Thanks to Google’s ongoing dedication, their users have the most up-to-date information when turning to them for answers. Google not only provides its users with the information they request, but with a list of relevant options through their Local Pack. While this makes for great user experience, it can mean something entirely different for your small business.
What is the Local Pack?
When a user jumps online to search for a nearby shop, service, or restaurant, for example, Google provides the most relevant business information according to the user’s geographical location. This makes life much easier on the user, as it provides a Google Map and the listings of a few similar businesses that correlate to the search. This map displays the top three businesses, along with a location pin and business information. Take a look at the example below:
Small Business Goals
But what if you’re a smaller local business? While Google use to reveal the top seven businesses near the user’s location, it has dwindled down to the top three. Having one of these coveted spots is a must and crucial for many small business owners to achieve and hold onto. Ranking in Google’s Local Pack top three leads to more foot traffic from your local community, awareness of your business, and revenue for your products or services. Local service companies, retail stores, restaurants, and healthcare providers can benefit most from ranking in these top three spots. Unfortunately, it can also be what makes or breaks others.
Rankings and SEO Service
So, how do you get one of these sought-after spots? You must optimize for local search. Local SEO is all about bringing your ideal customer to you. How? Local SEO specialists at Moose May increase your local listing by building and increasing your business’s web presence, all based on your specific location.
This is done through an array of strategies, including optimizing for ALL your listings. While this does create some crossover, it’s an effective local SEO strategy. Let’s take a look at additional SEO service options that may help your increase and hold a top spot on the Local Pack:
- On-Page SEO – On-page SEO is a vital tool and we can’t stress this enough to our clients. Make sure you are listing the area you service on your site. Are you located in California or Michigan? Lafayette or Detroit? List your state and city in order to take full advantage. Be sure to add this critical information to your titles and Meta descriptions as well; it is valuable for both areas. Implementing these strategies is key and so often overlooked by small businesses.
When you list your city and state, you are adding credibility and telling Google that your products and services are found here. Mention all areas you service too. You can do this by adding it to your individual pages, or by creating dedicated pages that specify your services for a particular area. Talk about the areas you service in your blogs. If you reach several neighboring cities, you’ll want to include them as well. And don’t forget to update your older blog posts to reflect this information too!
- Technical SEO – Optimize your website regularly! You want your site to be easily accessed, interpreted, and indexed. Does your site:
- Have a sitemap
- Is it secure?
Perform a site speed test. Google looks at site speed from all around the world to impact your rankings, so even though you are focusing on your local SEO rank, it can all make a difference in the larger scheme of things. Remember, these building blocks are essential to your search rankings. Your website should help search engines crawl with ease. Do a check and do it regularly!
- Blogs – If you aren’t blogging for your business, put that at the top of your to-do list! Blogs can work wonders for your SEO and it’s the perfect opportunity to build your local SEO. Blogging can:
- Improve your keywork ranking
- Engage your site visitors and build a loyal audience
- Increase your site’s backlink potential
- Allow you to include your internal links
You’ll also benefit by optimizing your blog titles for better local SEO rankings. But don’t worry if you don’t have the time or desire to write. We have a dedicated team of expert blog writers as part of our SEO service offerings. We pair your products and services to the blogger who suits your brand best!
- Directories – Okay, let’s dive a bit deeper into the local SEO portion. Adding your location to a variety of directories can increase your rank by showing that this is indeed your actual location. Verifying this information across multiple directories and websites provides proof. No one wants a random, untrustworthy site popping up, right?
Some verification steps require calls, other require emails. But you should never have to pay for them, so don’t get caught in that trap. As you add your company to these sites, you’ll also be creating backlinks with your website linked on them. We recommend adding to 10-20 directories per month to help improve your local SEO.
- Reviews – Make it a habit to ask your clients for reviews! Did you know there is SEO value in reviews? Having reviews with your location and service detailed in the review can help tremendously.
A great way to ask for reviews is by email. Ask for a quick customer service review at your location after they’ve completed a purchase or when they’ve returned after using (and loving) their item!
Moose May has consulted for many healthcare providers and we’ve seen the amazing success these in-office techniques have. Immediately after scheduling their client’s next appointment they ask if they’d mind leaving them a quick review. Our daycare clients have had great success having their families mention the ages of their children who attend, as well as the area they live in and commute from.
Be sure to mix up your review platform of choice. Gathering reviews across multiple sites, including Yelp and Facebook, have a strong, and often quick impact on your local SEO rankings. It’s truly that simple and has an invaluable impact.
- Schema – Structured data can be complicated, but it is the beginning of where we see SEO going in terms of voice search. Therefore, we find that schema is a very important piece of the puzzle. Added to your HTML, it provides a way for webmasters to standardize information; allowing search engines to better understand your site, its content, and how to categorize it. If you’re a bit overwhelmed by schema, you aren’t alone. It’s also a great SEO service to have us handle so that you can spend your time focused on the parts of your business you love most.
There you have it; the top six ways to help you increase your ranking on the Local Pack. Don’t have the time to dedicate to all these additions and updates to your site? We’d love the chance to get to know your business and share how we can help. We provide many SEO services, including listing your business in multiple directories across the web for you. Local SEO is all about building trust and credibility with search engines and we know how to do it right. Our local SEO service options help you to become the authority figure of your product or service in your area and on your way to the coveted top three on the Local Pack. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help!