Over the last five years, Google has increasingly shifted its focus from listing general search results to providing local search results. Searches now bring up local results, with restaurants and independent businesses often showing up atop the rankings.

If you’d like to see your business ranking alongside local favorites, you need to apply a different strategy than you would for typical SEO. These three tips will help you to climb the local SERPs and become a local SEO expert.

 

Focus on local link building efforts

One of the best ways to rank for local keywords is to search for linking opportunities with other websites that target your city or region. If your city has a local blog that’s particularly popular with residents, it could be a valuable linking opportunity.

Just like Google uses links from related topics to assess your website’s relevance for a certain keyword, the Google search algorithm will view links from websites based in your region as an indicator of your business’s local presence.

 

Tailor your content to suit your area

Local search is hyper-competitive, which makes it essential that your site’s content is tailored to your local area. If you sell vacuums, for example, you’ll need to have a website filled with content about vacuums in your city, not just in general.

Think about ways that you can tie your content into your local area. Could you write about ways that local people could benefit about your product? Create content with local keywords to ensure that you rank for keywords related to your area.

 

Focus on having an offline presence

Over the last two years, Google has actively weeded out local search results without a definite local presence. This means it’s now essential for your local business to be listed in Google Places with a confirmed physical address.

List your address, your phone number, and your business’s trading name on your website to ensure that Google understand you’re a true local business. This stops Google from wrongly flagging you as a black hat SEO manipulating local results..