Ways to Improve Your Local Search Rankings

5 Incredibly Simple Ways to Improve Your Local Search Rankings

Mark Walker Small Business Advice 6 Comments

Are you a local business? If so, wouldn’t it be nice to show up first in a local search? Of course it would!

Getting to the top of local search results doesn’t happen by flipping a switch somewhere, much to the dismay of many business owners. It takes time and effort to do it, but it CAN be done. In fact, there are several simple ways to improve your local search rankings that can be done with very little technical expertise or knowledge.

Here are 5 ways you can boost your local search rankings today:

1. Claim local listings
how to claim local listings

There are literally thousands of online directories out there just begging you to enter your business information. These directories often allow business owners to add photos, descriptions, hours, and more. Many of them also allow you to add a link to your company website.

Getting a listing on these local listing sites is vitally important if you want to to be found in a local search. This is because the listing site likely ranks much better than your company website does and searchers will be able to find information about your business, or better yet, click through to your website.

As I mentioned, there are literally thousands of these sites. Some are much more important than others, so you don’t need to waste a bunch of time signing up for them all. You’re better off signing up for the top sites and then letting the information trickled down to secondary sites over time.

For a list of my recommended top local listing sites, download my free template by clicking the big yellow button below. In the spreadsheet you’ll find links and descriptions for the top local listing sites, as well as an area for usernames, passwords, and notes.

free local listing template

2. Claim social media sites
claim social media sites

Claiming top social media sites is just as important as claiming local listings because they often rank very well in search results.

For example, when you do a local search from the Indianapolis area and search “hot tub enclosures,” the first organic result below the photo display is a Houzz.com page. If you’re in the hot tub business, it would make sense to join Houzz and claim your profile so you can get added to the page.

3. Add contact information to your website
adding contact info to website

Another simple way to improve your local search ranking is to add contact information to each page of your website. Be sure to include the full business address including the zip code and the main phone number. This information needs to be in the code (text) of the website, which means you can’t add it to a graphic to get the benefits. Search engines will use this information to put your business in search results that are relevant to a users’ location.

4. Update meta information on your website

When someone does a local search, they’re going to see the meta information and title tags first thing in the search results. Here’s what that looks like when you search “digital marketing company indianapolis.” Notice how the keywords are highlighted and bolded within the snippet.

meta bold search results

Each of your pages should contain meta information and titles that are optimized for local search. Here are the areas you need to update:

  • Title tags – include your primary keywords as well as your location, all within 70 characters.
  • Meta descriptions – include your primary keywords and a brief summary of the page, all within 165 characters.

For more information about getting your title tags and meta information optimized for search, check out this helpful guide from SearchEngineWatch.com.

5. Get online reviews
how to get online reviews

Your potential customers are looking to the Internet like never before to find out about your business. They want to know how other customers have rated your business and they want to know whether or not they should give you a shot. Many online review sites like Google and Yelp rank very well in local search too, which is why it’s important to get online reviews for your business. Wouldn’t you assume a customer would prefer to see a business with several reviews, rather than one that has none? Of course!

Not sure how to get started with this? Here’s a helpful guide on how to get online reviews for your business from the folks at Kiss Metrics.

Here are a few online review sites I recommend getting reviews on.

Do you have any advice for improving local search rankings? Please share in the comments below!

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