A strong local SEO strategy can help your business increase your online visibility and generate revenue. According to one survey, 46% of searches on Google are looking for local information, and 50% of local mobile searches lead to an in-store purchase. Now that search has moved onto smartphones, consumers expect to find whatever they need wherever they are. Local SEO ensures your business is at the top of their search results.
Optimizing for search engines has become even more important since Google introduced the Google Local Pack, also known as the Google Map Pack. When a user searches for a localized term (e.g. "cupcake stores in Chicago"), the Local Pack spotlights the three highest ranking local businesses at the top of the results page, next to a map marked with their locations. Other relevant businesses are marked on the map with red dots but no names. Organic search results are displayed below — so being in that top three matters when you need to stand out from competitors.
Refining your local SEO helps you achieve a high local search ranking. You need to optimize information about your business wherever it appears online so that search engines identify it as a top result. That includes content on your website and across business directories, which enable potential customers to find you when they search for your company name or for your products and services. Here's how to ensure you have the best local SEO possible.
Ensure Your NAP Data is Consistent and Up-To-Date
A consistent NAP (Name, Address & Phone Number) across your site and your key citation profiles is critical for your local SEO strategy. By combining Yext's Listings and Pages, your NAP is never out of sync across the web – from your own website to 100+ key citation sources, maps, apps, directories, search engines, and social media networks.
Add Local Content to Your Location Pages and Your Listings
Most local businesses never update their pages, but businesses that regularly add content such as events, product lists, menus, and offers to their location pages are more likely to rank for local queries. Yext Pages provides the ability to instantly update this content on both your local listings and your site's location pages, and are built using local SEO best practices. On top of this, utilizing best practices through Schema markup and structured data can also help your local pages rank highly. Check out our whitepapers for tips.
Monitor Your Online Reputation and Share First-Party Reviews To Your Location Pages
A decade ago, it was common for people to talk about brands and products in private online forums. But in recent years, that private communication has shifted to public spaces like social media, review sites, and discussion boards. Yext's Review Monitoring feature allows you to track what is being said about your business in real-time, and to generate authentic first-party reviews from your customers, and add them to the location pages on your website.
Include Backlinks From Top Local Search Pages & Directories
To determine which pages rank online, Google assesses the total number and quality of backlinks to a given page. This is especially true for Local Search. To improve your rankings online, you can add links from location profiles on local search sites to the location page on your website.
Add Rich Content To Your Listings
In order to compete online today, businesses need to provide more information than just their name, address, and phone number (NAP). A recent study by HingeGlobal found that consumers were 25% more likely to buy a product online when the product page had enhanced content.
Rich listings with images, descriptions, contact information, and directions are far more effective in getting your business information to appear at the top of the local search results. Rich content also provides consumers the information they need quicker, and makes them more likely to convert. Yext conducted a study of 31,000 locations to illustrate the relationship between rich listings and consumer engagement and found that businesses who include rich information received 416% more listing views.
Get Ready for Google's Search Generative Experience (SGE)
Google's AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE) will likely change the way consumers search for local businesses. SGE builds on Google Local Pack by listing the top five highest ranking local businesses, rather than the top three, which means two more opportunities to grab consumers' attention. The tool also includes a short description at the top, and displays a slideshow of relevant high-ranking web pages above the map, a feature that could potentially reinvigorate the relevance of organic links.