9 Factors Chicago Businesses Need for Best SEO Ranking
A business's online success depends on its search engine optimization (SEO) ranking, which changes based on other factors. Local SEO, for one, brings with it unique factors.
Find inspiration for getting the best ranking with these nine Chicago SEO agency expert tips:
1. Having an updated GMB profile
2. Showing proximity to customers
3. Creating valuable SEO content
4. Using meta tags for local SEO
5. Collecting quality local backlinks
6. Embracing local on your website
7. Gathering positive user reviews
8. Ensuring your NAP is consistent
9. Getting organic clickthroughs
There’s a lot to discuss, so get ready to take notes.
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1. Having an Updated GMB Profile
Local SEO optimization starts with having a Google My Business (GMB) profile. It holds your name, address, and phone number (NAP), which Google uses to pinpoint your location relative to searchers. Having a GMB profile certifies your business in a way, so you gain people’s trust.
You can activate your GMB profile in one of two ways. First, you can check your address on Google Maps to see whether a profile exists. In that case, you only have to claim and update the information. Otherwise, you can easily make one through the GMB site.
2. Showing Proximity to Customers
Local SEO allows you to use search engine algorithms that prioritize businesses closer to the searcher. Search engines want to show searchers the businesses that are closest to them. However, reliable and consistent online data is essential to reap the benefits of NAP.
All your business’ online locations, including your website, online directories (such as GMB), and social media, must have the same name, address, and phone number because Google collects and compares them to verify where you are in proximity to a searcher. Any confusion there leads to poor SEO.
3. Creating Valuable SEO Content
Content plays a major role in your local Chicago ranking, just as with any other type of SEO. Therefore, strategies such as topic clusters and optimizing for semantic search can improve your ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). Keywords play a major role, too.
Sprinkle in local keywords, mention your location (physical store) every now and then, and include your NAP in content pages to create high-quality, relevant content for a local audience. It does not have to be in the body of the text; you could just add it in the footer for easy access.
4. Using Meta Tags for Local SEO
Keep your meta tags relevant to your local area just as you do with content. That way, you keep it consistent with the rest of your local SEO strategy for the best ranking.
For instance, say you own a dog-walking business in Lincoln Park and want to update your website with photos. When uploading them to your website, include local keywords in all image alt tags. Instead of “dog walking along a trail,” be specific about where it is. If it happens to be along the Lakefront Trail, use “dog walking along Lakefront Trail” instead for better local SEO.
5. Collecting Quality Local Backlinks
Speaking of local businesses, getting the support of others (businesses or customers) within your industry enables you to reach new heights with SEO. Backlinks from other reputable websites can help improve your SEO rankings, while those from spam websites hurt them.
Focus on building quality backlinks from businesses and organizations in your community. For instance, getting mentions and written reviews from the local news or dog owner groups works in favor of a Chicago dog-walking business. Solidify your place in the community this way.
6. Embracing Local on Your Website
So far, we have talked about using local keywords in content and meta tags. The next most important thing to cover in your SEO strategy is creating content specifically for local customers. What that means is location-specific content that mentions nearby landmarks or local events.
A dog-walking business would include publishing articles on the different areas covered by its service or the best dog-friendly parks in Chicago. Of course, top priority goes to the locations nearest the business because that is where most of its customer base would search.
7. Gathering Positive User Reviews
As you can see, good SEO continuously builds on itself, and in the case of local SEO, getting reviews on your website, social media profiles, and online listings goes a long way. If people see that someone else had a good customer experience (CX) with your business, they may convert, too.
Encourage satisfied customers to leave reviews for your business. If possible, provide discounts or coupons, but most importantly, provide genuinely good service that makes them want to return and become loyal to your business. Do not forget to respond to feedback; it does wonders for CX.
8. Ensuring Your NAP is Consistent
Apart from your GMB profile and website, your business’s NAP most likely appears in at least a few other places, including your social media profiles, other online directories, and backlinks. It is in your interest to check the ones you can and ensure they are consistent and up-to-date.
NAP consistency is vital to Chicago SEO because inaccurate or inconsistent NAP information can hurt your local search rankings. No one wants to find their information after a thorough search only to discover that the address or contact number leads to the wrong place.
9. Getting Organic Clickthroughs
You could do all of the above correctly and to the best of your ability, but if your website is not getting any clickthroughs, search engines will consider it low-quality or irrelevant. Your content can change that, and so can using effective titles and keywords. Drawing organic traffic is key.
Search engines prioritize websites with high clickthrough rates (CTR), so make sure what you have is helpful to searchers. Do more research if your website struggles with getting visitors and converting them. If you can, apply content marketing strategies to boost your website's traffic.
Many factors come into play when improving your business's local search ranking. Focusing on the right ones, such as consistent NAP, makes your website more visible to potential local customers and drives even more traffic to your business.
Need help boosting your Chicago business’s local SEO ranking? Contact Digital Authority Partners to learn how we can help.
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