Local ranking factors always keep changing and 2017 is no exception. What worked in 2016 is definitely not going to work this year. Experts also say that these trends will keep on changing across 2018 as well. For some, it is a chance to look at a new campaign and for others it is a process of looking back at what may have gone wrong in the year that went by.
The first thing that needs to be done in order to have a fruitful local SEO campaign is to be aware of the latest developments in this domain, especially in terms of algorithm. Anyone would say that hard work is the basis of all success. However, just hard work may not be sufficient in this case. Some smart work needs to be done as well if the local SEO campaign is to be successful. One needs to identify the goals of business and then come up with strategies that can help to fulfill those ambitions. This would mean different things for different companies.
For some companies this could mean that they need to make their content more appropriate from a local perspective. In case of others, they may need to interact more with the immediate community. No matter which direction the strategies take, the basic aim is always the same. The idea is to convert more visitors to users, clients or customers. This is true for companies that are promoting their own content or their client’s.
A key element of any successful local SEO campaign is that the ones in the charge know what they are looking for. There could always be a client who prefers conversions over traffic, especially ones that can be tracked. They can also want you to provide content resource so that they are able to update their own knowledge. Often such clients may be flooded with graphs, which show commendable performance by certain keywords but they might want to identify the valuable efforts and then focus on them. The basic idea here is that just having great traffic on one’s website is not enough – people have to be converted to buyers. This is how the clients will get their returns on investment.
One way in which the clients can be helped in such situations is by documenting the clients’ contacts in CRM and then finding out the source from which these contacts have emanated. Even though this is a principle that applies primarily to marketing and sales, in the world of SEO it has real use since it creates value for the investors. If you can work out a plan to develop this base, your SEO campaign would truly be invincible.
As a search engine optimizer it is always better if there are clicks on paid advertisements, local results and organic results. It is perhaps as much important as featuring on top of the search engine result page. If you can work out a combination of major priorities and information related to conversion marketing, you will be able to come up with a plan that deals with the most crucial areas in the concerned industry. It is always wrong to assume that one approach will be good enough for all.
While Google is trying its level best to improve its algorithm in order to do away with spam, some spam still makes its way to our SERPs. However, experts always say that it is better to avoid spamming since sooner rather than later one will be demarcated as such and expelled from the SERPs. It is no use taking shortcuts such as Black Hat SEO tactics nowadays as it never works – not for you and definitely not for the client. It is always better to follow the correct path. This includes both keywords related to your products and services as well as the title tags. Apart from irritated visitors, it will draw the wrath of Google as well.
This is one of the most important SEO tactics for 2017. As an SEO professional it is always better to acknowledge the fact that one may not know everything. It always pays to consult with industry experts as well as people with more experience as the results are always amazing. The logic in this case is that in the SEO industry people come from different backgrounds and have their various takes on matters. You can glean all the knowledge you can from them through discussions and interactions and use it together to create the perfect campaign for your clients. Quite often, our projects start to stagnate because of want of fresh ideas and approaches. This is where such audits can come in so handy because they also teach you to point out areas that can be problematic in the future and take steps in the present to prevent them from happening.
People who run a local business or do SEO for one realize the basic fact that it is a lot different from normal SEOs, from brands that are not specific to a region. It needs to be kept in mind in this regard that the search results for local businesses change at a far quicker rate than the normal businesses. The areas where the difference between the two campaigns is not that wide are My Business Signals, and External LOC. Signals.
Factors related to on page SEO are more important as are the links. The main difference in this case is the kind of links you would want on your page.
Before one goes looking for links it is important to do some necessary work at first on your website so that it is good enough to get the results that could be best for your business. There are some techniques that can help you get featured in the local listings such as local NAP citations, My Business Signals, and local reviews. These are more important than building links with other relevant sides.
As a company looking for a successful local SEO campaign it is important that you get your My Business page from Google if you have not done that already. There are lots of resources on the internet that can be consulted to get an idea as to how it can be done. There are certain basic steps that need to be followed once this is accomplished. The description should be reasonably long and also distinctive. It should have links and have the proper format.
You should select the categories that are applicable for your business and also get the maximum possible photographs over there. You should also have a local phone number in your listings. Your business address should also be the same as the one that has been posted on your website as well as the local directories. Your cover photo as well as profile picture should be a high resolution one. In this profile you should also include the days when you are open as well as times that your business operates.
