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7 Tips for Mastering Local Search Engine Optimization

When it comes to small business and franchise marketing, getting a firm grip on local search is vital to successfully drawing in more potential customers. Knowing this, we’ve put together seven tips you need to master local SEO and rank higher on local SERPs.

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1. Get on Google My Business

When it comes to all things search, we can all agree that Google reigns supreme. Since Google is a fan of being able to verify and support content, it’s no wonder that Google My Business has become the end-all/be-all of local search. That being said, it’s important to ensure that your business is optimized for Google My Business. First, you need to create and verify a page, then use Google Posts in your account and encourage customers to review your business or product online. Just make sure you respond to them in a timely fashion!

2. Look at Internal Linking Structure

The highest-ranking websites often have the most organized internal linking structures, so don’t ignore this vital part of local search optimization. An internal link connects one page of a website to a different page within the same site. A comprehensive internal linking strategy supports website navigation, assists with information architecture and website hierarchy, and distributes page authority and ranking power among pages. It also plays a huge role in your content marketing strategy, and can make or break your website visit duration times and bounce rates.

3. Optimize Title Tags, Headers, Meta Descriptions and Content

Every piece of content you create and put on your website poses a new opportunity to show up in search engine results pages (SERPs), and thus should be treated as such. Once you’ve done your research to figure out which keywords are relevant to your business, you need to be sure that you’re using those keywords (in moderation) throughout your content and all of the associated meta data. Say you sell cars in Evanston, IL – make sure you post blogs, share customer success stories or create automotive resources using “Evanston IL car dealer,” or “buying a car in Evanston,” for example.

4. Location Pages

For franchises and other businesses with multiple brick and mortar locations, having separate pages provides a great way to boost your signal at the local level. You can put hours, unique descriptions, promotions, parking/transit information, customer testimonials and more – just be sure to avoid using the same content across multiple pages. If your business only has one location, make your About Us page pop with hyper-local details and a Google Map!

5. Hyper-Localize Your Content

I know we’re talking about SEO and SERPs here, but it truly is important to write for your audience, not search engines. Become the local authority on whatever topics are related to your business, and make a point of getting involved in local commentary around news, events and the like.

6. Make Mobile a Priority

We live in a mobile age, and Goggle is recognizing that by giving preference to mobile-friendly sites and content. It’s important to make it easy for your prospects and customers by making your site mobile-friendly, since they will most likely be using a cellphone to look up reviews, directions to your location and a way to contact you.

7. Establish Authority with Quality Inbound Links

Inbound links – or links to your site on other websites – are a great way to boost local SEO and establish a reputable web presence. Every time another website links to yours, Google is more likely to recognize you as a legitimate business and your domain authority is more likely to increase. Look into being listed on your local Chamber of Commerce or neighborhood business directory website, sponsorships, partnerships and guest blogging opportunities. You could even add a .edu inbound link to your repertoire (a big-time domain authority booster) through putting together a scholarship!

 


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