Google changes it’s algorithm almost 500 times per year. As Google owns over 65% of search engine market share, whenever it updates it’s algorithm, you should pay close attention. Recently on August 6th, Google replaces it’s normal 7 packs with 3 packs in local search results. it also removed exact address, phone number and Google+ page links. It makes it quite hard for SEO experts as the competition becomes very tough.
One of the most effective small business marketing strategy is to rank higher in Google local packs. Whether you have an in-house SEO team or you are working with a local SEO company, having a proper step by step local SEO strategy is key to rank higher in local SERPs.
Now to help you achieve that, in this article I’ll share top 3 local SEO techniques you should follow in 2015.
1. Google My Business Page Optimization
Google My Business or formerly known as Google Places is one of the main area where you can start your SEO audits. It provides tons of information to help you get started. But make sure you follow Google’s business guidelines, as they change it often. Here are a few things you need to focus on:
- Make sure you Google My Business Page is verified and there are no duplicate entries. You can use this tool to find duplicate listings.
- Use you correct business name, don’t stuff it with keywords.
- Use proper address, website URL, Hours of Operation and phone number.
- Make sure you choose the correct categories for you business. Don’t be spammy here.
2. On-Page SEO
- Make sure you have the correct NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number) on Website or Local Landing Page.
- Optimize Title Tag and Meta Description with proper keywords. Try to use keywords with state and city in your landing page meta tags.
- Optimize URL structures in proper way. Make sure you include keywords, state and city in your landing page URLs.
- Write unique content and don’t forget to include customer reviews and business hours in your page.
- Optimize your landing page with schema markup to get the most out of Google.
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly. If you are in WordPress you can use these responsive themes.
- Optimize for site speed. You can use GTMetrix or Pingdom Speed Test Tool to run a site speed test on your website.
3. Building Citations with Authority
Citation building is the most talked about subject amongst Local SEOs. It’s always good to start building your citations after you create you Google+ Business Page. Even though citation building takes time, you must go for manual process because then you will have full control over your citations. Make sure you NAP value remains the same for all citations. List them out in an excel sheet or Google docs and if some details changes such as your phone number or you have a new business location you can always change them.
Last but not the least take a look at this handy infographic by Open Door Media on Local SEO do’s and don’ts.
If you follow these Google local SEO tips, it will help you to rank highly in the local search results. However Google’s local algorithm is always changing and what’s working today, might not work tomorrow. So, keep yourself updated with recent Google algorithm changes and keep changing your local SEO strategy accordingly.
What other local SEO techniquess do you follow? Share your valuable inputs in the comments section below.