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No Tricks, Only Tips: Google Local SEO Checklist for 2018

Local SEO
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The new 3-pack model brought significant changes to it. This has changed the way businesses use SEO and users experience Google search. A few changes include the specific address including street number are no longer priority information, store hours are priority information and reviews are playing a much more critical role for the 3-pack. Off late, Google search results and Google maps have become more closely related than they were before. The businesses penalized by Google Penguin and Panda updates will soon not be featured in the 3-pack anymore.

These are significant, but not the only changes. “You will see a lot more as time passes by, including improvement of distance and location parameters," say the experts at Singapore SEO services. That is why you need to strengthen your Local SEO game more than ever.

Include your correct physical address

This is a fundamental requirement. You need to have an establishment where you want to optimize locally. Your name, physical address and phone number (NAP) should be the same on Google My Business and your website.

In fact, if you are on any review site like Yelp or Zomato, often check so that your NAP is correct and the same everywhere.

Use GMB to the fullest

Google My Business is essential, and we cannot stress enough about it. Any information about your business you add on your GMB gets updated on Google search, Google+ and Google Maps. Google Maps directly draws information from Google My Business page, irrespective of the device your potential customer may be using.

  • Always fill your GMB with accurate, latest and complete information.
  • Your GMB location should be owner verified.
  • Your targeted city should be there on the GMB landing page Title 1.
  • The GMB primary category should relate to your products and services.

Get a map

Your website needs to have a map of your location. That is not optional. That is necessary if you want your new customers to find you. Over 60% of the original customers prefer to navigate to new shops/restaurants/establishments on their own. The rest either get their directions from friends, family or call in to know the landmarks.

In fact, you can easily add the code to your website that will seamlessly integrate Google Maps with your location on it. Along with a map, do not forget to include the following information –

  • Opening and closing hours of the establishment.
  • Contact numbers and social media links with sharing options.
  • Driving directions and specific landmarks with their relative location.

A webpage for each location

So, your business has multiple outlets in multiple areas. To make yourself visible everywhere, create an individual webpage for each area. Just stuffing the addresses into one webpage will NOT work! Earlier, many businesses templates with different domains, but that leads to much confusion.

This holds true for each product and service. Each of them needs to have their page having related description and pricing details. You can link these pages from a single webpage that collates all your business information.

Use the proper citation

Just having your website and GMB profile is not enough. To get around the web, you need to make optimum use of your citation opportunities. In case you do not have a website, getting citations in popular business directories like Yellow Pages and Yelp can change your fortune.

Here’s what your citations should be like –

  • They should be consistent.
  • Your citation websites should be of reputable quality.
  • Blog posts and newspaper articles bearing your name.
  • Related business domains are mentioning your name.

Garner more reviews

You need to start with collecting reviews from verified users and real customers. Amazon does an excellent job of collecting verified reviews from users. This can take some time and dedication. To get the maximum out of customer reviews, you need to screen the reviews and ratings personally before making them visible on your website. About 72% of online shoppers check reviews before buying a product or service.

Getting reviews on business directories like Google Local guides and Yelp Elite matter more than you think. Many businesses without websites can survive or succumb depending on the kind of reviews it gets on these reviewing sites. You cannot moderate, change or take down most of these reviews. So, make sure you give the best services to your valuable customers.

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Do not forget the importance of keywords

While moderating reviews, composing your website content and describing your products, do not forget to pay attention to target keywords. If necessary, take help from professional SEO services in your locality to optimize your site for the local users.

Local SEO is the key to long-term success for all businesses. The real secret of ultimate optimization is focusing on a long-term plan instead of SEO quick fixes to suit every small and significant Google Update. Local search engine optimization brings in the local customers and tons of reviews on sites that matter.

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