The up-gradation of technology has revolutionized the ease of doing business. Companies worldwide are looking to capitalize on the advantages of the internet to grow their business. Technology advancement has played a crucial role in the growth of local businesses. To manage the traffic properly, the demand for SEO companies in NYC and New Jersey has surged.
For brick-and-mortar companies, the correct approach of practicing local SEO is necessary. But most of the local companies are not doing it correctly. Let us go through 5 important things that people forget when practicing local SEO. Mind you; if these steps are followed properly, then it will surely boost your business growth.
1.Proper online listing
The online listing consists of three important components widely known as NAP. It stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. Some people like to mention the website also. Most SMBs understand the importance of these components. But a lot of them don't follow it properly.
As per the Constant Contact survey, 85% of the local businesses understand the importance of appropriate listing on local search apps and directories. Of these, only fifty percent have updated their information online. Moreover, half of these businesses are aware of incorrect listings, but 70% state that they don't have the time to refresh the information.
Conflicting NAP is the third significant negative ranking factor for Local SEO. The online listing depends on the two factors of NAP - accuracy and consistency.
Accuracy of NAP
The local search engine operates on NAP information to evaluate the reliability of a business's existence. It would be best if you made sure that the information updated online should match the actual details accurately. Even a minute mistake will lead to inaccuracy and severely affect the Local SEO ranking.
For example, you run an SEO company in New Jersey. The company name is 'Traffic Generator,' but you list it as 'Trafic Generator.' Now, just an omission of 'f' can severely affect the local SEO ranking. There are tons of SEO companies in New Jersey. A minute error can land you behind these companies. So, make sure to double-check the information before updating it.
Consistency of NAP
The consistency of NAP is also a major issue. The NAP information should be uniform across all the local directories, listings, citations, and mentions. The details on Google+ must include Yelp, Foursquare, and any other Small Business Association.
It may appear tough to keep the information uniformly updated everywhere as some information keeps on changing. Sometimes the name of the business changes, and other times the address or phone number changes. Keep checking and updating this information everywhere regularly.
2.All the other important details in directory listings
Along with the name, address, and phone number, there are other important details the business needs to keep an eye on. These details include general proximity to the location, hours of operation, website, prices, general product or service details, ratings, compare features, payment mode, credentials, etc.
Update this information in detail on every directory to increase the chances of ranking higher on the Local SEO. The information provides the prospective consumers a smooth experience in knowing the details of the business. A better experience will always bring rave reviews and ultimately boost the local SEO ranking.
3.Social Media Presence
The active use of social media has somehow decreased the relevance of websites. As per the Local Search Ranking Factor survey conducted in 2013, a locally optimized website's relevance is 18.8 percent only.
The biggest reason for the decrease in the importance of websites is undoubtedly due to different social media. The prospective customers judge the credibility of a business based on their social media pages. Instead of checking the website, they check the details on Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, Urbanspoon, and recently Instagram. The ratings or reviews on social media accounts play a critical role in the local business's growth and the local SEO rankings.
The great thing about Local SEO ranking is most of the traffics is controlled by the business owner. All you need is to optimize them correctly, and then the ranking will take care of itself. However, you can't control the customer reviews to some extent.
It is quite evident that reviews play a critical role in the local SEO ranking. You can't influence the customers to post five-star ratings and rave comments on the different websites. But you can follow an ethical approach to gain positive reviews and boost the SEO ranking.
You can politely motivate them to do it. There are many ways to do it. In exchange for positive reviews, you can offer discounts, free drinks, props, etc. The minimum you can do is to request them to leave a review. Posting a sign on the door or counter is a good option to get some reviews organically. For their convenience, you should place a QR code on the table or menu so they can scan the code and post their review easily. An employee can request the customer for review at checkout.
These little reminders are precious, and they have shown positive results over the years. The top search engines such as Google shows result based on the reviews. Therefore, it is quite logical to take these little steps for a better local SEO ranking.
5.Edging on hyperlocal SEO
Hyperlocal SEO is still growing. Even Google has specified that they are testing 'neighborhood algorithm.' However, the neighborhood algorithm is tough to position into the search engine algorithm. The geographical location is not aptly clarified. Therefore, it cannot be easy to rank for local SEO in a community with a distinct name from its official map designation.
To cope up with this, you need to take advantage of the website. By optimizing your business website with the community terminology, you can step forward in regional searches that aim at your community's informal area along with ranking higher in the official local SEO. Moreover, you can add your neighborhood company name on your Google My Business Page.
Adding the neighborhood to the local citation profiles is a great option. Adding the neighborhood name to the title tags on the website also works well.
The factors mentioned earlier are tried and tested as valuable steps for ranking higher on local SEO. These methods have helped a lot of small businesses to grow in their locality. So make sure to apply each method for boosting local SEO rank.