So you want to rank higher in local searches? Here are 17 tips for doing just that.
As Google always strives to provide the most relevant results, regardless of what device is being used. From phones to tablets to laptops, there are many ways that search results are changing over time. Ways that you can also change your websites to boost your ranking with Google’s local search engine. Check out these 17 tips and start this process off on the right foot!
1. GMB Optimization
In the past, Google did not have a specific ranking algorithm that took into account how mobile users interacted with websites. Now Google is looking into these interactions and making changes to their local search algorithm.
It didn’t take too long for businesses to get on board with optimizing their website for mobile devices, but they may have been doing it wrong. Google has confirmed that your phone number should be the call-to-action of your website, rather than simply linking to a contact page. Not only will this help you rank higher in local search results, but it will also reduce the bounce rate on your site (the number of users who leave after visiting one page).
Google My Business Optimization: Ensure your address and phone number are accurate and up-to-date. Make sure your website URL is easy to find and distinguishable from other websites that you may be profiting from.
There are a few things to keep in mind when optimizing your Google my business page. First, make sure you fill out all of the required fields, including your address and phone number. Remember to also fill out the “About” section so that you can list what products or services your business offers. Finally, take time to verify the information on your GMB page with Google’s verification process.
Businesses need to make sure their Google my business page is up to date and accurate, however, Google also has a tool for desktop computers. The company’s “search near your location” feature can be found in the “more” tab in any browser. Here you will find a map that will show you where you are and then allow you to search for businesses around you.
The problem with this feature is that it only works in the United States and it doesn’t give accurate information about ranking factors such as reviews or star ratings. It does have one advantage over GMB, which is that users can get directions from their current location to the desired business location.
Here are a few tips for getting more reviews on your Google my business page.
Fill out the “About” section of your GMB profile so that you can list what products or services you offer.
Once your GMB profile is filled out, take time to continually work on getting reviews from customers. You can always ask them for feedback or encourage them to leave a review by saying something like “leave us a review on Google”.
Make sure that when users are visiting your website, they can contact you easily. You should have an easily located phone number or email address. This will make it easier for users to contact you and leave reviews.
You might also try writing articles about your company. If you write a quality informative article, it may help you rank in the search engine results pages.
2. Create Mobile Optimized Website
Mobile users are already the majority on the internet, and they’re only growing more popular. With this in mind, it is essential that your website be optimized for all devices, including phone screens. This way you will rank higher with Google’s local search engine (and get more customers) if someone searches using his or her phone.
When it comes to mobile optimization, size does matter. Specifically, the screen resolution of your website needs to be 960 pixels wide (optimized for portrait view) and 590 pixels (optimized for landscape). The reason that these particular dimensions work best is that they allow users to see the site clearly and effortlessly on almost all devices.
Mobile optimization goes beyond just adjusting your screen dimensions, however. You’ll also need to make sure that your website can adjust for various screen sizes; if a user searches with his or her phone as opposed to a laptop, it’s still important that your website is viewable.
One of the most effective ways to optimize a mobile site is to use a responsive web design or RWD. This method will automatically resize and shift elements so that they fit on the screen of every device, whether it is a laptop, phone, tablet, or similar device.
Not only does this allow for easy navigation, but it will also help with your Google my business ranking since it will allow you to keep customers on one site without losing them because they are redirected somewhere else.
For the past few years, card-style design has been extremely popular across the internet due to how user-friendly and stylish it is. The idea behind this design is to divide your content into separate cards that can be clicked on or passed over. Each card has its own “tab” that allows users to interact with the data inside.
This design style works well for websites of all sizes, but companies should keep in mind that it does not work as well for mobile users. are meant to be seen as a whole, so pay attention to how your website looks on both large and small screens before using this type of design.
3. Do Not Use Thin Content
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of only optimizing their website for search engines and forgetting about consumers, which is a quick way to lose rankings and drive away potential customers. To avoid this problem, you should make sure that your content is providing value for consumers by including enough information in your articles or blog posts. This information should go beyond just keywords, and you can even use long-tail keywords in your articles to help boost your ranking.
Use long-form content when possible since it is more likely to rank well with the search engines. If you are pressed for time or need to produce a large volume of content, try using tools like Grammarly or Hemingway app to check for length and quality.
4. Optimize Your Images
SEO is not limited to just text, but also includes images on your website. When you are deciding on how to optimize your photos, keep in mind that search engine crawlers cannot see what they are looking at, unlike humans. To make it easier for the crawlers to understand your images, you need to include some sort of “alt text” on each one.
Alt texts should be concise and descriptive, rather than just using words that appear in the actual photo. This is because Google assigns an image rank based on its relevance, so the alt text must align with what the image is portraying to help boost your rankings.
Ideally, you want to have these tags added before the image is even uploaded because that will allow for more accurate results. You can either do this with separate software or use an app like WordSwag which automatically creates alternative text with every photo that you upload.
5. Blocking Content Creates “NoFollow” Links
If you are using WordPress or another CMS, make sure that you are not accidentally blocking content on your posts. One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to block viewable content from being accessed through nofollow links. When a crawler “sees” this, it will assume that there is nothing important on the page and will not take it into account while determining how to categorize or rank your website. If you do block content, make sure that you remove all nofollow links on any blog posts and replace them with “dofollow” links instead.
6. Include a Site Map & Sitemap
When Google visited your site, it takes a look around to see what you are all about, and where it can find the most important information. If you do not provide an easy way for Google to navigate your site, you will quickly lose ranking because the crawler will assume that there is little valuable information on your site or too much conflicting information.
