Local SEO in 2019: 5 Simple Ways to Dominate Local Search
Are you new to local search? Are you wondering where to begin to reach your goals since the Google algorithm is changing constantly? Well, you have landed at the right place, we are going to discover the five tactics which you can use to dominate local search in 2019.
Search engines are driving the majority of web traffic today, it is vital that your site stands out from the 5 billion search queries Google serves up everyday. That is almost 70,000 searches per second. The way you make your site stand out from the crowd is through search engine optimization or SEO for short.
When it comes to local search, it is highly vital to optimize your SEO strategies more than ever before. Your potential customers are searching for your services, last thing you want to do is give them to another local business. Many of your competitors will be using these same techniques, you should be focusing more on your local SEO campaign then you have every before. This will help you reach the top position of in the search rankings and bet your competition.
5 Simple Ways to Dominate Local Search
Title and Description Matter
The most common HTML elements of a webpage are the title tag and meta description tag, which helps the search engine and the search understand what your page is about. Usually, the text of your title, as well as a meta description display in the search results and therefore you, should be very careful in writing them. Ensure the text is attractive, unique, and descriptive. This will keep the customer engaging with your site forever. Writing these texts is considered as the art in the world of SEO. If you are king of them, you will achieve whatever you desired of.
In the search listing for the Rank Foundry homepage shown below, you will find the title, “Syracuse SEO | Rank Foundry | Show Up In Google Where It Matters”. This is important as it give the searcher a headline about what our site is about, but also tells the search engine as well. Next the meta description: “Rank Foundry is a a Syracuse SEO Agency, that helps businesses show up in Google where it matters the most. Discover what we can do for your business!” While the meta description is not a direct ranking factor, other items such as the number searcher clicking (click through rate (CTR)), and searchers staying on your website because the title and description were relevant to the search (bounce rate); are ranking factor. In general you want to give the searcher a reason to click. Related: How to Get the Most Out of Meta Descriptions.
Online Business Directories
A citation is any place your business’ Name, Address, Phone Number, and Website (NAP-W) information appears online, typically in an online directory or business listings website. According to Google, 46% of all searches made are a local search. However, many small businesses have not claimed a single local business listing online. Actually, this is the large missed chance to meet business goals. No matter, whether your business is small or large, it is imperative to get your business listed on the top online directories.
These are particularly important to get in place for local SEO, as if you don’t appear in the places people are looking for businesses like yours, you’re likely to get overtaken by the competitors that do.
Google My Business
For every local business, it is super vital to claim their Google My Business and Bing Places for Business page. Since both of these platforms are absolutely free, you can obtain outstanding exposure when you have optimized your profile to show up in the top Google’s local listings. In some case, your business may already have a Google My Business page which may have been auto-generated for and not contain accurate information. You can claim the existing profile if it is there.
Google My Business feeds information to a variety of places, including the local pack and Google Maps search results, but the most familiar appearance will likely be when it’s in the top right (or top on mobile) of a branded search for your business, as below. Related: Improve Your Local SEO
Reviews from Customers
Business are finally starting to realize the significance of online reviews from their customers. 85% of people trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation; 7 out of 10 will leave a review when asked by the business. With stats like these you can see why, but it is shocking the number of businesses who still have no idea the impact they are causing to their business and sales by not managing their online reputation.
Just a few years ago the Internet was very different. Companies were not engaging customers but just selling to a passive audience. Today’s consumers are different as they have been given powerful ways to express their voices. With this the reputation you spent a lifetime building can easily be ruined in a single day. Your reputation is as crucial as ever, a single negative review can dramatically alter public perception of you or your brand.
Reviews should also be responded to; positive ones and negative ones. While it is not possible to please every single consumer, when a situation does arise with an unhappy consumer, you need to put your customer service hat on. How you respond to the negative review will impact your future, you may never win the reviewer back but the right efforts can gain you future business from the rest of the world watching how you handled it. In 2017, 97% of all consumers read local reviews.
You should be actively seeking reviews on the three powerhouses for reviews: Google, Facebook, and Yelp. Don’t make the mistake of discounting your business’ online reputation. Monitoring your online reputation in 2019 is not an option, it is a vital necessity to your local success and future revenue.
Structured Data Markup
Structured data markup, often called as schema markup. is code which allows you to add relevant information about your business in a consistent format for the search engines. Adding structured data markup to your is an easy way to make a big difference in your on-page search engine marketing.
Many of the advance features in the search engine result pages (SERPs) are populated by structured data markup. These include website snippets, knowledge graphs, questions and answers, and lets not forget about key details about your business such as contact details, social media profiles, logo, hours of operation… I think you get the idea.
Here is the crazy part, as of October 2018 less than half of all websites use one of the major forms of schema markup or structured data. While it is not required, according to Google’s Introduction to Structured Data, it is highly recommended. Using Schema or structured data markup, makes your local business stand out among the competitors.
Is it Time to YOU Get Started with SEO?
Even with these SEO facts in hand, getting started can feel a bit overwhelming. If you’re not sure where to start, contact us today. We can help you create a great SEO strategy to start driving the results you need today.
Kevin Fairbanks is the managing partner at RANKFoundry located in Syracuse, NY where he develops the customized Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy plans each client’s unique business needs. In his spare-time he is either spending it with his family or tinkering with electronics.