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The Beginning

Have you ever thought about the best way to promote your small business to a niche set of audience and generate more revenue from it?

If no, today is the time to change your perception and ensure that you are generating lots of traffic on your small business website.

Yes, all this is possible today with the help of local SEO.

But, before we dive into the benefits of local SEO for your small business it is important to look at what is local SEO?

Let us focus on the practical definition of local SEO.

You might have performed Google search and seen results that populate at the top of the search results page including the map, address, star ratings, and phone number.

This is local SEO.

It is popularly known as Google’s Local Snack Pack .

Depending on the industry, it has the potential to become the very first result on Google search results page.

The added advantage?

It can have a positive impact on driving new leads to your small business.

In other words, local SEO provides online searchers with results that are most relevant to their current location.

Optimisation of local search is an effective way to put your business in front of customers in close proximity to you, at the exact time they are searching for a particular business or service using a precise targeted approach.

The problem is not many small business owners are aware of this process which makes them lose out on generating more revenue from their local business.

To help you drive home the advantage for your small business we have provided different ways that will help you to optimise your local SEO in the upcoming sections of this write-up.

But, before we look at the different ways to optimise local SEO for your business, it is important to look at the different details that your customers may look for while performing local searches to learn more about your small business.

These may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Business name
  2. Address
  3. Contact details
  4. Business opening / closing hours
  5. Location and driving directions to business
  6. Venue details and parking options
  7. Menu options (Those small businesses that are related to food/beverage related industries)
  8. Different contact details like phone number and email
  9. Customer reviews and star ratings
  10. Popular times to plan your visit

Now that you are aware of the different things that your customers may look for while performing local searches to learn more about your small business, as promised it is time to look at the different ways that will help you to optimise your local SEO.

Here are some of the ways to optimise your local SEO in the new year.

  1. Use Updated NAP on your Homepage to Display your Local Business on Top of Google Local Search Results Page
  2. Relevance and Prominence are the Two Key Factors That can Have a Positive Impact on the Reputed Search Engines for your Local Search Listing
  3. Building Quality Links is the Need of the Hour to Rank your Local Business Listings on Google
  4. Create an Optimised Google My Business Listing In Order to Show Up on Top Three Search Results in Local Business Search
  5. Ensure that Your Local Business Listing Gets Listed on Other Local Directories Apart from Google My Business to Get Higher Ranks on Local Business Listings
  6. Optimise your Website for “Near Me” Searches to Reach Out to Your Potential Customers at the Exact Time When They Need You
  7. Provide a Google Virtual Tour by Integrating 3D Photo Tour of your Local Business which Shows Up During Searches on Google Maps
  8. Prepare for the Future by Using Voice Search Optimisation for your Local Business Listing and Ensure High Ranking on Local Business Search
  9. Optimise your Website for Mobile to Drive Home an Advantage to your Local Business and  Increase its Ranking on Local Search Results Page
  10.  Use Social Media Networks to Promote your Local Business and Get High Ranks on Google Local Search Results Page
  11.  Check your Image and Video Ranking to Ensure that your Local Business is Fully Optimised for Ranking on Top of the Local Search Results Page
  12.  Create a Blog Targeting Local Content to Attract your Local Audiences and Generate Better ROI for your Business
  13.  Increase the Trustworthiness of Your Local Business by Encouraging More Positive Comments and Reviews from Local Customers
  14.  Use Meta Tags to Inform your Local Audience and Search Engines about the Type of Information They Will Discover on your Web-Page
  15.  Create Location-Based Web-Page Content or a Location-Specific “About Us” Page to Showcase Your Authority in a Particular Industry and Ensure Higher Rankings on Local Search Results Page
  16.  Create a Dedicated Web-Page for Each Product/Service That You Offer in Your Local Business to Showcase Yourself as an Authority in Your Specific Area or Territory Which Ultimately has a Positive Impact on Local Search Results Page
  17.  Closely Scrutinise your Competitors to Avail Link Building Opportunities for your Local Business to Assist you to Rank Better on Local Search Results Page
  18.  The Final Frontier
Use Updated NAP on your Homepage to Display your Local Business on Top of Google Local Search Results Page

Do you want to display your local business on top of Google local search results page?

