Customers who are looking for the best products and services near them want to find the answer fast through the Internet. This is where Local SEO comes in. It’s about increasing your business’ visibility in local searches.
Local SEO is beneficial for brick and mortar businesses or establishments with brick and mortar locations or storefronts. They are also advantageous to service-area businesses such as house cleaning companies, handyman services, and others having coverage within a certain geographic area.
Will your business get a higher rank in the relevant Google result listing? Will customers visit your website or actually go to your location? Those are just two of the questions that Local SEO is able to address.
In this comprehensive guide, we will help you gain a better understanding of local SEO, how it works, what’s in it for you, and more. The information that you can get from this guide will help you strategize so you can take advantage of local SEO for the benefit of your business.
What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization or local SEO is composed of different actions and strategies with the purpose of improving the visibility of your business on Google and other search engines so that it will show up whenever people in your geographical area will search for a relevant product or service.
The right local SEO strategy will help your business rank higher in search results. There’s more to local SEO and you need to understand how it works so that you can also use a strategy that will work for your business.
Local SEO can be a bit complex and doing it on your own may require extra time and effort. Dozens or even hundreds of businesses in your locality might also want to get to the top rank in the local pack results. The local 3 pack is a highly coveted space. That’s why some businesses prefer to get a third-party service to do their local SEO for them and that can be costly. At GMB Crush, we completely understand this predicament which some business owners might be experiencing. That’s why we make it easier and faster for you to handle your local SEO at the most cost-effective set-up.
Traditional SEO vs Local SEO
Traditional SEO, in simple terms, involves strategies that will increase both the quantity and quality of organic traffic to your website. You can gain quality traffic if your visitors searching for what you are offering. Organic traffic refers to visitors who visited your website from an organic search. An organic search means that it was not influenced by a paid advertisement or referral site. SEO focuses largely on organic traffic so that you can gain more visitors at no extra cost for paid ads and links.
On the other hand, local SEO is a subsection of traditional SEO, but this has a geographical component. With local SEO, the optimization is for local search results so that you’ll not only increase your website traffic but also drive more customers to your storefront.
Google’s local search algorithm considers proximity factors in ranking. This means that when a person searches for a local product or service, Google takes the location of that person into consideration when determining what businesses to display in the local pack results. This is true even if the searcher will not include the phrase “near me” or the city name.
With the recent popularity of mobile internet, more and more people are using their mobile devices when searching, and this is when local SEO becomes highly important for business marketing.
Who Can Benefit from Local SEO?
Local SEO applies to any small, medium, or a large enterprise with a physical location where customers can buy products or avail of services within a given geographical area. That may include grocery stores, boutiques, restaurants, laundromats, barbershops, dental offices, law offices, and more. It also proves to be effective for service providers or those who travel to their customers’ place like plumbers, locksmiths, arborists, and other professionals.
If you have an existing business, be it product or service related and you want to be found in local internet searches, chances are you need local SEO.
Importance of Local SEO
What better way to show you the importance of local SEO than to give you some actual stats from various studies:
- More than 70 percent of consumers who conducted a local search visited a physical store within 5 miles. And about 50 percent did it on the same day they did the search.
- According to Google (2016), 30 percent of mobile searches have to do with locations.
- Another survey also showed that more than 70 percent of consumers confirmed the location of a business first through an online search before going to the actual storefront.
The above statistics only show the importance of improving your online presence, especially in the local market to drive more leads, sales, and in-store visits.
So let’s now summarize the benefits of local SEO.
1. Local SEO helps small businesses.
In this current trend where many industry giants have established their online presence, some smaller businesses are demotivated to compete against them in Google ranking. Thankfully, local SEO can help.
Let’s remember that Google favors local content because of its extra value for users. Since small businesses are generally more knowledgeable about their local audience, creating content geared for their local audience can help them reach the top positions in local search results instead of other corporate giants.
Aside from creating local content, there’s more than small businesses can do as part of local SEO. We will discuss that more in this guide. You don’t have to worry about competing with large companies in local searches if you have a well-laid out local SEO plan.
2. Local SEO can help drive more customers at little cost.
Whether you are running a handyman business or are operating a laundromat in your local area, local SEO can help you be found online.
