Local SEO covers how to boost your website rank on Google search result page for a local audience. A website gives you an immediate access to the whole world (on-line). However if your company target audience lies in or near the city where you have your store, at least several local SEO techniques should be implemented to optimize and refine your strategy for your city. So people know where you are and can find you offline once they have landed on your page. In general, the search results page (SERP) has two parts for most local listings: the standard search results and the map results on top, also known as the Maps pack or the 3 Pack for the SEO industry. Research shows that when the SERP has a map pack, the 3-pack gets 44% of the clicks! So how do you optimize your website for local SEO & map pack?
GMB Profile & Google Reviews
Google My Business (GMB) is also known as Google Local and Google+ Local (who knows what it’s going be called next) contains your business profile and Google reviews. These content is fed to Google Map, Google Map Pack and the knowledge panel so it is really important to keep them updated and attractive. Your GMB profile may contain a wide range of information you can submit, including services you provide, contact information, business description, category and opening times. Google Reviews and Q&A on the other hand, is based entirely on your customer’s experience with your business, although it is easy these days to go to buy reviews for Google reviews or get them for free. It comes with a cost, but results is definitely faster and more effective especially if you are just getting started.
If you rather not spend the money and have limited funds to Appsally buy Google reviews, you can invite your customers to post authentic reviews online and then respond authentically to reviews, carefully choosing the keywords in your response. For instance: “We appreciate your [product/service] from [City, State]. We appreciate your contribution and look forward to working again with you. Thank you from [company].” Be sure to educate your customers on how to leave Google reviews for your business listings.
Google Map Citations
A map citation is any place (usually website) where the details of your organization NAPW (ame, Address, Phone number, Website URL) appears together online. Two kinds of map citations exist: unstructured and structured. Structured map citations usually appear in business lists and come from fields of the sort that are filed when the listing is submitted. For example, on Yelp, YellowPages, etc. Unstructured map citations usually appear on press release and social media.
Ensure that you have details about your page on references and online company directories. Not only will this help you find your product, it will also help you improve your search rankings by adding additional data in the corporate directories with the company name, address, phone number and URL (NAPW) on citation pages.
Reviews + Citations = Profit
Of course, the standard SEO strategy that Google loves such as good inbound backlinks with relevance and authority, unique content, structured pages and good internal link structure still applies. There is no shortcut as you would still need to excel at getting inbound links from sponsorships or partnerships, guest blog posting or scholarships. On top of the regular SEO strategy, you need a sound local SEO strategy to target the local searches. If you do not have an in-house team, we recommend outsourcing them to SEO experts as it is not for the faint-hearted. In conclusion, a complete GMB profile, consistent map citations on major directories as well as having good Google reviews are the foundation blocks for a good local SEO strategy.