If yes, it is about time for you to start using precise NAP.

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone details of your local business.

It is extremely critical for you to ensure that Google is able to properly locate the physical business address so that it can be displayed on the local search results.

Improve your NAP data by following these tips given below:

Accurately mention the company name, address, and phone number on your website.

Also have the accurate information pertaining to the online locations where your business contact information is present.

Always have your NAP information on the homepage of your local website. For example, Display your business name and phone number in the form of a sticky header at the top of your website.

Also do not forget to add your complete company address in the footer.

Create NLP listings on highly trusted websites like Yelp, Foursquare, BBB, Manta, Yellow Pages, Google My Business, Merchant Circles, the municipality where you filed your DBA, etc.

Ensure that you have the same information and format for all your business listings as mentioned in your Google My Business Page.

Do not forget this important point: Include a schema markup on your NAP data to ensure that search engines are able to understand it properly.

<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”>

<p itemprop=”name”>YOUR COMPANY NAME</p>

<p itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>

<p itemprop=”streetAddress”>YOUR Company Address</p>

<p itemprop=”addressLocality”>CITY</p>,

<p itemprop=”addressRegion”>REGION</p>

<p itemprop=”postalCode”>POSTCODE/ZIP</p.

<p itemprop=”telephone”>COMPANY PHONE NUMBER</p>

<meta itemprop=”latitude” content=”LATITUDE” />

<meta itemprop=”longitude” content=”LONGITUDE” />

</div>
Relevance and Prominence are the Two Key Factors That Can Have a Positive Impact on the Reputed Search Engines for your Local Search Listing

Relevancy is one of the biggest factors which is taken into consideration by Google when it comes to showcasing the most relevant local businesses in the search results.

Before moving ahead it is important for us to look at the definitions of relevance and prominence in terms of the local search listing.

Relevance is simply showcasing how well a local listing is matching with what visitors are searching for.

Prominence rates your small business and tells whether it is well-known and trustworthy.

This is where offline businesses that are quite popular and well-known amongst people are ranked higher in local search engines.

It is based on different criteria like contextual links in the articles, directory listings, inbound links, positive comments, and Google review count.

Let us now divert our attention on the different things that can help you improve relevance and prominence of your local business in Google local search listing.

  • First of all, find out your target audience.
  • Then optimise your local listing for relevant keyword queries.
  • For example, When you search with the keyword “tacos”, the local search results page on Google shows these three options: California Tacos-Voted Best Mexican (having 4.2 stars), Guzman Y Gomez (having 4.0 stars).
  • “California Tacos-Voted Best Mexican” is ranking higher in the local search and above “Guzman Y Gomez” because it has been properly optimised for the search query “Tacos in Australia”.
  • It also means that “California Tacos-Voted Best Mexican” is getting lots of inbound links, social links, and keyword-specific citations.
  • Next, have a lot of positive ratings and reviews about your business from genuine customers.
  • Remember, if people start following your business, then Google will have no other option left but to follow your business.
  • Always manage the reviews properly by regularly responding to them.
  • Mention your working hours precisely.
  • Always work to improve your customer service.
Building Quality Links is the Need of the Hour to Rank your Local Business Listings on Google

Do you want to rank higher on local business listings on Google?

If yes, building quality links for your local business is the best resort.

Link building is one of the most basic things when it comes to ranking local business listings on Google.

By getting quality links you can create relevancy and trustworthiness amongst your target audience who are looking for your business on local business listings.

Now that you are well-aware about the importance of building quality links to rank your local business listings on Google it is time to look at some strategies that will assist you in achieving this endeavour.