We already know that many people go online to search for the nearest establishments and if your business appears on top of the search results ranking, there’s a higher likelihood that those users will check your information and ultimately make the decision to avail of your services or visit your storefront. The more people you drive to your business, the higher your potential revenue will be.
What’s great about local SEO is that it doesn’t cost as much as you would spend on advertising your business through print ads, billboards, and other advertising means. Although it is time-consuming to do local SEO, it does not cost a lot of money. You can even cut the time in doing local SEO if you use tools such as GMB Crush because it will already give you the necessary data to help you strategize. You don’t have to do the research yourself just to know how your competitors are performing in terms of their Google My Business (GMB) profile.
And since local SEO attracts users who are active in searching for your type of business online and they are just close to your location, it is extremely likely that they will become your customer.
3. Local SEO makes people in your area aware of your existence.
If the people in your area are not aware of your business, how can you expect to draw more customers?
Making people know about your business such as where it is located, what time you operate, what products or services you offer, and what your customers say about you – are just some of the vital information that can help convert potential customers who are searching online for your type of business into your actual customers.
If you do your local SEO right, it will put your business listing on top of relevant search results. And when that happens, it will attract more potential visitors not only to your website but also to your brick-and-mortar location. Think about how you would search for pet service in your area and how you would consciously or unconsciously have a special preference for those businesses on top of the results. The same is true for most search engine users.
4. Local SEO can help you build links.
As you get more competitive with other similar businesses in your area and as you gain authority within the community, many other local businesses will see that. Say, there’s a business in your area that is looking to partner with another business for an event. If they can easily see you in the search results, there’s a big chance that they will contact you for collaboration. That can be a good start for your business relationships. You may get mentioned in other business’ event posts or even get featured on their website. There are a lot of possibilities that can happen once you are noticed prominently in Google search results.
5. Local SEO helps businesses gain repeat customers.
The business possibilities that can be generated from one new client who has found your business online can be endless. When a potential customer becomes your actual customer and you provide them with exemplary service, they are most likely to return and become your repeat customers. And repeat customers can greatly help your business grow in the long run.
6. Local SEO can help reduce your advertising costs.
If you are already getting a better search results ranking, it’s better than say, putting an ad on newspapers and other media outlets. Local SEO is inexpensive compared to regular advertising. That in turn would translate to more business savings.
Types of Industries That Can Use Local SEO
We have already established the importance of local SEO for businesses but we haven’t mentioned yet what specific businesses can greatly benefit from it. So here’s a list:
1. Online businesses
If you don’t have a brick-and-mortar business and you rely on your online presence, the search engines will be your primary source of leads. If you aren’t visible online, how can you expect to get more customers to your business?
For online businesses, it’s important to invest in an effective local SEO marketing strategy. Having your own website is just one step, but you can’t benefit much from it unless you are highly visible in search engine results.
2. Professional services
Studies have shown that about 80 percent of consumers search online for business information before making a decision. That is true for professional services such as plumbers, handymen, IT consultants, financial planners, and wedding planners among others. That means your website is your new storefront. Being a storefront, make sure that your website is also fully optimized for local audiences. Customers will visit your website to check the services you are offering and know what your previous customers say about you.
If your website is not showing up in Google search results, you can’t expect consumers to consider you for business. This is when you should reconsider your local SEO marketing strategy.
3. Medical services
If your business is in this industry, you will also greatly benefit from local SEO. Many people who are looking for medical services have an urgent need for experts in that field. And because of the sense of urgency, those people would prefer a practitioner who is closest to their location so that they can get immediate medical attention. And if they found your business online, there’s a big chance that they will become your actual customers.
4. Real Estate businesses
This industry gets most of its customers from people who are looking for a new home, condo or apartment. And those customers are very specific with what they want. Most of those potential customers are looking for a specific type of property in a particular geographic area. Some would include the suburb or zip code in their searches just to make sure that they get their preferred property in their preferred location.
Local SEO works for real estate businesses since most of the searches involve not just the property types and features, but most importantly, the specific locations or geographic areas. So if you are selling homes in Cleveland, make sure that your GMB profile appears when a potential buyer would search for “condo in Cleveland” or “One door apartment in Cleveland.” Otherwise, you’ll be missing a lot of sales opportunities.
