“The best place to hide a dead body is on the 2nd page of Google.” This couldn’t be more true for local businesses. 75% of people do not scroll past the first page of Google. That means if your business is not ranking on Local SEO, it is as good as dead.
Local SEO is a fantastic way to have more organic traffic for businesses that have a registered location and a website. You can avoid paying expensive rates for Facebook and Google advertisements by adopting a few local SEO tactics for the best outcomes.
There’s a clear difference between SEO and local SEO. While you can improve your online visibility globally with SEO, local SEO focuses on a highly targeted audience of your locality so that you have more relevant prospects visiting you for business.
“People do not buy products and services; they buy brands.”
Hence, it becomes essential to build an easily identifiable brand value. To do this, you need to establish a personal connection with your audience, and local SEO helps you achieve this. Today, you can search for a service/ product/ or a certain type of store, and the first thing that Google displays is a list of the top three search results in your area. You also get an option of clicking on “more places” only to find a whole list of relevant services with all necessary information readily available. This means by leveraging local SEO strategically you also ensure that you appear on the “local 3-pack”.
Google 3-Pack is a practice adopted by Google to present the top three results against a user's query in the local SERP results.
No one can optimize a site specifically for Google 3-Pack as the search engine automatically displays the top three results for local SERP results in the searcher’s location to make their search relevant to the location where the query is submitted.
For instance, if a user is entering a query on Google, “Restaurants near me”, Google will only show him results based on his browsing location.
However, to appear on the local 3-pack, you may optimize your web presence through a well-built GMB account and other techniques that we will be discussing in the following sections.
Almost a whopping 88% of people who use their smartphone for a local search end up either visiting or calling the place within a day. Hence, instead of searching for leads far and wide, local SEO in Singapore can help you streamline your target market, engage with nearby local customers, make quick conversions and receive relevant leads within a short period.
Local SEO becomes an essential channel of growth for different types of markets in Singapore that have just started out. Restro-bars, medical services, plumbers, electricians, law offices, and other similar services can see massive success with local SEO strategies. If these business owners get leads and visitors to their site from a different faraway location, it will bring them no conversions but a little boost in organic traffic. With local SEO, such businesses will receive not only increased traffic but also quality traffic from potential consumers in their area of business.
There are a bunch of local search ranking signals for local SEO. If you strategically operate with these ranking factors, it will boost your SEO efforts and give you much insight as to how your website performs. `
We’ve divided these signals into two broad categories to make it easier for you to understand them better. We will also discuss these signals in greater depth.
Basic ranking signals mean just what they seem to indicate. They’re basic because you have the most chances of doing well at local SEO when you focus on these simple factors.
In-depth ranking signals are more intricate and require you to pay attention to the nuances of local SEO. When you’ve dedicated the right amount of focus to the basic ones, you can now move to the in-depth local search ranking signals.
Google My Business is a tool for businesses to have online visibility and access more prospects. To leverage Google My Business, you have to create an account and set it up by filling in all the details. This is preceded by getting it listed. So, once you’re listed and you log in, you can fill in details.
Make sure that you add every important detail about your business- name, address, phone number (NAP), open-close hours, category of business, have your logo and appealing pictures of the office building, and a very precise description.
When your listing appears professional, you can start posting events related to your business, offers and discounts, news, etc. to keep your audience informed. One of the most useful features of GMB is the Q&A feature, which lets the audience put forth queries which you can answer. This helps you build a rapport with the audience while also adding to your SEO efforts.
When you are Google My Business, consider getting yourself listed on Google Maps. There are more than a billion people who use maps each month. This is a big number and most of them would look for the location of the business if they consider visiting.
Here’s how you can do it.
The first step is to see if your store shows up on the map. If it does, you have to claim the listing, otherwise you have to add your location and then claim the listing. Your ranking on Google maps depends on how well you have provided data to your Google My Business profile.
Tip: Use Google My Business insights to dig further about how your customers are searching for you and where they view your listing; whether on search or maps. You can even extract data for the last three months and leverage it to improve your local SEO efforts.
