Your SEO strategy could be easily dominated by the big wins. The high readership and high authority bonuses can turn out to be more advantageous to you and your clients, when compared to optimizing locally. Justifying spending budget on optimization for ones that are perceived as low-budget conversion areas may be tough. It is important to look at the bigger picture.
It may cause harm to enterprise companies who do not pay heed to local optimization with the launch of Google “Pigeon”. The search criterion is constantly improving its focus on personalized, location-based SERPs, showing that this trend may not be stagnant for long.
Here are a few important reasons for which you should optimize locally:
It is a known fact that Google is giving increasing preference to personalized search results based on numerous factors, one of which is location. This means that if your website is optimized only on a national level, SERPs are bound to miss it and display companies that optimize locally. ‘Snack Pack’ Result Listings
Google’s new initiation of local ‘snack pack’ listings has made the fight for visibility even higher which means lesser SERP ‘real estate’ for business listings. The competition has increased by a lot as Google has reduced the number of displayed results from seven to three.
It is extremely important to get your local listings done so that you are able to give a tough fight to reach to the new top three results. To improve your click-through rate, you can add as much extra information as possible. To feature in top three results you should understand that pictures, recent reviews, and opening times could affect the chances of a user to spot your business.
You should make it a point to have a dedicated page on your site to every location of your business operation. This forms the base from which you can build authority for your local listings. This page must include all the information about the location in which the most significant detail is the NAP citation – that is, the name, address and phone number. All links you earn from external sites will consider the individual location’s page that over time builds the page’s authority.
You should ensure to maintain consistency across each NAP citation. Try not to use many variations of business names or use of both international and local phone area codes. When more than one person is going to be using listings and directories, it makes sense to employ an internal process that will ensure that all your NAP citations are kept uniform.
A focused version of traditional SEO activity is to build local links to localized pages. The emphasis is to earn links particularly from local sites. For instance, you could participate in a charity event in the area. Post this, you can create a story that mentions your support and fundraising results. Once this is done, you can offer this story as a press release to local media with an intention of achieving a link to the local branch page. If this turns out in your favor, you will have built authority through local links to that page. If the charity does the same, better for you.
You should take the benefit of external listing opportunities available to you, along with the on-site listings. If the local branches of your company are not listed on Google+, it is something you need to take seriously. This is because Google has favoritism to one of its own products for listings.
You should ensure to at least have your NAP citation incorporated. Make it a point to have the link to the corresponding local page listed. Once this is done, you can look for other reputable directories like Yelp and use the same process. Like how a qualitative approach is essential for traditional link earning, high-quality targets are important to achieve citations. You must not compromise on quality just for numbers.
SERPs for mobile users usually have personalized search results quite often. This is because the location data is included in mobile user’s search queries. As mobile search is now exceeding that of desktop users, not appearing in local results could miss a good portion of the customer base.
For instance, when a broad term like ‘furniture’ is searched for, it displays a single, national brand result along with three local furniture businesses based on location. You efforts should be focused on appearing in the top three listings as screen space is an aspect.
All the steps mentioned above will help your website appear in localized search results for mobile users. There are additional methods that can be of help to completely optimize for these devices. Adding click-to-call tags on your phone number listings makes it favorable to mobile users. Ensure to check if your geolocation data is accurate and up-to-date.
Getting reviews from your customers is sure to bring about a better value for your brand that boasting about you by yourself. Google likes the fact that your brand has so many reviews that builds your authority. Your users also love to see reviews.
The higher is the chances of users to click-through to your site and convert if they are confident about trusting the brand. You should try and keep the review process simple and instigate people to complete them. You can provide your customers with a wide range of options for which they can place a review, which can help to avoid this.
Reviews act as a key ranking factor but can also backfire if not used the right way. Honesty and transparency is the main ingredient of all digital marketing techniques. Trying to get visibility through fake reviews is going to be caught by Google that will bring down the rankings.
Openly pleading for reviews is also not quite appreciated, as it cannot be considered as genuine. All you need to do is direct the customers to your review pages at the end of the selling process.
Lastly: Assembling the ‘Trifecta’
Your customer is naturally bound to find and opt for your service if you have good visibility on a local level. Having a local presence is going to benefit your efforts to stay constant with your positioning on page one.
You can have your ads in order (this is easier locally as local ads are cheaper than national ads). This, along with a strong national optimization can help built a huge presence on the first page of search results of a query. This finally leads to a brand trifecta: ad results, national results, and local results.