Local SEO Rules are Always Evolving
SEO has been around almost as long as the internet, so it only makes sense that business owners would think they could learn the tricks of the trade. Sadly, this mistake is made way too often. Google and other search engines constantly change their search algorithms in an effort to return the best results. It is usually only local SEO experts who are regularly on top of these changes, so outsourcing an local SEO expert to consistently keep up with these changes is optimal for any business owner that cant afford to bring in someone full time.
Important Local SEO Factors
So you are ready to start getting local SEO on your website? There are important ranking factors that you should know before trying to create a lot of random links over the web. Google and other search engines are extremely intelligent and have highly sophisticated algorithms that look at a lot of variables to determine rankings for your website. Some of these factors include:
- Relevant Back-links
- Social Signals
- Website Age
- On Page Optimization
- Website Speed
- User Experience
Producing relevant back-links is important in local SEO but you need to be careful about the type of links you are creating. Back in the old days, you could create as many back-links to your site as possible and you would rank higher because of it. Google’s algorithm has improved and now looks for more relevant links than quantity of links.
Getting quality back-links is not as hard as it may seem. To produce the most quality back-links to your site, you have to create relevant content. When you create relevant content, users want to link to it whether its from their website, Facebook, Twitter. This is the greatest method to gain quality back-links. It’s also a preferred way to gain more social signals.
Search engine algorithms started using social signals to determine ranking position. Social signals are simply links, shares, post, and tweets about your website on social media platforms. Search engines crawl social media pages just like any other site. If you have a strong following and get a lot of shares, this will help your rankings.
Getting social signals is just the same as getting quality back-links. Creating shareable engaging content and sharing it on your Facebook Page, Twitter and Google Business. This will create more followers and fans that will link to your site.
One of the ranking factors that has survived the test of time is the age of the website. The older your website, the higher chance it ranks as an authority site. Google and other search engines will not allow a brand new website to rank #1 for “Home Insurance”. Local SEO takes time and building authority takes time. Although it is not as important as it once was, it is still a ranking factor for search engines.
In order for search engines to properly receive data from your website, you must optimize it so the search engines can read it clearly. On page optimization is the act of optimizing your site so that search engines know what your site is about.
So whats important for on page optimization?
- Have heading tags that explain your content (h1, h2, h3)
- Have alt tags on all your images
- Use meta description and meta title tags
- Use open graph meta tags
- Good Internal linking
These five on page optimization tips are a good start but there are plenty of other ways to optimize your website for the search engines.
In today’s digital world, it’s crucial to have a fast website or users will leave. Having a fast website will create a good user experience which is an important local SEO factor.
The user experience is a factor that not many people think has anything to do with local SEO. This is sometimes true, but the majority of the time, having good user experience will create followers, quality back-links, and social signals. In turn, this will create better search rankings for your site. If a site is hard to navigate or users can’t find the information they are looking for, they will leave and never return.