Besides being on Google My Business, you can get yourself listed on online directories like Yelp, and have a profile on FourSquare. You can also target other directories specific to your niche or business category to reach more people from your location.
Whether your business has 2 locations or 2000, it is advisable to provide this information to Google and other search engines accurately. There are a few hacks to approach this;
Let's say your business has multiple locations, like ortho.com. Every contact page customized with descriptions of where and how to reach the business location with mentions of local landmarks will help Google. Also, with the location-specific title tags and meta descriptions, these pages have a higher potential of attracting more location-specific ratings and reviews from its customers.
Consider your location pages as different microsites that you can use to create relevant content. Think of setting up the URL structures like;
As we know, backlinks from other sites pointing at your site help in boosting your off-page efforts as part of the overall SEO strategy. To help accelerate the popularity of your location-specific pages you can engage in a number of local activities like sponsoring local events or hosting one.
You can even consider creating content that your audience would be interested in reading and sharing. Host a blog on each microsite, then use various marketing channels like email, social media and paid to increase the reach of your content.
SEO and content marketing are inseparable; the more pages you have, the better there is an opportunity for link building.
Schema markup is a language for search engines which, when applied correctly, can help the crawlers crawl through pages easily and further optimize the SERPs results by displaying the most relevant results against a query. Here is a little brief on schema markup and how to use it to optimize your site for local search.
Schema Markup Types for local SEO:
Reviews that have natural and relevant keywords along with locations prove to Google that your business is authentic and trusted. For this, whenever you have a satisfied customer at your store, you can request them to leave a review preferably with your location and certain keywords related to your business.
Tip: To make it simpler and more convenient for your customers, you can generate a QR code for Google reviews and hang it at the door of your store so that your customers can scan it and leave a review instantly without any hassle.
Reviews that you respond to also contribute to your local SEO strategy. Make sure that you keep a check on all the reviews and respond to them- yes, the negative ones too because data from Reviewtrackers suggests that 53% of customers who post a negative review expect a response within a week.
Responding to negative reviews conveys to potential clients that you are committed to improving their experience.
Local citations are a mention of your website or business’s name on another relevant website with a no-follow link to a page on your website. For local citations, you can have your website listed on some of the top general directories like Yelp and other local directories that are specific to your website niche and popular as well.
You can also get yourself listed on review sites so as to reach more people These reviews help you rank well too. Every review site has its own set of steps that you have to follow in order to get yourself listed on them. The steps are generally simple to follow and you’d easily find the information on the homepage of the desired review site.
Local citation helps your business in two ways;
Think of it in this way;
If a buyer is looking for a car dealership, he would visit sites like Carro.sg or ST Cars.
However, before you list yourself in a directory, make sure you read through what is NAP consistency in our next section.
Here’s a list of some of the best online directories and forums for local SEO in Singapore that you can focus on-
Directory and Forum Names
|Sl. No.||Citation Site||Domain Authority||Niche||Listing URL||Remarks|
|1||2findlocal.com||45||General||Go to site||Operational|
|2||beanhunter.com||49||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|3||bizexposed.com||34||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|4||brownbook.net||55||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|5||businesslist.sg||30||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|6||cybo.com||50||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|7||expressbusinessdirectory.com||44||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|8||factual.com||56||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|9||foursquare.com||93||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|10||hotfrog.sg||34||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|11||lacartes.com||49||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|12||lawlink.com||49||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|13||mapsconnect.apple.com||100||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|14||pathlegal.com||41||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|15||ratebeer.com||73||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|16||salespider.com||59||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|17||sg.enrollbusiness.com||42||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|18||sg.zipleaf.com||35||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|19||singaporemirror.com.sg||41||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|20||spoke.com||61||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|21||thefishsite.com||64||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|22||timesbusinessdirectory.com||29||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|23||tomtom.com||85||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|24||topdesignfirms.com||50||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|25||tripadvisor.com||94||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|26||tupalo.com||59||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|27||tupalo.net||59||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|28||wand.com||46||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|29||where2go.com||57||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