Effective local SEO strategies help position your restaurant business to potential customers on search engines and other digital platforms. When done right, local SEO can improve your chances of getting found by people looking for a specific restaurant like “Italian restaurant or “Chinese restaurant” in your area. Potential customers may also find you if they are looking for a specific cuisine or dish.
6. Pet Services
Businesses that are offering pet services such as pet grooming, pet walking and veterinary services can also benefit from local SEO strategies. Many pet owners rely on search engines when looking for a nearby service provider. If your business is visible on search results and if the customers can see that you have many positive reviews, then that is a good combination to get new leads.
Those are just some of the kinds of businesses that can benefit from local SEO. There are many other businesses that can benefit from a well-planned and well-implemented local SEO marketing strategy.
What is Considered a Local Search?
You may have already heard that local SEO is important for local searches. But what is considered a local search?
Local search is the use of search engines (in this guide, we focus mainly on Google search engine) to look for a product or service in a geographically constrained area. When you type in “Restaurants near me” or “Pet grooming Dublin,” what you are doing is basically a local search. Sometimes, you don’t even have to include the phrase “near me” or the name of the place since Google will automatically detect if the intent is a local search.
There are three ways on how users conduct local searches: geo modified, non-geo modified, and near me types of searches and it is important how these local searches so you can better strategize for local SEO.
Geo-modified searches are those that include the city, suburb or area of your coverage. For example, “handyman in Brooklyn” or “pet walking in Dublin” are examples of a geo-modified search.
On the other hand, non-geo modified searches are those searches that do not include a specific location. For example “handyman” or “pet walking service.”
The near me type of local search, as the name suggests, is when users type in “handyman near me” or “pet walker nearby” to get what they are looking for.
For the different types of keyword research queries, search engines understand that what the user is looking for are business suggestions or lists of businesses based on location. And that is why Google also offers local search results.
With Google search engine, when you do a local search, you would typically see a local 3-pack which is a list of three local results. The local 3 pack is the most coveted position by any business in local searches. There’s a big advantage when your business appears in the local-3 pack. First, your potential customers can easily see your profile photo, the services you offer, your review rating, your address, and the link to your website. That is free advertising that could potentially help your business find more customers.
When it comes to local SEO, what’s important is for your business to show up for nearby search queries that are relevant to your type of business. And that is precisely why local SEO is important.
We already know what local searches are. So the next term you need to be familiar with is local SERP.
SERPs stands for search engine results pages. Local SERPs are therefore the results that will show up for local-based queries on location and they show the most relevant results on Google Maps.
Local SERPs differ greatly from global SERPs and it is important for businesses to be aware of this. Generally, local SERPs include the map pack and local organic results with more rich features than just traditional blue links. Rich features may include the logo of your business, image carousels, photos and videos, top stories and more. Pretty much everything displayed about a business comes from Google My Business. That is also why having a Google My Business account is integral to local SEO.
Google Local Ranking Factors
The program that decides when your business will show up in the search results is called an algorithm. For general results, it’s mostly the algorithm that dictates your ranking, but it is slightly different from local results. With local results, Google takes into account other ranking factors.
Let’s check what Google considers as important to rank higher in local search results:
Relevance is an important ranking factor in both general and local search results. Naturally, Google search engine will only include those businesses that are relevant to what the user is looking for.
To ensure that the search engine will consider your business as relevant, you’ll want to make sure that your optimization strategy includes the use of keywords targeted to what your potential customers would be searching for.
For example, if you have a cleaning service business in New York, you want to make sure that Google search engine will relate your business to local keywords such as “Cleaning service New York” or “Best cleaner in New York” so that when a user would do keyword research relevant to your business, you will appear in the local listing.
For local SEO purposes, you can also let Google know of your relevance by doing these tips:
- Choose the correct business category on online directories
- Include your targeted local keywords your business descriptions and in your posts
- Write blogs or articles related to your products or services with the relevant keywords you want to rank for
- Use the correct title tags and meta descriptions as it is also a good local SEO marketing strategy
- Improve your link building strategy by collaborating with other local businesses or organizations
Think of prominence as how popular your brand is compared to the rest of the competition. If your local SEO marketing strategy is working, you should have no problem establishing your prominence.
