Local SEO is constantly becoming more and more important for businesses across the web, especially for small and medium sized businesses. As the search engines continue to get smarter, this will only become more important. With Google’s Venice update, it is clear that Google is putting a strong focus on local, which means we can’t ignore it.
As always when it comes to search engine optimization, you want to focus on the customer first and the search engines second. However, there are still things that you can do on the backend that will help you see a small jump in the rankings, the following tips will help boost your local SEO:
Schema is a new markup language that can be utilized for search engine optimization. Essentially, it is a collection of new standard HTML tags that you can use to help search engines discover important information about your business. This is especially helpful for getting your local listings fully optimized. The following three tags are the most important Schema tags that you will need for local optimization:
The name tag helps search engines to find the actual and appropriate name for your business. The “brand” tag also can help do about the same thing. Depending on the size of your organization, you may have to use a few other alternatives, but for most businesses, this name tag will work fine.
This let’s the search engines know that this is for sure your address. This helps them localize your business on your end so they know what locations to show your results for.
This gives the search engines access to maps and more location data that you have for your business. Adding this in with the address tag will help dramatically for search engines to properly localize your business.
Unique Content For Locations
Google has an insatiable love for unique content. This is no different when it comes to optimizing pages for your different locations on your site. You shouldn’t simply copy and paste the content from one location into another and only change the name. You should really be striving to create unique content for each of your locations in order to please the search engines and make your readers feel like you care.
So how do you easily and consistently create unique content for each your location’s pages? Here are a few tips from Nifty Marketing:
Give travel directions to your location. There are almost an infinite number of ways that you give directions to a place, so there is no excuse to not have unique content for your . This makes sure that you have unique content for each of your location pages.
Reviews are becoming one of the most important factors for customer conversion, especially in the B2C arena. This form of social proof can be very powerful, so it is important to monitor and use this to your advantage. Post your customers reviews of the specific location to get more unique content on your location’s page.
The third easy way to generate unique content for your business’ location pages is to include information about your staff at that location. Every location is likely going to have different workers, this allows you to highlight them on your page to create unique content. Along with being unique content, this gives you the opportunity to establish your authority in the industry.
Optimize For Reviews
As we mentioned above, reviews are becoming one of the most important factors for local search results. Not necessarily from a search engine’s point of view, but from a user’s point of view this especially true. Reviews add reassurance to a potential buyer who is looking, so getting some positive reviews for yourself can drastically improve your conversion rate by letting other users know that the product/service is up to par. So, how do you optimize your business to get more positive reviews online?
Tell Your Staff
Tell your staff to ask for or remind customers to leave reviews online. This is seriously one of the easiest ways to start getting more reviews today, unfortunately, most business overlook this simple method. Generally, the only people that want to leave reviews are the people who had a bad experience and want you or the world to know about. By asking the customers who are having a great experience to leave a review, you give these people who are more inclined to leave a positive review a reason to leave a review.
Add Review Links To Your Site
Do people who visit your website know where to leave a review for your business? Most likely not, that is why it is important that you include links to sites that have reviews for your business on them. These links will not only help remind the user that they can leave a review, but it gives them easy, one-click access to review sites they can use now, removing a lot of friction for the user.
Create A Feedback Userflow On Your Website
Setting up a “feedback userflow” you can help create more positive reviews for your company while reducing the amount of negative reviews online. The template that we use for most of our client’s site goes like this:
The user gets two options on a page or email, the options let the user choose what type of experience they had, “good” or “bad.” If they click on good, they get taken to a page that encourages the user to leave the company a review and it also explains how to leave reviews and gives links to review sites. If they choose the “bad” option, then they get taken to a page with a form on it that gets sent to the business owner or whoever is best at taking care of customer satisfaction issues. This helps encourage more positive reviews while minimalising the bad ones from being posted for the public to see.
This article was written for you by Chris Steurer, a freelance marketing consultant and designer for small and medium sized businesses. You can follow me on Twitter or circle me on Google+ to say hi and stay connected.