As the world becomes more digital, local businesses are realizing that they need to have a strong online presence to survive. A significant part of having a strong online presence is ranking well in search engine results. Ranking well in search engine results is not an easy task, but it is possible with the right strategies. In this blog post, we will explore some recommendations for local businesses to rank in search engine results.
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Why is Local SEO Important
Local SEO is a critical part of any business’s marketing strategy. Up to 98% of people use the internet to find information about a local business. To compete in the search engine results pages (SERPs), local businesses need to get the right foundations in place. This article will outline the local SEO hierarchy of needs that local businesses should focus on to rank well in the SERPs.
Firstly, local businesses need to optimize two areas of the search results: the Google local pack/local finder or Maps and Google organic listings. Google considers relevance, distance, and prominence to rank local businesses in the local pack. Google uses countless signals for organic listings, including the “blue links.”
To help local businesses rank in the local pack, they need to focus on optimizing six areas: the Google Business Profile, reviews and ratings, quality content, internal linking, webpage, and website optimization, and inbound links. These are the foundations that local businesses need to have in place to rank well in the SERPs.
Google Business Profile
One of the most critical tactics for ranking local businesses in the local pack is creating, verifying, and optimizing a Google Business Profile. Local businesses need to choose the most relevant primary category for their business and add two to three categories that are most relevant. It’s essential to complete the Google Business Profile as thoroughly as possible and ensure that the business name, address, phone, and website (NAP+W) are accurate.
Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews can impact how well a local business ranks in the local pack. Local businesses must encourage customers to leave reviews, read and reply to their reviews, and consider displaying third-party reviews to add value to the listing.
Quality content is one of the most important on-page ranking factors. Local businesses must ensure that their site has enough content to be helpful and valuable to visitors. They also need to have various content to rank and be found in the SERPs.
Internal linking is another critical factor for local businesses. They need to ensure that their site has a logical structure, making it easy for users to navigate the site. Internal linking also helps distribute link equity throughout the site.
Webpage and Website Optimization
Webpage and website optimization are essential for local businesses to rank in the SERPs. Local businesses need to ensure that their website is mobile-friendly, has a fast loading speed, and has a secure connection.
Inbound links are another critical factor for local businesses to rank well in the SERPs. Local businesses need to get high-quality inbound links from relevant and authoritative websites in their industry.
In conclusion, local SEO is critical for any business that wants to be found online. Local businesses need to focus on the local SEO hierarchy of needs and get the right foundations in place to have a chance to compete in the SERPs. By optimizing the Google Business Profile, reviews and ratings, quality content, internal linking, webpage, and website optimization, and inbound links, local businesses can rank well in the SERPs and attract more customers.