Local SEO can be time-consuming and complicated to understand. But, with search engines having geo-location capabilities most businesses feel they don’t have to do much, Google will just find you, right? But, that actually isn’t the case at all. In fact, a lot of work goes into making local SEO perfect, and there are specific SEOs who specialize in this area.
So, as a business, what do you need to be focused on? In this article we will be pointing out key points for you to manage, monitor, and maintain to help keep your local efforts on track.
Directory citations come is all shapes and forms. Some matter, and some don’t. But, one thing is for sure – search engines like Google crawl these directories to check for proximity and business information. It is your job to ensure you are both on these sites and that all your information is accurate/up to date. If not, the search engines can easily mis-inform your audience, or miss your business entirely.
Here are some directories you should be looking at the most:
- YellowPages (and other variations)
It should also be noted that this, especially, includes Google My Business. Having accurate information on this site is critical especially if you want to show up for Google results. If you’re looking for ways to optimize your Google My Business account, we wrote an article all about it.
As for the other directories, Here’s what needs to be included:
- Company Name (make sure this is consistent throughout)
- Address (if you have more than one location you will need listings for all)
- Phone Number
- Social Links
Lastly, be sure that before you create a listing you search the directory for any possibly information from your company they may have. Often times, these sites scrub the internet and find businesses that they then automatically add into their systems. So, all you have to do is claim the listing and update it as necessary.
First, realize if you need location pages. If you only have 1 or 2 locations you most likely don’t and you can get away with just adding locations to your website footer and making sure you have listings and Google My Business accounts for each. However, if you have 3 or more, it may be beneficial to have a page that lays out each location details.
But, before you go crazy and make 20 different pages, realize that there needs to be a balance. If you have 10+ locations and are planning to keep growing, keeping all these pages updated and worrying about redirects, etc. when information changes and be a hassle. Instead, think of the UX side of things and see how you can make one page that features the key information your audience would need. Not only that, but this makes it easier for search engines to crawl since all the information they need is on one area.
Then, once you have a plan in place, think of how the information should be shown. What is the easiest way for your audience to absorb this? And, what details are they going to be most concerned with?
Lastly, keywords matter. These don’t necessarily have to be geo specific. More than likely, if you have everything else on point, you won’t have to stuff your pages with “____ services near me”. Instead, take your focus away from that and get a little more general. What are the people in these areas searching for? What are your competitors ranking (and getting traffic) for?
Search engines can most likely pick up on your location/proximity to your audience, but it’s your job to tell them exactly what it is you offer and in a way that your audience will look for it. Some time this includes adding in the city or state, other times its about getting super specific with your services, and other times its about being general and catering to a wise audience. Study your competitors and your audience. That is how you win.
We made this sound easy, but the truth is, local SEO can get a little complicated. It can take a lot of trial and error ensuring that you’re getting it just right and that your business is in all the right places. But, there is some good news. Remember those experts we mentioned earlier? Well, we happen to be some of them. So, take a look at the Wave Optimization services to see how we can help your business.