How many times a day do you personally search for something online? Whether it’s sourcing materials for a project at work or finding the closest pizza restaurant, more and more searches these days are location based. Consider these statistics from Hubspot:
- 46% of all searches on Google are local.
- 76% of local searches result in a phone call.
- 50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day and 34% who searched on a computer or tablet did the same.
- 78% of local-mobile searches result in offline purchases.
Here are the most important considerations to support your local online business marketing efforts, along with instructions on how to create a local SEO landing page:
Ranking in Google’s 3-Pack
When consumers perform a search with local intent, Google displays three local business listings beneath a map, showing their relative locations. Google had shown seven local companies in the past, but their decision to show fewer listings appears to be motivated by the needs and device sizes of mobile users. Today, the Google 3-pack appears in the top spot in 93 percent of searches with local intent, so this is where every business wants to be if they are competing within a geographic area for customers.
Google considers the following three factors the most important in determining your local search SERP (Search Engine Results Page) ranking, including making it into the 3-pack:
1) Consistent Name, Address, & Phone Number Listings – Check each page on your website to ensure that this information is consistent across the board. Google builds “trust” with you as it confirms and re-confirms your physical location and contact information.
2) Become Active in Listings – If your business is involved with your local Chamber of Commerce, see if you are listed on their site. There are other listings out there specific to industries and communities. If you appear on listings that make sense, and are relevant to your industry and markets, Google is more likely to trust your business, which usually equates to higher SERP rankings over the long term.
3) Register a Google “My Business” Account – Registering your business with Google will allow you to claim your Google Local Listing.
While these are the most important factors Google considers as of January 2018, there are others that are also used to determine your SERP rankings. Note that these can and will change over time. Other ranking factors include:
- Presence of keywords in titles & H1 tags
- Review quantity and diversity
- Link quality and authority
- Engagement on Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other social platforms
- Click-through rate
Creating a Local SEO Page
Have you ever gone to a website and seen a page that covers “locations” or “delivery areas? These are referred to as local SEO pages. These pages are created by businesses to help them rank for their services within a geographic area. A local SEO page can be created on a town, county, or state level.
Here are the elements your local SEO page should include, and where they should be placed:
At the top of the page, the customer should see the following:
- A clear, keyword friendly heading and sub-heading
- High-quality photography or imagery
- A three-sentence paragraph describing your products and services
- An engaging and concise call-to-action button
A good local SEO page should also contain the following elements:
- Call(s) to Action–Local SEO pages should have a next step involved so someone can get in touch with you. This can either be a form embedded on the page, a CTA button leading to your contact us page, or a CTA button where someone can call you directly if they’re on a mobile device.
- Social Proof – Where relevant, include reviews and testimonials from your customers within that area.
- Your Team – Even if your main office is not in that location, you can add local representatives and their contact information to the page.
- Photos – If you worked on a project in that specific area, how it off.
- Videos –Upload videos for each location and add them to your YouTube channel. If you can get video testimonials from your local customers, even better.
If you need to create pages for multiple counties, you must produce unique content for each page. Simply swapping out county and town names can result in a duplicate content penalty from Google, which can hurt your search rankings. Google rewards businesses that go out of their way to give its users the information they need.
Together, the elements above will help you understand why local search is important and what should be included in a local SEO page. Incorporating these methods can help make your content easier to understand for the end user, potentially leading to better positioning on SERP pages.
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