Pigeon Keeps An Eye Of Local SEO: 7 Key Strategies for Local Businesses

With the announcement of Google Pigeon Update, I’ve been witnessing many misunderstandings of what local search factors really are. First off, local search factors isn’t something that popped up last week out of the blue. The importance of local presence has been there not only in the US, but also worldwide.

Why Local Matters

Statistics say that 80% of local searches convert. Whether you are a typical local business (e.g. a restaurant or a car wash), or any business with a local branch, users like to interact with businesses in their neighborhood rather than the distant ones.

The marketing strategy of any business with a physical address should therefore include the following:

1. Create Local Partnerships

Partnerships matter. They matter for SEO. Local partnerships thus matter twice as much for local SEO. Local partnerships create natural local citations and give your business bigger importance when it comes to local searches. When new in the area, start with introducing yourself to neighboring branches, participate in local events or organize a barbecue party. Do it regularly.

2. Be Active in Local Communities

Local communities are happy to provide backlinks as long as your support them in some way. It’s not always about money. Bear in mind that those communities could be miles off your subject matter. A local Kashflow players club will do as well. Search local classifieds in the Community section.

3. Keep Your NAP Consistent

NAP does not only stand for a good sleep after lunch, which should be as consistent as possible, for sure. Name, Address and Phone are the key factors of your online presence. Make sure to use the same business name, address and phone number across all directories. Don’t change your phone number very often. Consistency is what wins in a long-term.

4. Improve Your Local Presence

Try a simple SERP test to find out which local directories are particularly important for your business. Do not only focus on mainstream local directories: there is a bunch of specialized directories or community pages where you should be present as well.

5. Use Structured Local Data

Structured data is also called ‘the search engines’ new language’, as it helps them understand the relationships between entities. For example, understand how the two entities ‘Navajo Restaurant’ and ‘606-311-1158’ are connected, since the phone number is tied to the business name. Use schema.org to mark up the entities using the hCard markup.

6. Be Mobile-Friendly

When talking about local search, we are talking about mobile search in the majority of cases. Maintaining a mobile-friendly site is a must, whether you use responsive design or make a mobile version of your site. Test how the site displays in mobile devices using Google Webmaster Tools.

7. Encourage Good Reviews

The most efficient way to gain positive reviews is by having a WiFi available in place and asking a happy customer to write the review instantly. You can combine this method by following-up your customers with a thank-you email asking for the review. Read more about how to ask for positive reviews.

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Martin Kůra

Martin a.k.a. @HermanTinkura helps international and local companies enter new markets by creating a vast multi-cultural SEO strategy. Martin writes for SEMrush and likes to explore different cultures of the world, which is his favorite part of his work.

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