Why Local SEO is Important
While the goal of every business is to improve their SEO rankings nationwide, local SEO often gets overlooked. Local SEO is even more important for smaller businesses, especially ones that have a brick and mortar store as well. While local SEO may not dramatically increase your website traffic (depending on your market), it will definitely increase trust in your brand, an increase in your brick and mortar store if you have one, and open you up to new opportunities for link building. Below are some basic tips to get you moving in the right direction so your website will start ranking locally.
Claim, optimize, and FULLY set up your Google my business page
This includes your local places page and Google Plus. Be sure to fill out all of your information including store hours, location, company descriptions, photos, and everything else. The more information you provide the better chance you’ll have at ranking higher in the local SERPS.
Add your website to all of the local directories and citations
These can have a huge impact on your local SEO. By adding your site to local directories you can not only improve your rankings, but they are also a great source for referral traffic and people looking for your products or services.
Optimize some of your pages for local keywords
One of the fastest ways to rank locally is to create a page on your website specifically dedicated to doing just that. If you have an online business selling shoes nationwide but also have a brick and mortar store selling them locally in Charleston, it would be wise to create a page completely optimized for local Charleston SEO keywords.
Use structured data markup
Using structured data markup is highly underutilized as only about 30% of websites do this. Structured data markup tells Google more about your business such as the products you sell or services you offer. Google actually prefers if you use this because it makes it easier for their spiders to crawl your site accurately.
Reviews, reviews, reviews
While most people generally understand the importance of reviews, much fewer don’t actually do anything about it and expect positive reviews just to roll in. While this can happen occasionally, you’d be wise not to just sit around and hope for the best. Gathering positive reviews is especially important in the beginning when you don’t have as many, as it can really make you stand out and will help offset any negative reviews (god forbid) you may have received.