Local SEO is an ever-evolving entity. The last few years in particular have seen huge changes in the tools and techniques businesses need to use to rank well for location-specific searches. In Local SEO there are many elements that seem to have been given more importance since the “Pigeon” update last year. Here are some tips to get more local visibility in 2015.
Think Visibility, Not Rankings
So much of discussion around Local rankings has centered on position rather than visibility. If your listing and website ranks top you’ll get the majority of the traffic, right? Not necessarily. Visibility is about controlling and dominating search real estate. If your local listing ranks top and below your primary Web properties, they will have far more visibility, garner more trust, get more visitors, and probably convert more.
Google Places for Business and Google+ Local
You shouldn’t ignore Google’s suggested channels for ranking your business. They still dominate the primary real estate in any locally oriented search. In the past, it’s all been about reviews and citations. That much hasn’t changed. Reviews are notoriously difficult to get. However, Google is making it far easier with every new integration it introduces between its various services. Take advantage of your audience on any Google-owned property, whether it’s a Google+ community, YouTube followers, or Gmail contact list, if you are asking people to leave a review when they’re already logged into their Google account, it’s literally a couple of clicks.
Setup the Basics Right
Though the standard of local SEO is generally increasing, there are still so many businesses that aren’t getting the basics right. One is omission of a custom meta description and ignorance of schema markup. Get these small things right and you’ll see an immediate surge in local search traffic, even without increasing visibility at all.
Citations are still important. They still represent a trustworthy indicator of where a business is located. There are now lots of different tools for identifying and maintaining your local citations on the Web. These tools will push your business details to all relevant citation sources and make sure it’s always presented in exactly the same format as your Google listing.
Other Important Properties Rank
Give importance to Search query relevance, visually led search and videos relevance. This is a great way to focus your efforts on the exact properties that Google deems relevant to your search. Do their Yelp listings sit below their website and places listing? What about their social properties? Are they getting good visibility? If so, which ones? If you can focus on developing these properties; making sure you have as much information on there as possible you will start to see broader visibility for your search.
By increasing visibility in the SERPs you’re likely to increase your visibility and perceived trust, not just by Google, but by potential customers, too.