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Every Local Business needs Local SEO. Everyone should be familiar with how important SEO is for business.  The goal is to enhance its visibility, traffic, and rankings within search results of Google, Yahoo, and Bing, etc.
 
What is Local Business?
 
If a Business depends on the Local Market or on the audience that belongs to places near your Business, then that business is a Local Business. Online marketing is an important key to growing your business, and there are a lot of options out there.
 
What is Local SEO?
 
Local SEO is an effective way to market your local business online. It helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them online. It is the process of optimizing your website and local profiles like Google My Business to rank higher on Local search results.
 
Importance of Local SEO
 
64% of local customers use Google and other search engines as the main way to find local businesses (like you), and 50% of local customers who make a local search end up visiting the store on the exact same day. Therefore, if you own a business that deals with face to face transactions, you are losing a large number of views by not using Local SEO properly or at all.
 
Local SEO is becoming one of the main tools for businesses these days, and has even surpassed the importance of a website, which is no small feat. For example, a business can easily project their location, as well as reviews, hours of operation, and the like to Google, Yelp, or other websites that users regularly visit to find this kind of information. They will then be able to locate you based on how accurate and how detailed your information is.
 
Google’s Local Snack Pack?
 
Google Snack Pack is a boxed area that appears on the first results page when a local online search is made through Google’s search engine. The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search enquiry. The amount of clicks and online traffic that is generated inside of the Snack Pack area is substantially higher than websites that are listed outside of it.

 Snack pack.PNG

In this image, we can find that Digital Marketing Solutions Firm. Those three little local search results that appear above the traditional 10 organic “blue links,” became a focus for many of us as they attract a huge amount of Digitalmarketing Firm and a high volume of clicks, especially on mobile devices.

 
Local SEO Strategies
 
 Local SEO strategies are constructed for two critical things.
 
  • Website
  • Google My Business Profile
Can you do the Local SEO optimization without a website?
 
Yes, you can! This can be done by optimizing your Google My Business profile. But if your competitors have a website and Google My Business Account both, then they’ll have a competitive advantage. You’ll be left behind. Do you want that? Of course Not!
So, we need to optimize both, website and Google My Business.
And how to do that?
First let us check how to create Google My Business account.
 
Google My Business account
 
GMB is a free tool that lets you manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. That includes adding your business name, location, and hours; monitoring and replying to customer reviews; adding photos; learning where and how people are searching for you, and more.
 
Create a Google My Business Listing
 
Step 1: Log into the Google Account you want associated with your business (or create a Google Account if you don’t already have one).
Step 2: Go to google.com/business and select “Start now” in the top right-hand corner.
Step 3: Enter your business name.
Step 4: Enter your business address.
Step 5: If you go to your customers’ locations, rather than having them come to you, check the box “I deliver goods and services to my customers.” And if you work out of your house or another address you don’t want publicly shown, Check “Hide my address (it's not a store) Only show region.” Finally, select your Delivery area.
Step 6: Choose your business category. Try to choose the most accurate category possible -- you’re essentially telling Google which type of customers should see your business listing.
Step 7: Add your business phone number or website.
Step 8: Choose a verification option. If you’re not ready to verify your business yet, click “Try a different method” ? “Later.”
 
How to Verify Your Business on Google
 
There are several ways to verify your GMB listing:
  1. By postcard 
  2. By phone 
  3. By email 
  4. Instant verification 
  5. Bulk verification 
 
Local SEO Ranking Factors
 
Local SEO specifically helps you optimise your business for people searching from a nearby location.What’s more, the importance of Local SEO will only continue to rise in near future. That’s because of the expected continued rise in mobile device usage.
 
Mobile users tend to search for nearby business on the go, because, most probably, they are looking to get an instant solution so they can get to the nearest business place and buy what they want.According to a recent study, approximately 56% on the go mobile searches have local intent.If search engines display your business information and website, you will benefit from all that local buying intent.
 
Those local listings will not only get higher click-through rate (CTR) but they are also likely to get more customers for your business.
SEO world thinks that getting the maximum number of reviews in Google My Business will get the Business at the top of Local Rankings. No, this is no true. Because The rankings of Local SEO are based on several factors.
So, let us check all these factors in details.
 
Google My Business Signals
An important first step in any local SEO strategy is to claim and verify your local business’ Google My Business (GMB) listing. Getting on Google My Business can increase your chances of showing up in Google’s Local Pack, Local Finder, Google Maps, and organic rankings in general.
Here’s a checklist of things to add to your GMB to optimize your local SEO:
  1. Verify your listing
  2. Select your business category
  3. Include a few relevant keywords in the GMB title
  4. Provide a functional, Crawl able website link
  5. Post accurate hours of operation
  6. Post an address (especially important for snack pack, which ranks proximity as a search factor).
  7. Place a map marker
  8. Add an area code to the phone number
  9. Include photos
 
GMB profiles with more reviews, more replies, and greater time online will receive a better ranking. So, if your GMB signals are working fine for you, then you get this 19% share of all the 100% score.
 
