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Patrik Muehlematter

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Local SEO Best Practices - steps to optimize your site for local searches

The frequency of searches for "near me" or "closest" has increased by 900% over the past two years, and 28% of these searches end with a purchase. Users want more personalized search results based on their location. This is the reason more, and more people are turning to local SEO. In fact, even if you want to target leads internationally, the search engine optimization begins with the local SEO practices as doing so makes the business legit. Today, we'll talk about local SEO best practices that you can use to boost your position in search engines.

10 Steps to Optimize for Local SEO

1. Optimization of Title and Description

Before turning on the sarcasm and thanking the obvious advice, take a good look at how Title and Description are styled on your own site. Are they spelt out on all pages? Is the description longer than 160-200 characters? Is the location where you are interested in promoting your business indicated everywhere? Are the main keywords used in the text content? If not, we recommend that you consider the following guidelines when writing the Title and Description meta tags:

  • The description should be between 50 and 200 characters on average.
  • The title should be between 10 and 70 characters on average.
  • The title and description of the page should contain a mention of the territorial zone that your business serves (district, city, region, country, etc.)
  • Use keywords in Title and Description, but don't overload your texts with them.

2. Indication of all contact and geographic data on the site

To get your site to rank higher in local search results, add the physical address of your store or warehouse so that search robots can index this information. Another effective local SEO optimization technique is placing a phone number with a regional code.

3. Integration with Google Maps and Google My Business

Creating and verifying business profiles in Google My Business is a prerequisite for attracting local users and growing positions in local search results. Along with the verification checkbox, you get 25% of the ranking factors.

4. Optimization for mobile devices

It's a fact that the majority of local search queries are made by mobile users, which means that you should optimize your site for display on mobile devices. You have several ways to solve this problem:

  • creation of a mobile version;
  • implementation of responsive layout;
  • creating mobile versions of pages using "fast" mobile formats (AMP, for example).

5. Link with social networks

Every year social signals are gaining more and more importance, in particular for ranking in local search. Therefore, it is essential to remember about linking the site with its pages on social networks, using social interaction buttons ("Like", and "Share"), as well as embedding social media widgets on the site. They do not directly affect your site's organic search rankings, but the interactions they provide can help you with additional reach and increase your site's visibility.

6. Implementing simple and straightforward CTAs

When all the main stages of search engine optimization are left behind, it is very easy to forget about "trifles" such as a clear and understandable call-to-action. Buttons responsible for targeted actions should contain a direct call, leaving no room for speculation on the part of users who want to buy a product, order a service or fill out an application.

7. Adding customer feedback and reviews

In search of a solution to their problem, users not only compare the descriptions of products and services prescribed by companies but also refer to the reviews of other users. Hence allocate a separate section on your site for customers' feedback (if you have a site in the landing page format), or create a page that will collect reviews of real customers.

8. Creation of content according to local requests

Content plays a key role in local promotion. So, be aware of the specifics of the local area as you work on-site content, regular posts, and helpful reference materials for local users (potential customers). Also, consider the usability of the content from the user's point of view.

9. Registration in local directories, and services

When starting to promote your local business, register it in all possible catalogues, city directories (official city directories and private city guides), thematic portals (for example, shopping or gastronomy) and services - both locally and globally (including Yelp, Yellow Pages, Foursquare, etc.). Firstly, this way, you will have more points of contact with the audience, and secondly, such sites will serve as a source of mentions and backlinks. Make sure to use the same address format from one directory to another so search engines learn and get your address confirmed

10. Publications in local media

Relevant backlinks, increased visibility, site clicks, increased brand searches are just a few of the perks of successful local media posts.

So now, if you wish to post a publication for free, your job is not to send another faceless press release to the editorial office of a local magazine, but to create a real resonant news story that local media themselves will want to cover.

Doing this will help you in three ways. Firstly, your chances of getting the post published on the desired site will be higher; secondly, such a post can become viral and result in the significant increase in brand awareness, and thirdly, by arousing public interest in your business, you will generate a wave of brand inquiries, which will not be ignored by search engines

Watch our free Free Google My Business Video Mini-Course and learn a few quick tricks that you can deploy yourself immediately and quickly get more new clients coming from Google.

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