Depending on your business focus, you might be looking to attract customers from the local area, your state, nationwide, or internationally. Whatever your geographical range, there are things you can do to help search engines understand where the target audience for a particular page or site are.
- Setting target countries through Search Console/Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Signposting internationally equivalent pages with hreflang tags or through additional XML sitemapping.
- Adding a full street address (or addresses) to a sitewide footer. Include zip codes, state and country. These can also be marked up as addresses with a structured data system such as Schema or JSON-LD.
- Using a local phone number (click to call) on site.
- Using location-related keywords in appropriate places.
- Providing human-translated content in additional languages, on its own page.
The single biggest local SEO factor is Google My Business.
Google My Business & Map Listings
What it is
Google My Business that provides the primary information for the box that appears on the right of search results related to the brand. See the screenshot example.
Google My Business is free to use. Locations need to be verified, usually by post. In addition to creating an attractive card with photos and information, it’s here that users will see Google reviews for your business summarized.
Why it matters
A well set-up Google My Business account is vital for SEO and for brand-building. Reviews help drive Google’s map search results. Note that in the example below (and often more generally) the first listing is not necessarily the one with the most reviews or the highest average rating. The wording used in reviews is also an important factor.
What to do
- Ensure you have set up a Google My Business listing.
- We strongly recommend businesses that aim to drive foot traffic or local visibility, promote reviewing by asking customers and providing a link to the Google Maps page for the business, where reviews can be made. The ideal review is 4 or 5 stars and as descriptive as possible.