Local SEO Guide
Table of Contents
6 Reasons Why You Need Local SEO
A lot of business owners make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need an SEO professional to help them with their local SEO efforts. SEO takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you aren’t a professional in the field yourself. Here are six things that indicate that you need local SEO experts to give you a hand:
1 – You put all the information regarding your business locations on a single webpage
One mistake that many amateurs make is including all the information regarding different business locals on a single webpage. This limits your potential for local visibility by quite a bit. It’s a better idea to create a unique web page for each location so that you can target specific keywords and create a more descriptive title tag and meta description. You won’t be able to do this when all of your locations are included in one page.
2 – You don’t have any metrics on local search-driven traffic
Metrics are incredibly important. If you don’t keep numbers on your local landing pages, you won’t know how effective (or ineffective) they are. It’s about time to think about bringing a local SEO expert in if you are unable to get a start on local analytics yourself. You can learn quite a bit with two sources of data in particular – maps and organic local traffic. It’s incredibly important for you to keep track of the numbers on both of these things so that you have insight on the performance of each location.
3 – You don’t know what to do about your business citations
Business citations are more important than you’d think. If they aren’t clear, concise, and consistent across the web, you’ll pay the price in your local SEO. Citations are high up on the list of importance for the local pack as well as organic rankings.
4 – You haven’t been keeping an eye on your online reviews
Just because you don’t know what people are saying about you online doesn’t mean people aren’t talking. Your business reputation matters. Potential customers are going to take your online reviews into consideration when deciding whether or not to work with you. 9 out of 10 customers read online reviews prior to visiting a business. 7 out of 10 say that positive reviews increase their trust factor. If you haven’t paid any attention to your online reviews, you may want to bring someone on board who will.
5 – You don’t know how to build inbound links
One of the most important factors for ranking is inbound links. Your location pages, in particular, need to score backlinks. Strong backlinks will increase your domain authority and relevance for certain locations. There are so many ways to earn local backlinks. Getting good quality ones, however, are going to take time and energy. It’s a good idea to hire a professional to do it for you.
6 – You don’t have the resources to dedicate to local SEO
SEO takes time. Even if you’ve got the skills to cope with the first five things on this list, do you have the time and resources to take care of it yourself? The majority of business owners simply do not. They also don’t have the resources to hire in-house teams to do it. This where local search services come in. An agency can dedicate their time and energy to ensuring you scale the local ranks. You can’t afford to forget about local SEO. If you do, you’ll be losing a lot of potential profit.
How to Optimize for Local SEO
If you have a brick-and-mortar storefront, you may want to make a point of optimizing for local search. Not sure where to start? We’ve got your back. Keep reading for some tips to work towards scoring one of those coveted spots in the local 3-pack!
Create a Google My Business profile
Before anything else, you’ll need to create a Google My Business profile. Put in all the necessary information – your contact details, opening hours, and address. Include as my information as you possibly can. Your category information is particularly important because it gives Google a better idea of what you do. Google can then make sure that you show up in the relevant localized searches and even in the maps
1 – Include keywords in business profile
The title in your business profile should include your business name, your keyword, and your location. Try to make it sound natural. After all, you aren’t only appealing to the search engine – you’re appealing to people, too.
2 – Incorporate keywords into your title
Make sure your keyword is included in your title. If you’re a dental clinic, include “dentist.”
3 – Categorize your business as specifically as you can
If you specialize in orthodontia, you may want to categorize yourself as “orthodontist” rather than merely “dentist.” Being specific will make sure you end up in the most relevant category
.4 – Translate your content into Schema markup
Learn about Schema markups and give it a try. The rich media called structured data will help you appeal to both search engines and consumers.
5 – Ensure that your business information is consistent
Your business name, address, and contact details should be consistent across the web. This an incredibly important part of local SEO. A consistent business identity will give you search engine bonus points and will show Google that you are a local business with a specific local location.
6 – Ask for reviews
Reviews are great for both search engines and consumers. When you have plenty of reviews, you stand out. Of course, this may be in a good or bad way. Make a point of asking happy customers to leave reviews in order to improve your local SEO efforts.
7 – Create a page for each physical location
Aside from having another unique page where people can find you, creating a page for each physical location will ensure that your customers and prospects have the right details when looking for locations near them.
