Local SEO is a different beast from the one it was a few years ago. Getting to the top of the map pack results now requires a lot more thought and effort. It’s not enough to create a bunch of citations and hope for the best.
Here’s what you need to do to ensure that your business gets to the top of Google’s local SEO results in 2019.
Make sure your address is in the city you’re targeting
You can only rank in locations where your business is actually based. So even if you serve a much larger area and are willing to travel to different cities, it will be almost impossible to rank in any but the city your business is based in. What’s more, the closer your address is to the city center, the more likely you are to rank.
Sort out your Google My Business profile
If you’re serious about ranking in Google’s local SEO results then you’re going to need a completed and verified Google My Business profile. You’ll also need to make sure that it is properly optimized by selecting the right categories for your business. Don’t forget to include your business’ opening hours, photos of your business and any other information that a customer might need.
Create new citations and optimize existing ones
Citations on their own aren’t going to get you to the top of Google’s local results. But they are still an important weapon in your arsenal. That’s why you’ll need to make sure that you create citations on all of the biggest and most relevant directories. You’ll also need to go through your existing ones to make sure that the same name, address and phone number is used in every instance. Consistency is key when it comes to citations.
Don’t forget about on-page SEO
On-page SEO is still important, even if you are only trying to rank in the local SEO results. You should have a page on your website dedicated to each of your business’ location. If you are only located in one city then make sure your address and phone number are listed on each page and that the city is mentioned in your website’s title tags and heading tags.
The more reviews the better
If there’s one thing that you should focus on, it’s getting more great reviews for your business. But you’re probably going to have to ask your customers if you’re to get any reviews at all. That doesn’t mean you have to spam the inbox of every customer you’ve ever had, however. Just go out of your way to ask your best customers for reviews when you get the chance. It doesn’t matter where they post their review, either, Google, Yelp, Tripadvisor, they all count.
Make sure your site is fast
Google has started to place more importance on having a fast website. That means you need to speed up if you’re to nail one of the top three spots. Having a fast website won’t just help your site rank, either. It can also increase your website’s conversion rate as customers are more likely to continue using it after landing on it.