If you own a brick-and-mortar business, you should optimize your website for local search traffic.
According to a study conducted by the online advertising agency Chitka, 43% of Google searches have local intent – and Google treats these local searches differently than non-local searches. Searching for “golf” and “golf near me,” for instance, will likely reveal two different sets of search results, the latter of which are customized based on your geographic location.
So, how can you achieve a higher ranking for local searches associated with your business?
#1) Name, Address and Phone Number
Include your business's name, address and phone number (NAP) in multiple locations throughout your site. Search engines will scan this information, using it as part of their ranking algorithm. According to Moz, the presence of NAP is one of the most influential signals in local search optimization (LSO).
#2) Local Citations
Another influential ranking signal in LSO is local citations. A local citation is essentially any online reference or listing of a local business's information. Like NAP, search engines use them to determine search rankings for local businesses.
You can create local citations on sites like Yelp, AngiesList, Citysearch, Superpages, Better Business Bureau (BBB), Manta, and Merchant Circle. When creating them, however, you should use the same format for your business's information across all citations. If you list your business's address as being “750 Rover Drive Suite #1” on one site and “750 Rover Dr. #1” on another site, search engines may have trouble identifying your true address.
#3) Google My Business
A Google My Business listing is essential for local search optimization. Not only will it promote higher local search rankings for your website, but it also creates a separate listing for your business.
Previously known as Google Places, GMB is a directory for local businesses and organizations. Google displays these listings in its search results and Google Maps.
Before creating your GMB listing, first check to see if there's already a listing for your business. If there is, you'll need to verify it to prevent other users from modifying your business's information. Once verified, you should update your listing to include your business's name, address, phone number, hours of operation and website URL.
#4) Embed Google Maps
Embedding a Google Maps view of your business on your website can also promote higher local search rankings. Visit https://www.google.com/maps and enter your business's street address. Next, click the “Share” button, followed by “Embed map.” You can then copy the iframe code to use on your website.
With Google Maps embedded into your website, visitors can find directions to your business without ever leaving your site. More importantly, though, search engines will notice your business's address, helping you achieve higher rankings for searches performed in this geographic area.
#5) On-Page Location Information
Finally, include your business's location on your website when relevant and beneficial to your visitors. If you are trying to rank for searches performed in a specific city, include that city in your site's content, title tags and meta description.
Following these five tips will help you achieve higher local search rankings for your target keywords.