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An Introduction to Local SEO in 2018

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by Startacus Admin

Local SEO
Local SEO can become, one of, if not the most effective method of marketing your local business. Here's some handy tips, care of digital marketing business, 
Digital Next

Marketing a local business was once as simple as having clear signage and a listing in the Yellow Pages. In 2018, things are a little more complex, with a number of moving parts playing a role in marketing outcomes. One of the more simple and accessible marketing strategies is local SEO. This article will paint a picture of the current landscape, while offering advice on how to lead locally.

Local SEO Landscape in 2018

Local SEO has become, one of, if not the most effective method of marketing a local business. The fact is, if you are not competing for local search terms then you are missing out on a lot of opportunity. A recent study concluded that 80% of consumers use Google to look for local services or products. This statistic is compounded by the fact that those using Google, search with intent and are generally quite close to making a decision to enquire or buy.

Google has created tools that allow businesses to quite easily set themselves up for local SEO. The focal point of Local SEO campaigns is a Google My Business Local SEOprofile, commonly referred to in the industry as a GMB profile. The two other key elements of a local SEO campaign are your beloved website and back links from industry/niche related domains. All three elements work with one another and together combine into a local SEO strategy.

So, How Do These Elements Work Together?

Google wants to provide accurate information to their users. As such, Google created Google My Business as a way to verify and authenticate content from businesses. Addresses can be verified through postcards sent from Google with a unique verification code, creating a genuine platform for businesses to compete in their local area and not other areas.

Your GMB is linked to your business website and Google looks at the two assets together when deciding if you deserved to be displayed in the highly coveted local pack. Google looks for information on your website that corroborates the location information entered in the GMB. For example, Google will look for location-based pages, metadata such as page titles, as well as body content referencing your local area. A mobile-friendly webpage is also a necessity for a fully optimised local search campaign.

The final component is off page activity. Are local resources linking to your website? Is the content containing the links discussing your area by name? Is your business name referenced in the same sentence as the location? These factors all play a part in an effective local link building strategy.

Google looks at all of the above factors when determining which sites should occupy their local listings, so focus on learning the intricacies of all of the above, some of which will be explained in this article.

Your Google My Business Account

First things first, you will need to enter your business information and get it verified by Google. A postcard will be sent to the address you inputted to ensure that your business is where you say it is. As with most things SEO you will want to ensure that your GMB offers a positive user experience, so add relevant images, accurate opening hours, amenities and a business description.

Reviews are also a crucial part of any GMB. Genuine and verified reviews are a great way of advocating to new prospects that you are both legitimate and good at Local SEO in 2018what you do.

Google Posts are a relatively new feature that allows businesses to display content to people finding their GMB. Business updates, promotions, events and more can all be displayed to those seeing your profile.

Your Website

If you want to capture local traffic from Google, then your need to set-up your website to do so. All of the usual optimisations stand, but require a local twist. Create a keyword plan with a local focus and structure your website around the relevant keywords. Location based information should be present throughout your metadata and content. If you are competing for traffic in particular suburbs, then it is a good idea to create pages for each suburb.

Mobile friendliness is also critical with 9 out of 10 smartphone users conducting local searches.

Links

Links are incredibly important in SEO. They are used by Google to help determine the relevance and authority of a website. In Local SEO, links are primarily used to define locational relevancy and business context. A key part of this is NAP consistency (Name, Address, Phone Number). NAP consistency is ensuring that every asset containing your business’ NAP details are exactly the same. This means on your website, your GMB and any business directories that link to your website should not only have the same details but the same format, or as close as the asset will allow.

 

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Published on: 17th July 2018

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