|30||whodoyou.com||28||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|31||yellowpages.cybo.com||50||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|32||yelp.com.sg||45||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|33||yps.com.sg||16||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|34||google.com/business/||99||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|35||thesmartlocal.com||59||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|36||sg.openrice.com||83||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|37||hungrygowhere.com||66||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|38||sg-spa.com||14||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|39||beautyundercover.sg||27||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|40||doctorxdentist.com||28||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|41||prweb.com||91||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|42||healthhub.sg||53||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|43||startupsg.net||33||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|44||yogadirectory.sg||18||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|45||theweddingscoop.com||42||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|46||hougangmall.com.sg||25||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|47||capitaland.com||64||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|48||punggol.sg||22||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|49||singapore.locanto.sg||30||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|50||singapore.craigslist.org||89||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|51||gumtree.sg||44||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|52||stclassifieds.sg||39||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|53||singaporemotherhood.com||45||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|54||forums.hardwarezone.com.sg||71||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|55||forums.vrzone.com||87||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|56||whatshappening.sg||25||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|57||eventfinda.sg||30||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|58||eventbrite.sg||58||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|59||sg.jobsdb.com||79||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|60||jobstreet.com.sg||51||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|61||stjobs.sg||45||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|62||streetdeal.sg||27||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|63||angloinfo.com||64||General||Go to Site||Operational|
|64||classifieds.singaporeexpats.com||49||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
|65||smartexpat.com||32||Niche||Go to Site||Operational|
When you’re having your contact information, that is NAP (name of the company, address, and phone number) on different platforms, like your website, Google My Business, social media pages, directories, etc., it is important to make sure there should be no difference in the spelling, inconsistency in the company logo, and the brand’s message. This is because when Google looks at your business, any discrepancy can give a message that these businesses are different because of differences in the information. In case, you’re changing your info, make sure you do so on every platform/forum where you have provided your NAP and listed yourself. This can be time-consuming, but it’s worth the time.
You can also add NAP to the footer of your website and embed the Google maps here. Adding a relevant local schema mark-up can help in providing search engines quick information about your business.
When you’ve attended to all the basic ranking signals, it is time for you to level up and focus on some of the in-depth ranking signals for your local SEO strategy.
Backlinks have a huge role to play in SEO strategies. Similarly, local links influence your local ranks when you have a proper linking plan in place for your local SEO strategy.
There are a few tips that you can keep in mind when you build local links.
To begin with, you can reach influencers, bloggers, and seek partnerships when you request for links from individuals and businesses that are capable of adding value to your website. However, you should also prioritize quality over quantity, focus on websites that have higher domain authority.
Make sure that these websites and influencers that you reach out to are from your locality. This is how local links work best. You can send sample products to a few influencers and ask them to review and add your link to their website.
You can also request your local partners to add your site links to their website or a specific relevant page.
Go for some competitor analysis to find where your competitors get their backlinks from. If you feel like building local links gets cumbersome, you can as well partner with a local SEO company so that this can be one less burden on your shoulders.
Internal linking is an important step in SEO as Google bot crawls through pages and goes from one page to another with the help of these links. When Ninja Outreach focused on internal linking, their traffic went up by 40% as per their case study.
When you post new content that is not linked to any other page on your site, there are chances that the page doesn’t get crawled by Google, especially if there are no backlinks and the page is not in your sitemap. By adding internal links on the fresh pages in your site, you can ensure that these are under Google crawler’s reach.
When you post new content, look for a natural space to add a link to another existing page so that visitors can click on this internal link, and access other relevant information on your site. Besides this, make sure you fix broken links and redirects, orphan pages, and remove links to pages that aren’t really important. This activity will also boost engagement within your site, retain your visitors for longer, and thus improve sessions and decrease bounce rates.
Localized content is yet another important aspect of a local SEO strategy, which is especially useful now that Google rolls out around 500 to 600 major and minor updates in algorithms each year to provide the most relevant search results to the audience.