8 – Optimize for on-page SEO
On-page SEO is important as well. Make sure you include the same business name, address, and contact information that is consistent with the rest of your other online profiles. Include it in the content as well as the title tag. Your title tag should have the brand name, keywords, and location. Include the right information in the meta description as well. Consider including your address in your footer or embedding a map to further your local SEO efforts.
How to Do Local SEO: a Beginner’s Guide
When people hear the term SEO, they usually think about large corporations that are trying to extend their reach into the global market. This may be something that SEO can do for major companies, but that doesn’t mean that local businesses can’t benefit from SEO. In fact, it may be more important for small businesses to have a sophisticated optimization strategy in order to win over the local market so that they can scale up with a solid foundation in the future. With that said, here is our beginner’s guide to improving your small business’s local SEO strategies:
Optimize Your Site for Local Search Inquiries
Small businesses rely heavily on their local customers, and for that, they have to try their best to be the most notable brand in the local market. You can do that by focusing on area-specific keywords. For example, “window repairs in Bozeman, Montana” is a niche search query that a window service in the town should try to be on the top of. You also have to make sure that your phone number, email, and address are visible on the front page as that will help customers to reach out to you. Additionally, be sure to claim your business on Google My Business and update the information on there regularly to let Google know that you’re an active business.
Update Local Search Engine Directories
You want to make sure you let the search engines know as much about your business as possible, so you have to update your local directories on a regular basis. If you’re launching a new product or service, you have to update it on Google Business. Or if you have recently moved your address, changed your phone number, or removed one of your core services, Google has to be notified. This will reduce the frustrations that people may have with your brand when they see faulty information. Correct information will make them want to stick with your brand for longer.
Use Blog Content
Blogs are some of the best ways to promote your brand establish a place in the market. Your blog will be a valuable source of information for your audience, and they can use what they learn to make better decisions for whatever they are trying to do. When it comes to SEO, a blog is a perfect place to store keywords and start a backlink connection. You can do some outreach marketing and connect with relevant websites so that you have a link flow going. Google prioritizes user experience above all else. This means that if people like to read your content and spend a lot of time on your site, the algorithm will take notice and promote your site accordingly. What’s more is that it can be used to build site authority, another highly valued metrics for Google.
Build Link Connections via Outreach
We have already touched on link building briefly on the previous section, and we will get into details here. You can look to partner with other local businesses or agencies that can help to create a link flow that promotes every site equally. For example, if you sell suits, you can write content about quality suits that offer both internal links to other content on your site as well as other fabric companies. It’s a win-win situation for both parties, as you will create a connection of links that promote both sides equally.
Connect with Local Media
Mainstream media such as TV and newspapers are slowly dying in major cities. However, the small town communities are still very much connected to their local gazettes and TV channels. A part of the reason why this the case is that the small town communities are more closely related to their local news source. The old folks there still read their newspapers and watch TV rather than go on the internet to read about it. This why local media remains so effective for businesses in these communities. If you are able to drum up some extra traffic to your site from the audience who doesn’t normally use Google, you’ll find that this will have a significant positive effect your SEO rankings.
Manage Online Rating
With the abundance of choice nowadays, consumers have become very picky with who they want to do business with. When they come across new business, they want to make sure that it’s a business that’s worth their time and money. The first place they will look is the online reviews and ratings, and they will base their decision of whether or not they should even click on the link based on this information. This especially important in smaller towns, as there are fewer choices for the consumers and word gets around fast. If your average review is negative, everyone will know not to do business with you. You have to make sure you do all you can to manage these reviews and tend to your customers’ requests so that they’re all happy and leave good reviews for new customers to see.
How You Can Boost Your Google Ranking With Local SEO
Local search engine optimization can be quite complex. Even if you are the most tech-savvy business owner, there can be a few things that you will have to understand in order to be truly successful. SEO is important to marketing any business; it will bring the customers to you. Investing in the right keywords can get you a ton of organic traffic. Optimizing your SEO to be more location-specific in order to attract locals to your business can lead to better success. Here are some ways that you can start to implement local SEO:
Local search engines will use your company’s number, address, and phone number (NAP) to acknowledge the existence of your business. If you want to validate your presence, you will need to make sure that your search engine can confirm your location. In order to increase your presence on search engines, you will want to make sure that your data is aligned. Your NAP has to be consistent throughout all listings. Having consistent information will be crucial in getting the approval of local search engines. Yes, it’s inevitable that business information may change, but when you do get the information changed, try to keep all platforms online updated as well. Don’t forget – your NAP will affect your customers. If you are changing your business name, number, or address, you will want to make sure to track down all the information online in order to update it. Always ensure that your NAP is up to date to enjoy a strong online presence.
