5 Local SEO Tips for 2015
It’s infuriating, isn’t it?
You work your fingers off to get into local results. Brush up every page. Create any local profile you can. And churn out one citation after another.
Only to watch Google changing the rules.
Even though it’s been 6 months since the Pigeon update, many webmasters still wonder what to do to ensure the best local rankings.
With ranking signals constantly changing, it’s easy to lose track of what to do.
Well, here are 5 things we believe you should do in 2015.
Optimize Your Homepage to Exceed First Time Visitors Expectations
Even though it may not seem like it, home page plays a crucial role in your local strategy.
It’s the page most of your local listings will link to.
And because of that, it’s also the one many of your visitors will see first. Not to mention, base on their impression about you.
Therefore you should aim to create a home page that exceeds your first time visitor’s expectations.
But to do that, you first need to understand how they perceive you.
Your first time visitors often don’t know much about your business. Perhaps they have heard your name before. Or someone has recommended you. But since they haven’t had any dealings with you so far, their minds are not made up about you.
And so, they are curious. They want to know if you can help them.
But they are also anxious. Chances are they have visited your competitors’ sites before and none of them delivered to their expectations.
And they want to find out as quickly as possible if you can.
To cater for them, include as much relevant information on your homepage as possible. In particular, tell your visitors:
- If they are in the right place.
- If you offer what they’re looking for.
- If you work with people like them.
- What makes you unique.
- Where you are (after all, it’s local audience).
Why is this relevant for Local SEO?
The answer is simple, just as your customers need to know the above information, so does Google. It will help the search engine discern what your business does but also, provide a strong quality signal.
Optimize Meta Description for Clicks
I’m sure you’re familiar with the data.
Your listing on the first spot in SERPs might get around 31.25% clicks.
If you’re listed second – 14.04%
Third – 9.85%
And so on.
But none of this is set in stone. You can increase your CTR by drawing a searcher’s attention to your listing, even if its further down the page.
One way to do it is by optimizing your meta description for clicks.
Even though it’s still a relevancy signal, meta-description’s importance to rankings is debatable. But its effect on CTR is clear.
Since it may be the very first communications a user might receive, you should approach it from a sales perspective. Tell your visitors:
- What makes you different,
- Why you or your products be the best solution for them,
- Why they should believe you and,
- Why they should click.
TIP: Don’t ignore schema.org either
Showing star ratings and number of reviews in your listing. This will only further increase your CTR.
Improve Location Pages
If your business operates from a number of locations, ensure that your location pages include more than just address of a particular branch.
- Include in-depth information about what your business does in that location.
- Mention customers you have served there.
- Include a social proof.
- And most importantly, link it with any local Google properties you have for that location.
Create Local Content for Your Blog
Blogging is the strategy to attract new traffic, leads and sales.
And I’m sure you know this already.
But do you know that you can also use it to enhance your local campaigns?
Target your local audience with relevant blog posts. Here are some ways to get you started:
- Research local search queries and base your content plan on them
- Feature your products or services from the perspective of your local audience. Are you helping local community in any way? Or perhaps you run promotions targeted at them?
- Write about local events.
- Feature interviews with local business people or influencers.
- Mention issues important for your local community.
- Run a local news section.
All this will make your site even more relevant to your location. And send a strong relevancy signal to Google.
Solicit More Local Reviews
Reviews not only affect your local rankings. They also convince customers to click on your listing and buy.
As part of your 2015 local strategy you should consider increasing your number of online reviews.
Reaching out to current and past customers. You can email them a direct link to your Google My Business page asking for a review.
Or use this awesome Review Handout Generator that let’s you create handouts for customers with instructions on how to leave a review for your business. You can then hand these over to every customer on your premises. Or include along with an invoice in the post.
Creative commons Image by 55Laney69 / Flickr