Local SEO works the same way as ordinary search engine optimization, with the difference that local SEO covers optimized searches for the local level. This means that all queries made on Google, which include any geographical determinants or phrases such as: “near me” or “close to me,” will be ranked higher in the search engine if your website is covered by the local SEO package.
The local SEO package incorporates many elements that impact ranking at the local level, and in this article, we will point out how you can ensure good results based on networking, cooperation, and contacts with your local community.
Here is an essential four-step Local SEO package checklist that will help you build a better presence in the online environment.
NAP Citations – Name-Adress-Phone Citations
Although building NAP citations might be complicated, the stimulating effect on local search rankings is irreplaceable. Furthermore, citations are fundamental for building an authority-rich and sustainable online presence of your business.
Before starting the NAP building process, the very first thing we advise you to undertake is running a NAP audit that will show you the consistency of your business data online. Whether the data is found on your website, local directories, or Google My Business profile, NAP citations demand the commonality of overall online data wherever your business is mentioned online. The name of the business, its address, and phone number should be the same in all sources that cite those pieces of information.
The focal point of NAP citations is consistency. The provided data about a particular business should be up-to-date and current. If there is any outdated information, the tendency should be put on changing it to the actual information that will give a chance to business to be properly reached by its customers without any confusion.
How to find and build citations?
The first step is about ensuring the citations from local websites are correct and actual. Sometimes this can be an arduous journey, especially if the business has been running for many years and in different locations. The whole point of monitoring your local citations is about avoiding inaccurate information, This is why we have included it in the local SEO checklist.
Building backlinks is about building visibility and brand awareness. Similar to building citations, building the backlinks to your website is demanding and important. Still, the good news is, it functions exactly the same as any other link-building strategy and, in some way, could be easier to perform.
The advantage of being a local business is in the increased number of connections you have with other small businesses. It would help if you also consider forming partnerships and networking more adamantly with potential partners such as suppliers, distributors, wholesalers, or neighboring businesses that could list your website on theirs and make your brand more visible at the local level.
The favor you could provide for them is creating a Partners list on your website and putting logos, address, and contact data of your partners that will increase their visibility and affirm your good cooperation and partnership.
Another easy way of getting a backlink is listing at the website of your local Chamber of Commerce. Being a member of a particular Chamber of Commerce will enable networking and augmented visibility on many offline and online levels. You can also offer other members of the local Chamber of Commerce a backlink exchange, which, of course, would increase visibility for both sides.
Local online portals or newspapers can also be a significant signal for local ranking. Whether they are reporting on your business or interviewing you as a business owner and presenting your story, ensure that they will make a link to your website.
The more positive reviews and ratings you get on Google itself, or any other website that provides this possibility, the higher your site will rank on the search pages.
The importance of reviews on the final decisions while making a purchase is immense and statistics affirms it:
- 88% of local customers trust positive reviews
- An average consumer read 7 reviews while researching the specific company and product.
Getting reviews from your customers or clients should be a part of your strategy. Don’t hesitate to ask your customers for reviews, especially If you have their email addresses. The process of acquiring new reviews from your customers could be even easier if you email them a review link and remind them to share their positive experiences with your products or services.
Another thing you can do about your reviews is replying to them. In this way, you will show your customers that you appreciate their opinions and that you are ready to communicate, accept a critique, resolve some of the bad experiences, or express your gratitude for taking the time to write the review.
Replying to customer’s reviews will also be a good signal for Google. Don’t forget that Google uses third-party reviews in order to guarantee the best possible estimation of your business. This is why you should take care of your customers’ reviews on every platform.
No local SEO checklist is complete without a content checkmark. Locally relevant and optimized content can generate traffic to your website and, more importantly, build trust in your brand within your potential and existing customers.
The blog could be a great ally if you use it well. It can often serve you well as an initial point for your marketing funnel. Blogging implies knowing your customers and their interests, behaviors, and habits in detail. This knowledge will help you create relevant content strategy that will speak in favor of your business, products, and services, and that will make your brand the first your customers think of when they want to buy that particular product or service. This content can also be used on your social media channels, which are also a very important ranking factor for all local searches.
Since the local online presence of your business drives more traffic not only to your website but to your shop as well, this essential local SEO package checklist is a must-follow if you want to optimize your traffic and be recognized in your locale.
Getting to the first page of local searches doesn’t necessarily mean that you will need to spend a fortune in order to reach your target. With our SEO agency from Chicago affordable local SEO services, we execute Local SEO audits that uncover any weak points your business may have and turn them into your biggest strengths.