People tend to use Google Maps as well as Google Local Search to find different types of businesses that operate on the local market.
If you run a business locally, then you have to promote it on the local market. I believe that there is really no better way to promote a local business than local SEO.
Doing local SEO delivers multiple significant benefits to local businesses. The key three benefits of local SEO include:
- More local search traffic
- Higher conversion rates
- Increasing brand awareness
Rankings in local search results depend a lot on the location authority of your business. When ranking businesses in local search, Google pays close attention to the location authority. The search engine measures the location authority of local businesses.
And of course, the search engine gives a preference to businesses with high location authority. That’s why building the location authority is incredibly important for the success of a local SEO strategy.
If you would like to rank high in Google local search, then you should know what location authority is and how to use it for improving local search results. Today, we’ll talk about the best ways to build the location authority of a small business.
What Is Location Authority and Why Local Businesses Need It?
First of all, I would like to tell you about such a term as location authority and explain what it means. So, you’ll get an understanding of how to use the power of location authority for improving your local SEO.
The Difference between the Domain Authority and Location Authority
Location authority is very similar to domain authority. The only difference is that domain authority affects the organic search results in Google and the location authority affects the local search results in Google.
Websites with high domain authority usually rank high in the Google organic search results. However, businesses with more location authority tend to rank high in Google local search results.
As you probably know, Google organic search results depend a lot on the domain authority. Therefore, you should aim to boost your domain authority in order to improve search engine rankings in Google organic search. However, if you try to rank higher in Google local search results, then you have to focus on building location authority.
It’s fair to say that the domain authority depends a lot on the site’s backlinks. That means that you have to attract high-quality backlinks from high authority relevant sites to boost your domain authority.
The location authority mainly depends on such two things as local citations and local backlinks. That’s why you have to build local citations and attract local links to your business in order to boost the location authority for a local business.
The Importance of Location Authority for Local SEO
As I have already mentioned, the location authority has a huge impact on your local search results in Google and Google Maps. If you would like to rank higher for some keywords, then your local business has to have more location authority than your competitors.
Location authority is some kind of ranking power in Google local search results. The more location your business has – the higher it will rank in Google Maps. You will rank higher with a higher level of location authority.
It’s also important to note that rankings depend a lot on the distance between a search engine user and the location of your business. The closer a local business is located to a user, the higher it will rank in Google local search for the keywords that you target.
How Does Google’s Algorithm for Local Search Work?
Building location authority for a business always begins with preparation. If you are optimizing your business for Google local search, then you need to know how exactly the search engine’s algorithm works.
There are three main factors that Google takes into account when ranking businesses in the local search. These include:
Proximity. The distance between a search engine user and a local business matters for local SEO. Google Maps will rank higher those businesses that are closer to a search engine user.
Relevance. Your local business site’s pages have to be relevant to the keywords that prospects use in Google local search to find a similar type of products or services.
Your job is to do keyword research and pick target keywords for local SEO strategy. When promoting a business in Google local search you have to optimize your site for location-based keywords. Such keywords have to be relevant to your products or services and the areas that you target.
Popularity. And of course, popularity is the key to local SEO success. Google tends to rank higher popular businesses in the local search. The big question is – how does Google determine if your business is popular on the local market or not? When determining the popularity of local businesses, the search engine takes into consideration such aspects as
- Site’s local links
- Local citations
- Customer reviews
Popular local business sites usually have lots of backlinks from local online resources. Bear in mind that links from relevant local web resources can improve greatly your local SEO.
It’s also important to note that popular local businesses have lots of local citations as well. People usually talk a lot about popular local businesses online. They frequently mention their business names, site names, brand names on local sites, and on social media. These types of citations have a profound positive impact on local SEO.
Popular local businesses also have a lot of customer reviews on Google Maps. The more customer reviews your local business has on Google Maps – the more popular it is.
Google local search rankings depend a lot on customer reviews that people leave about local businesses. Positive reviews will improve your Google local search rankings. On the other hand, negative reviews can hurt your local search engine rankings.