To make this as easy as possible, you can either use a plugin or manually add your sitemap to your robots.txt file. If you plan on adding several sitemaps to your site, it is best to name each one based on where they are located so that the crawler will know exactly how and when to use them.
7. Make Sure You Are Using HTTPS
Over the past few years, there has been an increased importance placed on security and safety online, which means that Google is also taking a harder look at websites that do not have a secure connection set up. For website owners who are using WordPress, this should be a relatively easy task because the platform already supports HTTPS by default since version 4.4. However, if you are using a different CMS or hosting service, you will need to change your settings to “force” HTTPS.
This is also an excellent opportunity to check and see if any of your pages are still using insecure HTTP references, which can cause some serious ranking issues for sites that do not have HTTPS active. After all, what use is a secure website when the content itself is unsecured? Remember: nothing is more important than keeping your site safe!
8. Utilize Breadcrumbs
Breadcrumb navigation is becoming increasingly important for SEO because it allows people to easily navigate your website by jumping back up in the structure of folders and categories until they find exactly what they were looking for. This means that breadcrumbing is also a great way to increase SERP by ensuring that your pages have relevant URLs.
To use breadcrumbs on your website, you will need to add code in three different places: the header template, the single post template, and the full-page template. Even if you only change one of these templates, make sure that you update all three by adding specific instructions for crawlers so that they can properly identify the most important links on every page of your website.
9. Check Your Robots Text File Regularly
If it wasn’t already clear from tip number six, having an easily accessible robots text file is vital to any SEO campaign because it tells bots what they should or shouldn’t do when crawling through your site. It’s also helpful to check this file regularly so that you can remove any rules or content that has been blocked accidentally.
10. Use Google Analytics Metatags
Google Analytics is one of the best tools for tracking your website, and because it’s such an important resource, it only makes sense to include some extra information about your site and what you do once a bot crawler finds it. To do this, all you will need to do is create a new Custom HTML Tag in your Google Analytics account, which will allow you to insert four meta tags into your header template: <link rel=” author” href=”https://plus.google.com/100547373598454818407″> <link rel=”publisher” href=”https://plus.google.com/100547373598454818407″> <link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”x-default” href=”http://wwwemail-domain.com”/> <meta name=”generator” content=”Powered by WordPress, using Dagon Design theme.”/>
While this tactic may seem small, it’s important to understand that any additional information can be beneficial when you are trying to move up in the SERPs so take advantage of all the tools at your disposal!
11. Use Schema Markup
Schema markup is quickly becoming one of the leading methods for boosting your website rankings because it makes life easier for both bots and people who are trying to find specific types of information that they can’t get anywhere else. The easiest way for website owners to integrate this type of markup is with the use of plugins, such as Structured Data Markup Helper by Google, which makes it easy to apply schema tags to your posts and pages.
12. Create a Google Search Console profile
Google’s official search console offers webmasters tools and data about how visitors interact with their site, and using these resources is quickly becoming an integral part of modern SEO campaigns. For instance, you might check the performance data at Search Analytics for your domain dashboards to see if there are any traffic spikes or dips that could be affecting your rankings; you might also check Crawl > Crawl Errors to ensure that bots aren’t having a hard time crawling your site, or check Index Status > Blocked URLs to make sure that every page has been indexed.
13. Write for Users Instead of Search Engines
This may seem like an obvious piece of advice, but it’s important to remember – the only reason why you want to be ranked #1 is because this will lead people directly to your site! If you focus too much on search engine optimization without thinking about what your users want from your content, then you might find yourself with a website full of pages that have little value beyond giving Google something to rank. When writing for your readers, don’t forget what they need and want from your site to make a purchase, and always use a tool like Google Analytics to measure the success of your content!
14. Use an SEO Friendly CMS
If you want to follow best practices when it comes to SEO, then you need to make sure that your website or blog is using a platform that doesn’t get in the way of important factors like canonical redirects, meta descriptions, and keywords settings. If you are currently using WordPress for your site’s backend, be sure that you are taking advantage of any built-in features that will help with SEO because there are many plugins out there that can get in the way of these capabilities!
15. Don’t Hide Your Keywords
16. Keep Social Sharing Buttons Visible
One way that website owners can help their rankings is by encouraging sharing across social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Even though each time someone shares your content it creates new versions of your page on different domains ( could dilute keyword density), sharing is still a great way to boost your page’s visibility, so it’s important to make sure that social media buttons are not only easy to find but also displayed prominently.
17. Keep Everything Current
If you’ve been blogging for a while then you will no doubt have old posts on your site that might be long past their expiration date. Whenever possible, try updating these pages with the latest information and visuals as a means of showing search engines that your site is active and provides fresh content as time goes on! If this isn’t an option, consider setting up a 301 redirect so that any expired or outdated content can be redirected towards more relevant resources.
Remembering first to write for users instead of search engines is key in modern optimization. If your writing doesn’t entail clear, helpful ideas about how users can use your site or product to solve their problems, you will be met with a lackluster response from search engines. Using an SEO-friendly CMS is also essential because these platforms are designed specifically for optimization and give access to the full suite of options needed to make sure that your website is optimized correctly.
The most important thing is to remember that for all of your hard work in SEO, you need to be writing content with the user in mind.
If it’s not providing clear and helpful ideas about how they can use your site or product to solve their problems, then search engines will likely ignore you.
We hope this article has given you some insight into ways that you can boost your local ranking using Google’s powerful algorithms.
Now get out there and start optimizing!