  • Always ensure that the links that you are getting are relevant to your business.
    For example, if you are running a bakery in Perth it makes sense to get your small business linked from the websites of offices, schools, colleges, and other places that are located in Perth.
  • Get links from high authority and high DA websites that drive lots of traffic.
  • Try to get links from local Chamber of Commerce and Wikipedia.
  • Always try to use locally relevant keywords as your anchor text to ensure that your local business listing gets ranked higher on local search listings when people search using those search strings.
  • Develop some local resource pages by employing the public data and reach out to the local press.
  • Give away scholarships and local rewards.
  • Organise local meetups and network with relevant people.
  • Publish local interviews on your website and ask the interviewees to share your blog post on different social media networks. This will ensure that you get more locally relevant links.

Create an Optimised Google My Business Listing In Order to Show Up on Top Three Search Results in Local Business Search

Google My Business Listing is one of the most important criteria to rank on local search results.

It is the listing that your audiences will see when it ranks on the Google search results page.

Google My Business is considered a directory and offers very high exposure for Local SEO when optimised to show up in Google’s local Snack Pack .

The Snack Pack is the top 3 results that will show up in local searches.

The amount of online traffic and that is generated inside the Snack Pack area is substantially higher than websites that are listed outside of it.

This is why business owners place such high value on being listed in the top 3.

Now that you are aware of the importance of Google My Business Listing it is time to look at some tips that will help you to optimise it in order to get higher ranks on local business search.

  • Always claim your business listing. There are certain business owners who make the mistake of not claiming it. Don’t be one of them.
  • Have location-based keywords in your Google My Business Listing business title.
  • Select the most relevant category for your business.
  • Insert a long and exclusive description by including links.
  • Always ensure that your NAP is up to date and correct. (As discussed in our earlier section)
  • Cross-verify your business hours.
  • Always include high-resolution images and videos in such a way that your potential customers can easily see them.
  • Include a valid website link in the listing.
  • Add a local phone number to showcase your local presence.
  • Put across relevant information like the parking locations to make your customers aware of the fact while visiting your store.
  • Develop citations for your local business listing.
Ensure that Your Local Business Listing Gets Listed on Other Local Directories Apart from Google My Business to Get Higher Ranks on Local Business Listings

Do you want to drive traffic to your local business?

If yes, start using other local directories apart from Google My Business to get higher ranks on local business listings.

There are various other local web directories that can help you create high value for your business listing while targeting your potential customers and reputed search engines.

One of the prime examples of that is Yelp.

It drives the highest amount of website traffic which can send hundreds of potential customers to you every month.

Continue reading: There are other top local web directories too that can help you achieve the required exposure on local business listings including:

  • CitySearch
  • MerchantCircle
  • Patch
  • BBB
  • AreaConnect
  • Local BD
  • Foursquare
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Kudzu

Always ensure that you claim your listing and set up your complete business profile.

Properly verify your listing to derive maximum benefit out of it.

Optimise your Website for “Near Me” Searches to Reach Out to Your Potential Customers at the Exact Time When They Need You

Do you want to reach your potential customers at the exact time when they need you?

If yes, optimise your website for “Near Me” searches.

Today, your customer can access Google on their fingertips thanks to their mobile phones.

This makes it all the more important for you to be present when they search for “near me” strings.

Some of these include:

  1. Dentist near me
  2. Gas station near me
  3. Grocery store near me
  4. Movie theater near me
  5. Hair salons near me
  6. Restaurants near me

In case if you do not optimise your website for “near me” searches, you may miss out on an opportunity to reach your potential customer at the very moment they are looking for you.

Let us now look at some of the tips to optimise “near me” searches:

  • Get a bucket full of positive customer reviews.
  • Constantly scrutinise your online competitors and try to find out the differences in the rankings.
  • Procure as many local links as possible.
  • Ensure that the anchor text has the name of your city and state in it.

A prime example of that is TripAdvisor.

The company has properly optimised their website for “near me” queries.

They have provided links to the inner pages using the “restaurant type + near me” phrase in the anchor text.

Provide a Google Virtual Tour by Integrating 3D Photo Tour of your Local Business which Shows Up During Searches on Google Maps

There is a new tool now available with local SEO i.e.; Google Virtual Tour.

With the help of this tool, it is possible for you to add a 3D photo tour of your local business to your business profile.

The great thing: It will show up in searches on Google maps.