How to Build Location Authority for a Business
You will be able to improve location authority for a business quickly if you choose to use an efficient local SEO strategy. You have to build the right type of location citations for your business and try to get as many local citations as possible.
What Types of Citations Do Local Businesses Need?
As I have already said, location authority for a business can be improved. All that you need to do for this is to build local citations for a business.
There are different types of local citations. These include:
- Business address
- Business name
- Business phone number
- Business website URL
You will be able to build location authority by distributing the information about your local business online.
Add Your Business to Local Business Directories
One of the best ways to build local citations is to add a local business to local business directories. Register your business in the category that’s relevant to your business.
Promote Your Local Business on Popular Social Media Platforms
Social media promotion is a great way to build location citations and, therefore, improve the location authority for business.
If your local business gains huge popularity on social media sites, then people will often mention your brand name, company name, etc. So, you’ll be able to get a lot of citations for your local business this way.
Without a doubt, these types of citations will help you improve your local authority as well as local SEO and contribute greatly to your business success.
Create City Pages on Your Business Site and Optimize Them for Location-Based Keywords
City pages play a very important role in a local SEO strategy. Let’s say that you do business locally and sell products or services in certain geographical areas only. In this case, you should create city pages on a local business site and optimize them for local keywords.
Building local citations affects local SEO in a number of different ways. This type of citation has an impact on your local search results. With local citations, you’ll be able to get high amounts of targeted traffic and increase the visibility of your local business dramatically.
Another important thing that you need to be aware of is that building local citations will positively affect rankings of your city pages in Google search. That means that the search engine visibility of your local business will increase significantly. As a result, your site’s city pages will rank higher in Google search engine and do a better job for your local business.
Let’s say that your business doesn’t have headquarters in the areas that you are going to target. In this case, your local business will not be displayed on Google Maps for target keywords in these areas. This happens because a local business doesn’t have a verified address in these locations.
City pages make it possible for local business owners to promote their products or services in certain cities and their surrounding areas. With city pages, you’ll be able to optimize the local business sites for multiple locations. All that you need to do is to create content that is relevant to target keywords and the areas that you would like to target.
Optimizing one city page for multiple locations can be hard. So, I would recommend you to create a city page for each of these locations. If you want a city page to rank high for a location-based keyword, then you need to insert a keyword into the page’s title and description.
It makes sense to include external links in the content on city pages. If you provide external links, then you need to ensure that these links go to the sites which are connected to the target areas.
You can also attract backlinks to the site’s city pages. Make sure that web pages that link to your website are relevant to your products or services and are connected to the area that you target.
Add Google Maps to the Contact Us Page
It’s a great idea to implement Google Maps into the Contact Us page on your local business site. By doing so, you’ll make it easy for your prospects to find your local business. Also, you will make your local business site relevant to the area that you target. All of this will allow your business to rank higher in the Google local search for the location-based keywords that you are targeting.
Build Local Links for Your Business Site
No matter whether you do international SEO or local SEO for your business, you have to attract only quality links to your website.
Link building plays a very important role in search engine optimization today. However, it’s important to note that the quality of links is more important than the number of links these days.
The link building process should look natural. Give a preference to the natural link building methods such as:
- Include your business in local web directories
- Guest posting on local blogs
- Creating the local resource page on your business site
- Add your business to local review sites
- Take advantage of the broken link building technique
- Steal local links from your competitors
- Provide interesting E-books in return for quality local backlinks
- Provide high-quality local images, photos from local photographers, and local infographics in return to quality local backlinks
- Try to get local backlinks from job websites
- Use the power of local discounts to get local links
- Host a local event
- Organize local contests
- Establish partnership with local bloggers
As you can see, local businesses can do link building in a number of different ways. So, this list of natural local link building methods could go on and on. Each of these methods will make it possible for you to attract some local links to a website.
Try to get backlinks from sites which are relevant to your business. Also, you should aim to get links from high authority sites. However, links for local business site have to be built differently.
