With Google accounting for around 75% of search engine usage, it remains one of the top search engines for local SEO. For businesses that operate locally, limiting your SEO efforts to your business region can allow you to be more competitive locally and can even result in more traffic and engagement to your website. There are some local SEO strategies specific to Google that can be employed to prepare your business for better search rankings and the significant traffic mentioned above.
With StatCounter you have all the tools to measure the effectiveness of Local SEO on your website. This allows you to closely monitor the performance of your tactics, but also gives you a comprehensive understanding of your website traffic. Additionally, with StatCounter Insights, we strive to provide you with the in-depth analytics you need to thrive on competitive search engines like Google. This guide aims to dive deeper into local SEO as it relates to Google and how local businesses can make the most of their online presence, even as a locally operated business. Check below.
When you're ready to find out more information about SEO, you'll find plenty of help on the following pages:
- Useful tips for training in search engine optimization
- The best SEO tools available
- What to look out for when hiring an SEO consultant
Local SEO explained
For small and local businesses, Google has made it easy to achieve keyword rankings and build a strong online presence. In fact, many of Google's services are designed to help local businesses thrive in a highly competitive environment. Before search engines, marketing was expensive for a small business and difficult to reach the desired audience, but Google and other search engines have changed that.
Local SEO is very different from your standard SEO project. While standard SEO targets high-volume keywords, local SEO combines those keywords with local modifiers. For example, if you're a business that exclusively serves a specific city, national keywords shouldn't be as important as keywords related to your location.
Local keywords are invariably less competitive than national keywords, so local targeting is an easier way to grow your visibility on Google. In addition, Google offers a variety of tools such as B. Google My Business, which can help you get your business ranked locally on Google Maps results. Businesses that appear at the top of the map listings for a particular service benefit from a greater local presence.
In addition to listing on Google My Business and Google Maps, you can list your website in local online directories. Not only does this help customers find your local business more easily, but the backlink you get from these websites also helps improve your domain strength and page authority. This can help improve keyword rankings and card listing results even further.
Google Local SEO Best Practices
As mentioned earlier, there is a list of location-specific SEO strategies that you can use to increase your business and website's visibility on Google. By implementing the following practices, you will be more likely to rank on Google Maps and get more traffic to your website. When getting started with Google Local SEO, make sure you use the following tactics:
- Add your business to Google My Business:The first step for every business owner should be to claim their business on Google My Business. After you create a Google My Business page, you should add a description of your business, your hours of operation, and other useful information that can help potential customers in their search. Make sure to include images as well, as this can help customers get to know your business before they visit your store.
- Optimize your NAP (name, address, phone):Make sure you fully optimize your business name, address, and phone number so they're consistent across your website and across all online directories where you've listed your business, including Google My Business. This helps Google determine your location and therefore improve your local keyword rankings.
- Get local reviews:If you look at the top local business listings on any Google search, you'll see that the top businesses have an abundance of positive reviews. While it can be difficult to get customers to review your business on Google, the result will increase your profitability as a local business. An easy way to get more local reviews on Google is to simply ask your customers to leave one on your Google My Business page and share their experience.
- Create local shortcuts to directories:you can getquality inbound linksto your website in a variety of ways, which should improve your company's domain authority. But searching local directories also paves the way for local community members to find your business. A good directory to start with is a local chamber of commerce listing or business listings from local newspapers as these are high quality and easily obtainable backlinks. Of course, you should also submit your website to popular directories like Yelp! and Yellow Pages.
- Local factors on the site:There are also several aspects of on-page optimization that can help improve your Google Local SEO strategy. Adding localized keywords to your page content, such as header tags, page URLs, image alt text, and title tags, can also help improve keyword rankings and should be a focus of your marketing strategy.
More information about onpage optimization
Considering the importance of on-page optimization for local SEO, we thought we'd spend a little more time explaining tactics you can use to increase the visibility of your business and associated website. Let's take a look at the top practices when performing local SEO:
- Title Tags:For any aspect of search engine optimization, your site's title tags should always be keyword-optimized, but when it comes to local search engine optimization, there's something more to it. Title tags are the clickable blue links in search engine results, but they also appear at the top of the browser when you're on a specific page. In addition to a keyword that tells you what the page is about, your title tags should also include the city and state you are in. You can even work localization into keywords, which are essentially a type oflong-tail keyword.
- Meta Descriptions:Meta descriptions are located just below the title tag in search results, but are hidden once on the site. Just like your title tags, the meta description for each page on your site should mention your location, the content of the page, and the keyword on that page.
- Header-Tags:Header tags are exactly what they sound like — headers for different areas of every page on your site. An H1 tag would essentially be the title (not to be confused with title tags), while an H2 is used for subsequent section titles. You can use these tags just like title tags, but each tag should support the progression of the page, as with any type of document or article.
- URLs:Even if you don't want to change the URLs of existing pages on your site, you should always strive to include local instances in URLs for new pages as you create them. For example, if you are a service provider in Los Angeles, California, a URL to one of your pages might look like this:
- Image-Alt-Text:Image alt text is displayed when an image fails to load on your site, but is also used to tell search engines what the page is about. This makes the images searchable like Google Images. The image alt text should include a relevant keyword, its location, and descriptive text about what the image is about.
As you can see, local SEO works a little differently than standard SEO practices. Whether you are a local service provider or have a brick-and-mortar business for your business, local SEO is essential. Of course, local instances matter. That is, make your location known to web users and search engines. By doing this, you not only increase traffic to your website, but you also increase traffic to your business' physical location.
Measure your local SEO efforts with StatCounter Insights
As you work to increase your site's local search engine visibility, it's important to monitor your progress. Local SEO can be tricky, and if you're not tracking the results of your efforts, you'll have no idea how your tactics are working. StatCounter allows you to track your website's progress through our Google SEO features to ensure your website is competitive online.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact StatCounter Customer Service by filling out the form below.
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