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While SEO in general is incredibly important, many experts in the industry agree that local SEO is even more so. This is especially true for industries that specifically serve their local markets, like law firms, roofing companies, restaurants, plumbers, HVAC technicians, doctor and dentist offices, and other services.
If your business is operating in one of these industries, it’s more important than ever before that you optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers searching for your local business. This is known as regional SEO.
Long ago, simply doing SEO — any SEO — was good enough to be seen in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPS). This is no longer the case. Local competition is hotter than ever! If you’re not staying on top of the rankings, you can bet your competitors are. With this in mind, here are several regional SEO tactics you can use to help your business rank higher for local search terms, no matter what industry you’re in — from legal to home services and beyond.
When people are searching for businesses in their area, they do so in more places than just Google. Out-of-town tourists may turn to Trip Advisor to find cool local hotspots or locals may go to Yelp to find a new restaurant they’re not yet tired of. It’s certainly not uncommon for those who need help around the house to go right to Angi’s List.
Submit your website to local directories, such as Google My Business, Yelp, Justia, and other industry-specific directories. Ensure that your business information — meaning your official name, address, and phone number — is consistent across all listings.
Not only does this ensure people can find your contact information wherever they’re looking, this “link juice” helps improve your local SEO visibility. When Google sees your information being consistent in so many places, it will rightfully assume you’re a local authority at what you do and your website ranking will improve because of this trust.
Speaking of link juice, it’s a fantastic idea to seek opportunities to acquire backlinks from local websites or social media influencers wherever and whenever you can. This can be done naturally through collaborations, partnerships, or sponsoring local events.
These local backlinks are a sure-fire way to boost your website’s authority and relevance for your targeted region. Not only will you be seen by users directly looking at the website, blog, or social post, but you’ll also be rewarded by Google for the backlinks.
Whether you’re a hairstylist, a coffee shop, or a handyman, local reviews are going to be key to dominating your local area. Don’t be shy; ask for them straight out! The positive customer reviews and ratings on platforms like Google My Business, Facebook, and Yelp can significantly impact not only your reputation but also your local SEO ranking. Encourage your satisfied clients, patients, and customers to leave a review as they leave. These reviews can improve your visibility and credibility.
One of the best things you can do for SEO across the board is on-page optimization. For your regional efforts, you’re going to want dedicated landing pages for each targeted area. This is more than spamming city name keywords into copied and pasted pages. These pages should contain information specific to the region.
This could be your local address and phone number with the local area code, as well as testimonials from local customers that state the area they live in. Don’t be afraid to make references to nearby landmarks in your content. In some places, like Philadelphia or New York City, there is appropriate local slang you can incorporate to make it feel especially targeted. This helps search engines understand the local relevance of your content.
Even for regional SEO, your website’s title and description tags still matter! Title and description tags are not on-page optimizations; they’re HTML elements that you can and absolutely should customize to reflect the content of your web pages.
They tell Google what your page is about, and you want them to tell Google what area you’re located in and targeting. As well, the text of your title and description tags is displayed in search results. This means web users will see your regionally-focused keywords as well. They are a great way to grab a searcher’s attention and get them to click on your links to go to your website.
The general length best practice for title tags is anywhere from 50 to 60 characters. Your page’s description tags can be approximately 160 to 200 characters. Any extra words or characters mean cutting off your text with ellipses. Take advantage of this space and use it wisely, incorporating your city, state, or other regional terms you want to focus your SEO efforts on.
The last thing you want to do is check everything off the list and never think about SEO again. Local SEO — and all SEO efforts for that matter — is an ongoing process. It may take time to see the results you’re looking for. As well, you may achieve significant results and then go back down. This ebb and flow is normal. Consistency, relevance, and providing value to your target audience in your region are key factors in successful local keyword targeting. Be patient and think of it like a marathon, not a sprint.
Does this sound good, but a bit confusing? Don’t worry! If you look at On The Map Marketing reviews, you’ll see that dedicated SEO experts are able to accomplish these tactics and best practices on your behalf. Don’t delay in reaching out to an experienced, well-trained digital marketing agency. Remember, every day that you’re not focused on regional SEO you are falling further and further behind your competitors who are.