To keep your business growing, it is essential to reach as many new customers as possible. It is a simple equation that keeps fueling your success, but the journey is not so simple. You have to learn all the digital marketing tactics yourself or invest your money in hiring a reliable team of professionals.
All the channels of digital marketing are serving one bigger purpose, SEO. Using these channels are important to engage new customers and get discovered by search engines. More and more people are using search engines to find out about the products or services they need. If you want to be found when people search for businesses like you, it is essential to focus on SEO.
The last few years have been important in terms of awareness but it is still a largely untapped opportunity. According to recent studies, only 34% of businesses invest in SEO and digital marketing.
SEO helps you to appear in local searches and there are two goals you need to meet. The first one is to appear in Google’s Local Pack. It appears at the top of the search pages and contains the basic credentials of the business. Brick and mortar stores are more likely to benefit from it. Most of the customers click any one of these three choices rather than searching the organic results.
Your second goal should be to reach the top results in organic search results. The only way to achieve these goals is to develop, prioritize, and adjust your SEO plans.
Here are 8 local SEO ranking factors in 2020 that you need to know.
1. Google My Business
When people search for businesses like you on Google, your Google My Business listing appears on the results page. The profile lets you present the basic credentials of your business. Your customers get to know your business, name, contact numbers, and address.
Adding your business on Google My Business is free. Proper optimization of this profile can make a difference in your SEO. The first step is to get your business verified. Select the right business category, provide the crawl-able and relevant link to your website, and include relevant keywords, post maps, area codes, and hours of operation.
2. Quality And Quantity Of Inbound Links
Link-building is one of the most important techniques for improving local SEO. The more links are arriving on your page, and the more authentic they are, the greater are your chances to reach the top results.
Link quality is much more important as compared to the number of links. If you want to improve your local SEO ranking signals focus on the inbound link authority. You can check tools like SmallSEOChecker to analyze your backlink profile. Valuable links are created from nearby sources. Make sure your website is linked with a multitude of resources.
3. Website Content
Content is one of the most important ranking signals and is entirely in your control. It should have relevant keywords and phrases that your customers are looking for but avoid keyword stuffing. Fill your website with comprehensive and valuable content.
The Meta title of your page should be relevant to the customers searching for businesses like yours. If possible, include your main keywords in the Meta title.
The H1 titles of your page are equally important. If they contain relevant keywords and phrases, Google can easily crawl and index your page is relevant searches. Pay attention to content relevance, accuracy, Meta descriptions, and NAO footer.
4. Online Citations
If Google can find your business citations on a variety of online resources, the SEO ranking is improved. The more times your business website or citations appear on the reliable sources of the internet, the better are your chances.
Three main factors should always be taken care of. Make sure your business citations are consistent all over the internet. If there are any differences in online citations, Google interprets poorly and your website ranking drops.
Another way to make your citation credible is to list your business on the most reliable web directories. Yelp, Foursquare, Citylocal Pro, Citylocal 101 and BBB are some of the web directories which can impact your SEO signals.
5. Customer Reviews
As more than 84% of the customers take reviews as personal recommendations, it is easy to comprehend its importance. Search engines consider the customer’s reviews as important SEO ranking signals.
The best thing about reviews is that they impact the Local Pack of Google as compared to the organic search results. Request your customers to leave productive and honest feedback.
You can always offer some discounts or rewards when they leave a review. Never push them to write good things about them as the trick can backfire against your reputation.
6. Customer Behavior Signals
If you want to ace the game of SEO, you should always know how customers are interacting with your page. You can use free tools like Google Search Console to see how your website is performing. Some of the most important signals are click-through rates, bounce rates, page loading speed, and mobile clicks-to-call.
7. Responsive Design
As we all know, more and more people are using mobiles for searches, it is important to invest in responsive design. Google checks your website mobile-friendliness before placing your business in the top results.
8. Social Media
The more people are talking about your business, the better are your website’s ranking. Make sure you are using social media tools most efficiently.