When it comes to SEO for local businesses, no two customers’ search results are the same.
What your prospective customers see in the search results differs based on what city and zip code they’re searching from. A customer one mile away from your business may see your Google My Business profile at the top of the search results, but someone five miles away might not see your result on page one at all.
So for local brick-and-mortar stores using Google to generate in-person business, local rank tracking is key. And with a tool like AuthorityLabs’ Rank Tracker, you can get daily updates on how your website’s pages are performing in search for all of the locations you’re targeting.
How to Set Up Local Rank Tracking in AuthorityLabs
AuthorityLabs is a rank tracking tool that searches for your target keywords every day and provides you with an update on where your website ranks in the results.
And if you’re using SEO to drive foot traffic to a local business like a shop, restaurant, or local services business, you can even use it to track Google search rankings by city and zip code.
Start by clicking “Domains” > “Add Domain” in your AuthorityLabs dashboard.
Next, enter your website’s URL.
In the “Country” dropdown, select the country your business is located in.
Next, choose the first city or zip code you want to track. (Note: If you want to track multiple cities or zip codes, you’ll go through this process again to set up local rank tracking for each separate location.)
If you want to track where your business appears in Google’s local three-pack, enter the name of your business as it appears in your Google Maps listings.
Next, choose whether you want to track your rankings on desktop or mobile devices. The results for desktop and mobile can be different, so either choose the device that most people use to find your site or go through this process again to track both mobile and desktop rankings.
Finally, create a new domain group for your rankings report. You can just put everything into the same group using the name of your business, or if you want to track mobile and desktop rankings for different cities/zip codes, you can create location-specific domain groups.
When you’re finished, click “Track Domain(s).” On the next page, you’ll enter all of the keywords you want to monitor rankings for. You can include very specific terms like the name of your business and its category and city, but you may also want to include some generic terms like “restaurants” and “restaurants near me.”
When you’re finished adding keywords, click “Add Keywords” to start tracking your rankings for those keywords. After that, you’ll be redirected to the report showing your rankings.
It takes a few minutes to populate the data, but soon you’ll be able to see where your website ranks for each keyword you entered, on the device you selected, in the location you specified.
You’ll see where your site ranks on Google, Bing, and Yahoo, and you’ll see how many times people search for your keywords each month. The report will update daily.
If you want to track your rankings on a different device or in a different city or zip code, simply go through the steps above again, this time selecting a different device or location.
5 Tips for Boosting Your Local Search Rankings
Once you’re tracking your search rankings for your local business, you may discover that your business doesn’t rank as well as you’d like it to. If so, follow these five tips to boost your local search rankings and get your business in front of more customers who are specifically seeking the products or services you provide.
1. Make Your Location Crystal Clear on Your Website
The first step to winning local SEO is incorporating your business’ location into your website—a lot. It’s not enough to only mention your location on your site’s contact page; you should aim to put your business’ name, address, and phone number on all pages of your site.
Not only will this help improve your local SEO, but it will also improve the user experience because finding a business’ location is the most common reason that people search for a local business.
It can also help improve your SEO localization to write about local landmarks, a nearby sports team, and other businesses in the area.
However, it’s important not to overdo it. While it’s fine to include your name, address, and phone number in the footer of every page of your website and to list your city in each of your SEO titles, stuffing your location into your website’s copy too often will do more harm than good. Make sure all of your location references feel natural and appropriate.
2. Build and Maintain Local Directory Listings
Aside from peppering your website with your location and general contact information, you also want to target local listing sites (Google My Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others).
Creating accurate listings on these sites that include any and all information relevant to your business—and enhanced with pictures, videos, and other content—will go a long way, especially in terms of increasing visibility and raising your local SEO game.
When building and updating your local directory listings, the most important thing to do is make sure that your business’ name, address, and phone number are identical across every directory listing you have. Google will not want to show your search result if it thinks the information isn’t correct, so being consistent is key when it comes to basic business details and contact information.
3. Earn Locally Relevant Links
Links are key for SEO, and local SEO is no exception. The more valuable links you’re able to build that connect your business to other reputable and relevant pages, the more authoritative your website appears, and the higher your rankings will rise.
One of the benefits of writing about other local businesses on your website is that it often encourages those businesses’ websites to link to yours. You can also earn links from local news sources for events or other press-worthy items, or try reaching out to local bloggers who cover your niche to see if they want to review your business or cover any specials you’re running.
That said, you need to ensure that your linking strategy makes sense and provides actual value: a local angle. If the links don’t come from authentic sources that have to do with your region, it can actually have a negative effect on your SEO.
4. Partner With Local Businesses
One of the best ways to build an authentic, local link strategy and really boost your visibility is to partner with other local businesses.
By cross-promoting one another and creating partnered events in your neighborhood, you can very effectively create a valuable, authentic link strategy.
These collaborations aren’t just great at enhancing local SEO, they also help stimulate sales by giving you access to customers of the partnered business(es) and strengthening your reputation in the community.
5. Engage With Review Listings and Social Media Comments
User-generated reviews and social media content can also help boost your local SEO rankings.
When possible, you should encourage customers to visit listing sites and leave a review. You can even ask happy customers to write reviews of your business on specific sites you’re focused on, say your Google My Business profile. The more positive reviews you get, the more visible your business becomes in local searches.
It’s also crucial that you respond to any feedback, whether it’s positive or negative. This demonstrates to customers that you want feedback and actively listen to what they have to say.
Using Local Rank Tracking to Improve Your SEO
It’s not enough to just search for your business’ category on your personal device to see where you rank. Your search results might be personalized to show your website at the top of the results, or you might be seeing your result at the top because you’re searching from inside of your business. But just because you see it there doesn’t mean your potential customers do too.
Using a local rank tracking tool like AuthorityLabs makes it clear where your prospective customers are seeing—or aren’t seeing—your business when searching for products/services you provide. And once you know where you’re ranking well and where you’re not, you can take steps to boost your search rankings and drive more customers to your business.