13 Jan 5 Little-Known Factors That Affect Your Local SEO Ranking
For small and medium-sized businesses, having a robust website is a great way to reach new markets. However, you want potential customers to find your website. Most people who enter a search term in a search engine only look at the first page of results. Very few people take the time to look at the second page.
If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of a search result, how can you possibly reach the potential customers of this untapped market?
The key is SEO rankings. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” There are simple things you can do to help search engines decide that your website is valuable enough to deserve a place on the first page of search results.
Here, we list the top 5 SEO factors you didn’t know were affecting your local SEO ranking.
1. Physical Address in the City of Search
You don’t have a lot of control over this factor, but you should know how search engines interpret location-based searches. Tweet This
If a person is looking up a plumber in San Francisco, the search engine will show plumbers located in the center of San Francisco first. If you are a plumber just outside of San Francisco, your business likely won’t show up on the first page of search results, even if the majority of your customers are located in San Francisco.
Search engines’ laser-like focus on location may seem like a obstacle, but you can expand your targeted service area by boosting your SEO ranking.
2. Local Keyword Optimization
When people use search engines to find products or services they need, they usually use similar words to find them. Those search terms are called “keywords.” For example, to find a plumber in Vancouver, they would generally type in “plumber Vancouver” into the search box.
In order to be found by a search engine, your website should have the keywords people search for integrated into the text of your web pages.
3. Listing in Online Directories
You want your business to appear as legitimate as possible on the web. One way to do that is to make sure your business is listed in credible online directories.
Make sure you have listings in directories such as:
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
- Google Places
- Yahoo Local
- Yellow Pages
You should post the name, address, and phone number of your company in each listing, as well as a short description of what your company does and a link to your official website.
4. Consistent Citations of Your Company
Make sure that the information posted in these online directories is consistent. The name, address, and phone number of your business should be correct and up to date. If you find any errors in listings, you should fix them as soon as possible.
Errors are more likely if your business has ever moved or your phone number has changed. Search engines identify inconsistencies and interpret them as evidence that there is more than one business with the same name. Since more mentions of your business increase your SEO strength, the citations with false information take strength away from your overall ranking.
5. Local Backlinks, Citations, and Customer Reviews
Search engines want to see evidence that your business is respected locally. Tweet This The best way to show your business’s respect online is for other local, credible sources to mention (or better yet, link to) your business’s web page.
You can get citations and backlinks by registering in locally-oriented web directories. You can also take it a step further and get involved in your community to generate local buzz about your business. Call local news organizations to do a profile of your company. Any online mention of your business will strengthen your SEO ranking.
Also, encourage happy customers to post reviews online. The most important reviews will be connected to your Google Places Profile. The Google Places rating will show up alongside your listing in search results.
Improve Your Rankings
Now that you know how to boost your local SEO rankings, get started today. For more SEO tips and tricks, be sure to check our blog for regular updates.