Always remember, search results with photos are more likely to generate interest amongst visitors.

Also, Google gives preferential treatment to those who have added this feature through their search algorithms.

Do not wait start using Google Virtual Tour for your local business and see the positive results yourself!

Prepare for the Future by Using Voice Search Optimisation for your Local Business Listing and Ensure High Ranking on Local Business Search

Do you want to stay ahead of your local competitors by adopting latest technology to ensure higher ranking of your local business?

If yes, we can help with the help of state-of-the-art modern technology.

In the near future, we will be seeing more and more people using voice search options on their smartphones.

Think about it…..

”Where can I find flowers near me?” a full grammatically correct sentence with high contextual relevance will be key for Google to comprehend the query and then come up with the most relevant local search results for your potential customers.

Let us now look at some of the strategies that you can adapt to optimise your website for voice search:

  • Create a list of natural language, medium-tail keyword strings.
  • Develop blog posts that resolve the queries highlighted in these keyword strings.
  • Optimise your website for mobile and create AMP pages .
  • Speed up your website using tools like Google Page Speed Insights on top of the CDN services.
  • Opt for searches that contain keywords like “near me”.
  • Optimise existing web-pages of your site or add new pages that have natural language.
  • Employ words and phrases that people actually speak.
  • Do not forget to submit your sitemap to Google and Bing.
  • This way search bots will easily crawl your website which in turn will lead to increased chances of showing up in the search results in response to voice query.
  • Always choose the most relevant business category for Google My Business.
  • Enter precise NAP data across the internet.
  • If you enter different addresses in Yelp and Google My Business it will confuse the search engine algorithms which will make them ignore your business while returning the search results based on the query raised by the visitor.
Optimise your Website for Mobile to Drive Home an Advantage to your Local Business and Increase its Ranking on Local Search Results Page

According to a 2018 research on 2017’s Mobile vs. Desktop Trends conducted by Stone Temple it was found that the shift to mobile is occurring swifter than expected.

It was further found that:

  • Mobile visits to websites grew from 57% in 2016 to 63% in 2017.
  • The overall visits to websites from desktop shrunk from 43% in 2016 to just 37% in 2017.

According to another 2017 study from Acquisio , it was derived that traffic from local searches can be especially fruitful, with a remarkable 75% of all mobile searches that exhibit local intent actually producing in-store, offline visits within 24 hours .

We hope this puts all your doubts to rest….

Do you need any more proof to showcase that optimising your website for mobile can make you a huge player in local SEO?

Follow these tips to optimise your website for mobile:

  • Make ensure that your website takes minimal time to load (ideally no more than three seconds).
  • Employ bigger fonts that are easy to read.
  • Use images and content sparingly in such a way that you are successful in conveying the most essential information (remember, there is no room for filler on mobile screen!)
  • Make sure that the UI is intuitive for great UX.
Use Social Media Networks to Promote your Local Business and Get High Ranks on Google Local Search Results Page

Do you want to leverage the power of social media networks to promote your local business and get higher ranks on the local search results page?

If yes, it is time to use it to your advantage and promote your local business and get relevant traffic.

If you list your business in Foursquare and let them check-in it becomes a very effective medium to build interaction with your potential customers.

You can also give them enticing incentives and discounts to drive them to your local business.

It is not a secret anymore…..

Today it is possible to optimise the Facebook business page to take full advantage of promoting your local business.

You can even use the Graph Search or Google+ Local.

Check your Image and Video Ranking to Ensure that your Local Business is Fully Optimised for Ranking on Top of the Local Search Results Page

Do you know apart from renowned SEO metrics like rate of CTR and time spent by visitors on your website there is also a metric that helps you to check on your image and video rankings?

Yes, it is true.

In this section, we are going to show you how to optimise your images and videos to get higher ranks on the local search results page.

It is possible to optimise the images by compressing them to reduce their overall size.

While doing this exercise ensure that the images are properly formatted – either in .jpg or .png.

Then compress it with a tool that does not affect its quality.

You can also optimise the videos by altering the titles and metadata to ensure that the visitors click on your web-page.

