Something that changes with each passing year is the way Google handles its search algorithms and the way it monitors the websites to enhance its search results to offer the best information for its uses. This the same case with Local SEO. If you are small business targeting one local market or a big brand targeting multiple local markets, we have brought the must-have To-Do list for your local business optimization specifically for 2019.
Let’s begin with the bonus part. The new year’s ranking factor for Local SEO. Before focus on the optimization part, it is important to know the specific areas where the optimization is required in 2019. These ranking factors are decided based on the achievements and mistakes that we had for our clients in 2018.
Some factors that are really responsible in the fluctuation occurring in your local rankings:
Locality: The distance between your business address in the Google maps and the location from the user making the search matters a lot.
Google My Business: Choosing the right category for your business listing is the key. Consider keeping the correct and consistent NAP for your business.
Keyword Research: Unlike global keyword research, be specific in using the location at the tail of your keyword.
On-Page Factors: Optimize the title tag, content and H1 by including the localized keywords at the right placement.
Local Links: Focus on creating a backlink profile that has more local domains, directories, news portals and niche websites pointing towards you.
Local Reviews: Always ask your local clients to post a review from their location onto your Google my business profile with 4 or 5 star rating.
Checklist for Local SEO in 2019
If you are a digital marketing agency working with local clients of you are a local business owner or private consultant or a personal accountant, then this is probably the most valuable checklist you can follow in 2019.
1) Determining the measurable metrics:
The fact that local SEO revolves around 3 metrics (Website Visits, Phone Click, Get Direction Requests), it is vital to mark your goal based on these 3, whether need more footfalls,clicks on your website or want to receive more phone inquiries.
2) Identity of your business:
The first thing that stays within your audience’s mind and creates a great recall value for your business is the brand name. Ensure to have a consistent brand name for all your local presences. Have a verified physical address and have a complete Google my business profile. Having a single point of contact and phone number also plays a crucial role in this.
3) Landing Page Optimization
Having a separate localized landing pages for each of your locations can help your ensure a better and consistent presence on the local 3 pack result in Google. Make sure to add the relevant and potential keywords that you have found after the research within the Title tag, H1 tag and the content of each landing pages.
4) Mobile First Index
85% of the local audiences are mobile users and tend to search for your business through a mobile device. This is where the mobile first indexing comes into play. Make sure to have mobile-friendly content that can help you perform better in searches. Pages that are slow-loading may perform less well for mobile as well as desktop searches, as suggested by Google (see below image).
5) Content Marketing Strategy
Ensure to have customized localized content marketing strategy that meet the needs of your users and target social media pages that your local audiences follow to share your stuffs. Also, consider creating localized web pages where the users are more likely to land.
6) Manage Multiple Listings
If you are a local business having multiple locations then consider creating listing specifically in Google having unique naming conventions for each listings. Ensure to have a valid and active physical location where users can make inquiry for the service or purchase the product. If you have common brand name across all the locations then differentiate the listing based on location names. Make sure to verify the addresses for all the physical locations. Also, mark your presence on popular local directories like Yelp, Yellowpages, Foursquare, Angie’s list.
7) Monitor Negative reviews/Spam activities
Consider using third party tools to track your reviews and local listing activities. Some trusted ones are Moz Local, Bright Local. Competitors tend to reduce your brand popularity by posting negative reviews around your product or service. It is crucial to notice this and take initiatives at the right time to remove reviews that are out of your efforts or knowledge. Also, encourage the unhappy customers by rectifying their complaints.
8) Increase brand mentions
Every regional locations has social issues and there are trusts/non-profit organizations working to help the individuals. Ensure an active involvement in those issues through participating or contributing. The best way to do this is by offering sponsorships or scholarships. This will help to get a mention on the local magazines, social media pages and will improve your local reputation.
9) Integrate map with your website
This creates a great connection between your user and the physical location of your business. Google provides an easy code to integrate the map with your website. If you have multiple locations then create individual ge-specific pages and integrate the maps accordingly.
10) Structured Data Markup
Make the relevant informations easily accessible for your audiences through schema markups. Implement local business schema on all the location pages and highlight the NAP, reviews, star ratings and other vital informations.
Satisfying the key local market issue is not the only thing helpful for your survival. Numerous local businesses fail in serving their audiences as they remain unnoticed for their audiences. Your active presence will ensure a smooth business performance in your locality.