In the past, it was incredibly easy to rank high on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) for your local business. All that was required was having a website, obtaining a few listings on online business directories, and utilizing Google My Business page.
If all of those things were properly employed, your local business would be ranked high anytime someone searched “Chiropractors in Indianapolis”. Unfortunately, these days are long gone. Local SEO has turned into a different game in the ever-changing world of SEO.
Local SEO is More Competitive
Because businesses have realized the importance of local SEO, they are now following through with the basics listed above in order to obtain higher rankings in Google’s SERPs. However, because of this, there are many businesses all trying to reach the top of SERPs and there are only a number of available spots. In addition to this, it is actually more complex to rank for local keywords now as local search ranking factors have evolved quite a bit over the past few years. For your local business it is important to understand these changes.
Take note of the following changes that have a large impact on local SEO:
Google Local 3-Pack and Maps
On Google Maps they used to show 7 local business listings on the Local Pack. Over a year ago, it went from 7 to 3. It will soon go from 3 to 2, making it very competitive to secure a spot on Google Maps. In order to make it into one of these spots, local businesses will need to employ a variety of local SEO techniques, such as: optimizing Google My Business page, listings on multiple online business directories as well as citation sites, incorporating lots of local SEO content onto their site, and having happy customers that leave great reviews.
Google My Business
Google has made a huge effort to get local businesses to claim their Google My Business page. A way for local businesses to up their chance of landing on Google’s SERPs is to go above and beyond with their Google My Business page, adding as much information as possible.
Instead of filling out the basic information required, as many other companies might, businesses can add pictures of their business or products, update their logo, include business hours, different types of payment that is accepted, as well as any other keyword-rich business description.
Write Local Content
In order to compete with local competitors, local content must be incorporated into your website.
This can be done with regular blog posts, local events and activities, local news alerts, and even listing the specials and promotions you are currently running.