What can research tell us about the local search market?
As we start the New year you may be sitting wondering how you can get your business or company to make an impact in the local search results. Gaining traction on local search has become more difficult. This is mainly because more people are engaging with local SEO and recognising how lucrative it is for them. It is also down to the fact that more people are simply using their mobiles to find local services to them. There is also the what is called Google ‘local pack’ which is located at the top of Google’s search which now shows 3 business that are particularly related to that search. The number use to be 7 businesses shown rather than 3, so immediately it can be seen that it is much harder to rank in the local search market.
To stand any chance of succeeding in local SEO you need to take account of the ranking signals that underpin this area. Whilst these signals serve only as a guide, they are a well-informed guide. All these signals are backed up by previous research or statistics from Google and other research companies. It is only by adopting these principles that you will stand the best chance at local SEO becoming fruitful for you.
The first thing to do is to create a Google My Business page if you haven’t already done so. This is seen as a central and important way to get started on your local SEO strategy. Once you have done this make sure you categorise your business accurately using as few categories as possible. The more refined and targeted, the better. Next you need to consider adding photos of anything related to your business. By this we mean real photos of your business. The more authentic and relevant the greater the chance you are likely to attract an audience. It will also be seen as more genuine which is a good ranking signal.
Once you have done the above, follow the same procedure for Bing also. Many people only relate local SEO to Google, but Bing (Places) has an associated share of the market too.
You should then look to make sure your business is available on citation / directory and review sites in order to increase visibility. At the same time, you need to consider your presence on social media and consider any listings which you haven’t already got.
One important consideration which has been evidenced from research is that if you want to succeed at local SEO ensure your NAP (name, address and phone number) details are not only accurate, but consistent across all platforms. If you are company X then use that name, do not be Company X Ltd (or other variations) on different platforms.
Finally, remember the importance of being mobile friendly as this is one of Google’s top priorities now.
From a condensed view of all the data and reviews available, the above is certainly the quickest and most comprehensive way to get your local SEO campaign started. In the digital marketing field there is no such thing as a perfect site or domain and once you have mastered the basics there will be more to do to ensure you become more competitive with others around you who too are also competing for vital local SEO status.
To find out more on local SEO & SEO generally, visit our dedicated section now.
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