In this ranking factor, you want to tell Google that your business is trustworthy. Google pulls information about your business from across the web including articles, links, directory listings, local citations and reviews. From the available information about your business, Google will be able to determine your trustworthiness and position you in the local search.
So essentially, if you want to rank higher in the organic search results, you will need to establish how prominent your business or trustworthy your business is.
There are different ways on how you can demonstrate your trustworthiness:
Get more backlinks from other local establishments.
A backlink is a link from another website to your website. Link building is important for local SEO as it is one of Google’s ranking factors. The more high-quality backlinks your website has, the greater are your chances of improving your online visibility and ranking position in the local pack.
Link building as part of your local SEO can be a tedious process but it is worth the effort. However, one of the tried and tested ways to do it is by writing guest posts. You may also contact other local businesses and influencers and collaborate with them.
Write quality content focused on the local area
Quality content is not only good for increasing pageviews but it also works for fostering local SEO. When you say locally focused content, it means that the article talks more about the neighborhood where your business is located. The content should address what the users in your neighborhood are looking for and how you can help them.
For your local SEO content, you may also write about the local attractions, upcoming events and festivals, and other topics that your target audience would probably search for in your city. Moreover, your article titles and descriptions should also be locally focused.
Get more positive reviews
The quality and the number of reviews your business has also affect your chances of being included in Google map pack. Reviews reflect the happiness and satisfaction level of your customers over the products or services you offer. Strive to get more good reviews as they can help you rank higher in organic results.
Get your business listed in online directories
Getting listed in an online directory also help with search engine optimization because they give you the opportunity to list your business information including your name, address and contact number. As Google finds more information about your business across the web, the more relevant it considers your business to be, and the better your chances of improving your local pack ranking.
Get more local citations from authoritative sites
Building citations is also an important strategy to establish your prominence. If your business gets citations on authoritative sites, it will send positive signals to Google telling the search engine that your business exists. Building citations can be a challenging task but it can greatly benefit your business in the long run.
So your business is relevant and prominent, but how close are you to the location?
There’s no way that Google will show your business in the local map pack if you are several towns away from the user. As such, proximity is perhaps the most important factor that Google considers in local results.
Many local keyword research queries are done with local intent, and when it comes to local intent, proximity matters. This ranking factor depends hugely on the distance between the physical location of a business and the location of the user doing the search. For Google to tell the proximity of your location, it will consider citations or mentions of your business information across the Internet, within Google My Business, directories, social media and websites.
In connection with proximity, the information that matters to Google are your name, address, phone number (NAP) and website URL. It’s important to note though that inconsistency in your NAP will negatively impact your ranking.
10 Effective Local SEO Tips to Boost Local Rankings
Now that you have a better understanding of what local searches are and how Google ranks businesses in local keyword research, the next step is to carefully plan your strategy for local SEO. With an effective local SEO marketing strategy, your business can thrive in the local search ecosystem, rank higher in Google Maps, get a spot in the local pack, and ultimately attract new customers.
There are many ranking factors that come into play when it comes to Google search results. While they can change from time to time, keeping yourself abreast of effective local SEO local strategies can help you get ahead of the competition.
As of this writing, here are the effective strategies for local SEO:
# 1 Guide to local SEO: Claim your Google My Business Listing.
Google holds about 75% of the search engine market share, making it the most popular search engine in the world. With this in mind, it’s just right that you optimize your business in line with how Google works. Part of that optimization strategy is to claim your Google My Business (GMB) listing. Your GMB listing is what will appear in the search engine results and in Google Maps when a user will do a keyword search relevant to your business type.
You can follow these steps to claim your Google My Business listing:
Step 1. Sign in to Google My Business on your computer. You will then be required to sign in to your Google account, or if you have none, make one. Click the Next button.
Step 2. Sign up using your business email domain then enter the name of your business. If you have a chain, you can also choose that from the suggestions that will show up as you type.
Step 3. Enter your business address then click Next. Google may ask you to place a marker on the location of your business on the map. If you don’t have a brick and mortar location, you can simply list the area, then click Next.
