Make sure your site is mobile friendly.
Google prioritizes mobile-friendly sites. More than 50 percent of search queries globally now come from mobile devices.
- Use Google’s checker to check your mobile friendliness.
- If necessary, update to a mobile-responsive theme.
You will lose leads and rankings if your site is not mobile-friendly.
Create your Google My Business listing.
Your Google My Business listing is essential for local SEO. Here are the specific steps to take to optimize your GMB:
- Claim your listing.
- Remember that multiple locations need their own listings.
- Enter an accurate business name. Don’t add keywords or alter it in any way.
- Enter your complete physical address.
- Enter your local phone number. Do not use toll-free numbers or tracking numbers.
- Enter the URL of your website.
- Choose the categories that best suit your business. Make sure to pay attention if your products/services vary by location.
- Add photos of the interior and exterior of your business. Use your own real, unique photos. They build trust with Google and your customers.
- Add in the additional information, such as prices and hours of operation.
Manage Online Reviews
According to Bright Local’s survey, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Here are a couple tips:
- Make sure your local business is listed on major review platforms. These include Google my Business, Yelp, Angie’s List, and social media platforms such as Facebook.
- Identify any industry-specific or local review sites and claim your listings there, too.
- Assign someone to monitor your online reviews. All customer reviews deserve a response, even good ones.
- With positive reviews, you can simply thank the customer and say you hope to see them again.
- With negative reviews, apologize for their bad experience. Then, reach out to them privately and resolve the issue. In many cases, this will inspire the reviewer to revise or take down their review.
- Put a system in place to request reviews from your customers. You may ask them in person, give them a handout or follow up with them via email or text. *sidenote, Yelp has rules against asking for reviews.
- Put links to your review pages and social media pages on your web site to make it easy for people to write reviews.
Embed Google Maps
Google maps help customers find local businesses. Here’s how to use them:
- If you have one location, embed your Google map on your Contact page.
- For multiple locations, embed a Google map of each location on its proper landing page.
- Include any extra directions to help people find you, especially if you are inside another building. “Inside Woodland Hills Mall next door to Macy’s.”
- Don’t neglect the images on your site. On-page SEO is more important than ever, so excluding images will prevent your website’s SEO from being the best it can be. Search engines cannot see images on websites, so it is important to give the image an alt text and relevant file name to ensure Google knows what the image is about. By not creating this text, you lose a huge opportunity to be as visible as possible online.
Optimize your Title Tags
Your title tag dictates what will display on Google when someone searches your keywords.
- Write unique titles for each page on your site. Include your primary (local) keyword for that page.
- Keep each title to less than 60 characters. This ensures it will display correctly in Google Search Results.
By doing this, searchers and Google have a clear idea of what your page is about.
Create Unique Meta Descriptions
Each page on your site also needs a meta description. This is the description that appears beneath the title on Google. It tells people what they will find on your site. You will need to:
- Write clear meta descriptions for every page, using local keywords as natural.
- Keep your descriptions from 130-165 characters. Include keywords and city, without being spammy.
A crap meta description can hurt your click thru rate. Be concise, clear, accurate, and include a call to action.