Local SEO: War of (five) stars

 Local search engine optimization is becoming increasingly important in the world. Many companies have hardly or paid little attention to this important marketing measure. How important is SEO for the local search but really to make his business on-site acquaintances and generate more sales? And what measure does the ranking affect the local search? This article shows you the most important basics for Local SEO and gives tips to make your business optimally appear in the local results of the hit pages on Google.


    What is Local Seo?

    Local SEO is all measures that lead to optimal placement in the local search results of a search engine. Because search engines have different indices, websites, pictures, videos, news, and also for local companies. The factors that influence the ranking within the respective index are sometimes very strong.


    How important is SEO for the local search?

    More and more local companies have recognized how important the local search has become for Google. And that's the competition for the placement in the search results at local searches much stronger than before one or two years ago. According to Ed Parsons, a specialist for spatial-geographic representation at Google, a third of searches for Google has a local reference. And we know that yourself, an Italian restaurant or a dentist is searched nearby, we often start our search at Google. And that Google has also become an important marketing instrument for local companies. The better the placement in the search results, the more potential new customers can generate a company through the hits on Google.

    google search coffee
    Ads (Adword)
    Local search
    Organic search


    Which types of companies do Local SEO need?

    Basically one can say every company is equal to what size, which looks after your customer base or the local consumers on-site. In addition to lawyers, doctors, or restaurants, these also can be agencies or regional branches of large companies. If one has a physical address and wants people to get there, the placement in local hits is important to Google. And the way there leads over local SEO.


    Local Seo ranking factors

    With Google, there are two areas in addition to the display areas that are relevant to local results:

    • Generic index (marked green in the screenshot)
    • Local results (marked in yellow in the screenshot)

    Various ranking factor plays a role in placement in these areas. For this purpose, the American SEO tool provider Moz asked many specialists and from the results an overview of the most important ranking factors in the local search creates:

    ranking factors in the local search
    Source: moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors


    Overview of the types of ranking factors at local searches

    types of ranking factors
    Source: moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors

    Proximity to the searched location

    This factor is not really optimizable unless you are ready to move with your business to influence the proximity of the searched location as a factor for local results. Because the closer your business is located on the city center, the better for the ranking. Competition from the periphery, however, has a disadvantage. However, this point depends heavily on the industry and the "power relationships" existing there.


    Nevertheless, you should not put everything on this card when choosing the location. In the real world, it is often better to be close to a specific target group, which may live a little further outside. And of course, rental prices, traffic connection, etc. play at least an important role in the choice of location.

    "NAP" - Using the name, address, and phone number

    The optimization of the so-called "NAP" is a very important factor. NAP denotes the abbreviation in SEO for:
    • Surname
    • Address
    • Phone Number

    The NAP information should be identical everywhere:
    • Company website
    • "Google My Business" page, formerly Google Places
    • Entries in industry directories, the so-called citation
    • Social media channels
    • Etc.

    Pay attention to the following details:

    Surname
    Here is the complete company name - you can also specify the services offered (example: "XY - Chinese food restaurant" or "Nice Nails Nail Studio")

    Address
    If you have multiple websites, microsites or social media channels, make sure that the same address is available everywhere.

    Phone number
    In addition to the consistent spelling, use an official standard.

    "Google My Business" page

    "Google My Business" includes the well-known Services Google Maps, Google Street View, and Google+.


    For Local SEO, a separate "Google My Business" page is very important. Google uses the contents for ranking to local searches and displays content such as photos, reviews, or opening hours to the right of local hits (see chart below: "Google search result with local hits and reviews"). If you do not have a "Google My Business" page yet, then create one and keep the content up to date.


    To create your own "Google My Business" page, you need a Google account.

    Registration and basic info

    Log in to your Google Account and open the page https://www.google.com/business/. You will be asked to enter your company.

    After clicking on "enter company" you can search for your company. If Google is not yet known for your business, you can use the link "Add Company" your business. Complete name, address, postal code, city, telephone number. Pay attention to "NAP". Then select the primary category. Important here: This must fit perfectly. Be sure to specify the company's type and not the offered goods or services!
    Example based on a restaurant
    • Wrong: Gazpacho and Paella
    • Correct: Spanish restaurant

    Choose more categories later, up to nine categories are possible. These must describe their company as exactly as possible.