Build Up Your Social Media Presence
Every business should already be on social media. But if you want to boost your local customer base, you will definitely want to establish a proper presence there. Having a functioning website and being active on social media can definitely boost your local SEO ranking. By providing your customers with content and posts on your social media, not only will it increase engagement, but it will bring you success for local SEO.
Having a consistent NAP and being active on social media will bring you more customers, meaning that you will have more feedback. Customers want to choose a company that they know they can trust. If you want to look trustworthy to any potential customers, you will want to make sure that you have some reviews. Try asking previously satisfied customers to rate and review you on multiple online platforms. You cannot control what people say or rate you, but it is important that you show engagement to any reviews that might be left, even the negative ones. Since you will be aiming for the local crowd, there may be mutual friends that are looking at your products or services. Word of mouth is the best way to earn trust. Keep giving your customers quality services or products so that you can earn some reviews, and it may be exactly what helps you to seal the deal with a potential customer.
Maximizing Your Reach with Local SEO
If you are a small business owner who is looking for a low-budget SEO solution, it may be time to rethink your approach to local SEO. Some methods of local optimization are entirely free, some require an upfront cost, and some require ongoing fees. This allows business owners a multitude of options to easily work budget SEO services into their marketing plan.
SEO in Content
Consider refreshing your current website content and blog posts, and adding the cities you serve to the content –particularly the headlines. For example, something along the lines of “Proudly Serving Portland Oregon” or “Your Trusted Wholesaler in Central Arizona.” This approach is similar to adding keywords to both your website content and blog posts, but the goal is to capture more online traffic from within your specific service area. Even if your business is nationwide or global, you are likely to have a primary service area. The key to success here, is that you should not overdo it—1 or 2 mentions of your city and/or state per page or post is enough.
On-page SEO, refers to doing more than adding keywords to content—but to optimize the design of each webpage individually. To do this, you will need to reach out to a web designer, who will add local optimization to each and every page. One of the most common ways of doing this to add the specific names of each city a business serves to either the header or footer of each page. This way, regardless of whether someone is on your Home Page, About Page, Contact Us Page, or even Blog—the specific cities you serve and the state you operate in is present.
Another excellent low-budget SEO solution is to ensure you are on all of the popular review sites. This will help you to attract customers, as well as build high-quality backlinks. This includes sites such as Angie’s List, Google+, Yelp, and Trip Advisor. Some local review sites allow you to add your business, others require approval.
Whether speaking of posts created by you for your social media profiles, or of your social media marketing within each individual platform—most social media platforms provide a few options for ensuring that your advertisements and posts are seen primarily by members of your local area.
When searching for small business inbound marketing services, go beyond general pay-per-click campaigns—and search for ways to maximize pay-per-click with local keywords. The most obvious local keywords are, of course, your city and state, but also think of other keywords relevant to your area. For example, Washington State may utilize keywords such as “The Evergreen State.” A business that operates in a small college town may optimize some of their advertising with keywords associated with the college—such as business owners in Lincoln, Nebraska capitalizing on keywords such as Cornhuskers or Huskers.
3 Tips to Help Your Local SEO Skyrocket
If you run a local business, you will need to employ certain kinds of SEO strategies to bring the right kinds of potential customers to your website. Employing search engine optimization techniques will not do you much good if you’re not bringing local customers to your commercial website. If you operate a hair salon in Denver, you probably won’t benefit from attracting individuals from West Los Angeles to the blog for your salon. This why local SEO methods are vital to small local businesses.
The Power of the “Pigeon”
Anytime that Google changes its search engine algorithms, businesses and bloggers across the World Wide Web need to pay attention. These algorithm changes affect websites greatly, and site owners must adapt to the changes quickly if they hope to remain relevant to online users. The major algorithm change to know if you own small business is known as the “Google Pigeon” algorithm. Fortunately, you can make this new algorithm work to your advantage if you operate a small local business.
Released in the summer of 2014, The Google Pigeon algorithm’s purpose is to make online searches more efficient for people searching for local results. Therefore, the “Pigeon” algorithm is a boon to any business that needs to attract local traffic. Essentially, this update will streamline the process of matching online users to the local products and services they seek. The best way to maximize the power of this update is to be sure that you are implementing the SEO techniques that serve local businesses well.
