Local search is positioned on a constantly changing podium. This makes it necessary for us to provide you with a few extremely important and essential SEO tips to let you have a successful 2018. Consumer reviews have gained a lot of importance in recent times. This has made niche SEO workers come up with fast and adaptable measures. Getting found on the search engine, reviewing your actions and constantly adding to your existing search engine optimization plan will make you look for everything you expect in your industry. Several surveys were carried out in 2017 to get an idea about the changing trends that are likely to come up in 2018. If you need to save thousands of dollars then local SEO is surely a significant online strategy for all businesses. There have been big changes for local SEO in Google with lesser number of relevant business listings, increasing the importance of mobility and mobile-centric optimization and complete change in ad placement on search engine results pages. Your rank and business growth with local SEO will be going through transitions and we are here to help you with our 16 essential local SEO tips for 2018.
- Focus on User Experience
With blockchain, voice automation, and robotics becoming an important part of most industries, 2018 will surely be the year of user experience. You must focus on your users and if your web pages are easy to navigate then you will surely be the winner in the long run.
Most topnotch search engines scrutinize web pages on the basis of user engagement and how they are interacting. Search engines provide good ranks to websites that are high on user engagement and attract more traffic.
You must keep a track on the overall website speed, loading time, navigation structure and readability. These are the qualities that determine a website’s efficient use and operability and successful user action and experience. You will attain beneficial insights and tend to develop helpful backlinks.
Mobile users are on the rise and more data is consumed via mobile devices which makes it important for you to optimize mobile websites/apps to support UX across all platforms.
SEO has started giving more importance to personal experiences as traffic and conversions are based on UX in the present times. Engaging your audience must be a part of your daily routine. Simply adding numbers and increasing your web traffic will not help you in sustaining engagement and conversion.
- Give importance to Title and Meta descriptions
Your website content and meta description tags along with the titles must be used in projecting your keyword focus. Include important keywords in your text titles and descriptions will help you appear more frequently and on top of search results.
- Have a Verified Google My Business listing
Before you start dreaming about your reach presence and popularity on Google maps and search engine, start your listing on Google My Business (GMB). Verify your business listing that includes business hours, business address, location, local phone number, and website address. Consider including details like menu options if you are a restaurant owner, list of flowers and other decorative details if you are a florist and likewise add details and description according to your line of business.
Post accurate and complete information on Google My Business. Lack of relevance in the information you provide will kill your business presence in search.
Two ways to verify your GMB listing:
- Use a verification postcard to verify your GMB listing. Refer to available online guides to help you with the verification process.
- Verify your GMB listing with the help of a video.
Google Posts were launched in June 2017 by Google which can be used to post business updates and information. Include this in your GMB account. Your new posts will appear on the SERP and GMB listing. This will help you reach out and communicate with your audience and customers.
Ask your customers to post reviews which is a genuine way to connect with your audience. You can copy your reviews from your GMB listing and publish them as a Google Post.
Since Google posts have a validity of 7 days you can share an event in your Google Post and keep posting updates that will remain live till the event ends.
- Go for Citation distribution across authoritative channels
Google gives importance to the consistency, volume and domain authority created by the citations across the web that ultimately determine your rankings on Google search and maps. Your website address, business name, phone numbers, and address accumulate to become your citation.
You need to publish an accurate representation of your citations across authoritative channels in order to attain authority and consistency that will reflect on your Google rankings in local search.
Moz Local, Whitespark and Yext are recommended citation services provider. A good citation portfolio will enable you to compete and get found in the local search results for high impact keywords.
- Create and Use Image-Based Content
Add as many images, videos and visually attractive and interactive content to your GMB local listing and web and mobile web pages. Presenting virtual tours to your audience will raise your popularity.
Your ‘time on site’ metric will be greatly boosted (visitors will find more options to stay and browse every section and pages in your website) by virtual tours, videos, and images.
Make your ‘About Us’ section appealing. Create your GMB ID from Google maps.
- Create Niche Titles
Add niche category in the title tags of your GMB listing.
- Add Tags as Section
Add ‘Tags’ section in your ‘about me’ description section. Create a list of the most relevant keyword phrases for your local business.
- Create Citations
Citations are a combination of your location based web presence that includes phone, business name and address. Increase your local rankings by improving your volume of citations and relevance.
- Link to Sub-Pages
Create anchor text links that point towards your website’s sub pages in your about section of GMB listing.
- Publish Citations in Niche Directories
Find your metro-specific and industry-specific directories to get highly targeted NAP citations published.
- Create City Pages and add them in your GMB Listing
Make city-specific landing pages for your website. You will earn a lot of relevance and authority for your targeted location.
- Include Schema
Before you publish your NAP citation make sure you wrap it in Schema language.
- Start and Continue with a Blog
Writing a business blog and presenting relevant updates and news (metro-specific) to your audience (share them on social media and include your GMB listing) will up your presence.
New blog posts will let you have higher rankings on Google maps and local search results. Google will crawl and index new content and help you build an authoritative domain authority.
- Embed GMB Listing
When you embed your GMB listing into your city specific landing pages and add your listing map in your website’s footer you ensure a rich local presence.
- Get Reviews
Ask your customers to post their experiences as the relevance of local search is boosted by reviews. Mobile phone usage has also proved to have upped local search results.
Google shows local search results even when global terms, phrases and words are searched.
Implementing effective local SEO strategies is an important way to be found on Google. Localisation of search is currently heavily dependent on mobile devices.
- Do SEO on City Pages
Your city page must have a title tag that must include your targeted metro area.
Survey by BrightLocal suggests growth possibility for local SEO
BrightLocal, a popular local SEO and citation building service provider stated about some significant changes in in-demand, personal earnings and annual revenue market. Provided here are a few sections from the findings carried out BrightLocal.
Here comes a little good news for SEO professionals as local agencies have indicated more hiring of SEO staff in 2018. In spite of some challenging times for freelancers and agencies in the last three years, the present times indicate an increase in optimism in 2018.
Not to be considered an instant-fix, yet local SEO is surely being taken on the right foot and ticked off as a result-oriented action that has rich potential in the near future.
Data has been gathered from numerous sources that point towards an interesting times ahead for local SEO. With Google’s increased local service ads, there are too many scattered pieces to fall back together. As a marketing professional make efforts to remain focused on brand value promotion. Put forward relevant and engaging content for your designated area. Every location page must look and feel unique. Local visibility will be important in upholding your global identity.
With the future being already here, the distances between optimizing for search engines and real users is becoming blurry. Google cannot be fooled by you and your genuine efforts include (and must always) audience attention, new initiatives and goal-setting new age trends. Become aware of new technicalities to win over the competition, conversion, traffic and popularity.