    Corporate description

    Write a descriptive text with 100 - 130 words and link to your website and your e-mail address. Think well, what you write here. The description is a piece of critical information for users who read this description. Accordingly, they write this description mainly so that they convince a prospective customer.

    Photos

    Add a profile photo, logo, and other pictures to your "Google My Business" page. So you can make your page appealing for the user.

    Opening hours

    Maintain your opening hours. Thus, the user immediately recognizes whether their business has opened or closed.

    Catchment area

    If you offer your offer outside your shop, then define the catchment area. Google will consider the local search.

    Reviews

    Users have the opportunity to rate their business on their "Google My Business" page. Reviews are very important for ranking. Therefore, we are dedicated to the topic in the next section.

    Reviews help with Local SEO

    Valuations are for your company, for searchers, and for Google's important information.

    • You will receive direct feedback from your customers. If the rating is good, look forward to it. Is not a rating so well, do not scold the customer, but use this feedback to question yourself critically: "I could have done a little better?" In addition, mediocre or negative reviews for Google are a sign of the authenticity of reviews.
    • The searcher shows how other users liked something. Reviews for seekers have a very high influence on whether a goal is clicked or not.
    • With regard to the search engine optimization for local searches, Google does not just approach this as a criterion for the ranking but also shows this from 6 reviews in the form of stars. This brings you additional attention and with a good overall assessment also significantly more potential customers.
    • But make sure that they do not get consistently bad reviews, which of course has a negative impact on the placement in the local search results and on the conversion rate.

    You want to increase your reviews feel free to contact us by email: Admin@keypock.com

    Important rating portals

    There are very different travel portals on the Internet. Below you will find some reviews that are relevant to local shops:
    • Google My Business (see above)
    • Yelp
    • Do you know a
    • Pointo
    • Go Local
    • Ciao (for individual products)
    Besides these industry-specific platforms such as "Kununu" (employer), "TripAdvisor" (Hotels), or "Jameda" (doctors) are known.

    There are different priorities in each industry

    Not for each industry, online booklets are important. First, ask these questions:

    • Which branches can I assign my company to?
    • Are there special rating platforms for this? If so, then registration is definitely recommended.
    • Which clientele do I say? Is this target group largely internetaffin?
    Tips on reviews
    Rating portals on the Internet are becoming more and more important and enjoy rising popularity. This can also be seen at the ever-increasing number of platforms. As an entrepreneur you should consider the following points, give the public opinion free:

    • Generally, the more reviews there are, the more that affects the trust of users and the ranking in search engines. Customers are increasingly trusting on the opinions of other local visitors, even if these users are unknown.
    • Especially positive opinions do the page in the ranking upwards.
    • Regular reviews are a sign of consistency for users and search engines. The last rating two years ago is counterproductive and can have a negative impact.
    • If you want to get good reviews, then you will be active yourself and ask your regular customers for a review. A regular customer is therefore a regular customer because he is satisfied with them. He will greatly rate their achievements. Even after a successful sales interview, you can point out the valuation platforms.
    • And if you have received bad reviews, then take it athletic and use constructive criticism as an occasion for optimization.

    Useless on mobile terminals

    In times of smartphones, it is of course obligatory to grant mobile user-friendliness. Because just local shops are searched via mobile phone - we know that from our own experience. If we are looking for a cafe, the next retail or a shoe store, the Smartphone is quick to start the search. The local search is of immense importance for users who are located directly on site. Because this is not about shops from all over the world, but about the offer in close proximity.

    Google recognizes whether your website is customized for mobile devices and refers to this as a criterion for ranking in mobile searches. If you want to check if your page is optimized for mobile devices, Google offers a tool with which you can test this and gives instructions on what you should improve: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-Friendly

    OnPage SEO - the optimization of your website

    On your website, it is important to never lose the local cover - because that's exactly what you are still at the top of his customers in the first place. Therefore, there is no time to lose time and the following, easy-to-implement onPage measures to direct:

    • The already mentioned next above NAP must be observed. If you only have one location, you can install this information in the footer of each page.
    • Does your domain contain the corporate name, industry, or location? That still has a positive effect on the ranking. If not, then not. Do not change your domain.
    • The main heading (defined in the source code with <H1>) of your home page should include company name, location, and main keyword.
    • The meta-information Title (maximum 55 characters) should include the company name, main keyword, location, and possibly the district on the home page. On the subpages, select a Title matching the respective page.
    • The meta-description (140 - 156 characters) should describe your business on the home page. On the subpages, you describe what it goes on this page.
    • Offer local content on your website. Sounds logical, but is not the rule for many. Show the user and thus Google that they are regional.
    • How to get to the hairdressing business or the delicatessen shop? The journey description is one of the most appreciating terms and should therefore not be missing.
    • Publish the opening hours on your website.
    • Added value and high-quality content: These two simple guidelines are actually a matter of course, but these are quickly forgotten or overlooked. With interesting content about your business, you cancel yourself from the competition.
    • Also via your own blog, you can achieve rankings to local searches. Example: You own a company for garden and landscape manufacturers in Nuremberg and report regularly in your blog about your projects that you have implemented for customers. They report in a blog article about a natural pond with backing and a waterfall they laid out. It would be very possible that this article is well placed on "Horticulture Nuremberg Natural Pond Waterfall" in the search results and leads a potential new customer to your website.


    Social media for local businesses

    Signals via social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in the form of likes, shares or tweets are also relevant for local companies; they increase the company's awareness on social networks. Even without your own social media channels, you can enable your visitors to like and share and actively encourage them to do so. The integration is relatively easy. Here are three examples for sharing a website as a text link (of course you can also use graphics or buttons instead of text links):

    On the website
    Share on Facebook | Share on Twitter

     

    In the source code of the website

    <a target="_blank" href="https://www.facebook.com/sharer/sharer.php?u=http://www.keypock.com"> share on Facebook </a>

    |

    <a target="_blank" href="https://twitter.com/home?status=http://www.keypock.com"> share on Twitter </a> 

    Your own social media channels

    If you have your own social media channels for your business, the number of fans and followers and the interaction on these channels can also have a positive effect on the ranking. Because that also shows that you are acting as a company.


    But be careful, it makes absolutely no sense to set up a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or an Instagram profile just to make it easier for local searches. If there are no new posts or interactions with fans and followers, this is more of a negative figurehead. Think about whether you want to go through the hassle and whether you can use social media activities meaningfully in your marketing strategy. 


    Apply geo-tagging as a social signal

    Posts from social networks such as Facebook or Twitter are perfect for being linked to the location information of the local business. The first step is to first set up company pages on the respective platforms. Relevant information about the local business as well as the philosophy behind the products or services should not be missing either. With the help of so-called geo-tagging, images, a website or an article are provided with a coordinate. This allows data to be placed in the right place, e.g. on Google Earth, on a map.


    The “Youtube” platform can also be designed with tags. The own local brand is made better known through image films. The geo-tag in these broadcasts automatically includes descriptions such as name, address, telephone number, and the location of the company. As with social networks, the following applies here: Log in.


    All content, regardless of the network, has to be updated regularly or new content is always required. This is how you stay in the conversation. As an entrepreneur, you will also notice this point in the extent to which the fans of the site are active. In the best-case scenario, they become customers and vice versa: Customers bring the pages of the accounts to the front.


    Local SEO checklist

    • Pay attention to uniformity in all channels
    • Pay attention to NAP and keep it up to date everywhere
    • Use keywords cleverly ("Pizza New York", "Hairdresser Florida", ...)
    • Encourage customers to give reviews
    • Use negative reviews as an opportunity to optimize
    • Use appealing photos
    • Keep all presences up to date
    • Create directory entries and regularly check that they are up-to-date
    "Google My Business":
    • Correct specification of the category
    • The zip code, street name, and city match
    • The place is mentioned in the title
    • Appealing pictures of the company and the surrounding area

    Conclusion

    Local SEO has become indispensable in many industries. Many users not only want to find the address or telephone number of a business on the Internet, but they also want to get an idea of the company. This makes the ranking in the local search results relevant, an appealing website, and meaningful reviews from other users. What is important in Local SEO: Above all, honesty and timeliness. A trustworthy image of a company, as well as important keywords in connection with the relevant place name, are an absolute must in order to generate customers from prospective customers.

    You want to increase your reviews feel free to contact us by email: Admin@keypock.com