- Use Local Keywords. If you want to make the most of the latest algorithm, be sure to include local key phrases in your content. An example of this technique would be to include the phrase “Seattle retro boutique” in your content if you own a retro fashion boutique in the Seattle area. An even better strategy would be to localize your keywords even further. If your shop is in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, this would mean inserting the key phrase “retro boutique Capitol Hill” in your content. However, remember to use such keywords in moderation; overusing them could cause you problems in terms of achieving high search results via search engines.
- List Your Business in Online Directories. Another way to make use of the latest algorithm update is to list your business in as many directories as you can. Start with the largest and most common ones. Don’t forget to list your business with smaller directories, as well. In many cases, business listings in directories are free, and you may be able to purchase ad space, as well.
- Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices. The most recent Google update will affect countless sites if they aren’t optimized for mobile searches. This algorithm change is so big that it’s being hailed as “Mobile-geddon” across the Web. Google has recognized the fact that the number of mobile users who search the Internet seems to be growing on an exponential basis. If you want to check your site to see if it’s optimized properly for mobile searches, you can consult Google for its free and simple “Mobile-Friendly Test.” If your site isn’t properly optimized for mobile searches, you will need to optimize it accordingly as soon as possible.
Thanks to Google algorithm updates, online searches are becoming more convenient for local consumers. Searching online is also being made easier for those who utilize mobile devices. If you adapt to these changes and make the most of them, you’ll divert the right kind of traffic to your local small business.
Across the web, there are over 100 billion searches conducted each month. Make sure your business’s website is showing up at the top of local search engine results with help from the SEO experts at The Guerrilla Agency. Our comprehensive SEO campaigns include everything your business needs to help spread your brand become an authority on the web, placing your business front and center for your target audience.
Local SEO: What’s New
The internet moves pretty fast. That’s probably a pretty obvious observation, but it seems especially appropriate as 2017 marches forward.
Local searches have changed significantly — and in just the past few years.
Remember searching for a local business not even five years ago? You’d search using phrases like “car wash in Boston” or “pizza place near Los Angeles.”
Today such long, specific phrases probably seem unwieldy and needlessly complex. You can find a location, including directions, just by entering one or two words into your mobile device. You might even be able to conduct a search using nothing but emojis.
Over 50% of all local searches on a smart device lead to a visit to a physical store. People are out and about, using their mobile devices to quickly find info about their surrounding community.
Let’s take a look at local SEO. What’s different and what’s stayed the same?
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
These HTML elements are still necessary to reflect the content on your page. The only difference here is Google is increasing the width of the search engine results page. The new width is 600px. This means title tags should now be between 40 and 50 characters. Meta descriptions now have a maximum length of 160 characters.
Your title tags and meta descriptions show the keywords you’re trying to rank for. They’ll often contain a keyword and a location. Original, engaging titles and meta descriptions help increase click-through rates.
Google My Business and Bing Places
Google Places has become Google My Business. You’ve probably seen these before. A Google My Business profile shows up in a box on the side of the search results. People see these when they search for a business directly and many times when they search for the general product or service you provide.
You want your Google My Business profile optimized. Fortunately, this free and easy. When businesses see your profile, they’ll see your business hours, phone number, directions on Google Maps and other primary info. You’ll want to make extra-special-double-sure all of that info is correct.
An optimized profile will also have images and photos. A logo helps reassure customers they’ve found the right business. Photos of your staff help create a personal connection. Photos of your office building or location help customers who are looking for your physical location.
Don’t forget about Bing Places, which is a similar idea. While Bing doesn’t have the reach of Google My Business, optimizing your Bing Place profile is still worth the effort.
Finding the right keywords is still important, but in 2017 you want to really emphasize local terms. The name of the game is “geo-modifiers.” These are place names and locations.
For instance, if you provide lawn care in Minneapolis, the generic keyword “lawn care” isn’t going to be as effective as “lawn care Minneapolis.” But that’s just the start. Your copy should include even more location keywords such as the names of specific neighborhoods.
Schema codes are embedded into your site for search engines to read. The codes provide info about your products, business, location and other data.
These codes aren’t used as often as they should be. So if you (or the SEO expert you hire) implement schema markup, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.
Schema markup offers a lot of opportunities for business. You can optimize your site according to:
- Business type (lawn care, B2B marketing, travel agency, etc.)
