More than half of all mobile searches are local. When it comes to website traffic… why does everyone want to rank first on Google organically only? Shouldn't they focus on ranking first locally?
Your competition is getting all the business they need because they pop up locally. Here you are slaving away to rank first on Google organically. But by neglecting your local rank you are handing business to your competition.
But isn't ranking locally hard to do?
You don’t learn how to ride a bike and then expect to win the Tour de France. You need to establish a local presence and then worry about Google. A little time and effort (and reading my lovely post) will bring you a long way. Alright, enough of this introduction, you are losing money! Get to work!
What goes into local rank?
There are a lot of factors that go into local rank. Getting a listing on a Google Places page is the first step. This lets your customers and Google know where you are. In fact, simply placing your address and local phone number on your website can help you rank locally. If you have different locations, make separate pages for each location on your website. Each page’s title, meta description, and content should be optimized for your local area too.
Local websites that link back to your site are some of the best links to earn. That is why local directories are so crucial to local rank. Are you listed in your local business chamber? Do you sponsor any local events or teams? Get your website link on to those sites.
Local reviews can boost your local cred too. Giving your incentives for giving reviews is a fantastic way to get the review ball rolling.
There are several factors in ranking locally. Some include:
Coming up on Google places (Claim your Google My Business page)
Address and phone number on your site’s pages
Local reviews (Important)
Having location & keywords together on site (Example: Downtown Minneapolis Bakery)
Listings in local sites/directories (Chamber of Commerce, BBB, Yelp)
Social media presence
Know Your Local Competition
Do you know your local competition? If you don’t just Google some of the same keywords and your location.
Example: St. Paul breweries.
Once you know your competition, you need to find out what websites link to them. One way of doing this is using a free backlink checker tool. This tool will show you the sites that link back to your competitor.
Example: Your competitor has a link to them from Forbes from a guest post. It would show up in the backlink analysis.
The more credible sites that link to your competitor, the higher they are likely to rank. You want to try to get your site listed on these credible sites too. Or even better, try to get your link in place of your competitors.
Example: That Forbes guest blog post is from 2010. Write an updated piece and pitch it to replace your competitors. Documenting this information can help you stay on top of the local competition.
Beat Out Your Competition
Once you know how well your competition is performing locally, outperform them! Keep trying to find new local links by getting involved in the local community. Keep an eye out for any charity, sports, or community events that your business can get involved with. That includes sponsoring, joining, or volunteering with them. You can usually get your link and logo onto the site that you are contributing to. Other ideas include:
Presenting at a local business convention
Giving away a scholarship
Becoming a member of the local commerce chamber
Offering a free seminar
Submitting press releases to the local press
Don’t forget that reviews can play big into how you rank. Do your job well and make people rave about you online.
Local Business = Win-Win
Getting involved in your community will boost your local ranking and your Google ranking. Getting local business is great because you’re working with your neighbors. By doing this you will start to stand out as a leader in your community. Win-win. If done right, the customers in your neck of the woods will be able to see you online. Isn't that what it's all about?
If you are ready to move onto the next level, check out 5 Easy Steps To Increase Your Google Rank.