32 Steps You Should Take to Rank Higher on Google Maps [Infographic]

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Here is a comprehensive local SEO strategy for your business and the steps that you can take to rank higher on Google Maps.

Local SEO is a very comprehensive and sophisticated marketing strategy.

It’s utilized to improve rankings on local search engine results pages and is very effective in bringing foot traffic to brick-and-mortar stores.

Like all SEO strategies, this one sounds easy and simple at first.

It’s only after you work on it for a while that you realize just how much effort it requires. After all, you have to optimize your website for more than 250+ local ranking factors.

So we have developed a comprehensive 32 steps local strategy that you can use to rank higher on Google maps for your small business. 

Related Article: Breaking Down the Beast: How to Understand Google Analytics

local seo checklist

Redirect Non-www to www

You might’ve noticed that when you type a URL without www, you’re automatically redirected to a URL with www. So, if you type example.com, you might be automatically redirected to www.example.com. Most people assume that these two URLs are the same domain names but that’s not really accurate. They are different and a server can actually deliver different results for example.com and www.example.com.

The search engines will automatically pick the most likely candidate and return results. So, when Google and other search engines crawl your website, they’ll notice this. If you prefer your website URL to www.example.com, you need to include a 301 redirect that would permanently direct visitors to that domain, even if they type example.com. This is called canonicalization and Google will take note of it. This redirect will help if you have a dynamic website where you add and change content often.

Related Article:What Can You Learn from Intelligent Website Analytics Tools?

Internal Links

Internal linking is a very important aspect of local SEO, though many people don’t realize why. These links connect one article in your website to another. For example, we would connect this article to another relevant article that explains another local SEO concept.

Unlike external links, they don’t bring in traffic to your website so many people don’t bother including internal links in their content. However, internal links have several benefits such as:

They give your website structure and connect all relevant topics to one another.

  • Internal links help search engine bots crawl and index your website. The bots will explore the links and find relevant content in an organized manner.
  • Links will also help spread traffic across your website and motivate your visitors to stay longer. They would direct traffic to topics related to the content they were interested in.

Facebook Business Page

Social media has a massive influence on brand promotion and company reputation. Unsurprisingly, Google and other search engines will take your social media presence into account when they rank your website. A Facebook business page with all contact information, description, and regular content will help improve your rankings. You can also start a Twitter account and post regular tweets. Tweets do show up in search engine results pages and bring the visitor’s attention a more human aspect of your company.

Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Most local SEO experts recommend that you add a review or testimonial page on your website. It’s a place where your customers can visit to read comments and testimonials. You can also add a star-rating system to the review feed. If you keep this page active and respond to all comments and suggestions, it would help your ranking. An active review page would also bring fresh content to your website and convince the search engines that it’s regularly updated and current.

Keyword Research

Some website owners have a very bad habit of choosing their keywords blindly. This can negatively impact your website quality and your SEO ranking. When you research keywords, you need to keep these factors in mind:

  • Make sure that the keywords in the content are completely relevant and don’t stuff phrases that don’t fit in.
  • Choose a combination of long tail, local, generic, broad, and negative keywords in your content.
  • Always pick keywords that can be comfortably included in the content at reasonable frequency. For example, in this article, we can easily include the keyword local SEO strategy and not disrupt the flow of content. However, it won’t be easy to include SEO local into the content.

Blog Integration

If you are invested in marketing and brand promotion, you should have an active blog that features fresh and unique content. Articles and content from this blog can be displayed across your social media networks to improve your brand recognition, so it’s an important aspect of your marketing strategy. If you have a separate business website, you should integrate your blog into it. That would improve the ranking of your business website and cause an exchange of traffic.

For example, prospective customers who visit your website would head towards your blog to read interesting industry related content. People who visit your blog would visit your website to browse through products mentioned in your posts. That’s why you need to integrate the two.

Related Article:Analytics and Beyond: 7 Best Tools for Managing Your Online Presence

Analytics

No local SEO strategy is complete without analytics. SEO is very fluid and will change over time. Strategies might become less effective, keywords might become less popular, and content might need to be recycled or refreshed. You’ll only spot these problems if you keep an eye on the performance of your website. Analytics will also give you a considerable amount of information about customer behavior, industry trends, popular products, etc. This information can be used to improve your marketing strategy and the performance of your website.

It’s a good idea to use tools like Google Analytics to keep an eye on the performance of your website. You should take note of keywords that perform well and look into pages that have high bounce rates. You should look into content and articles that are popular and see if you can recreate the magic in your future content.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to devise a good, solid local SEO strategy. You should keep in mind that SEO requires effort, time, and regular upgrades. The market and customer behavior changes at a near constant pace and you need to keep up.

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