How To Improve Your Local Ranking On Google for SERP Domination
Local SEO is a must-have for any business that provides services relevant to a specific area. Car sales companies, lawyers, stores with brick-and-mortar offices — the list of those who may need local search engine optimization is huge.
In this article, we will tell you how to boost your local Google rankings, where to start, what factors affect the ranking in local search results, and how to get to the top of Google local search and outperform competitors. We’ll also share our case study, where we applied all our tips and managed to increase the number of visitors to the client’s website by 5471%. Let’s dive in!
What is local SEO?
Local SEO is very similar to regular search engine optimization but emphasizes geographic targeting. The essence of digital marketing practice is to improve your local ranking on Google and bring your website to the top by using local keywords.
Local search results consist of three elements:
- Paid ad section (may be absent).
- Local pack.
- Search results with sites optimized for location keywords.
The main feature of local results is the local pack or map pack. When a user enters “best restaurants in Miami” in the search, Google shows them the local results that contain a local pack (a section with three local businesses generated by the search engine for your query). Businesses in the local pack are also displayed on the map on the right.
How can local SEO help your business?
According to statistics, 46% of Google searches include local topics, and about 80% of users who search for them convert to leads. In addition, 78% of people search for local services at least twice a week, and 50% visit stores the very next day after searching.
No wonder most companies invest in local promotion, as if you know how to dominate local SEO search rankings, you’ll get:
- better search engine visibility of your website;
- significant increase in traffic;
- increase in the number of relevant applications.
How to improve local search rankings of your website?
Local SEO works almost the same way as a regular search engine optimization, which means it operates on the same ranking factors but with some additional peculiarities.
Create and customize your Google My Business profile
Google My Business is one of the most important assets to consider if you’re wondering how to rank locally. Having a profile on GMB allows your company to be included in the local pack, which we mentioned earlier. This is especially important for businesses with physical presence in cities. Many people prefer offline shopping, so they can go to your company profile, see the assortment on the website, and then come to the store and make a purchase there.
To improve local rankings of your GMB profile, you should design it correctly:
- Add keywords;
- Choose the right business category;
- Fill in all contact information;
- Attach photos;
- Regularly add news related to your company’s activity.
You also need to constantly monitor user reviews and respond to both good and bad ones to build credibility and trust with your customers.
Add geographically relevant keywords to your website
The keywords you add to your service pages must have a geographic reference for local promotion. That is, if you sell used cars in a particular city or state, you need to create locally-targeted content with keywords only with the city and/or state included. For example, for a company that sells used cars in Toronto, the relevant keywords would be:
- used cars for sale in toronto;
- used cars in toronto;
- buy used cars in toronto;
- best place to buy used cars in toronto;
- used cars for sale near toronto.
Adding a city and state will help search engines rank your website correctly in search results and show it to those users who are interested in your services.
Buy backlinks from localized domains
External links are an important ranking factor for search engines. When planning a link-building strategy for a local business, you should include donor domains with a geographic reference. These can be local forums of cities or states. The list of anchors (clickable phrases with the link) must have keywords that mention the location where the business provides its services.
You can use directories to increase search engine trust for your domain. Directories are various catalogs, platforms, and online guides where you can add information about your business (contact details, services, addresses, etc.) and post links to your website.
The most popular directories include Yellow Pages, TripAdvisor, Apple Maps, Cylex, and Yell. Placing links (both anchor and nofollow) to your website in directories has a direct impact on Google My Business. Google collects analytics about the mentions of your website in directories and takes these links into account in your GMB profile. This, in turn, affects the ranking of your site in local search results and local pack.
The more reliable information about your business you submit to directories, the more trustworthy your business becomes, thereby improving how you rank locally on Google. Keep in mind that the information you submit to directories should be consistent across all resources. Additionally, listing your business in directories improves brand visibility for potential clients looking for services in your area.
You can also publish sponsored posts on local portals or blogs, which will increase local traffic to your site and improve brand awareness and trust.
Pay attention to the donor quality and credibility
When choosing donors for your website, you should be guided primarily by the quality and authority of the domains from which you will receive links.
However, quality is a relative term, and each SEO specialist has their own ideas about it. They usually pay attention to the theme, traffic quantity and quality (without sharp ups and downs), region from which the site receives the majority of users (especially relevant in this case), coverage of prohibited topics, frequency of publishing, and site design.
Domain authority also cannot be measured by Ahrefs, Majestic, Serpstat, or any other tools of this kind. You also need to understand that if a website is referenced by, for example, The New York Times, Forbes, or The Washington Post, its authority for Google will be higher.
Ask clients to add reviews on third-party sites
Want to know additional methods for how to improve your local ranking on Google? Reviews on the resources unrelated to your business increase user trust. About 88% of users check reviews of local businesses on third-party websites, such as review platforms(Trustpilot, Trusted Shops), social media (Facebook, Instagram), YouTube, and forums. Moreover, only one in five buyers trust reviews written on a company’s website, while 70% are suspicious of them.
Reviews on third-party resources are not a direct factor that affects website rankings, but they help improve behavioral factors that, in turn, affect the position your site will appear in local searches.
Create a separate page for each service
Each service your company provides must have a separate landing page:
- It’s an additional entry point for potential clients.
- Having relevant pages (those that match the client’s request) for each service improves behavioral factors.
- It improves website rankings.
Also, if you distribute keywords correctly across different landing pages, it will increase your chances of getting to the top. Let’s say your company repairs household appliances. Instead of creating one page for the query “repair of household appliances”, you can create several pages for different types of equipment: repair of refrigerators, repair of coffee machines, repair of air conditioners, etc. This way, potential leads who need a specific service will land on a page relevant to them.
Add internal linking
In simple terms, internal linking is when you create links from less important pages of your website to other, more important ones. For example, we can link blog pages to service pages:
Similarly, we can link service pages to the main page:
Having a well-thought-out internal linking is important not only for local companies but for any website. Proper placement of internal links helps to distribute the weight of each page evenly, improving indexing and ranking.
Make your website mobile-friendly
In the era of smartphones, your website must be optimized for any mobile device, as about 77% of people search for products from a smartphone. Therefore, if you don’t want to lose a big chunk of potential clients, you should monitor the speed indicators for mobile devices, as well as mind how your design looks in the mobile version.
P.S. Don’t forget to add CTA buttons so that clients can quickly contact you.
Case Study on Local Search Optimization
We regularly apply all the tips we have described above and know inside out how to improve Google local business ranking. One of the cases in our company’s portfolio is Fix Appliances CA, a Canadian company that provides appliance repair services in Toronto and nearby cities.
Throughout cooperation with Fix Appliances CA, we have managed to:
- Increase the number of website visitors by 5,471% (from 7,880 to 431,134 users per month).
- Increase the number of website applications to 150+ per day, which is 20 times more than before the start of work.
- Help the company grow 5 times.
Check the full case study to learn more about how we achieved such incredible results.
Now you know all the basics of how to improve local SEO rankings. Using the tips we have described above, you can bring your website to the top of local search results and get more relevant traffic.
Don’t have time to bother with micromanaging all these processes? Want to delegate this task to professionals? Contact Livepage! We will help you to bring your website to the top regardless of your business area and increase your income several times over.