Important questions about local SEO, answered.
As a business owner, how many times have you Googled a product or service your company offers only to find several businesses outranking you on the first page of search results? Can’t find yourself on the second page either? Outranked by your competitors? Not finding yourself can be frustrating, especially if you already invest in SEO and content marketing services with an online marketing agency.
One solution to earning Google’s top spot and appearing in the “local pack” of search results? Local SEO.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website, online business listings, and social media profiles for local search results in search engines.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
According to a study released by Chitika, more than 60 percent of traffic share (clicks on a search page) are attributed to the first three search results in Google. Take a look at a full breakdown of the top 10 Google organic listings and their average traffic share:
#1 – 32.5%
#2 – 17.6%
#3 – 11.4%
#4 – 8.1%
#5 – 6.1%
#6 – 4.4%
#7 – 3.5%
#8 – 3.1%
#9 – 2.6%
#10 – 2.4%
TL:DR: Earning a top three ranking on Google could mean the difference between booking hundreds of leads or zero. Investing in local SEO increases your business’s chances of ranking within the top three search results.
How Does Optimized Local SEO Appear on Google?
If missing out on qualified search traffic isn’t enough for your company, there are many other reasons to invest and optimize your website for local SEO. Earning a ranking in the local pack could mean your company appears above every organic listing on a search results page and appear in a corresponding maps location.
From our example below, Golden Rule Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is clearly winning the local SEO battle for the search query “plumbing repair Des Moines Iowa.”
TL:DR Optimizing for local search can greatly improve your online search visibility in addition to overall organic rankings.
Do Online Local Citations Improve My Website’s SEO Performance?
A common question we receive from business owners in the home services industry is, “Do local citations improve my website’s SEO performance?” The short answer—yes. How so? Let’s explore.
There are many offsite ranking factors—weighted influences in a search engine’s algorithm— that Google and other major search engine’s use to rank web pages that can positively or negatively affect the success of a website’s SEO performance.
Ranking factors like social media mentions and engagement, inbound links, number of Google +1’s, unique IP’s linking to your website, and local citations all play a role in determining how a web page ranks on SERPs (search engine result pages).
Google and major search engines rank web pages, not websites. But when it comes to local SEO, you want to make sure your company’s online local citations are consistent in order to maximize each web page’s online performance.
Consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
When building local citations across the web, (ie. Google My Business, Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc.) it’s crucial to keep consistent listings. Critical contact information needs to be uniform across all platforms to enhance user experience, provide up-to-date contact information for potential customers, and to improve search rankings.
Google and other search rankings don’t like inconsistent business information on the web, including your company’s:
- Phone number
Let’s says you are a Baltimore Roofer and you want to better your chances of ranking in the local pack at the top of search results. You’ll want to make sure that your company name, address, and phone number are identical across the website, local directories, and more. Name, Address, and Phone number are only a part of the equation, however. Obtaining quality reviews from local customers and ensuring that your service categories on local directory sites are consistent is important as well.
Over time, sites may make automated edits to pages or customers may suggest erroneous edits directly to the directory sites themselves, so it is a good idea to regularly check your listings to make sure that information has not changed without your knowledge.
Will Inconsistent NAP Impact My Search Rankings?
Inconsistent NAP in your local citations will negatively your search rankings and UX (user experience). How do customers know which phone number to call if five are listed? Instead of displaying one phone number across all of your citations, multiple, inconsistent phone numbers could result in frustrated visitors to move on to a competitor instead of calling your company for service.
TL:DR Keep your business listings consistent across the web to improve your site’s SEO success and UX. This includes listings on your website, social media platforms, and online directories. Continually monitor and build your local citations.
Local SEO Services from Rank First Local
If you’re website can’t be found in a Google search in your service area for its core products or services it’s time to invest in local SEO services from Rank First Local. As part of our standard content marketing packages you’ll receive:
- Local SEO citation submissions
- Local SEO optimization
- Month-to-month local SEO monitoring by our SEO specialists
About Rank First Local
Rank First Local was founded in 2011 as an extension of Blue Corona, a leading online marketing company in the United States. We exclusively work with small and micro-businesses with small marketing budgets. The reach of online marketing is virtually endless, and our affordable SEO services for small businesses are the perfect solution for business owners looking to grow their business, receive more qualified leads, and become the authority in your industry. Give us a call or contact us online today!