Optimizing Local SEO | WPB
We have been watching Google change local search results continuously throughout the last several years. The latest changes are largely due to the increasing amount of mobile searches (vs. the primary form of desktop searches). As we know, Google advised us that mobile traffic officially surpassed desktop earlier this year, in Spring. This is to say that the majority of all searches out there are done on mobile devices, and typically looking for local businesses, or services. Additionally, local listings (such as the Google Map results) directly affect the local SEO results as well, so oftentimes you have the opportunity to show up twice on the first page of the SERPs! So, you’ve got to ensure you’re listed in the top results, or you’ll soon be toast!
Before getting started on really focusing on your local SEO, you must compile all of your related details, such as location, phone number, hours of operation, etc. Once you’ve assembled all of those specifics, you’re ready to get started on fully marketing your website with these local SEO optimizations!
- Claim Your Google+ / My Business: If you are not yet on Google’s own local listing service (previously Google+; now: Google My Business), you are already behind! Make sure to bookmark this page and go claim and verify that listing right now! If you have any questions while doing so, allow Google to walk you through the process.
- Ensure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly: We know that back in April, Google unleashed a new algorithm update that would start penalizing different sites’ SEO whom were not fully mobile-friendly or responsive. However, furthermore, with the knowledge that the majority of searchers out there are [now, officially] mobile searchers, you will not only continue to be penalized by Google, but you will also probably start annoying your users. Users look at mobile differently than we’ve ever looked at desktop searches, and therefore need a site properly optimized and ready for their needs.
- Schema Optimization: Schema basically allows you to offer your viewers a quick summary in the search results. Here you can optimize your address, phone number, and even pull out highlighted pages to showcase as sitelink extensions. If you’re using a Wordpress template, you’ll usually have some sort of an All In One Schema.org Rich Snippets plugin associated with it to help you better optimize!
- Claim Other Main Business Listings: There are a lot of other well-known business listings, particularly ones that we [as web designers] may not have started ourselves. Yelp! for instance, is a good example of one of those business listings that would highlight your local listings.
- Say NO to ‘Set It & Forget It’ Mentality: As we mentioned above, Google continues to develop and expand the way it which it shows local searches, and we don’t anticipate that evolution process to stop anytime soon. It’s imperative that we keep our sites up-to-date in terms of what Google is expecting. One great way to do this is to hire a digital marketing agency that offers search engine optimization services, with extremely knowledgeable SEO professionals.