- Events (conference attendee, sponsor, etc.)
Voice search with a mobile device has been popular for a while. But the introduction of intelligent assistants for the home is changing the game. Google Home, Amazon’s Alexa and others have steadily grown in popularity since their introductions.
Because these devices are voice-operated, every user is someone gradually growing more comfortable with voice search. Plus, as the devices increase in popularity, more data is collected on how real people actually use voice search.
Voice search works well for local search. After all, many local searchers are already out in the community. They’re looking for a product or service which is nearby. As intelligent assistants continue to appear in more and more homes, local voice search for home deliveries – such as food deliveries – is also likely to increase.
Optimizing for local search is a bit different today than it was just a few years ago. But these local search strategies will help your site stay ahead of the competition.
10 Local SEO Tools You Need to Boost Your Rankings
As a brick and mortar business, your local SEO efforts can mean the difference between getting found and being ignored. Local SEO tools are a powerful way to maximize those SEO efforts when not utilizing a local marketing company in your niche.
In fact, it’s often the number one way customers find you in a world dominated by cell phones and tablets.
There are tons of local SEO strategies you can use, from online content optimization to submitting your NAP (name, address and phone) to local directories.
To help make your local SEO efforts more effective, make use of the many local SEO tools available on the market.
In this article, we’ll cover 10 of them that will beef up your local SEO and bring you more customers.
Now, let’s have a look.
1. The Whitespark Local Citation Finder
This one of the most all-inclusive local SEO tools available for local listings. It can be a bit of an investment, but it’s worth it.
Whitespark goes way beyond basic local listing management. This tool locates places your business should be listed to help improve your local rankings.
It also offers many added features. These include:
- Customer feedback and online review functionality
- The ability to monitor your local search rankings
- Advisement on creating the best link opportunities
If you use the bare-bones version of the tool, it’s going to run you $16.67 per month. To get access to all the features of Whitespark, expect to pay $100 per month.
What makes SEOcrawler stand out from other SEO tools is that it’s one of the few all-in-one management tools.
With SEOcrawler you can have your entire SEO campaign housed under one single roof.
You can start for 14 days free and go from there.
3. Moz Local
This a relatively basic management tool that lets you manage your local listings and claim/verify submissions.
It also works heavily with data aggregators to help promote your listings and keep you visible.
It’ll scan your citations and let you know about any errors that are harming your local SEO.
Finally, Moz Local gives you an overview of the categories you’re listed under and the types of media used for citations.
This tool is only going to run you $84 per year.
This actually a collection of tools available in a wide range of packages.
Pricing starts at $19.99 per month.
Some of these tools include:
- Functionality that lets you compare your rankings against your competition on up to three search engines
- Find out where your competition is listed
- Monitoring of reviews
That’s just to name a few.
Synup is a needed tool for submitting your NAP to local directories.
It allows you to manage local listings and review/analyze those listings and the accuracy of NAP data.
It’ll run you $25 per month, but it’s very effective and an important tool to have in your SEO toolbox.
This one’s going to come as an investment. But good quality is rarely cheap.
SEOProfiler includes powerful features like:
- A tool to audit your website for the best SEO
- Web page optimization
- A “disinfection tool” that finds and identifies bad backlinks on your site
- Helps you identify the strongest local keywords
- PDF reports that are easily customizable
But what’s the cost? Well, you can expect to pay from $49.95 per month all the way up to $999.99 per month.
It all depends on what features you want to use.
This a tool you’ll want to help you earn local backlinks.
It’ll help you find and build relationships with tons of local influencers. That’ll help you drive word-of-mouth traffic to your site and boost awareness of your business.
BuzzStream is also a very powerful content promotion and digital PR tool.
It offers four different plans, starting as low as $24 per month and going up to $999 per month.
It all depends on the individual needs of your business.
8. Upcity Totally Free Website Analyzer
Free isn’t always useful. In the case of Upcity, it is.
This tool will give you a thorough local SEO report card.
And it’s simple.
All you’ll need to do is submit your website pages and it begins to analyze them.
Upcity looks at every single facet of your page, then gives you a score on a scale from 1 – 100 in comparison to your competitor’s pages.
Once you tell Upcity what your chosen keyword for the page is, it will:
- Identify your site rankings for that keyword
- Tell you how many unique backlinks the page has
- Let you know the accessibility of the page
- Identify trust metrics
- Perform on-site breakdown
And did we mention its free?
