Change is the only constant in SEO and it’s no secret that if you want to stay competitive in the market, you need to come up with a good local SEO plan. Local search has made a huge impact on SEO over the past few years.
In fact, reports show that as much as 46% of all Google searches are local, more than 50% of “near me” searches have resulted to a physical store visit and almost a third of all online consumers in the U.S. search for local businesses on a daily basis.
But how exactly do you build a successful local SEO plan?
- Register for a Google My Business (GMB) account.
It is the first step to any successful local SEO strategy and you have to do it right to maximize results.
Make sure that your address is accurate and complete, be specific about your service area, list all the possible categories that are related to your business and don’t forget to optimize your introduction. You should also verify your GMB listing through a PIN sent by Google to your physical address.
- Optimize your GMB listing.
Of course, you shouldn’t stop at having a GMB profile; you also need to nurture it. Remember that the more information you provide about your business, the higher your chances of getting good ranking on local searches.
Aside from filling in your NAP details accurately and exploring all your category options, you should also work on on-page optimization because it’s the strongest ranking factor for local searches. The trick here is to use the keyword in your business name because more often than not, that will give you good results.
- Invest in good photos for your listing.
If you try to search for a restaurant, Google My Business and Google Maps will usually display photos on search results first. Soif you’re going to get that opportunity to entice a customer to dine at your restaurant or visit your physical store, you need to invest in good photographs and optimize your EXIF metadata.
You should add some important metadata into your images including your physical address, geographic location tags, latitude and longitude details, service details, business category and target keywords.
- Work on your citations.
Citations continue to play an important role in local SEO where it has two primary functions: validate your business information and offer additional targeted traffic.
It’s essential to list your business in the biggest and most relevant directories in your city or region because it doesn’t only give you more exposure in your local market but it also helps validate the credibility of your business.
Of course, you need to strengthen your credibility further by creating astrong content strategy.
Remember that relevant content can produce thrice as many leads as paid advertisements, so you need to invest in content that will offer value to your customers. Create a mix of both educational and local SEO content to get more exposure in search results.