Still struggling to achieve a top search ranking with your blog for local, Geo-driven keywords and queries? If you own a small local business, a blog can help to attract new customers — but only if people in and around your area see it. This is where local search optimization (LSO) comes into play: by performing various on-site and off-site optimization tactics, you can encourage higher search rankings for local searches.
Include Contact Information as Plain Text
If you aren’t doing so already, add your business’s contact information — in plain text format — to your blog. This includes your business’s name, phone number, street address and email address.
Displaying this information as plain text allows search engines to crawl and index it, which should prove helpful in boosting your blog’s ranking for local keywords. Displaying this same information in the form of an image, however, will prevent search engines from properly indexing it; thus, reducing its effectiveness for local search optimization.
Embed Google Maps
One simple LSO tip is to embed a Google Maps view of your establishment into your blog, either on a “contact us” page, “about us” page, or even in the template itself. Search engines will notice this map, factoring it into your blog’s search ranking. Additionally, some people may visit your blog with the intention of finding your business’s address, in which case a Google Maps view will certainly prove beneficial.
To embed Google Maps on your blog, enter your address into the map, click the main menu, and click “embed map.” Here, you can grab the HTML code and paste it into your blog. It’s recommended that you double-check the Google Maps after publishing it to ensure it’s working properly.
Content, Content, Content!
When crafting content for your blog, try to sprinkle in some local keywords when it proves beneficial to the end user. This doesn’t mean that you should “stuff” keywords into your blog posts, rather you should mention your business’s address, city and/or state in a meaningful manner.
Create a Google My Business Listing
Another essential step in LSO is the creation of a Google My Business listing. Formerly known as Google Places, this free-to-use service will create greater exposure for your local business.
As a side benefit, you can include your blog’s URL in your listing. Google will create a connection between your blog and your business’s street address, encouraging higher search rankings for local keywords. Creating a Google My Business listing is quick, easy, and takes just a few minutes of your time, so make sure your business has one.
Have any other local search optimization tips or tricks that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!