Having a website that ranks well on search engines is vital to your business’s success. Because 46 percent of Google searches are local, it is useful for businesses to optimize their local SEO rankings to help reach customers who are looking for a product or service in their cities or regions.

Developing a strong personal experience is important to Google and the industry-leading company has put measures in place to ensure that websites included in their search results are also ranked locally, even if the business does provide a nationwide service.

You’re not left to develop a local SEO strategy on your own and there are a range of tools available to help you improve your local SEO ranking and help locals find more information about your business easily.

  1. Claim Your Google My Business listing

An important first step in improving your local SEO ranking, is to claim your business listing on Google, so that potential customers searching for what you have to offer are directed to your business. There are some useful tools available to help you determine what categories best describe your business.

You should also ensure your business’s address is up to date. Remember not to add extra keywords to your business’s name and to only list what it is officially called.

  1. Understanding Ranking Factors

“Keyword research is what people use to develop and enhance their search engine ranking. It focuses on finding the right keywords or phrases that your audience searches for,” as stated by PWD.

Knowing what determines your website’s rank in search results will give you an idea of what keywords to use when developing SEO strategies. Deciding on primary keywords to use is generally quite intuitive. They key is to anticipate what potential customers would search to find your business.

If your business is in a small town, it may be useful to add the nearest big city in your keywords.

There are also online tools that can help you generate keywords which best describe your business. You could also use sites such as Craigslist or Google’s Autocomplete to see what keywords turn up when you search for the service your business offers.

  1. Structure Citations

Citations are the instances your business is mentioned online and include its name, location and contact information. Ensuring your citations are structured, that is, listed in online business directories helps rank your business.

Avoid inconsistent citations as this decreases your ranking. Inconsistency is usually the result of changes in your business’s name, address, contact or website over the past few years. A single mistake in this information can be replicated across the search engine system.

GetListed.org is a useful resource which can help ensure your citations are up to date and effective.

  1. Research Your Competitors

Check out what keywords and information competitor sites are using. This will also help you find ways to set your business apart from others offering similar services. It could also help find relevant search phrases that you may not have been using.

Tools such as the Content Gap too from Ahrefs helps generate keywords that are being used by a number of sites. For example, you could find the top town keywords used for electrician business.

You should also search for what keywords businesses in larger cities or that serve bigger regions are using.

  1. Page SEO

To help improve your local SEO ranking, make use of traditional page SEO strategies. This includes using the keyword in the title, tags and URL. Also ensure you have a meta description and the correct company details as discussed earlier.

Also set up local landing pages if your business operates in multiple regions. Your homepage SEO should be centered on your primary location unless your company operates in a significant number of regions

  1. Claim and Optimize Your Social Media

It’s important to claim the social media pages of your business as well as to link your social media accounts to your business listing. Also add your location when posting on your social media.

If you’re not sure what social media accounts are listed as belonging to your business, you can use the Get Listed tool to help organize your profiles.

  1. Improve Google Places reviews

Reviews help improve confidence in your company which results in your pages ranking higher in search results. Check out your reviews regularly to learn about your customers’ experience with your business and also encourage customers to share their review of your company.

Improving your local SEO ranking is an easy way to boost your business’s reach and appeal to local customers. Using these helpful and simple resources can go a long way in establishing your business as the go-to company in the region that it operates in.