In any successful social media campaign NAP (name, address, phone number) is an important criterion. The main factor here is uniformity. It is important that each and every page of your website has your complete NAP. In addition, you should also get the same details or information from other websites when you place your address over there. These are also called local citations and are rather crucial for a successful local SEO campaign. It is also important to use languages such as Schema.org Markup on the NAP page. This will ensure that the SERPs provide proper information regarding your business to the users.
The following code can be used by SEO professionals responsible to craft a successful local SEO campaign:
<div itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness”>
<p itemprop=”name”>COMPANY NAME</p>
<p itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>
<p itemprop=”streetAddress”>ADDRESS LINE 1</p>
<p itemprop=”telephone”>PHONE NUMBER</p>
<meta itemprop=”latitude” content=”LATITUDE” />
<meta itemprop=”longitude” content=”LONGITUDE” />
All anyone needs to do is fill in relevant details in place of the information that has been written in bold. One could also look up articles by experts such as Jayson DeMers in order to get a better idea as to ways to optimize NAP functions. In this context it is important to remember that the NAP information needs to be updated as soon as it changes in the real world.
These are very important part of a successful local SEO campaign considering the effect they have on local search rankings. This is why any business owner worth his or her salt needs to spend a significant time in getting one. Now, one should not only be restricted to Google reviews in order to get local reviews. It is also important to focus on other areas such as Yelp pages that are used by Apple Maps. Local directories need to be taken into account as well. However, it is always important to give top priority to Google reviews.
Such operations should start by establishing contact with existing long time customers. You can check out their levels of interest in giving a review. You can also sweeten the deal with a discount or other special offers. You can also create a page on your website where you instruct your customers as to how they can provide reviews for your business. This is a very effective method of getting in touch with the clients/customers especially ones who are not so much into the technical side of things.
These tactics are pretty traditional ones. When it comes to local search listings these are supposed to carry a lot of weightage. This is why it is crucial to derive the maximum value from your content for local on-page SEO. You can add the relevant region and a keyword related to your business in the title tag as well as H1 tag of the landing page. This tactic can also be used in the landing page’s URL, content and image ALT qualities. You can also put in a Google map along with your business marker and this can be done on the landing page as well.
Things to Avoid
There are certain mistakes that have to be avoided if you wish to run a successful local SEO business in 2017. The first trick in this regard is to stop focusing excessively on your brand. It has often been seen that business owners focus too much on their own brand when there is absolutely no need to do so. They do not realize the basic fact that they may be the only one that is selling a particular product or service in a region or one among the few organizations of the same industry. The best thing in this case is to focus on being more than the sum of one’s parts.
Often business owners include only those products that they sell on their websites. That is the sole purpose of the whole exercise. They do not understand that all their rivals also have the same thing to offer. This means they do not have anything more or new to offer. In such scenarios it always pays to talk about areas like the immediate community one is serving, documenting one’s struggle or give a greater picture of one’s business including sides that are not always in the limelight that often. The main aim behind such efforts is to create a separate and perhaps more likeable identity for oneself.
Often business owners make the grave mistake of assuming that their consumers know what they want. It is always better to make absolutely fabulous websites that can convert users into buyers as early as possible.
In order to have a successful local SEO campaign in 2017 it is also important to focus on optimizing the local elements. Quite often businesses devote a lot of resources into conventional SEO and neglect the local factors.
This is one area where SEO campaigns should stick to the traditional practices. Apart from getting the Google My Business page and ensuring consistent citations in the proper places, one should focus on getting related and good links from local sites. Relevance is the key here.
A lot of energy needs to be devoted to creating the best possible homepage. It needs to be remembered that the content should be very good over here. The home page should be regarded as an advertisement for one’s business. It should the crux of your business. This is the page from where your customers get an idea of what you are offering. It is also important to ensure that search engines have sufficient content that they are able to index. If the content is sparse then it would put off both Google as well as the people interested in knowing about you.
It is just as important to have good content in the internal pages as it is in the home page. It needs to be ensured that these pages offer good value. It can be information about what products and services you are providing. In case you neglect these pages the visitors will leave your site instantly and look at your competitors who may have better content to offer. In addition, Google will pass these by as well because of the sparse and irrelevant content.
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