The world of SEO is always changing. Rules and guidelines that work one year might be totally obsolete in next. Local SEO is especially prone to changes due to the intense competition between local businesses.

However, that doesn’t mean you should avoid doing local SEO. It rather means that you need to keep a close eye on changes in the industry and adapt before your rankings drop.

In fact, despite the turbulent landscape, SEO is is perfectly accessible to newcomers. In the following article, Sherry Bonelli presents 5 ways that you can dominate local rankings, even if you’re new to the scene:

Local SEO in 2017: 5 simple ways to dominate local search

If you’ve followed SEO strategies for any length of time, you know one thing: SEO changes all the time. When it comes to local SEO, it’s more important than ever that you optimize your on-site and off-site SEO strategies for clients and customers who may be searching for your local business. Local competition is heating up, and if you’re not on top of your rankings, you can bet your competitors will be.

Here are five solid local SEO tactics you can use this year to help your business rank higher for local search terms.

1. Title and meta description tags still matter

Title and meta description tags are HTML elements that you can customize to reflect the content of your web page. The text of your title and description tags is displayed in search results. Think of this text as a “mini-ad” that you need to carefully craft. See full post here….

The article is a great intro to local SEO, and brings up a crucial element to the industry: online reviews and how they help your business rank. The following post by Miriam Ellis details the importance of reviews, with a great a look into how customers view them as well:

Location Data + Reviews: The 1–2 Punch of Local SEO

Whether they’re stars or circles, the majority of rating icons send a 1–5 point signal to consumers that can be instantly understood. This symbol system has been around since at least the 1820s; it’s deeply ingrained in all our brains as a judgement of value.

So, when a modern Internet user is making a snap decision, like where to grab a taco, the food truck with 5 Yelp stars is automatically going to look more appealing than the one with only 2. Ratings can also catch the eye when Schema (or Google serendipity) causes them to appear within organic SERPs or knowledge panels.

All of the above is well-understood, but while the exact impact of high star ratings on local pack rankings has long been speculative (it’s only factor #24 in this year’s Local Search Ranking Factors), we may have just reached a new day with Google. The ability to filter local finder results by rating has been around for some time, but in May, Google began testing the application of a “highly rated” snippet on hotel rankings in the local packs. Meanwhile, searches with the format of “best X in city” (e.g. best burrito in Dallas) appear to be defaulting to local results made up of businesses that have earned a minimum average of 4 stars. It’s early days yet, but totally safe for us to assume that Google is paying increased attention to numeric ratings as indicators of relevance.

Read the rest of the post here…

That really puts the importance of customer experience into perspective. In much the same way, a business needs to embrace it’s place in the community to grow in the rankings. This is best done by  “localizing” the site through some key changes:

Boost Local Rankings By Adding Local Content

Did you know that creating local content to put on your company’s website can help you rank higher on search engines for local search terms (i.e. plumber in san jose)? Adding ‘localized’ or ‘local targeted’ content to your site to help you rank higher sounds great; right? But the biggest question local business owners ask is, “What kind of local content should I write?”

Here are a few types of local content you can add to your site to help boost your search rankings in your local area:

Continue reading here…

Local SEO may seem like a hard nut to crack, but as these handy resources show, it’s easy to get a leg up on the competition. Follow the critical steps like making full use of reviews and creating local content and you’re on your way to dominating your niche.

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Makki's Marketing provides local marketing services to small businesses in Alberta and across Canada.

We believe in the power of the internet when it comes to generating leads, and work with local businesses to help them improve where they need it most, whether that may mean a new website, quality SEO, or even professional AdWords campaigns.

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