Do you own a local business? Trying to be found in Google Maps or Organic Search? Ranking in these areas for local search can be quite difficult if you’re not properly optimizing your on-site and off-site signals. I’ve put together a quick list of things to make sure you have to ensure that you are found in local search.
List of Local SEO Needs
1. Google My Business / Bing Places
These two accounts are the most important to appear in Google, Bing, and their map variants. Google My Business (GMB) and Bing Places are essentially a “Yellow Pages” listing for your business in Google, where you can post your address, your logo and other photos, a short description, phone number, hours of operation, and your website URL. Customers can leave reviews (which you SHOULD respond, whether positive or negative). Your name, address, and phone number (NAP) should be the same across these two properties, and the uniformity of your NAP will continue to #2 for our local SEO guide.
2. NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) Listings
NAP listings can be placed in hundreds of different places, but the most important is your social accounts (Facebook, Yelp, etc.). The secondary important places are local directories, such as Yellowpages.com, BBB.org, etc. Making sure you have these pages filled out to mirror your GMB information (mostly the business name, address, and phone number) will ensure that Google and other search engines are picking up the proper local signals from these NAP listing sites.
3. Website with Local Keywords
Making sure you have a website should be step one of appearing in Google and other search engines, as otherwise, you will be relying on Facebook or other sites which you do not have full control over how they are crawled, which is detrimental for local SEO success. Making sure you are including local keywords in your page copy and title tags are essential for your website to appear in local search. These keywords give Google an idea of where you are located, your service areas, and your expertise.
4. Local Business Schema
Schema markup helps Google and other search engines understand different things about your organization. You can utilize plugins such as RankMath and YoastSEO to implement basic schema, such as your organization information (logo, address, phone, etc.). This is like the icing on the cake when it comes to local SEO optimization, as this code makes interpreting your business categorization and location much easier.
If you need more help on this, don’t hesitate to reach out!