Whether you have your own business or you work as an agency with other businesses, local SEO is the only way that gives you an edge over your local competitors.

When you build your website, it is not guaranteed to appear at the top of the search page every time as the competition is very tough. Optimizing the website is not enough, you are missing a ton of potential visitors if you’re sitting on page 3. So it is also important to focus on factors other than just your website.

Google’s Pigeon Algorithm updates, has taken a whole new level of specificity and accuracy for better local search results. This algorithm connects search results in both Google Maps Search & Google Web Search in a more cohesive way. Your websites can get more attention with the growing number of local search queries on Google than hired SEO services. According to a research, nearly 82% of smartphone users say they use search to find local businesses. So if you do not focus on these small but important factors of local SEO, you are missing marketing opportunities. Most of the local business owners are frightened that they won’t be able to rank well on Google. But it is actually pretty easy to rank on page one of Google.

So here are we share with you some important methods on how your local SEOservices can be a game changer for your small business:

1.  Google My Business (GMB) account is necessary

To ensure that you exist on local search results other than your website, you should first have to set up your business identity. There is no better source than Google My Business Account. It is free and it allows you to appear on Google Maps. Once your business appears on Google Maps, you can create your own listings with complete contact details. You can also edit your listings for accuracy and to add more information like –  Add photos or catalogue to your profile telling your customerswhat’s unique about your business.

This is one of the best ways to increase your local traffic that improves your search engine ranking and also increases your chances of making sales.

2.  Heist your competitors’ keywords

If you have a competitor who is ranking on page 1, it is easy to find out what keywords they’re ranking for and then take those keywords for yourself.You don’t need to spend hours doing extensive keyword research, you have to just find a sneak peek at what your rivals are doing. You can use several online tools to find your competitors’ top keywords like – SpyFu, Keyword Planner Console, Ubersuggest, Ahref, SEMrush etc. You can then take those keywords and rank for them so people will find you instead of your competitors.

3.  Your website should be mobile friendly

If your site is not mobile friendly but your competitor’s site is, you will lose out because they will rank better than you. If you really want your site to be truly mobile friendly,then first you have to understand what mobile friendliness is all about. Mobile friendliness doesn’t mean having a separate mobile site. It means focusing your entire user experience on mobile users. There are some elements of mobile friendliness that are very important to focus on.

   a. Your website should be responsive design.

Responsive design means that your website should be compatible with different types of devices.

Responsive design helps you both for your mobile and desktop users. It allows mobile and desktop users to browse the same site. Ideally, your site should be so responsive that it resizes for all kinds of screens.The number of different screen sizes is increasing, and your website should be prepared for all of them.

   b. Use mobile-specific keywords.

If you are only focusing on desktop keywords, somewhere you are neglecting the majority of your audience. Because mobile users often use different search terms than desktop users.

You should need to spend some time on mobile keyword research. Because mobile keywords and desktop keywords are pretty different. For example, mobile keywords are often shorter, and they usually contain location based phrases like “near me.”

Mobile users also have different motives. They usually visit or call businesses shortly after they perform a search. Concentrating on desktop keywords only is not going to help you more. You need to be focusing more on mobile keywords.

   c. Concentrate on mobile SEO.

You can do mobile SEO yourself and take a closer look at it. There are several elements that make mobile SEO a little confusing.

We recommend testing your site with a mobile SEO checker that makes sure your site is mobile friendly or not. It does the hard work for you and lets you know what you need to improve.

   d. Include your location in your URL organically.

During this experiment,  we found some interesting results that helped us understand how Google ranks local pages.

For example – if someone is in San Diego and searching for tourist attractions, than Google will favour domains that include San Diego in the URL (e.g., sandiegocountytourism.com). But this only happens at the local level. If someone in Stockholm is searching for tourist attractions, they are not able to see anything about San Diego. You can also apply this as a part of a city name in its URL. For example, Clevescene.com includes a shortened form instead of Cleveland. That is why many small businesses include their city name or part of it in their URL
like this gets more traffic.

4. Appearing on Review Websites is mandatory

Make sure you claim your business on business listing websites. It may confuse you which websites to go for. As a guide, claim your business account on the top business listing sites in your region. For example, Yelp.. As soon as you have claimed your business on the site, you can start with your profile update. You can add contact information, maps, business details, photos and much more. As we know, Yelp is a consumer review site. If the business is reviewed with positive ratings more time than other businesses. Google prefers it to list ahead of others. Looking for more reviews may be a little bit difficult but quite effective. Getting customers to review your services can be done through many ways but the unsolicited ones are always the best. Because many review sites do not entertain solicited reviews to maintain transparency.

Have a look at some interesting stats about online reviews.

  • More than 60% of customers read customer reviews before buying any product.
  • If there are no negative reviews on your site, 30% of viewers may be doubt your reviews as a fabricated responses.
  • Customer reviews are trusted more than 10 times than the product descriptions provided by the manufacturers.
  • If you have more than 50 reviews for a particular product, it can up your conversion rate by as much as 4.6%.

5. Your Business should be verified.

While you set up your accounts on the business listing sites, it is also important that you have to verify your businesses. For example – there is a chance that the other businesses have the same name as yours. Therefore, you should have to look into the details closely while claiming your business.

Here is a little guide how you should go about it.

  a. Look for Duplicates

Companies get duplicate pages over the years for unknown reasons. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, while searching your business name you have to search for any other businesses existing in your region with the same name or not.

   b. Email Verification

To further maintain authenticity, you should attach your Business Profile with your website domain email address. There are hundreds of reasons why this is essential but primarily, it just authenticates your business profile.

   c. Google Analytics and WebMaster Tools

Webmaster tools from Google will help you to keep a proper check on your website listings, penalties and crawl errors. Also, Google Analytics gives you an in-depth analysis of your website performance and is able to identify the weaknesses and strengths of your website to a great extent.

   d. Be Specific with Business Categories

Address to your business category while setting up your business profile. When you categorize your business, it becomes a lot easier to address potential customers. It also helps you separate from other businesses having similar names but different
areas of operation.

   e. Identity Photos

Your business photos are always a great idea to secure your business through some identity photos. You normally require three photos i.e. your logo, profile photo and cover photo for your profile page. These photos are a useful identification source.

By the end of verification, always check whether your website is complete or if there’s anything you might have missed out.