Step 4. Select how you would like your business to be displayed on Google Maps. If you serve your customers at your physical location, enter your business address then proceed to the next step. However, if you don’t service at your location, enter your business address still but at the bottom, click “I deliver goods and services to my customers” then click Next. You will then have to specify your service area.
Step 5. Choose your business category then enter your phone number or website URL. Hit the Finish button.
Step 6. The last step involves choosing your verification option. Google recommends reviewing your information first before requesting verification.
You can then see the options to Verify now and Verify later.
To make the most of your GMB listing for local SEO rankings, include as much information about your business as possible. The least that you can add is complete information about your name, address and phone number (NAP). Google also allows you to add the following details in your listing:
- Company Website
- Hours of operation
- Product or service categories and labels
- Customer reviews
- Store or physical location information
- Popular times
- Images and videos
- Company logo
Google My Business is one of the most vital local SEO tools you can use. And unlike many SEO tools that are expensive to use, you can utilize GMB for free.
Now as many businesses are already using Google My Business, you can get ahead of the competition if you have an idea on how your competitors use this platform to land a spot in the local pack. You can easily access this data using GMB Crush or similar local SEO tools. In its dashboard, you can get an insight into how your competitors write their descriptions to rank higher or what categories they use for their local SEO. You will also see if Google is rewarding them for their local SEO marketing strategy. With that information you have, you can then strategize to better position your business in the search engine results.
# 2 Guide to local SEO: Add your business to online listings and directories.
Another way to maximize your local SEO is by getting your business listed in online directories such as Yelp, Angie’s List, Thumbtack and many others. The online directories list businesses within a specific category, zip code, or location. Since those directories require that you provide your name, address and other business information, they can help with your local SEO goals particularly in amplifying your online visibility.
Just as you did when you created your Google My Business listing, be sure to also complete your profile in those directories. More importantly, your NAP should be consistent across the different directories.
# 3 Guide to local SEO: Capitalize on good customer reviews.
A quick fact about reviews is that 88 percent of local consumers read and trust online reviews before making a decision. With that information, you can see why you should pay so much attention to what your customers are saying about you as it can have a huge impact on your local SEO.
You probably have already experienced choosing one business over another after reading customer feedback or reviews from both. When you have to choose between two local businesses that offer similar products or services, customer reviews can be a good deciding factor. And that is why star rating is still one of the top factors that consumers use to judge the credentials of a certain business.
Since reviews are important for local SEO, it is just right that you should strive to start channeling some of your search engine optimization efforts to getting more quality reviews and high star ratings from your customers. And reviews are not just limited to Google. When doing local rankings, Google also considers reviews from other directory sites and listings such as Yelp and Facebook.
Aside from giving you free exposure online, most review sites also contain backlinks to your website. Backlinks can help improve your domain authority and drive more traffic to your website, both of which are beneficial for your business.
# 4 Guide to local SEO: Write more localized content.
In our discussion about prominence, we mentioned that one way to establish your prominence or popularity is by wiring localized content. Doing so is important for local SEO and we first listed it under a strategy for improving online prominence.
You can’t underestimate the value of quality content as a local SEO strategy. You are in full control of what you are writing on your website so you can be pretty creative when it comes to what you write. You can give more value to your website visitors if you also offer local content that may interest them such as local events, attractions in the neighborhood, places to visit, and others.
Be warned though that Google dislikes and penalizes “keyword stuffing.” Many business owners who run their own local SEO strategies make the mistake of stuffing keywords into their articles and blog posts, but instead of positive impact, the reverse happens. Search engines, particularly Google, will see this as spammy behavior and demote the content and listings.
A good local SEO strategy in connection with local content has to do with using the right keywords as naturally in your content as possible. Aside from the body, you can add keywords in the title, headings, descriptions and images for the best results.
# 5 Guide to local SEO: Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly.
Is your website accessible using mobile devices? And if so, will it offer a good user experience? If your answer to these questions is yes, then you are in the right direction in terms of local SEO.
People enjoy the convenience of using their mobile devices in doing online searches. That is why it is not anymore surprising to know that more than 60 percent of Google searches are done using mobile devices. Now, imagine if your website is not mobile-friendly. This could mean you are already losing about 60 percent of your potential customers in favor of your competitors.