Include keywords in the title and metadata for best results.

The key takeaway: do not forget to include unique thumbnails, and transcribe the text of your videos which will assist YouTube to index your videos.

Create a Blog Targeting Local Content to Attract your Local Audiences and Generate Better ROI for your Business

Do you want to attract local customers to your business?

If yes, blogging can be considered to be the best mediums to reach out to your local audience.

Blogging helps you to create content that specifically targets the local people to generate a better return on investment for your business.

With the help of blogging, you can easily provide timely information to your potential local customers which ultimately allows local algorithms of Google to detect and promote content on the basis of freshness.

Blogging helps you to increase the prominence score of your website which ultimately opens up new avenues for your business like commenting and subscribing.

By developing a user-friendly blog which is open to humans has a better chance of ranking higher on local search pages.

It gives you adequate power to maintain your local online reputation.

By regularly blogging you can build a powerful social media presence for your local business.

The positive part?

It gives you an opportunity to include lots of Q & A style content that can target voice search queries enabling you to rank for local search queries like: “Which is the best restaurant in Adelaide?” or “Best Chinese restaurants in Melbourne.”

Now that you have understood the importance of blogging for your local business it is important to look at some of the tips to optimise your local SEO efforts using blogging:

  • Define your buyer persona.
  • Create post titles that provide solution to the pain points highlighted by your defined audience personas.
  • Never employ cheap writers to do your blog posts.
  • This will backfire big time and also have a negative effect on your target audience.
  • Instead, focus on recruiting good writers who can write original and actionable content pieces.
  • Create a content calendar and stick to it.
  • Also, include tags and related posts link to enhance the topical keyword associations in your blog posts.
  • Write on different topics including “how-to” topics that resolve the concerns of your target audience, “news” article that cover the latest happenings in your target industry, “evergreen” content that focuses on topics that will not get outdated with time and finally “controversial” topic that presents the blog in a conversational tone etc.
Increase the Trustworthiness of Your Local Business by Encouraging More Positive Comments and Reviews from Local Customers

Do you want to improve the ranking of your local business listing by increasing the trustworthiness amongst your local customers?

If yes, encourage more positive comments and reviews from them.

Always remember the more positive comments you can get for your business, the more trust you can get from your potential local customers.

Follow these tips to persuade your local customers to leave positive comments and reviews on your local business listing:

  • Give incentives to your local customers to make them leave reviews for your business.

Offer reward points, straightaway discounts, and gift cards as a means to encourage positive feedback.

But, never encourage the practice of giving a gift in lieu of a positive review.

  • Respond to the existing reviews.

If the review is positive then thank the customer for posting it.

In case it is negative, respond in a positive manner by asking the customer the problems faced by them and resolve their concern amicably.

  • Ensure that you have the best customer service representatives that resolve the concern of your local customers in the least possible time.
  • Ask for the feedback from your customers each time they visit your store.

Ask for a review when you find the customers extremely happy with your services.

  • Have easy-to-follow instructions on the website for the customers which assists them to leave feedback.
  • Send an automatic email to your customer after the shipment of your product to thank and encourage them to leave feedback.

The timing of the email is everything.

If you send it too early the customer may not have received the product and if you send it too late the customer will not have the time to sit down and write a review of the product that they bought about a month ago.

  • Create a video testimonial by making your local customer centre of attraction.

Interview the satisfied customer by creating a 30-second video and share it on social media platforms, Google My Business Page and your website.

This way you will give yourself enough chances of getting more customer reviews.

Use Meta Tags to Inform your Local Audience and Search Engines about the Type of Information They Will Discover on your Web-Page

Do you want to be on top of the local search results page of Google?

If yes, start using meta tags to inform your local audience and search engines about the type of information they will discover when they visit your web-page.

Let us first of all try and understand what exactly are meta tags.

Meta Tags are the description texts that show up as a mini ad or preview for your website in a search engine result.

These text information serve the purpose of assisting a search engine to drive the most relevant traffic to your web-page based on a visitor’s keywords and the relevancy to your content.