Link Signals
 
The next important factor in Local Rankings is Link Signals. It has a share of 17% in the total SEO Ranking score. Link-building is a primary technique for improving your local ranking. Here are some factors to consider when establishing strong link signals to your business:
 
  • Inbound link authority: This is the most important ranking factor because it tells Google that other people find your site valuable. Tools like Ahrefs and Small SEO Checker let you check your backlink profile.
  • Inbound links from locally relevant domains: Google assigns local relevance to links from nearby sources. For example, an inbound link from a community center would be a valuable local link.
  • Link quantity: The more high-authority links your site acquires, the better it will rank. If your content is top-quality, guest blogging and affiliate networks can help you generate large numbers of quality backlinks.
  • Link diversity: Since Google’s Penguin algorithm, search engines have begun to factor a variety of backlinks. To be most effective, links should be acquired in an organic fashion from a multitude of sources.
 
On Page Signals
The third most important local SEO factor is on-page content.
Here are some ways to boost your content’s local SEO score:
 
  • Content length: According to Backlinko, the average length of a first-page result on Google is 1,890 words. Length is a general indicator of quality, so fill your site with comprehensive, valuable content that users will read in full.
  • GMB page: The title and content of your GMB page must be relevant to local users.
  • Page title: Include your main keywords here.
  • Header tags: The H1 header indicates the topic of a web page. Place keywords here to signal relevance to readers and search engines.
  • Meta description: This 150 character description of your page appears beneath the page title on search engines. Use it to furnish users with key information about your business.
  • Local relevance of content: To be locally relevant, content should reference the area surrounding your business. This can be in-content links to local sites or referring to local areas of interest.
  • NAP footer: Your NAP (name, address, phone number) should be in the footer of every page. Make sure this matches your GMB profile, and load this structured data into Schema to ensure it’s read by Google.
Citation Signals
 
Citation signals are concerned with how well your company’s information can be verified by other online sources. Citations may come from other businesses, review sites, or social media platforms. Google is always interested in checking how popular your Business is in your city. And to check this, it looks for the citation signals. After On-Page Signals, the next important Local ranking Factor is Citation Signals.
It takes 13% of the total ranking share.
So, here are the crucial parameters to be considered while going for the Citation Signals.
Here are some factors to consider:
  • Citation consistency: If the data in your citations differ between sites, Google might interpret this poorly and diminish your local ranking.
  • Citation authority: More authoritative sites will provide more beneficial citations. For example, web directories like FourSquare and Yelp have high authority, as would newspapers and government offices.
  • Citation relevance: If relevant domains in your geographic area post your business details, such as blogs or churches, you get an uptick in SEO.
 
 
Review Signals
 
Almost everybody before calling that local business or asking for the directions first checks the reviews of the business.Google shows these reviews up front. And if you have some wonderful positive reviews on your Business Page, your potential customer would become your customer in no time.
Thus, Review signals are very critical for the business. It has a share of almost 13% in rankings.
There are three critical parameters to watch out while getting hold of this 13 %.
  • Review Quantity: You should try to get as many as reviews possible from your customers. Because they’ll be serving as Trust signals to the people who are searching for your product or service.
  • Also, Google wants to show those businesses first who have the good number of reviews to the people doing searches. So, don’t forget to ask people to review your business if you are providing any service to them.
  • Review Velocity: While you are trying to get many reviews for your business, make sure that you get them at regular intervals. If you are getting 100 reviews on day 1 and then not a single review for the next 100 days is not right according to Google.
So, getting reviews at equal intervals and naturally is essential. You can check our reviews on our Google My Business profile.
 
On-Page Behavior Signals
 
How people interact with your site will affect your rank on Google. User behavior is available to site administrators via the Google Search Console. The key behavioral signals to attend to are:
 
·   Click-through rate: This is the frequency with which people click your link in search     compared to competitors. The more people clicking through, the more relevant your     page appears to search engines.
 
·   Bounce rate: This is how often people arrive at your page from the search results and leave immediately. A high bounce rate indicates that your content isn’t relevant, resulting in a lower ranking.
 
·   Time on page: If people browse your site and find value, they will stay for longer. Images, content quality, and page organization are instrumental in helping users consume more content.
 
·   Mobile clicks-to-call: Google interprets a call from the mobile search results page to be a clear signal of relevance. According to research by Google, more than 40% of mobile searchers use click-to-call.
 
·   Directions to business clicks: Search engines figure that if people travel to your business right after feeding it in search, the business must be trustworthy.
 
Personalization Signals
 
The next crucial Local SEO ranking factor is Personalization. It adds up to 10% value to the total local ranking score.
The parameters that are important are:
 
Visibility at different locations:
Where do you rank at the various places of that city is something Google wants to check. So, if you are getting discovered in the multiple locations in the city, then that is a good signal. And you may be offered a better position in local search results.
Multi-device friendly: If your website is responsive, then you don’t have to worry about this parameter of Personalization.
 
Social Signals
The least important factor in Local SEO rankings is Social Signals. Though this ranking factor only has 4% to share in the total SEO score, this cannot be ignored. It provides signals to Google about how popular your website is on Social Media Platforms. So, you need to get proper engagement on Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn.
Here are some social signals to monitor in relation to local search:
 
     Growth of social media followings
  • Number of brand-related shares, likes, retweets, etc. on social media
  • Number of brand-related mentions on social media
  • Number of reviews on your social media pages
  • The age of your Facebook page
  • Completed biography on social media
  • Consistent NAP information
 
Conclusion
 
I have tried to cover one of the most comprehensive lists of best SEO ranking factors in this post, their proper inclusion will for sure help you optimize your Local SEO strategies, ensure conversion and reap great ROI.
The only thing left for you to do is to take control of the information learned here and apply it in a relevant way. It’s really not as hard as you might think. But if you’re struggling, naturally – we’re here to help.
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