The goal for every business and brand on the internet today is to rank at the top of Google for their most treasured keywords.
However, this is extremely unlikely. There are currently over a billion active sites on the Internet today, and Google is only listing around ten organic listings on each page of their search results.
Throw the importance of ranking only on the first page of Google into consideration, and you might find the concept of ranking a local business even harder. The good news is, with a little bit of work, hard effort and focus.
The good news is, with a little bit of work, hard effort and focus any local business can rank #1 in Google for their localized keywords. The reason why most local businesses struggle with ranking is that they simply don't know how.
It's probably safe to say that most local businesses think once they are online, they should appear at the top of Google for their name or niche automatically. However, we all know that isn't the case.
To effectively rank in Google (for local and in general), you need high-quality backlinks, great content, and a little bit of time.
According to Chicago SEO Services, the average amount of time it should take to see improvement for a local site to start ranking in Google for relevant and target keywords is "results within the first three to six months".
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However, this will vary based on the situation and location of any local business. For example, it would be much easier to rank on page one of Google for a local business in extremely small town in middle America, versus trying to rank a local business in an overpopulated area like New York City or San Francisco.
So, what's a local business to do? Simple, focus on the core basics of link building and make sure you are taking advantage of all of them. Here are five effective methods that still work for ranking local businesses in Google today.
The way you create content on your site and gain backlinks from other sites online both play a huge part in where your site will rank in Google. Examples of on-site SEO are meta tags, content, internal linking and keyword usage. Off-site SEO is all about link popularity, domain authority, domain popularity and link anchor text. Both aspects of SEO are extremely important to the overall success of your site, so make sure to focus on both sides.
Create Content Around Local Keywords
We all know the importance of creating "great content", however, what worked in the past doesn't necessarily work the same today. Today, "great content" is considered as articles with more than 1,000+ words of text, using images and video within your articles and also linking out to high-authority sites. Numerous reports have shown, longer content ranks higher. A great way to measure the quality of your content site is to simply look at your competition and do it better.
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Gain Backlinks From Relevant Local Sites
With over a billion sites on the Internet, the biggest determining factor to which ones rank in Google and which ones don't, is backlinks. It's also not about throwing as many backlinks to a site as you can they need to be high-quality and relevant to your current niche. For local businesses and brands, getting a mention or backlink from a local newspaper or foundation could be huge for passing quality link juice back to your site.
Boost Your SEO and Backlinks With Shareable Content
A great way to give your site a big boost in the search results is through the use of incoming backlinks and social shares. Creating original and shareable content for your audiences is a great way to accomplish this. A perfect example of this would be infographics. Once you've created an infographic for your site, be sure to submit it to top infographic directories and if you are feeling really ambitious, you can contact editors on sites like Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc to see if they might want to mention it in an upcoming article.
Submit to Local Review Sites and Directories
Speaking of directories, local businesses have the extra added benefit of being able to submit and verify their sites through Google Local, Yelp, TripAdvisor and many other local review and directory sites. Claiming your local business on these sites will not only bring more powerful backlinks to your site, but it will also allow you to have better control over your online reputation in the process.
After putting in the necessary time and effort to focus on each of these areas, there is no reason why your local business shouldn't start ranking higher in Google almost immediately. Each of these components play an important role in the ranking process, but high-quality backlinks can help get you there much faster. Also never discredit the value of great content and user experience. Even if your site ranks number one in Google for your best keywords, without the right content and call-to-action, it's all quite meaningless.
Now that you have a good idea of what it takes to start ranking your local business in Google, take action today. Take the time to map out what keywords you are currently ranking for (and where), then track your progress as you continue to focus on the methods mentioned above.