By Google's own admission, they make between 500-600 changes to the algorithm every year, so being aware of all of them and how they affect your site can be a full time job. If you're frustrated trying to keep up with all the changes that take place within the Google Local search space, then take heart, you're not alone!
If your head starts spinning at the mere mention of things like Pigeon, the Local Carousel, and MobileGeddon, then we have good news for you.
We've assembled a list of 7 local SEO best practices you can use when it comes to optimizing your pages for local SEO. Most won't require a huge technical effort, but can yield significantly better results for you if you get them done!
7 Easy to do Local SEO Best Practices
1 – Don't stop link building
But do it naturally! Make sure you are creating awesome content that is getting shared as widely as possible, and watch the links flow in. These are the best types of links you can acquire.
Did you know that Google warned us about link building?
Google's webmaster trends analyst, John Mueller, recommends you do not focus on link building and if you do, it may lead to more harm for your web site than anything good. ~ Search Engine Land
Watch this video, particularly at the 55 minute and 40 second mark, to better understand the statement.
2 – Be sure to GEO-target your pages
The Pigeon update was all about preferring local content over global when possible. Make it possible on your pages with local geo-modifiers.
Do you know what is geo-targeting? Learn more about geo-targeting from a post by Kissmetrics: Increase Conversions with Geo Targeting.
3 – Keep getting citations
These still matter, but it's again more about quality and accuracy than it is about the number. Strive for the best you can find.
4 – Solicit customer reviews
This is the highest form of social proof available, and studies are showing that the overwhelming majority (90%) consult product reviews before purchasing. Ask your present customers; they'll usually be more than happy to comply.
5 – Use Google My Business
Google's local business tool suite is an remarkable tool you'll want to be fully invested in. There are so many ways this helps your business, but one of the main ones is being able to easily manage reviews.
Personally, we're using Google My Business. Please check out our BWM Google+ page.
6 – Use local images
Make sure you are using your own local images and that they are geo-tagged for your locations. This is a local ranking signal for Google, and will help you in a variety of ways with Google. Simply name your images properly and you're good to go.
7 – Be social
Yet another Google search signal, giving your audience the opportunity to share your content by including social media icons on your pages and content is a no-brainer. Give your content a chance to be seen outside your walls!