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10 Things You Need to Take Care of to Rank Higher on SERPs

Local SEO has gained a lot prominence over the last few years. It has been updated to ensure that local searches get the most relevant results. There are millions of people searching for local information on a daily basis. Everyone knows how this works: when your business has a well-optimized online presence, Google will qualify your business are one of the best solutions for related local search queries. This works when your website is optimized to suit these local searches.

You’re probably thinking that this is easier said than done, and it is absolutely true. But keep in mind that there is a pot of gold at the end of this rainbow. Here’s what you can benefit from when your website is optimized for local search:

  • Your business will begin to rank higher and higher on SERPs (search engine results pages), and it is only a matter of time before you appear on the first page if your website is search engine optimized.
  • A well-ranking website translates to lead generation opportunities and increased traffic.
  • A website optimized to suit local search will rank for search queries conducted in real-time. It is quite likely that you’ll see at least 18% of these entering your store to make a purchase decision.

TL;DR - Your business will have a greater visibility online, so, your sales are likely to increase.

Local SEO is what every business needs, but spending time on it can seem overwhelming when you have too many responsibilities to deal with. But you needn’t worry about where to start. You can take it one step at a time. Here’s everything you need to know about optimizing your website with Local SEO. There are around 12 factors listed below that you need to optimize:

Title Tags

The title tags are very important as they define the contents of your webpage. It is one of the factors search engines use to understand what the page is about. So, in order to optimize your website, make sure your title tag is the briefest representation of the page.

For example, if you’re running an interior design business in Atlanta, Georgia, your title tag should be “Interior Designers in Atlanta | *Name of Business*”. This is the recommended format for title tags. Here are some other things to keep in mind:

  • Place your target keyword in the title tag. [Example: “Interior Designers in Atlanta | *Name of Business*”]
  • Restrict your title tags to around 60 characters.
  • Add your brand name to your title tag. If it is a well-known brand name, add it to the beginning of the title tag (example: *Name of Business* | Interior Designers in Atlanta), or you place it conversely if your brand is lesser known.

Clean URLs

Clean URLs are ones that are perfectly comprehensive, that is, anyone can read them and understand the content that they contain. Avoid complicated parameters. Here are the things you need to know about creating SEO-friendly URLs:

  • Use hyphens to separate words to make it more understandable. In case you overdo them, they’re likely to be considered as spam.
  • Try to avoid using parameters in your URLs; and in case it can’t be avoided, make sure that you don’t use more than two. Here’s what parameters look like: “https://www.awesomebusinesswebsite.com/1EXT_lQtCPOjcm1lnoiGJF2” Instead of using these parameters, you can make your URL represent its content in a straightforward manner. Here’s an example: “https://www.awesomebusinesswebsite.com/awesomeinformation”

Indexable Menus

Menus on your website help users navigate through its content when they visit it. But once it is indexed, it will allow search engines to qualify your website as a better choice for search results. Optimizing this is pretty simple: make sure that the most relevant keywords are used to title the menu options and any other sub categories. In addition to this, make sure that your content is in the HTML format, because anything other than this will be disregarded by search engines. You can test this by using a tool like SEO-Browser.com to see what your content looks like to search engines.

Duplicate Content

If you wanted to look for “Simple Ways to Maintain a Herb Garden,” you want to learn different ways to do this to suit your needs. If you seem unsatisfied with the one you read, you’ll look for another one. But if your second article also has the same content, you’re left without a good solution. Google understands that such results would be unsatisfactory for a user’s search query, so it meticulously demotes duplicate content. Here’s how you ensure your content is SEO optimized:

  • Make sure you follow a word limit anywhere between 800 to 1500 words.
  • Place your keywords strategically; preferably at the beginning of a paragraph.
  • Make sure your keyword appears at least five times in the structure of your article.
  • Use plagiarism checkers online to make sure your content is not duplicate. In case you have quoted extracts or dialogues, make sure you provide the due attribution for these posts.

Logos and Images

SEO is most effective when every part of the website’s anatomy is optimized according to the requisites of search engine ranking. This includes the images on your site as well. To start with, your image needs a good filename, that is, it needs to contain an appropriate keyword that best describes the image content. Here’s are other ways to optimize your images for SEO:

  • Scale the image appropriately to enhance the loading time and pagespeed.
  • Make sure that your images are mobile responsive. Your image needs to be the best fit in terms of size and quality. That is, it needs to be the best quality in a smaller size.
  • Caption your images. According to KissMetrics, captions are read more than the body copy, 300% more to be specific.
  • Add alt text to all your images. On adding descriptive alt text to your images, you ensure that no information or functionality is lost in cases where the images don’t appear.
  • Add your images and alt text to OpenGraph and Twitter Cards as well. This will make sure that your image appears when your website content is shared on Facebook and Twitter.

NAP Details

Make sure that your business’ contact details accurately displayed on your website. This includes your business name, address, and phone number. It is important that the contact details on your website the same as ones on your business’ Google My Business page. As a matter of fact, your NAP details need to be consistent everywhere your services are listed.

[You can check for inconsistencies in your business information across the internet with a tool like Synup]

City/Service Page

This is important for businesses that provide services in different cities: make sure that you create a separate landing page with unique content for each of these locations. In addition to this, the landing pages should have comprehensive content that has a word count of at least 450 words. Make sure that your keywords are relevant, and are placed appropriately, and be careful not to over do it as you might suffer penalties. Subsequently, add title tags on the page that show what you offer, and the specific location.

Blogging

Maintaining a blog is a great way to run a steady SEO strategy. As you regularly create content and add it your blog, Google deems that your website has regular momentum. With these constant updates, your site will be frequented by Google’s crawlers. This will also increase website traffic if your business’ website starts to appear on searches. In addition to these, you become a thought-leader in your niche and you’ll develop a good readership.

Mobile Responsive

Mobile devices are ubiquitous nowadays, and everyone is using them to search for local information. According to research, 50% of the searches done out there are on smartphones and at least 18% of these smartphone local searches influence purchase decisions and result in sales. The idea behind making your website mobile responsive is to cater to these searches. If your website is mobile responsive, it removes elements that don’t render on smaller screens and the user still experiences a functional website on their smartphones.

Google’s Voice Search

This is a function that allows users to speak out search queries for results instead of typing them out. This feature is applicable on desktop and mobile, and comes with a “wake phrase” - a spoken phrase that activates voice search - which is, “OK, Google.” You can access this feature either by tapping on the microphone icon on your search engine homepage, or you use the wake phrase on your device and it will activate voice search.

According to Hitwise, 60% of the local searches are done on mobile devices. A convenient feature like voice search will allow consumers to make quick searches on the go. Before you optimize your website for voice searches, you need to know that it is different from keywords that are typed into the search bar; voice searches are far more conversational and informal. This means that voice search queries are typically longer than the typical keyword search queries. So, here’s what you need to do to optimize your business for voice search:

  • Claim your Google My business listing (Add the Google My Business How-to Pge)
  • Create a keyword strategy with long-tail keywords that mimic voice searches. You can begin by listing out questions and statements that people will use for their keyword search.
  • [Pro-Tip: You can use FAQs to find the questions and statements to build your keywords.]
  • Use Structured Data Markup.

So, there, you have it! Optimizing your website to enable local SEO opportunities is the first step, but it’s going to take a while before you start seeing the results. You can use this local SEO checklist to track your progress. Let us know how these strategies worked out for you.

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