If you have a single store or a chain of business, a compact local SEO strategy is the core to driving increased prospects. By optimizing particular aspects of your online store, you can enhance the chances of finding by your customers in local search results.
Local optimization can be performed in these three areas to propel your search results: on-page, local profile pages, and external links.
a) Establish Your NAP
To start with, you first need to set up your NAP that stands for name, address, and phone number (with area code). You can add all these in the form of HTML text on your site, which can be crawled by the search engines. Place your NAP in the footer or header not over the image.
b) Create Location Pages
Location pages are the source of your NAP, store hours, unique store data, transit information, testimonials from customers, and many more relevant details for the visitors. You must create location pages if you have more than one store. For single businesses, having an About Us page is enough.
3) Publish Relevant Content Locally
You can promote all the happenings taken place locally, i.e. local industry gatherings, employees, news, employees, and other educative content on your blog. A list/map of local service providers or an event calendar of city based events can add value to your business.
Local Profile Pages
1) Google+ Local
Create and get it verified by as a Google+ Local page for every location of your store. You can also link these to your location pages, if you have more than one location.
2) Get Rid of Any Duplicate Listings Using Google Mapmaker
Duplicate listings may dilute your reviews and links across various Google+ Local pages, hence it is advisable to remove duplicate listings using Google Mapmaker.
3) Design a Process of Building Customer Reviews
Some of your visitors or customers might be new to Google+ reviews. Just ensure they do not feel amazed about the process of giving review. You can get the print out of the process for your in-store customers, or else you could also email them after their visit.
4) Optimize Business Categories
Google+ Local profiles enable businesses to describe their type of business category. Add at least 4-5 categories close to your business, which should also have both broad and specific categories.
You can also register your presence on Yelp by displaying a Yelp badge on your website. In this, you cannot ask for reviews, but you declare that you are on Yelp to your customers.
Citations and Inbound Links
Links from another website to your site are inbound links. Citations are mentions of your business name and contact details on other sites, which may not contain a link. Both citations and external links are important for off-page local SEO. The more these are, better your promotion would be. Here are top tips to improve the chances of getting citations and inbound links.
1) Verify the Uniformity in your Business Address Across the Web
Uniformity in spelling of your business name, contact detail and phone numbers is important for local SEO. Better avoid variations. You can check for consistency using Moz.com/Local, which is a useful tool that checks the consistent spelling of your local citations.
2) Build Directory Citations
The four map data assortments offer a huge chunk the map data for Apple, Google+ Local, Yelp, Bing, Trip Advisor etc. Just confirm that your citations are consistent and complete in every place – in all four data aggregators.
3) Acquire Local Links
This is yet another way to increase your local SEO by acquiring links from local sources. Albeit, you have almost no control over this, you can put effort to earn it. Posting content worth linking is the key to getting local links.
This is the brief guide intended to be a local SEO kick start for your local business. Some could be one time effort and others may be a long term investment.