Local business profiles are becoming increasingly important to search.  Reports suggest that more than 50% of all mobile searches have local intent, and more than 40% of all non-mobile Search include local keywords. Google has truly replaced the fat, thick, useless
yellow pages of yesterday.  As such local SEO has evolved to the point that search engines are integrating more local results into the
search engine results page (SERPS). So the line in the sand has been drawn, you’re either building our local SEO strategy or you’re going to get left behind.

Read Also: How You Should Spend Your Time On Local SEO

Google-plus-for-business

One big difference between SEO and Local SEO is that links aren’t nearly as important for ranking purposes.  Any business that has close
to a dozen or so good reviews and accurate Nap (name, address, phone number) can find themselves ranking well locally.  If you really want to get some extra “juice” you’ll need just a handful of good local Link Building, an optimized Google+ Local page, and accurate website contact us info.

So here are the top tips for improving your local SEO profile:

Claim and Update

One of the easiest, and cost effective way to boast your local SEO profile is to claim and update your free business listings.  Multiple local directories offer free business listings to anyone willing to update the information. This helps both you as the business owner as well
as the local directory by providing correct accurate information.

Reviews

Google as well as a number of Search Engine loves local SEO profiles that have good business reviews. One thing you can do as a business owner is to remind your most loyal customers that they can write a review or two about their experience.  If they need help just point them towards your Google + Local page, or any of the listings you claimed in the previous step.  Warning though you’ll be breaking Google webmaster guidelines if you act on your temptations to incentives reviews.  You’ll just have to be informative as opposed to
bribing for good reviews.

Accuracy

Accuracy is key in Local SEO, and if you don’t have it than you won’t have it, ranking that is.  Do everything you can to make sure all information, across as many local directories that you can claim, has accurate information.  In fact do everything you can to make sure the spelling and formatting is exactly the same just to eliminate any future problems.  Google is smart, but sometimes the smallest thing out of place can confuse Google into thinking there are multiple different businesses with the same name.  So do yourself a favor by helping Google see things clearly.

Branch Out

The more listings you have across multiple local directories the better you look in the eyes of Google.  Spend the extra time needed to reach out to some of the less known local directories like Facebook business pages, Merchant Circle, Best of Web, and more.  If you need an easy to use guide to find tons of local listings than I suggest GetListed.org which not only shows you additional local directories but your listings.

Local Linking

Though linking doesn’t hold the same weight in Local SEO as it does in normal SEO, getting local businesses to Link to you is gold.  Try reaching out to organizations like the local newspaper, Chamber of Commerce, and other non-profit groups. Sometimes you’ll have to do something for them, but you’ll be helping out the local community and help build good local public relations too.

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