You will do your business and your customers a favor when you make your website mobile-friendly. What that means is you should have different display versions of your website to give those who are viewing your website through their mobile device a better user experience. With a better user experience, you can engage them to browse your pages and ultimately make a decision.
To ensure having a mobile-friendly site, you should check if your website has the following features:
Responsive Design – A responsive design is when your website easily adjusts to the size of the screen, whether you are using a desktop, a tablet or a smartphone.
Dynamic serving – With dynamic serving, you are showing different versions of your website depending on the device the visitor is using.
Mobile app – In some cases, it also helps if you have a separate mobile app for your audience. That is often the case with retail businesses where they have mobile apps that are free to download to give users an easier and more convenient shopping experience.
# 6 Guide to local SEO: Get more inbound links from relevant and authoritative sites.
Inbound links are incredibly useful for local SEO especially if your main goal is to be listed in the map pack. An inbound link happens when another website has added a link back to your website. Each inbound link tells Google that your website is noteworthy, has high quality content, and that your business is legitimate. That then makes link-building a very important strategy in local SEO.
Several years back, inbound links are just a numbers game. The more backlinks you have regardless of where it is coming from, the higher you rank in search results. But that has led many websites to use inappropriate or spammy link building techniques just to get ahead of their competitors, forcing Google to revise their inbound links algorithms.
Today, Google considers not only the quantity but also the quality of your backlinks. Links coming from an authoritative, reputable and relevant website weigh more than the links you might get from low quality websites.
There are several proven ways on how you can boost your link building efforts:
- Grassroots marketing. Community involvement can have a huge impact not only on your brand’s reputation but more importantly, on helping you gain inbound links from other local businesses.
- Leverage your relationship with other businesses in your local area. If you already have some connections with other businesses within your zip code or geographical area, take advantage of that to earn powerful backlinks. Those businesses may just be a phone call or email away from giving you an inbound link. It won’t hurt to ask.
- Sponsor local festivities, tournaments, or events. It is against the policy of Google to buy links outright and you will get penalized if you do that. But sponsorships that will result in backlinks to your website are acceptable.
- Get your employees involved. If you’ve got employees who are also members of large local organizations, a club, a team or a church with online visibility, you can get them involved in your link building efforts.
- Support local charities. Supporting local charities is also a great link-building strategy. Aside from the noble cause of helping those in need, you also get an opportunity to get links to your website.
- Check if there are local bloggers then collaborate. Another effective link-building strategy is to collaborate with local bloggers. You can offer them free products or services in exchange for being featured on their website.
- Get listed in your local directories. Do a bit of research if there are local directories in your area as many cities have that to connect with businesses and consumers. Getting listed in the directories could earn you backlinks to your website which is great for local SEO.
# 7 Guide to local SEO: Create location pages for your brick and mortar locations.
Another important local SEO strategy has to do with creating location pages if your business has more than one brick and mortar location. Your location pages should contain all relevant information including the name, address, phone numbers (NAP) as well as your hours of operation, unique description for each location, promotion, offer and review among others.
When creating different pages for your brick-and-mortar location, it’s important to avoid duplicate content. Even the About Us page should be unique and locally descriptive.
# 8 Guide to local SEO: Ensure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across different sources online.
Consistency is key in your local SEO strategy. You should make it easy for Google and for people to find you. If your information is not consistent, it will cause confusion among your readers. Just imagine if a website user found a listing that says your business hours start at 9 AM when in fact, your business opens at 10 AM. What if that same customer visited your brick and mortar location relying on the wrong business hours?
Moreover, when listing your NAP in your website, social media account, directories and other online sources, take notice of your formatting and the slightest detail that could otherwise make your information inconsistent across platforms.
On another note, when you add your NAP to your website, make sure that it is in crawlable HTML format so that search engines can find it. Avoid the common mistake of adding NAP within an image, say you embedded it on a map. Images can’t be crawled (though it may already be technically possible) so search engines will not be able to find it.
When it comes to NAP, the quality and quantity mentioned are critical to your local SEO. Be consistent and make sure that all your citations contain the correct NAP.
