Three Important Local SEO Strategies to Get Noticed Online
With semantic search, search engines like Google always attempts to generate relevant results for the user. So when the user looks for a service or product and adds a location keyword, Google shows “local” businesses with location, contact information and reviews in addition to the other organic search results. This is why “Local Search” or Local SEO is so important for small businesses to appear ahead of their competitors.
“Semantic search seeks to improve search accuracy by understanding searcher intent and the contextual meaning of terms as they appear in the searchable dataspace, whether on the Web or within a closed system, to generate more relevant results.” – Wikipedia
For example: If someone was looking for a custom tailor in Singapore, the first on the top are paid ads, followed by 3 local search results, then organic search and right at the bottom the other paid ads.
Notice the local search (FREE) appears ahead of the other paid advertisements. At the same time, you will notice what the local search displays: reviews, website, address and opening hours.Side Note: Notice forums mentions are also important “Citation” sources search engines will link to your company.While there are a long list of Local SEO factors (Moz.com), here are 3 important strategies to improve your local search rankings:
Local SEO Strategy 1 – Optimize Google Plus Business Page and Get Reviews
How does google know about your local business’ address, contact number etc?
Well if you are using content management systems like WordPress, it’s usually taken care of as they are labelled as a suitable address field already. Otherwise, you can use a schema markup for location. Adding a Google Plus business page enhances your ability to rank well.
Go to your Google listing at https://www.google.com/
You then need to verify it by phone or postcard. Select the right categories that describe your small business. You may want to look at this category tool to help select your categories.
Next add your address, opening hours, website, photos, description etc to give relevance to your GooglePlus page.
Create a page for every service/product you offer, with at least a couple of small paragraphs and images or a video. Also create a page for every location you serve.
A good place to start understanding how to optimize your GooglePlus business page is The Small Business Guide to GooglePlus
Local SEO Strategy 2 -Correct listing in credible business directories
Have a consistently correct address in other IYPs (Internet Yellow Pages) aka business directories like Green Book, review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisers and other citations like Yahoo business, Bing places, Linkedin etc. Not only would this provide important “NAP” (name, address, phone) information, positive reviews are provided to give your audience more confidence, bringing me to the last point.
For Singapore companies, our friends at SEOGoodGuys provide an excellent list of directories, citation sources you can use for Local SEO.
Local SEO Strategy 3 – Get More Positive Reviews on Multiple Sites
What better way for social proof than reviews? Well, that is if you can get more happy customers to post reviews at the sites you want them to, and do service recovery promptly for poor reviews (in hope for a re-rating).
Looking for other SEO Articles? Here is another article about SEO On-Page/Site Optimization.