Local SEO Ranking Factors in 2016

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Local SEO is gaining huge popularity for online businesses in 2016. One of the major goals of getting online presence is to become visible to local users who are making a search for your product or service. For example, if someone types, “SEO company in Toronto”, you’ll obviously want your business to be shown on top of search engine result pages (SERPs). This will enable people to recognize your online business amongst the competitors and they may turn out to be your future customers. Several factors should be taken into consideration when improving local SEO ranking and boosting website traffic. This will increase conversion rate, which in turn, will enable you to make huge profit from your online business. Let’s discuss about some Local SEO factors that will boost ranking of your website in 2016.

Local SEO Ranking Factors

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Existence of Google Local Presence

The most important thing to get your business identified by Google or build local presence is to get it verified through Google Local. Once your business gets verified by Google, the next step will be to have it optimized on Google Local business page. Here’s how you can do it.

  • Add your city name and keyword in the title of the business. Suppose, if your business name is “Nicole Draperies”, you can write your title as “Nicole Draperies – Drapery Toronto”. This way, you will be able to rank your business for different keywords such as “draperies Toronto”, “drapery Toronto” etc.
  • Choose correct category of your business.
  • Try to upload as many photos of your products and stores.
  • Write detailed description about your business, products and services

NAP Consistency

NAP stands for Business Name, Address and Phone No. Google’s latest updates on serving localized results to web searchers should have NAP information to remain consistent and up-to-date on multiple platforms. NAP listings on your site and other websites are called “citations”. Google and other search engines check these citations to know if the business location is authentic which helps build trust level of your website. Thus, the more listings you have with same information, the more trustworthy your business will be for Google. Search engines use citations to provide the most appropriate result when someone conducts a search.

Integrate Rich Snippet Markup

Rich snippet markup is a code for your website that enables search engines to provide informative results for the searcher. As a local business, you can use rich snippet markup for business name, address, phone number and other contact details shown on your website. This will allow search engines to display correct information about your business. Adding Schema markup to HTML boosts the way webpage displays in search engine result pages or SERPs by enhancing rich snippets displayed below page title. Schema markup creates brand signals that improve Knowledge Graph display in the search engine results pages (SERPs). You can also include your social profile links, logo and contact details in Schema markup.

Local reviews

Reviews have a major impact on local search rankings and businesses today need to get local reviews on different platforms such as Google Local, Yelp, Yellow Pages etc. The more reviews your business gets, more are the chances for your business to rank for Local.

Let’s start the process of local reviews by asking your customers to share their feedback and see if they are really interested in giving your business some review. Another way is to create a page where customers are given instructions on how to write review on different review submission sites. This is a great way to know your customers opinion about your business.

Local On-Page SEO Factors

  • There are different types of on-page optimization technique can be implemented for Local SEO, to make your website more localized. The steps are as below.
  • Add your region, an appropriate keyword within the title tag of landing page.
  • Add your city, a relevant keyword, within H1 tag of landing page.
  • Include your place, a relevant keyword, within the URL of landing page.
  • Add your city, an appropriate keyword, within the content of your landing page.
  • Include Google map with your business details on the landing page.

Mobile Usage will Win over Other Devices

Year 2015 has already seen the urgency how the biggest search engine, Google created its own mobile algorithm, which came to be known as “Mobilegeddon”.

Although the latest update Mobilegeddon had not yet affected many websites, yet it has already created alertness that users are much more addicted to mobile phones or tablets than desktops. People these days searching almost everything on mobile, including local business information such as business name, address, contact details and working hours. This means if you are having a local business, then it might be quite difficult to appear in mobile search results if your website is not mobile friendly.

Organic Ranking is Dependent on Social Media

Google introduced a 10- year plan in 2009 that was declared publicly only in the year 2012. This was actually done to incorporate social media into organic search algorithm.

Setting up your local business doesn’t mean you have to spend the entire day on social media sites or you have to appoint a marketing employee who will do it for you. Rather, you should post regular updates and respond to the ones who have contacted you through social sites. Search engine, like Google, considers the activities like comments, social engagement and site visits to be some of the major factors for your website’s ranking.

The above mentioned points will have a great impact on local SEO rankings. Google’s organic listings will become much more significant since they are related to mobile search. Your website must be mobile-friendly as this is very important with Google’s mobile search update. Google has devised an online Mobile-Friendly Test to analyze whether a website’s design is suitable for viewing from mobile handset or not. This can be the first check for your business website.

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