# 9 Guide to local SEO: Keep your audience engaged by regularly adding posts to your Google My Business listing.
Google My Business posts are also essential for local SEO especially that they are keys to engage your audience and to keep your online presence fresh and up to date.
But before your start writing posts on your GMB listing, it’s important to remember the following Google guidelines:
- Make your post high quality by avoiding gimmicky characters, distracting or gibberish content, and misspellings.
- Make your posts respectful and avoid profanity, obscene and offensive language in the text, image,s or videos.
- Only add links to websites you trust. Don’t include in your posts links to spammy, phishing, or pornographic websites.
- If you are offering regulated goods or services, you can add posts but you cannot post content that are related to the regulated product or service.
- Keep your posts family-friendly. Don’t post explicit or sexually suggestive content.
Now that you are aware of what Google likes and does not like, here are some tips for writing posts that can be beneficial to your local SEO efforts:
Tip # 1 – Use the right post type. Are you posting an offer or special deal? Create an Offer post to let your customers know. Do you have an upcoming party or tournament? Use an Event post. There’s also the Product and What’s New posts. With local SEO in mind, the first step in writing a post is to decide which post type to use.
Tip # 2 – Use high resolutions photos and videos to send the message out. Photos should be direct, focused, simple, and well-lit. Bright and vibrant colors also catch the attention of readers. For photos, the minimum resolution you can use is 400px wide by 300px tall and in either JPG or PNG format.
On the other hand, for videos, Google accepts different video formats including AVI, FLV, MP4, MOV, MPG, WMV, M4V, MKV, MTS and M2TS. The size of the video should be 100 MB or less.
Tip # 3 – Add a good title for event posts. You can add a title that is four to five words long and with a maximum of 58 characters.
Tip # 4 – Be detailed. You have a 1,500-character limit for the description. Use it to give more information about your offer or event.
Tip # 5 – Add a call to action. Encourage the user to take action by adding a call to action such as “Learn more” or “Book now.”
The more frequently you add posts to your Knowledge panel, the higher your chances are of getting a spot in search engine organic results, particularly in the map pack. The best thing about posts is that they don’t expire so even if the post is already a month or a year old, they are still available in your Knowledge Panel.
Some businesses already recognize the value of regularly adding posts to local SEO and if you are not yet doing it, you are already behind the competition. But it’s not yet too late. If you want to know how many posts your competitors make for the last 90 days, GMB Crush will give you that information. You can then start planning how to exceed your competitor’s numbers to rank higher in the local search engine rankings.
# 10 Guide to local SEO: Conduct Competitor Analysis.
It’s vital for local SEO to know where your competitor stands and where you stand in your optimization efforts. Unfortunately, GMB is very limited when it comes to providing you insights into your competitors’ performance. That is also another area where GMB Crush can help your business.
GMB Crush is one of the most powerful and inexpensive local SEO tools that will help you analyze your competitors’ performance in relation to their use of Google My Business. One of the many things it can do for you is to give you insights into the titles that your competitors are using. If they are overstuffing their titles with keywords, you’ll be able to see that. You’ll be able to see as well if their titles are working for them to rank higher in the local map pack.
Moreover, GMB Crush will also let you analyze the additional categories that your competition is using and see if Google rewards them for that. With that data, you can then make the necessary updates or revisions in your Google listing to improve your ranking. Of course, we already mentioned how GMB Crush can help you analyze the posts of other businesses. So under this local SEO strategy, you can reap more benefits from your GMB listing.
There are many other strategies that can help your business rank higher in the local search engine results. We were not able to list here how optimizing your website is also essential for local SEO. This is a broad topic that we can discuss in a separate guide to local SEO.
GMB Crush Takeaways
Now that you have a better understanding of what local search and local SEO is all about and how it can help your business be found on search engine map pack and other listings, it’s about time that you start planning your next move.
While local search engine optimization can be done in a variety of ways, you can start with the most basic step and that involves capitalizing on GMB. It’s not enough that you already claim your business because your competitors might have already done this as well. For local SEO, you need to be more proactive in harnessing the capabilities of GMB to your advantage. Using the right local SEO tools such as GMB Crush, you can elevate the benefits that you can get from Google My Business.
SEO Lover, my motto is Action Over Words.