If you run a business in 2016, then you can’t afford to ignore search engine optimization. The data is clear. In 2010, Pew Research reported that 58% of people use the Internet to search for products and services online. By 2015, that number had increased to 80%.
Yet while every business needs to find a search engine optimization strategy that works for them, there’s no such thing as a one size fits all SEO campaign. In general, there are two main branches of SEO offered by our professional SEO company: national search engine marketing and local search engine optimization services. In this blog post, we’re going to cover the top ranking signals that make a difference in local search engine marketing.
What’s the Difference Between National and Local Search Engine Optimization?
At the most basic level, a national SEO campaign is one that doesn’t contain geo-specific keywords. For instance, our search engine marketing firm often uses geo-targeted keywords like “phoenix local search engine optimization services” or “phoenix local search.” For national SEO campaigns, you’re competing against everyone else in the country, while local search engine marketing focuses on improving search rankings within a predefined geographical area.
And until Bing.com or another search engine manages to dethrone Google, that means focusing on appearing in Google’s local search results. Today, 93% of all Internet experiences begins with a search engine, and since Google has a near monopoly on search with a 65 to 70% market share, our SEO company focuses on Google search results.
So how do you improve your local search results?
The Top 3 Ranking Signals for Local Search Engine Marketing
There are certain basics of SEO services that can’t be ignored. As discussed above, you need to know what keywords your business is targeting to get any sort of traction. Additionally, building back links to your business website is always a crucial SEO strategy. But there are also some unique ranking factors that are weighed more heavily in local search results:
- NAP: NAP is a term used by SEO consultants to refer to your business’s Name, Address, and Phone number. This might seem trivial, but it’s absolutely critical to get this right. Your NAP needs to be 100% consistent and up to date in all of your business listings, from local business directories to social media accounts. Our Arizona SEO company is always shocked by how many businesses fail this most basic local ranking signal.
- Google My Business: One of the best ways to generate leads with local SEO services is to appear in certain Google widgets that appear in local search results. Google recently began highlighting local services in specific search results, which means your website will appear right at the top of the page. And for people searching on a mobile device, appearing in Google Maps is another effective way to generate leads. But in order to appear in these spaces, you’ll need to both claim and regularly update your Google My Business page, a special listing service created by Google. For help setting up your Google My Business page, contact our local SEO consultants for help.
- Local Reviews: There’s some debate about this final ranking signal, as some SEO consultants say Google is moving away from the emphasis on local reviews. For the time being, having easily accessible local reviews on third-party sites is a helpful ranking factor. However, many believe that an active social media presence is just as effective, if not more so.
Of course, these are just three of the ways our Arizona search engine marketing firm boosts companies local search results. For more information, contact us today to get started on a local SEO campaign that works for you.