1. Create Your Google My Business Profile
Google My Business pages are free and take about 20 minutes to create. Because Google takes information from your Google My Business listings to display in front of searchers, creating a listing for your business is a great way to get it in front of anybody searching for your products and services in your local area..
2. Check for Any Duplicate Listings
Google hates duplicate content in their search results. To avoid hurting your rankings you want to ensure that nobody on your team creates a new Google My Business listing on top of a previous one that has been created. If you are not sure, you can always use the MOZ Local Search Tool to check: type in your business name and address to learn if there are any duplicate listings online. If there are, contact Google to get them removed as soon as possible so they don’t hurt your rankings.
3. Add Relevant Categories
When setting up your Google My Business listings, try to include as many categories as possible. Categories are like sections of the yellow pages in the phonebook; the more sections you are in, the likelier it is your business is going to show up in front of prospects.
4. Ensure Your NAP on Your Website Are Accurate and in Text Form
You want to make sure that the information listed on your website matches the one on your Google My Business page. Google compares the two and if they don’t match then it is going to think the information is inaccurate and this can hurt your rankings. At the same time you want to ensure that the information on your website is in text format to make it easier for search engines to read.
5. Make Sure Your NAP Information Online is Consistent
NAP stands for your name, address, and phone number. Ideally you should have these on both your website and your Google My Business pages. But that’s not all you ought to look out for. Google also picks up this information on other websites where it may be listed, and you want to ensure that it is consistent and accurate wherever listed. To check for any inconsistencies you can use the MOZ Local Search Tool.
6. Check for Missing Citations Online
Citations are other websites mentioning your business, and this can help your rankings. In addition to ensuring that your information online is accurate and consistent, you want to ensure that you are being listed wherever you have the opportunity.
7. Don’t Forget to Ask Customers for Reviews
Google trusts what other people say about you more than what you say about yourself. That’s why reviews are such a beloved metric for the search engine. Don’t be too shy to ask your customers to leave a review whenever they complete a transaction.
8. Create High Quality Content
Your website plays an important role in how high your Google My Business listing will rank in search results. Because websites with more content are more likely to provide value for searchers, investing in quality content leads to better rankings for the site and its corresponding Google My Business listing.
9. Use Location Based Keywords
To increase local visibility, you should use keywords that pertain to your industry and your location in your content and other related areas like your headers, image tags, meta descriptions, and so on.
10. Get High Quality Backlinks
Quality backlinks are still important for local SEO. So in addition to setting up your Google My Business listing and checking your citations, you can go about getting quality backlinks to your site to improve your local rankings.
11. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
We live in a mobile-first world, and Google prioritizes websites that look good on mobile over those that don’t. If you are going to compete for local search rankings, you want to make sure you have a website that is responsive and looks good on all devices.
12. Get Active on Social Media
The debate is still out on whether social signals play a part in Google’s ranking algorithm. Whatever the case may be, getting active on social media is a great way to raise awareness about your business and create quality backlinks back to your site.
Ranking for local SEO takes some time, but, like all things worthwhile, consistency in the little things will get you there. If you would like to learn more about how to get more visible in your local area, why not reach out? We at Eternity would love to listen to you talk about your business and how we can help.