Aside from worrying about the usual SEO for a business website, you also need to think about local SEO if you are handling a local business. This means dealing with Google My Business, Reviews, and Citations.
Understanding how the local search algorithm work would help you a lot. Here are some insights on how local SEO works that you might find useful:
The Deal with Links
When the Pigeon update was introduced back in 2014, it was said that the old SEO signals would become more important for local SEO. Now, statistics are coming in which are proving that. For example, when it comes to Google My Business Rankings it seems that links play a very important role now. They can give the competitive edge to a website.
There are a few website signals that seem to influence Google My Business Rankings. Though it is being claimed that Google is now using more sophisticated methods for ranking, indicators point out that engagement and keyword are still very crucial. In fact, using more words on content seems to help when it comes to rankings.
Don’t Ignore Citations
You might not think that Citations is not very important for your local SEO ranking, but that’s a mistake. Studies have shown that consistency when it comes to citation would actually help you into getting a local pack. The volume of the citations doesn’t really matter. The really crucial factor is the consistency.
Google My Business
Signals of Google My Business also play a very crucial role in local searches. For example, having an Owner Verified profile came along with a good performance in Google My Business. Reviews also showed a very strong connection.
Toolbar Page Rank
Google itself has said that the Toolbar PageRank score is not very useful. They even removed PageRank from Toolbar. That means that it is no longer shown publicly, but the data is still available internally. But studies show that it is one of the top link metrics. So you have to pay attention to this metric despite what Google says.
If your site gets a 1-10 organic ranking, there is a good chance that you are also going to get a 1-10 ranking in Google My Business. That just shows how organic algorithm also plays a crucial role in local searches.
Keyword in Business Name
You need to incorporate a keyword in business name if you want to get a boost in your GM ranking. Data shows that if you have a keyword in your business name, you will rank 1.5 spots higher.
It has long been assumed that the use of location in tags, URLs, and even page copies can help you rank locally. Like including city and state would help you to rank in those areas. But data gathered shows that there is no connection there. So it would be a good idea to stop wasting your efforts in that direction and focus it on something else that could really help you to rank locally.
What Makes Up a Good Link?
Data shows that one good link with optimized anchor texts can do wonders for your local ranking. The anchor text should be optimized for the keyword and for the city.
What Does This Mean?
So what should be your main takeaway from all of this? It just shows that what is old should still work for you. Links are the perfect examples. It means if you focus on Google My Business and Citations in order to rank for local searches, then you are missing on something. You need to go back and invest more time and work on your website and on links.
That does not mean you should ignore those basics of local SEO. In fact, in markets where there is very little competition, sticking with Google My Business and Citations should be enough for you. But based on the findings of some studies, Google is now taking steps to make it more complicated for you to rank locally. You should be ready for it and take steps now.
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