While optimizing your site using local SEO strategies, you’re making an effort to reach a highly targeted local audience. So, there has to be a little shift from the regular when you plan your content.
For example, if you have a restaurant, you can create content related to food and travel. When this content is highly specific to your locality, it helps a great deal in ranking the content better for local keywords. One such example is writing a blog on “top 10 local delicacies to try when you’re in Hougang”.
You can also sometimes stray away from your niche when you’re providing information to your audience. For instance, writing a piece of content on “best places to visit when you’re in Hougang” still makes sense though it is strictly not about food.
Tip: You may also consider providing your visitors with the option of viewing your site's content in their native language. To do this ensure the HREF lang code has been added to all language variant URLs of your site. This will tell Google which language you are using on a specific page, and also help the search engine serve that result to users searching in that language.
When you’re working out an on-page SEO plan as a part of your local SEO strategy, there are a set of factors that you must look at. Using keywords with a specific location added to them will display your site in the results for searchers who look for the specific service in that area.
For instance, you can use short-tail and long-tail keywords like “Italian restaurant in Hougang” or “best Italian restaurant in Hougang”. While you should try your best to add these keywords to the headers, sub-headers, and throughout the content, don’t stuff them if they don’t make sense.
Another factor that has to be a part of your local SEO strategy is adding a very carefully written meta-data. When you have a physical store, people would want to know how to get there. The more specific and easier to understand your meta-data, the better it is. You can also add how to get to your company or store in the description so that people can reach your location without any challenges.
Since so many people use their phones even for local searches, it is very important to optimize your website such that it is mobile-friendly. Out of all the mobile searches, 50 per cent of them are done for local businesses as per the data discussed by Search Engine Watch. This is why, make sure that your website looks clean and is easily navigable on phones while it also loads fast, preferably within a few milliseconds.
Now that you know what the important factors- both basic and in-depth- that should be a part of your local SEO strategy, below is a list of several local SEO tools that you can leverage for better rankings.
While you can purchase or subscribe to them, when you collaborate with a local SEO company for their assistance, they’d use these tools.
Yext is a software that, when used, adds your information automatically across 50+ relevant local directories and search engines. The basic package costs $199 while the premium package costs $999 for a year.
Reviewtrackers is an online review management system that helps in assessing online reviews by assimilating reviews from all major platforms and sites. This gives businesses major insights, helping them to optimize their website and business accordingly. The professional plan of Reviewtrackers costs $49/month and for other plans, the price goes by quote.
Moz Local is another listing management tool that syncs your location data with its partner directories that are relevant to your business. It helps in improving your visibility on the search engine. Subscription to Moz local starts at $99/year.
Synup is a tool that helps in tracking ranks on various online directories like Yellow Page. It also automatically tracks various metrics, like organic traffic, ranking, authority, etc. Synup subscription costs $30/month.
SEMrush is an SEO tool that helps in localized as well as generic keyword research, local competition analysis, and local SEO audit. Also, gets insights into the quality and quantity of local backlinks your competition is receiving through various channels. SEMrush subscription starts at $99.5 per year and goes up to $399.95 for the Business version.
BrightLocal is both an SEO tool as well as a local citation platform that can help in increasing your visibility on Google while helping you reach a wider audience. The subscription starts at $29/month.
Advice Local is a local presence management tool that helps with local listings on social sites and directories while also offering SEO solutions.
WhiteSpark offers citation services. It helps in reaching more people on Google and improves lead generation. Generic citations cost $4/citation while local citations cost $5/citation. The citation audit and clean-up package costs $279/location.
Remember, if you own a storefront or service area, you must work on building your online presence stronger, because your competitors are doing it and drawing away your potential clients.
Local SEO is a heavy-duty task. You need to keep up with the ongoing trends and should be open to covering different areas of it discussed in this post. With all of that said, we know this can be a bit overwhelming. However, local SEO is just one part of a holistic digital marketing strategy. If you'd like to chat about how to optimize your site for local search, give us a shout!