Local SEO is not only necessary for improving search engine results for those searching for your content from a specific location, but is also necessary for improving your search results on Google Maps. Given that the vast majority of online experiences begin with search engines, it makes the most sense for online marketers to focus on search. By focusing primarily on improving local search, you will be bringing customers to your website that are the most likely to need your product or service. To help you, here are some things that you can do:

Optimize Your Website

Make sure that your website is properly optimized. If a local SEO website is not optimized, it will not achieve search engine rankings that are as high. One way to optimize a website for local SEO is to use a domain name that includes the name, location and type of business that you have. For instance, if your business sells motorcycles, a mikesmotorcyclenyc.com URL is great for SEO because it includes the name of the business, includes the type of business that it is and also includes the city where it is located.

Incorporate Business Information on Your Website

Your business name, address and phone number should be incorporated into the content of your website. One good idea would be to have a location landing page, like Discount Tire Centers has, so that potential customers can see the location of your business with the help of a Google Maps widget that is installed on that page. This will make it easier for search engines to index your pages for users who are searching for content that is relevant to your location.

Solicit Good Reviews

The ratings and reviews of your business play a role in how high of a ranking your business will have. Therefore, you will want to encourage customers who are happy with your business to rate it on third-party rating sites. One way to do this is to provide a link to customers so that they can do this easily.

Check Listing Accuracy

Ensure that the listing of your business information is accurate across the various third party business information listing websites. If the information is not accurate, this can have a negative effect on your search engine rankings. Common websites to double-check include Yelp and TripAdvisor.

Update Your GMB

Google has made “Google My Business” more important. When any information is added to it, this information will be reflected on your Google+ business page, your Google maps and on Google search. Make sure that the GMB is filled with accurate information. The location that you have listed will need to be owner-verified.

All in all, ranking locally is extremely important, especially for small businesses. If you’re not ranking or well-known locally, then running a business can be hard—so follow the above advice to make sure that people know who you are.

Author: Hannah Whittenly

Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.