10 Things Your Website Must Have to be Optimized for Local Search
It’s no secret that having an online presence on a local level is of vital importance. You want those searching for your services online, to be within your geographical area. It may be great and all if your website gets clicked on, but if that person lives a few counties away, are they really a potential customer?
While nothing can replace getting professional help, if you’re someone who likes challenges and learning how to do things on your own, here are 10 things to review on your website to ensure it is optimized for local search.
1. NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Your business’s NAP information should be included on every page of your website, and should be consistent with your business listings on your Google My Business page as well as other social media accounts and directory listings. If it isn’t, make that change. Ideally your website should have schema as well.
Meta-data helps Google understand what each page of your website is about. It tells potential viewers if your website has the information they are looking for. If your page comes up in search, but the meta description isn’t clear and concise, you may not win that click.
3. Well-written content
Your content on your website should tell visitors exactly what you do and where you do it. Search engine algorithms have evolved and can catch repetitive, unnatural content that includes keyword stuffing. If you go down this path, your website can be penalized because of it.
4. Duplicate content
Did you take information directly off a manufacturer’s page because you sell and install that brand? It’s likely hurting your rankings. Take that information and revise it.
Websites that aren’t mobile-responsive will get ranked lower than websites that are. With the rise in mobile searches, this is a must-have on any website. It’s important to have your phone number available in a click-to-call format so that it’s easy for potential customers to reach you. This won’t negatively impact your rankings, but it will positively impact calls to your business.
6. Sitemap and on-site linking
By having both an xml sitemap and a good on-site linking strategy, the spiders will be able to crawl your entire site. On-site linking also helps guide browsers to other pages that may be of interest, which keeps them on the site longer and aids in rankings.
7. Unique page for every location
When you have multiple locations, you should have a unique page for each and a unique URL pointing to that page. Each page should have the correct NAP information attributed to it. A great idea for a good user experience is to have one page with a tool that helps a user find the location most convenient to them.
8. Tag your images
Proper image tagging helps Google index them. Without an informative alt and title tag, your images won’t get indexed and therefore won’t help your local search rankings.
By labeling the sections in your content, you inform the search engine what each section is about and makes it easier for a reader to scan your page for the information they’re looking for. Best practices is to include your keywords in the headlines.
Stop using Flash if you want your website to be seen and indexed by search engines. Spiders can’t see it and don’t have any way of getting past a flash-enabled home page.
Complimentary Digital Marketing Consult
As you can see, there are a lot of elements to take into consideration when you’re trying to optimize your website for local search. Get an expert’s perspective on all of your local marketing initiatives with a complementary digital marketing consult, a resource you can use to improve your website and grow your business.