There are two important meta tags that you will want to optimise for your local SEO:

  • Meta Title
  • Meta Data

Let us look at each of these in details.

Use Meta Title to Describe your Web-Page on the Search Engine Results

The meta title is optimised at approximately 50-60 characters.

The catch being, only the first 60 characters are shown to the online visitors.

At all costs, avoid using duplicate text to your website so that there is no search engine penalty levied.

Use Metadata to Describe What Your Web-Page is Providing in the Content

Let us, first of all, try to understand what exactly is metadata?

Metadata is nothing but a piece of information that shows up below the meta title and describes to visitors and search engines what your web-page is providing in content.

According to market research, it has been estimated that approximately 43.2% of online visitors will click on a website purely on the basis of what is written in the metadata.

To optimise metadata, keep the description as information as possible but within 160 characters.

Avoid using all of your target keywords in your Metadata to avoid a search engine penalty.

Instead, utilise Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) of your keywords.

Create Location-Based Web-Page Content or a Location-Specific “About Us” Page to Showcase Your Authority in a Particular Industry and Ensure Higher Rankings on Local Search Results Page

Do you have more than one business local location in a specific area?

If yes, then, you can take advantage of this by creating location-based web-page content by specifying these things:

  • Store hours
  • Name, address, and phone number
  • Individualised descriptions
  • Testimonials
  • Promotions
  • Parking availability
  • Google Maps attached to each location page

Note: In case, you have multiple locations be extra careful as you need to create unique and exclusive content for each web-page.

But, if you have only one location, it is best to create an “About Us” page that focuses entirely on the local, relevant information.

A perfect example of that is, if you have a florist shop, your “About Us” page is the perfect place to showcase your shop’s involvement in supplying the flowers for any parades in your city or town.

Create a Dedicated Web-Page for Each Product/Service That You Offer in Your Local Business to Showcase Yourself as an Authority in Your Specific Area or Territory Which Ultimately has a Positive Impact on Local Search Results Page

Do you want to showcase your local business as an authority in your local area or territory?

Wish to get a solution to drive home the advantage of promoting your local business online?

If your answer is yes, then, you will be glad to know that by creating a dedicated web-page for each and every product/service that you offer in your local business can showcase you as an authority for your area/territory.

This can have a positive impact on a local search results page.

The one mistake that local businessman does that makes them lose out on local rankings is: To depict all their products or services together in one single page.

This is a big no-no.

Instead of this, create a separate web-page that focuses on exclusive product or service offered by you.

Even if, you dump all your products/services in a single page it will not have any impact on your local search results ranking.

The reason being, search engines do not tend to see your business as an authority in a single specific area.

This lowers your ranking probabilities on the local search results page.

Even if you are operating a local business that does not have different products or services but instead you are operating in different locations, you can use it to your advantage.

Simply employ location-based content for each web-page.

For example, if you have a local florist shop, you can sell flowers on the basis of different categories like anniversary, birthday, celebration, corporate, get well, I’m sorry, new baby, romance, thank, and sympathy. For birthdays you can have a keyword like “birthday flower delivery to Qld, West End or nationwide.

Closely Scrutinise your Competitors to Avail Link Building Opportunities for your Local Business to Assist you to Rank Better on Local Search Results Page

Do you want to edge past your competitors by building quality links for your local business which will, in turn, help you to rank better on the local search results page?

If your answer is yes, we can assist you to achieve this endeavour.

First of all, select your preferred competitor tracking tool.

Next, find out which websites are linking to your competitors.

This strategy will help you to get more backlinks to give a boost to your local SEO campaign.

Follow these tips to achieve this feat:

  • Scrutinise the websites that link to your competitors and not you.
  • Check their domain authority.
  • Prepare a list of the most influential and relevant domains.
  • Execute link outreach to the compiled domains.
The Final Frontier

Now that you have learned effective ways to optimise your local SEO it is time to implement all the things that we have enumerated in this write-up.

In case, you need any help while implementing these things contact our experienced SEO professional today who will first of all understand your local business requirement and then ensure that your business grows from strength-to-strength in the local search engine results.