4 Tips to Make Local Marketing in the Online Space Easier
If you have been in the arena of digital marketing for a quite some time now, you already know that search engine optimization is always changing. These new changes undoubtedly take some time to fathom, and in the meantime, your page’s ranking gets affected. Things should be approached with even more urgency if you are dealing with local SEO. In 2017, it is more important than it has ever been to optimize both your off-site and on-site prospects for local clients who are potentially interested in the same type of services or products that you specialize in.
Local search engine optimization is heating up, to say the least, and if you are not putting all you can into ensuring that you have the top ranking, then competitors will take over. Take a look at the four most important SEO techniques to make your business rank higher for local search terms.
1) Title and meta description tags
Title and meta description tags are vital HTML elements. You can customize these to depict what your business is all about. The title and meta descriptions pop up on search engine results pages (SERPs) when a potential customer searches for related products or services in your area. It is wise to think of these elements as mini-ads for your business. The clearer and more precise these description tags are, the better it will be for your business’ online image. Unambiguous titles and crisp descriptions will help people understand the basics of your business instantly. If you can make these elements interesting enough, you will successfully convince the user to visit your website.
Google increased the width of the main search results area in 2016. Thus, standing in 2017, you can use 50 to 60 characters for title tags and about 160 to 200 characters for meta description tags. Remember, this space is incredibly precious. Use every character and make them count. Focus on targeted keywords and use your area/locality/city/town’s name in both the title and meta description if you can. Check and recheck to make sure that the title tag or the meta description tag are not getting cut off when displayed on popular SERPs.
2) Use online directories and be particular about citations
There is much to understand about user’s local search behavior. Google says four out of five consumers conduct local searches. It is sad to note that many localized businesses have still not succeeded in earning even one local business listing online. Getting your business listed on top of online business directories like Merchant Circle, Yelp, and City search can be a huge advantage. Getting listed on respectable local directories online is also important. See if your local newspaper’s website and Chamber of Commerce have business directory sections where you can get a listing. It is also a good idea to submit your business’ name, address, contact details on noteworthy citation data aggregators. Ideally, there should not be any discrepancy in your company’s details present on each of these sites.
3) Google My Business
Technically, Google My Business or GMB, is a directory, and needs a whole, separate section. If you still have not registered on Google My Business, you are missing out on getting massive exposure. There is a verification process where Google sends you a postcard with a PIN to your business’ physical address, and you just have to log in and enter the PIN to verify your business. This process is important to help Google understand the authenticity of your business. Google usually shows three top rated local companies in a pack when a relevant search is conducted. Start optimizing your GMB page with descriptions, categories, working/business hours, payment modes, and images of products and services to gain a spot in the said pack. The more accurate information you upload on GMB page, the better your rankings will be in the local marketing arena.
4) Use a local server to host your business website
If you have hosted your website on a remote server, chances are the search engines think that your business is more relevant in the area to which your IP address belongs. So, it is advisable to host your website on a local server at or near the place your business is in. This way your server will be nearer to your site’s source, meaning your website will load faster and have lesser or no downtimes at all. Lower down times and fast loading means better search ranking. Besides, with a localized server, you will be able to target better. Your business will be displayed to those potential customers who are located in and around your own town, city, or locality. The chances of them showing up at your store will significantly increase.
The points mentioned above are best described as just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more to do when it comes to making your business more attractive in the local online space. Be careful and avoid mistakes like submitting inconsistent names, addresses, and phone number (NAP) descriptions across multiple business listing directories. Ignoring common search engine optimization factors, not getting local reviews for your business, ignoring negative local ranking factors, not hosting your website on a local server, and not claiming your Google My Business page can also have adverse effects. It is always advisable to do a bit of research on SEO mistakes that are quite common. The tips mentioned above will certainly give you a head start in local SEO, but invest time and effort in keeping yourself updated so that you can make informed decisions when required.