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Local SEO In 2018: 7 Simple Ways To Dominate Local Search (Part 1 Of 2)
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Local SEO in 2018: 7 Simple Ways to Dominate Local Search (Part 1 of 2)

  •   Gemma Walker
  •   Feb 16, 2018
  •   1038 Views

Local Website Optimization

Local SEO competition is heating up with each passing year, and if you’re not at the top of your local keywords, you can bet your fellow competitors will be. 2018 is the year for local SEO. So, being a marketer it is more important than ever for you to raise your local website optimization game in order to enjoy the sweet fruits of high visibility for local searches on Google, and other search engines.

A couple of decades back, Search Engine Optimization was rather simple and easy to understand and there weren’t many facts that could differentiate it from local SEO. However, today there are numerous nuances that specifically and solely affect local search engine optimization. To be precise, not only is local Search Engine Optimization different fro cm the average SEO campaign, it’s also evolving more rapidly than ever. Presently, there are a number of SEO, advertising, promotional, and social media strategies that can help you to optimize your business for people looking for products and services from a nearby location.

The question is – if you provide Digital Marketing Services in California, does Google display your business in its results? If not, then you can imagine the amount of traffic and potential customers you might be losing, primarily because your local business isn’t listed on Google. This is why local SEO is so important.

Key Local SEO Stats Every Business Should Know

Here are some proven statistics that show how important local SEO is for your business:

  • Around 92 percent of people choose a business that appears on the first page of local search results.
  • The Google three-pack appears in the top spot in 93 percent of searches with local intent.
  • 72 percent of users who did a local search visited a store within five miles.
  • More than 30 percent of mobile searches are location-based.
  • 86 percent of users look up the location of a business on Google Maps.
  • Around 18 percent of local mobile searches lead to a sale within one day.
  • About 60 percent of US adults use smartphones and tablets to search for a local product or service.
  • 89 percent of participants admitted that they search for a local business on their smartphone at least once a week while 58 percent admitted that they do that on daily basis.
  • Around 46 percent of all searches on Google are local and 76 percent local searches result in a phone call.
  • Google “near me” searches have doubled over the past last year.

Local SEO has always been and continues to be a vital online search strategy for local businesses to receive a steady, mounting stream of targeted traffic without having to invest hundreds and thousands of dollars in traditional advertising. In 2017, more than 40 percent of consumers used local search at least once a week and around 12 percent used it daily to find nearby businesses. 2018 will be no different, as local website optimization is expected to have a huge influence this year.

So, to stay ahead in the game and dominate local search in 2018, here are the 7 tactics that you need to implement:

     1. Focus on Title and Meta Description Tags

Both title and meta description tags are HTML elements which you can modify according to the content of your webpage. In 2017, Google increased the width of the main search results area to 600 pixels. Taking that into account, the generally accepted length for title tags is now increased to 50-60 characters (approximately), and for description tags, it is somewhere between 160 and 200 characters.

This certainly means that now you have more spaces to write longer title and meta descriptions. So, utilize this space wisely to successfully increase your business exposure and visibility. However, don’t go too long as it will make your titles and meta descriptions truncated in the SERPs. In addition to that, always double check your titles and descriptions to make sure they aren’t getting cut off in search results.

     2. Use Online Directories to Improve Local SEO

According to a recently conducted study by Google, four out of five consumers (approximately) use search engines to perform local searches. Having said that, still there are many small businesses that haven’t claimed even a single local business listing online, indeed missing out on a very large pool of opportunity. As a local business owner, it is crucial to get your business listed correctly and consistently on top online business directories (including local ones) such as Facebook, Foursquare, Yelp, Bing, Citysearch, Merchant Circle, and more.

Also, it’s important for you to get your business’ name, address, and phone directory (NAP) on the major citation data aggregators such as Infogroup, Neustar, Acxiom, and Factual. Always remember, consistency is key. Make sure your company’s NAP is consistent on as many of these directories and citation websites as possible. To check whether your business’ NAP is consistent, Google your business name along with the city in which it is located. If you see variances, then your NAP is inconsistent.

Before publishing, recheck everything as discrepancies such as spelling mistakes, irrelevant abbreviations, lack of suite number, or incorrect phone number will make it difficult for Google to determine which information about your business is correct.

     3. Claim Your “Google My Business”

Although Google My Business (GMB) isn’t as popular as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, it’s still an incredibly useful tool for small and midsize businesses (SMBs). It’s extremely important for all local business owners to claim their Google My Business (GMB) and Bing Places for Business page. The best part is that it’s completely free and can bring you remarkable exposure, but only if you’re optimized enough to show up in Google’s local three-pack.

Visit google.com/business to claim your GMB page today. There’s a verification process that you’ll need to go through in which Google will send you a postcard with a PIN to your company’s physical location. After that, you just need to log in and enter the PIN to verify your business. This verification is necessary as Google wants to make sure that your business is legitimate, and you are its rightful owner.

Keep in mind that according to Google’s terms of service, only the business owner can claim a GMB page. So, if they didn’t have this verification procedure, anyone could just claim it as their business and pretend to be the actual business owner.

     4. Optimize GMB for Local SEO Marketing

Once you’ve claimed your GMB, then comes the optimization part. Optimize your GMB listing with a solid description, the right category, proper business hours, types of payments accepted, the logo or photo of your business for people to recognize it, and so on.

Always remember, listings that are verified, claimed, optimized, and have strong ratings and positive customer reviews are most likely to be featured at the top of the organic local search.

So, avoid stuffing your business name with keywords and use the actual name of your business. Add a few high-quality photos of your products and services in your listings to enhance their visual appeal and to optimize your performance in local search results.

That’s all for now! We’ll be talking about the remaining three tactics in our next blog post. So, stay tuned for that.

To know more about Search Engine Optimization Services, contact us. You can also share your views in the comments section below.



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