The era of the internet provides us with countless possibilities. For businesses, it is extremely beneficial as they can build an online presence and grow it, in order to reach a wide audience. Today, if you don’t have an online presence, it is almost as if you don’t exist. It is a cost-effective and quick way to reach out to your customer base. A vital aspect of it is local SEO. It is important for your website to have a good ranking in local search pages.
It is essential that you set your business up for the modern consumer. The modern consumer uses smartphones to look for services and products on the internet. During this process, they usually input the location. Once they do, it becomes a local search. Google takes over and uses the consumer’s interests and exact location to provide them with more exact and narrow search results. If they are satisfied with the results, they are more likely to come back. This means that a good local SEO strategy is essential for attracting local customers. In this article, we are going to discuss how to set up local SEO to get your e-commerce business booming.
Step #1: Claiming your Google profile
For starters, it is essential that you set up your Google My Business and a Google+ local profile. In order to set up the former, you need to go here. If you need help getting this done, refer to this online tutorial. After you do this, you verify your business via a Google plus postcard so it will be visible to customers on Google search and maps. This will take about a week.
The next step is your Google+ local page. Go here, and simply follow the instructions mentioned on the support page. When you reach the verification step, you can choose your business from a drop-down menu. This is because you have already completed the first step and have a Google My Business listing.
There are several other important things that you must take care of. The first thing is the citation, which refers to an online location that makes use of your name, address, and phone number on the same page and the same way that your local listing does. This is how Google recognizes your listing. After that, you need to think about reviews. This is where the rule ‘quality over quantity’ applies.
Make sure that every page of your website utilizes your information the same way Google local listing does. Usually, the best place to input it is in the footer. Another smart thing to do is implement your city and state names into meta descriptions, title tags, and website content. You should use KML (Keyhole Markup Language) on your website. Finally, Schema Local Markup will make it easy for the search engines to identify and show your location.
Step#2: Building local citation
There are two big factors that have an effect on how well your website is indexed by search engines. The first is the number of high-quality backlinks that lead to your site. In order to acquire them, you need to prepare a thorough strategy for executing the backlink outreach process. This should include local business groups, customers, friends, newspaper websites etc. Guest-blogging on websites that are relevant to your business is another tactic. Finally, you should invest in your social media efforts.
The second factor is to know how many citations there are, for your business. There are various online directories where they can be found. One of them is the Yellow Pages. They have the info and address of your business. You should know, however, that they don’t necessarily include a backlink. As a beginner, you need to focus on citation building on local business directories. The necessary things to know and do are:
- Avoid reciprocal linking, as Google doesn’t like it.
- Make sure that every citation is an exact match of the NAP of your business and Google My Business listing.
- Get to know how to build citations at a scale, as it takes time.
- Set up a dedicated email account to avoid marketing spam
Step #3: Working on on-site optimization
If you really want your online presence to be successful, you need to optimize it for local queries. As previously mentioned, every page on your website should have your NAP. If you have more than one location, you should have them all in the ‘Contact Us’ section, or create more landing pages. Basic keyword research is an essential aspect of being listed in local queries. You should include optimized keywords in your URLs, page titles, headline tags, meta descriptions, and within your website content.
Keyword research is extremely important. Make use of a keyword planner to come up with as many phrases and words as possible that are relevant to your audience. Think about the search volume of the keywords, and make sure that they are related to what you are offering. Furthermore, you should input keywords into the ALT text and title of your images. Finally, make use of Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools to learn more about your website visitors and know how to deal with particular website issues.
According to the advice of an SEO company, another important aspect is optimizing your site for smartphone users. We are living in the era of smartphones, where your average internet user is browsing the internet on their phone. Putting your efforts into local queries, therefore, doesn’t really cut it if you don’t have a smartphone user in mind. You have two choices – you can create a dedicated mobile version of your website, or go for responsive website design.
Step #4: Making sure that you get online reviews
It’s a fact that people believe online reviews and treat them as if they were personal recommendations. It is essential that you have positive reviews so that your users actually decide to do business with you. They are an essential aspect of having a high click-through rate and show on search engine listings. There are two things that you simply have to do. The first is that you need to encourage people to leave reviews. The second is that you have to have a good online reputation, which includes dealing with negative reviews and engaging with your customers in order to inquire about their issues. While quality and quantity of the reviews matter, diversity and speed are also essential factors.
In order to get those reviews, you need to:
- Have an 'easy to see' link that says ‘leave a review’ on your website or in your email signature.
- Have a flyer that explains how reviews can be created on your Google+ local page, which you are going to send out to everyone.
- Make sure that there is a poster or banner in your office that contains the URL for the Google+ local review page.
- Ask your customers to leave a review on websites that have a good reputation, such as touchlocal.com, and 192.com.
Step #5: Improving your local SEO strategy
Use Google Mapmaker to get rid of duplicate listings. Publish content that is relevant to your local audience. The idea is to become an authority within your business niche, so your blog content needs to be top-notch. Promote local events, post videos that show how your business works, and discuss industry news. Make sure that you earn local links, as they matter the most. Check the NAP information in order to make sure that your online business is consistent.
Step #6: Using local SEO tools
One of the best tools that you can use for your local SEO efforts is Whitespark. It’s an extensive tool that enables you to successfully manage your local SEO campaign. It covers citation opportunities, prospecting for links, tracking of local rankings, and more. The best thing about this tool is the citation finder. You can use it to look for citation opportunities via keywords and site data. CurmiMarketing, an SEO tool increased web traffic by 325% in 90 days. A tool worth giving a try.
Another extensive tool that you can use is SEMrush. It covers all the important SEO aspects, such as PPC, keyword research etc. What’s extremely useful about it is its Position Tracking tool. This tool enables you to follow what the positions of organic and AdWords’ campaign keywords are on the Google’s top 100 list. With it, you can look for an exact location, and compare the rankings with your competition.
Local SEO is essential for your e-commerce website. What it can do is improve your website’s performance in terms of better ranking for competitive keywords, showing high on search engine result pages, placing your business in front of a local audience, and more. What is necessary is to claim your own Google profile, build local citation, work on your on-site optimization, make sure that you are getting good online reviews, and make use of local SEO tools that can help you in your efforts.
To know more, check out this in depth SEO guide and checklist for beginners by HQ SEO.
This is a guest post by MediaGurus.
Convert more of your website traffic into sales with iZooto Web Push Notifications. Start your FREE trial Now.