Organic SEO has always been, and will always will be a predominant factor in online marketing. There have been many rumors and SEO is just a scam and that it doesn’t work. For those of us who have had experience with bad SEO know that this is usually because of the marketer, not the process. SEO isn’t disappearing, it’s simply evolving. What are some of the ways it is evolving? For one, local rankings are becoming more and more of an important factor in overall organic traffic. There was a time when people shrugged off local optimizations, but in 2015 if you aren’t ranking in local search you are losing lots of potential business.
Ranking locally isn’t complicated, but it is extremely tedious. Everything you do has to be extremely accurate and high-quality. Let’s take a look at some of the top factors for increasing your local search rankings.
Directory listings are extremely important if you want to rank your website locally. Why are they so important? Local listings show the major search engines that your business is legitimate, and they tell the main search engines were your business is located. While it’s important for you to get your business on as many local listings as possible, there are a main four that you should start with.
The Main Four
The main four directory listings include Google Local, Bing for Business, Yahoo Local, and Yelp. If your business cannot be found on these four websites, chances are that it won’t rank well locally. You want to make sure that your information is all the same across each listing – we will address this in a later point.
Make sure that you verify every single listing that you create. Most of the time, your listing won’t even be visible until your verify it. If you don’t take the time to verify your listing you are wasting your time. Verifications let companies know that you aren’t a fake business and that you are actually located where you say you are located.
It is extremely vital that you are accurate and consistent across all of your listings (and website). In other words, you want to make sure that your address, phone number, contact information, and website is identical across your website, and every single directory listing.
After you have ensured that the above steps are completed, make sure to add microdata to your site. An example of this would be adding schema.org data around your address, phone number, business name, and contact information. Also, it’s a great idea to add a local map on your “locations” page. This allows Google to connect your information quicker.
Another great factor in local search is reviews. If search engines see that your business is getting reviews, they will know that you are legit. In other words, why would somebody leave a business review for a business that doesn’t exist? Reviews prove that your business is active and that people are interacting with it. If you want to increase in local search, start a campaign that will increase your Google+ and Yelp reviews.
If you want more information or tips on local search, contact your local marketing firm today!