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Want your business to be among your local 3-pack from Google?

Unfortunately, no tricks exist yet to claim an instant spot there. In other words, local businesses should count on the best SEO to increase your visibility online. It is a real struggle among local businesses to appear in the 3-pack, and Google is not making it any easier.

The good news? Thanks to a few small improvements to your SEO, you will experience a noticeable difference to your organic search results. We share with you 8 easy hacks you can implement right now.

  1. Simulate local search results during keyword research

Every good SEO campaign starts with keyword research, which can be done tremendously easily with the free tool: Keyword Planner. Simulating local search results from another city has become enormously difficult since Google took the “location search filter” offline.

To compensate, there are 3 tricks in the SEO world:

    1. Add the “near” parameter to your URL: After typing in a query, they change the URL by adding “&near=cityname.” This makes the results look like you searched up close.
    2. Use the “uule” parameter: You can add any search with a base64 encoded form of the “Canonical Name” of a location called the “uule” parameter.
    3. Use software that will target specific GPS coordinates: An algorithm that geotargets your keywords via GPS coordinates is by far the simplest and most accurate solution.

Once you have determined your keywords, it is time to put your research into practice. Create content that targets keywords with little competition. Don’t forget to add them to your anchor text and HTML tags.

2. Take advantage of the features of Easy Link Building

According to a recent study, links are hugely important in the ranking process. In other words, this should be one of your SEO priorities.

Unfortunately, building organic links takes time. You need a collection of valuable content that influencers want to click on. Only then can you take advantage of opportunities to build links. One of the best ways to score some fast, high-quality backlinks is to help site owners find and fix broken links in their content.

3. Use competitive research to discover backlink opportunities

Competitive research is a great way to find out which domains are linked to your rival companies, but your company is left out in the cold. Use your favorite competitor tracking tool and use it to uncover link-building opportunities you may have overlooked:

  • Find out which sites link to more than one of your competitors, but don’t link to you.
  • Determine the relative domain authority of each of these sites (your competitive analysis tool should give you this information).
  • Make a list of the most influential and relevant domains.
  • Conduct link outreach to the domains on your list.
4. Filter out NAP irregularities

First of all, what does NAP stand for? Name, Address, Phone Number. You need to make sure this information is consistent on every site where it appears. So make sure it’s the same everywhere. There are softwares for monitoring this as well. Do you ever find an inconsistency? Contact the owners of the domains and ask them to correct the error.

5. Optimize your Google My Business listing

Your Google My Business page is easily the most important ranking factor when it comes to local pack rankings, and optimizing it is easy. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Claim your listing
  • Check your account.
  • Make sure your company information is up to date. Common errors include incorrect hours of operation, incorrect opening hours and incorrect category lists.
  • Link to your website.
  • Upload high-quality business images (or refresh existing images if they are more than a year old).

Once your Google My Business page is set up, the best way to keep optimizing is to gain customer reviews and build citations for local listings.

6. Gather customer opinion

This is some of the most powerful content you can obtain. Reviews, testimonials, etc. are an important part of your ranking. Moreover, it’s something that might convince potential customers to choose you over the competitor. Of course, it does take some time to collect them, but fortunately we have some lucrative tips to encourage your customers:

    • Offer link building opportunities: your clients want to do link building at least as much as you do. They would line up for a chance to be part of a case study if it brings a little free publicity.
    • Encourage customers to leave reviews: hand out flyers, place a QR code on your bills or business cards.
    • Ask your customers for reviews: Yes, it really can be that simple. You don’t have to have a horde of reviews but just a small trail of positive feedback on your most visited platforms. Then you’ll have a strong reputation in no time.
7. Don’t forget the structured data tag

You must use structured data tagging if you want your business to appear in the local Knowledge Graph panel on the right side of Google’s SERPs. It allows you to provide visitors with a rich snippet that gives them information such as your NAP and positive reviews.

Unfortunately, you will have to use different markups for different platforms. For example, you should need Open Graph for social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+.

The hack? There is software available (and relatively easy to find) that allows you to manage all your markups from one central hub.

8. Track video & image ranking

While most companies measure metrics such as visitors and CTR, surprisingly few realize that quality ranking tracking software can also monitor your video and image rankings.

Check your rank tracking tool for an option to enable universal search results, and your software should collect results from search engines such as YouTube and Google, Bing and other search engines.

Optimizing images is often as simple as compressing your images to reduce their file size. Make sure your images are properly formatted (usually .jpg or .png) and then compressed with a tool that preserves image quality.

To improve your videos, optimize your titles and metadata so they are more clickable and contain at least one keyword, create unique thumbnails and transcribe your video text to help YouTube’s indexing.

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Behold, the 8 magic SEO hacks! Our advice? Try them out and be sure to let us know how it went. Still don’t feel quite at home in the SEO world? Feel free to contact us and we’ll help you out!