What Should You Have on Your Local SEO Bag?
You may have an expert executing your local SEO strategy, but as an owner of the business, you should have at the very least solid background information about things that lead to success in the field. Here are some things you need to know:
Do you have local backlinks?
If you are totally serious about reaping the benefits of your local SEO efforts, having backlinks is a good place to start. What are backlinks, you might ask? A backlink is simply a link of a website from another website. With local SEO, an easy way to incur backlinks is from other local businesses that may be your fellow members in the local chamber of commerce. Moreover, the chamber itself may have a website that lists all their member businesses in a directory that includes a link to your business’ website. That’s one great backlink! Having local backlinks from associations and other businesses in your area is practically free promotion, not to mention that it strengthens the credibility of your business because other local entities are citing you. Of course, if you get backlinks from local organizations, Google will appreciate that and in turn, will surely affect your local search ranking.
For example, a local restaurant might be on a list of the top 10 restaurants in their city, or a local plumber might have a link to their site from a news story about their charity donations.
External links work to drive direct traffic, but they also serve as a ‘vote’ from another website saying that your site is useful and relevant.
Are you listed in directories?
Online business listing directories are present everywhere, not just in the usual suspects of Yelp, Foursquare, and TripAdvisor. Their power may not be as pronounced these days as it was before particularly on local SEO as fewer people are out and about, which lessens the number of visitors and subsequent reviewers of your local business’ brick and mortar stores. However, there are still a lot of users of these websites and apps that still drop reviews for businesses they still patronize, even if they just use their online versions. Moreover, having your business listed in these directories still establishes your presence on the Internet and if the information you have on these listings and everywhere else on the web are consistent, your credibility and veracity of your important information, especially your NAP (name, address, and phone number), are further strengthened. Besides, setting your listing in these directories is a piece of cake, so it should require a lot of time and effort from you. Just make sure your information is correct.
The trick with local SEO citation link building is to only engage with legitimate citation sources. Building citations should centre on laying the foundation for NAP consistency – not acquiring hundreds of backlinks from low-quality websites.
Are you good at voice search?
With the rise in popularity of voice assistants and voice search, local businesses should not make the mistake of missing out on this opportunity. Even local, small-town customers are already used to getting assisted by Siri, Google, or Alexa when looking for local businesses, be it the nearest butcher, a beauty salon that may still be open as they haven’t had a decent haircut since June of 2020, or a local HVAC business that can help them with preparing their A/C system for the upcoming summer. Thus, you have to make sure that your content gets on with the times, your forms can adapt to question phrases smartphone users are all about nowadays, and your Google My Business profile has accurate information. Miss these factors and your business will be missing out on the increased popularity of local searches being done through voice search.
To underline the increasing prominence and thus, the importance of voice search in local SEO, software company SEMrush conducted a voice search study to provide local businesses some insights on how to leverage this tool to further their business. The study produced very interesting findings, and if you are a local business keen on improving your business’ local SEO performance, you need to read this:
As voice search expands, the market keeps introducing more and more virtual assistants. If the previous year’s study focused exclusively on Google devices, this year we’ve added Siri and Alexa to cover almost 100% of the voice assistants market.
As an old saying goes, knowledge is power. So make sure you get empowered with all the local SEO knowledge you need by reading more here.