It’s worth noting that building links for local business sites is more than just increasing domain authority for a website. There is no question that you should take a look at the quality of links and try to improve the domain authority even if you are building links for local business sites. So, try to attract links from high authority business sites.
On top of that, your link profile should also contain local links. If you run a local business, then you should aim to build local links for your website. In other words, you should do your best to get backlinks from local web resources.
It’s important to know that such links can generate high amounts of quality traffic to a local business site. This traffic converts well into customers and sales. But most importantly, these types of backlinks contribute greatly to local authority and, therefore, to local SEO.
Get Positive Customer Reviews for a Local Business
Good customer reviews are key to the success of a local business. If your local business has lots of positive reviews, you will be able to turn more website visitors into customers.
And of course, you should aim to get positive customer reviews and avoid getting negative customer reviews for your local business on Google Maps.
Customer reviews make it possible for Google to realize what people think about local businesses. The search engine will give a preference to local businesses that have built a solid reputation on the market. So, businesses with many positive reviews will rank higher in Google local search.
If someone leaves a positive customer review about your local business on Google Maps, he/she will improve your local SEO. The more positive reviews your business gets – the better. Positive customer reviews mean more location authority, better local search engine rankings, more customers, more sales, and more successful business.
Get Real Reviews for Business and Avoid Fake Reviews
It’s crucial for a local business to get quality customer reviews. That means that you should get honest and independent customer reviews.
The best thing you can do is to ask happy customers to leave good reviews about your local business on Google Maps. Such customer reviews look natural, allow you to build local authority for business, and have a huge positive impact on your local SEO.
Don’t try to get fake reviews for your local business on Google Maps. If the search engine reveals that your local business gets fake reviews, you are likely to face Google penalties.
Keep in mind that Google penalties are a big problem for a local business. Fake reviews as well as bad reviews have a negative impact on local SEO. It may take you too long to recover from Google penalties. So, don’t get fake reviews to prevent these kinds of things from happening.
Deal with Negative Customer Reviews Efficiently
Of course, every business aims to have only 5-star reviews on Google Maps. However, it’s almost impossible. Sometimes, bad things happen with every business.
If things go wrong and some of your customers will be unhappy about your products or services, you’ll get a negative review quickly. It’s pretty easy to get a negative review for a local business, but such a review will have a negative impact on your conversion rates and local SEO.
It may take you some time to recover from a bad customer review. If you find yourself in this type of situation, you have to take an action quickly and respond to a bad customer review as soon as possible.
It’s incredibly important to respond to negative customer reviews. So, negative customer reviews should never be ignored. If you respond to customer reviews, other people will see that you are serious about your business and take care of your customers.
When managing negative customer reviews, you should aim to accomplish two goals. First, you have to figure out what is wrong with your business and what exactly makes your customer unhappy. Second, you have to resolve your client’s problems and do every single thing possible to improve your customer experience.
If an unhappy client sees that you do every single thing possible to resolve his/her problems then this customer may change his/her decision about your local business. So, you will be able to turn unhappy customers into happy ones and negative reviews into positive ones. All that you need to do is to respond to the client’s reviews.
I have just provided some insights into building the location authority for a local business. I’ve explained what location authority is and outlined the importance of building location authority for local SEO. Plus, I have shared some tips that local business owners need to follow to build location authority.
It goes without saying that location authority plays a big role in the success of every business. If you build location authority for your local business, then you will be able to improve Google local search engine rankings and get more customers for your business.
Building location authority has to be the number one priority in local SEO. It makes a lot of sense to invest in building location authority for your local business. However, you must be prepared that building location authority is a time-consuming process. As the saying goes, “success doesn’t happen overnight”. Actually, the same can be said about local SEO. So, it will take you some time to achieve great results.
The main benefit of building location authority for a local business is that it provides long-lasting results. In the long run, building location authority will provide you with a high return on investment.
As you can see, building location authority is no easy task that requires certain knowledge, skills as well as experience. Also, building location authority is a time-consuming process. So, it would be better to trust this important task to real professionals. At Finepoint Design, we are always happy to improve location authority for your local business. Contact us today to discuss your local SEO needs!