There are four major factors that your business has to pay attention to when it comes to Local SEO and Google Maps SEO. If you’re here for the first time, please read PART 1 on optimizing your Google My Business listing, also known as Google My Business SEO.
The complete SEO tutorial for local businesses is divided into three part:
- Proximity (Part 1)
- Google My Business Profile (Part 1)
- Business Website (Part 2 ) – this article
- Citations (Part 3)
This is “Part 2” of our Local SEO tutorial for ranking on Google Maps. I want to remind you that you’re going to find the same advice I would give to my restaurant clients, beauty & hair clients, and any other retail or service-based businesses that is interested in improving and optimizing their Local SEO.
In this tutorial I will be covering on-site (your website) SEO which is the third major factor that will help your business ranking for Google Local searches and on the Google Map Pack.
Factor #3 Business Website Factors that Impact Your Local SEO
Slightly confusing, but this is Part 2 which covers the third factor of ranking on Google Maps. Factor 1 & 2 is covered in Part 1.
One thing I want to get out of the way before we get to the juicy details about on-site SEO strategies that will boost your Local SEO, a business website is a MUST.
If your local competitors all have websites, then the chances of you ranking high on Google Maps or the Google Search Results are slim to none. On the flip side, if you’re local competitors don’t have a website and you do, IT’S MUCH EASIER to rank and you will begin driving a lot more traffic to your business because your business will be here:
Google sees website as “virtual real estate” for businesses, so the more information you have about your business that’s relevant to the customer’s search, the more likely Google will reward you with higher rankings.
The information on your business website is going to be very important when it comes to your Local SEO and ranking on Google Maps. Your business website needs to be closely aligned with all the information on your Google My Business profile and have location based keywords sprinkled throughout.
There’s actually a ton to do here, but it is quite doable if you already have someone managing your website, or if you are managing your own website. If not, we can walk you through this step-by-step!
1) Responsive & Mobile Friendly
You want to make sure your business website is mobile friendly because over 65% of people are going to be searching using their mobile devices. And Google, wants to make sure users are getting a good experience when visiting websites.
Having your business website mobile friendly will be one of the major website factors that will determine if users will have a good or bad experience on your business website.
And guess what? Businesses with bad website experience on mobile will be outranked by businesses with mobile friendly websites. Google rewards responsive websites with higher rankings.
To test if your website is mobile-friendly, please use Google’s free tool to analyze your site.
2) Main Header
The main header must include your primary category keyword AND the primary locations you selected in Google My Business. If you have too many locations, put in one or two of the most prime locations. You will have other opportunities to enter in your other locations through your website.
The trick here is making it sound as natural as possible without sounding like a string of words just mixed together because this will make the visitor want to push that back button in the browser and leave your site before doing anything. PLUS, Google’s algorithm are smart enough to detect keyword stuffing and looks speech friendly organic descriptions.
3) The Body
After optimizing your main header, what you want to do is include those keywords in other areas around your homepage as well. Sprinkle in those business categories and locations from your Google My Business profile in the descriptions, services, and the about us section of your homepage.
This will give your website the relevancy it needs when users are searching for your specific service or product in those locations. I added some screenshots below.
SECRETS-OF-THE-TRADE ALERT! As you get closer to the footer of your homepage, you want to add a section of one or two sentences that list all the locations you service.
But the secret is… in addition to adding those cities, you want to LINK each of these cities to the official city websites. This is a strategy MOST businesses are not aware of and by doing this, it gives Google another strong signal that your business is operating in these locations.
4) The Footer
Most businesses couldn’t care less about the footer. But, this is where you can really shine and get some of that SEO “juice” that most businesses aren’t getting. The footer is usually the last section of your website and it is going to be on every page of your website.
Usually, businesses just put their address and phone number on their website footer and call it a day. But, what you want to do here, is add your primary business category, locations, your business address and your business hours.
Make sure your business address is IDENTICAL to the way it shows up on your Google My Business Profile, abbreviations and everything. So if you spelled out the word “street” in your Google My Business profile, spell it out in your footer.
For your business hours, make sure it is IDENTICAL to the hours on your Google My Business profile. Not just the actual times, but also the way it is displayed. Meaning, spell out the days rather than using the abbreviations or something like “M – F”.
Finally, embed a Google Maps with your business location in the footer (another secrets-of-the-trade most businesses don’t know). Not just a screenshot or an image, you want to get the embed code from Google Maps and add that in to your website. You can get more information on how to embed the map HERE.
All these things working together really will do a good job of telling Google that your business should definitely be found for your keyword in your city.
5) Adding Schema
While it’s great to have all that information on your page exactly the way it appears in your Google My Business profile, there’s one more thing you should do.
It’s slightly more technical than simply editing text on your website, but if you manage your website or if you have a person who manages your website, it shouldn’t be too hard to add Schema to your website.
Schema is a type of micro-data that you add to the coding of your website that is invisible to a person, but only read by search engine bots like Google, Bing, and Yahoo. The Schema is the same information you add in your footer, but in a format that is easily readable by these search engine bots.
More importantly, as the use of Voice Search grows because of products like Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa, Schema becomes an even more important item that should be added to your website. These Voice Searches use information provided by the Schema to provide useful information to the end user.
To generate a Schema to add to your website, you can use this Schema Markup Generator to create your Schema. Once your Schema is generated, you can copy and paste it into your website.
You can also check how your Google My Business profile is performing two different ways. You can see a brief overview within the last 28 days in the “Home” section of your Google My Profile admin or you can go to “Insights” for more detailed analytics. Screenshots provided below: