If your business depends upon clients in your neighborhood, local search engine optimization services can help you get them in the door. The best local SEO services, not surprisingly, will come from a local SEO expert.
Local SEO service pros know your market. They know the right keyword phrases, including local and regional names, slang, sayings, events, traditions, and news happenings that your potential customers use in their online searches.
What are Local Search Engine Optimization Services?
You have probably heard the acronym, “SEO.” It refers to search engine optimization. Local search engine optimization services, or local SEO services, focus on optimizing your website with on-site and off-site SEO strategies. These strategies target qualified customers for your local business: customers who could walk in the door today before your business closes.
Title Tags and Meta Description Tags Guide to Search Engines
Your content management system (CMS) probably prompts you for title tags and meta description tags for every page or post that you add to your website. These tags tell web crawlers what to expect on your page.
They make up part of the HTML that the crawler reads, and, if you want Google or another search engine to give your page a good pagerank, you better make sure that these tags accurately reflect your page’s content.
Your title tag and meta description should include your keywords. For example, take a look at the title of this document: “How Local SEO Services Can Get Your Neighbors in the Door.” It contains one of the page’s long-tailed keyword phrases: “local SEO services”
Your title can occupy up to 600 pixels across, on the Google snippet that appears on the SERP, so, you can fit about 50 or 60 characters in the title tag. Meta description tags allow for about 160-200 characters: one long sentence or two short ones, plus a little wiggle room.
Take a look at a snippet from the Google search, “find a latte near downtown Pittsburgh PA,” below. Google’s late 2017 algorithm updates have influenced snippet length (making them longer) and reduced the number of organic results (non-paid search results) that appear above the fold on the first page of the SERP, according to Moz.
Indeed, if you look at the results below, the local pack, Constellation Coffee, Crazy Mocha Coffee Co, and Espresso A Mano, were the only results above the fold. Based on page viewer habits, the snippets below them, “28 Coffee Shops in Pittsburgh to Grab a …” and “The 15 Best Places for Lattes in Pittsburgh – Foursquare” might not get many views.
The title tags have blue font, and the meta description appears in dark grey, beneath the green URL. The three items … the title meta tag, the meta description, and the URL make up the snippet.
That’s why you want a local SEO service expert to work with you to make those tags perfect. They should all
- fit within the character limits
- contain at least one of your keywords (preferably your primary keyword)
- interesting and well-written to attract a click from the SERP viewer.
If you’re doing your own tags, SEOmofo and Yoast provide emulators that allow you to see what your snippet will look like. Here’s an example, using some text from a snippet in the search that we did above.
Writing good tags and snippets requires skill, concentration, and experience. An expert in local search engine optimization services will focus on writing tags that get your web page well-positioned on the SERP and attract people with crisp, inviting text. Someone craving a hot latte in Pittsburgh will surely notice those snippets.
Local SEO Services Experts Know Your Location
It seems obvious, but your local keyword strategy needs to include the name of your business and the city and area it serves. For example,
- The Oakland neighborhood of Pittsburgh
- Allison Park/Gibsonia/Pittsburgh
- Downtown Pittsburgh
- Point Breeze Pittsburgh
If you look at the Local Pack at the top of the Google SERP, shown above, you can bet that Constellation Coffee used city and area keywords on its website. It occupies all four of the Local Pack spots on the SERP.
An expert will know how to front-load your keyword phrases to get your snippets into the right places on the SERP. Front-loading places the most important words of the keyword at the beginning of the phrase to tell the web spider that they’re more important than the trailing words.
Local SEO Services Experts Take Advantage of Online Directories
By working with a local SEO services expert, you know that you’ll get your page listed in the right online directories. Correctly listing your business name, address, phone number, web page, email, and other data can get you noticed.
While an SEO expert from outside your region will know Yelp, Merchant Circle, and Citysearch, only a local SEO services professional will know about authoritative local directories. He or she will also know the ropes to get your business listed on local news websites, the Chamber of Commerce’s business directory, and other directories that can list or cite your business.
Local Search Engine Optimization Services Claim and Optimize Google My Business
The Google My Business (GMB) directory businesses show up on Google searches and maps. Why not? They’re providing the directory, why wouldn’t they put the businesses in their own directory at the top of the SERP page. That’s how business gets done.
Your local search engine optimization services expert will make sure that your business claims its GMB, and he or she will know how to optimize it. It’s the only way to get into the Google local pack on the SERP.
Local SEO Services Focus on Good Reviews
Reviews make a difference in your web page’s PageRank. Pagerank determines where your snippet falls on the SERP. Your business needs reviews to factor them into the PageRank.
The Local Consumer Review Survey, by BrightLocal, found that,
“97% of consumers looked online for local businesses in 2017, with 12% looking for a local business online every day; … [and] 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.”
Local SEO service experts use reputation marketing software and tools to obtain, track and manage reviews. Once you start getting reviews, your business, or the SEO consultant representing it, needs to make sure that reviewing customers get feedback. According to Google, “High-quality, positive reviews from your customers will improve your business’s visibility and increase the likelihood that a potential customer will visit your location.”
Schema Markup Provided by Local SEO Services
Web spiders that find organized sites with consistent data give the search engine data that produce good PageRank. The use of schema markup, or structured data markup, on your website’s code can provide the spider with the information and organization that the crawlers need. Search Engine Watch wrote,
Schema.org’s website claims that “over 10 million websites” use Schema.org markup, which translates into less than one percent of all websites; an investigation by ACM Queue put the figure at 31.3%, while a study by Bing and Catalyst found that just 17% of marketers use Schema.org markup… Either way, even the highest estimate of Schema.org adoption still comes in at less than a third of websites.
Using schema markup can help your local business stand out from the competition in searches. You can make your local business stand out (and possibly rank higher than your competitors) if you add structured data markup to your site where appropriate. Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool can tell an expert if your schema markup has been properly implemented and gives tips on how to fix it when it has not.
Local search engine optimization services can certainly get your neighbors visiting your business. Local SEO services can most likely give you the best results because he or she will be familiar with the local market and lingo.
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