less than 10 will make a difference. However, it should go without saying they do need to be genuine and, preferably, positive!
There are lots of ways to collect reviews, but the most obvious is to ask your existing customers to write one. Try and make it as easy as possible for them to leave a review. Send a link to a review page when you email their order details, or create a page on your website inviting customers to review the business.
Lastly, focus on solid organic SEO above all else and focus on adding relevant content to your website to improve click through rates. That way you will do well in the organic search engine rankings, no matter what happens in the local listings.