Posting unoriginal content on your site will absolutely destroy your local SEO efforts. Duplicating other people’s content is a quick way to severely harm your rankings for local SEO and regular SEO.
To avoid this pitfall, always put your content through CopyScape so that you know it’s original and not plagiarised.
Even if it’s content that’s duplicated from your own site, it’ll still hurt your SEO.
You can use the basic CopyScape feature completely free. If you want to run a more thorough check, you can do so for $0.05 per search.
That certainly won’t break the bank.
10. PageSpeed Insights
Slow loading pages will negatively impact your local SEO rankings.
They drive users away from your site and increase your bounce rates.
High bounce rates hurt your rankings.
The free tool PageSpeed insights will review your site’s load times and make suggestions on how you can improve them.
This will increase traffic on your site and lower your bounce rates.
Boosted Local SEO Rankings Boost Business
When it’s time to drive more business, it’s time to start working on your local SEO.
Internet searches are how your business is found. If you want your business to grow, you need to perfect your local SEO.
Have further questions about these tools or anything else related to SEO? Don’t hesitate to get in touch and let’s talk.
Once you see the impact that local SEO has on your business, you’ll wish you perfected it years ago!
Helpful Local SEO Solutions Everyone Should Know About
Should you be utilizing local SEO marketing initiatives?
Local SEO is changing rapidly. More search results are catering to local SEO and are offering a variety of ways to market your business to your local town.
Local SEO is also different from other SEO strategies, so it requires research and certain digital marketing strategies.
So what should you include in your local SEO campaign? What are the solutions if you’re stuck in a local SEO rut?
Here are local SEO solutions that every local company should be utilizing.
Claim Your Business on Google
Have you ever searched Google for your website? If not, you should do a quick search right now.
Chances are if you never searched your website, you’ve never claimed your website.
When you claim your business on Google, you’re able to add vital information about your company. This includes your address, phone number, website, and hours.
When you search your company on Google, see if it has already been added. Your customers could add your website, and the information they provide may not be correct. Or, your company doesn’t show up on Google at all.
Contact Information on All Pages
Always include NAP (name, address, phone number) on all pages of your website.
How do you implement NAP on each webpage? Most companies include this in the bottom or top header. Or, if you have a one-page website, make sure your NAP is visible when you first access your website.
In addition, use the exact same NAP when promoting your website on other sources such as social media and internet yellow pages.
Did you know the reviews you receive impact your search ranking?
Google even penalizes businesses who have no company reviews. The more reviews on Google you have, the better your company will perform in search results. This means even bad reviews are local SEO solutions.
This doesn’t just extend to Google reviews. Consumer report websites, other search engines, social media, and other local directories are included.
While you can’t control where and how often your customers’ review, you can at least encourage them to write a review. You can even offer a promotion such as a discount for those who review your website.
Bonus points are added when companies respond to reviews and interact with customers.
Local Keywords and On-Page Usage
Knowing the best keywords to use is important. But what’s even more important is knowing how to use them.
Your website content is key here. And this doesn’t only apply to blogs and tags. Where you strategically place your keywords are factors Google and other search engines look for.
Here are areas on your website where you should place keywords:
- Title Tag
- H1 Tag
- Body Content (blog, etc.)
- Image ALT Attributes (the caption, file name, etc.)
- Embed the Google Map in Your Landing Page with the Keyword
So, now you know where to place keywords, what should your keyword be? The most vital keyword combination for local businesses includes a combination of:
- City/Region, State
- Relevant Keyword
- Mobile-Friendly Website
Having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for local SEO solutions. The reason why is because Google is enduring a mobile search update, and all websites need to conform to this.
But this just as crucial to your customers finding you. The reason is that they will more than likely find your website on their phone than on your computer.
If you were looking for a restaurant, would you wait to go on your desktop? Or do a search really quick on your phone? This applies to all local businesses.
How to Improve Your Local SEO Ranking
Local SEO is one of the most effective ways to promote your small business to local customers. With the rise of smartphone users, customers now search for the best local businesses using their voice search feature. Local SEO focuses on providing search results that are within the same area of a searcher. This article will tell you all about some of the most important factors that can affect your local ranking.
Quality Local Content
Just like organic SEO, having quality content will significantly boost up your local ranking. It allows you to earn authoritative backlinks. Your content also serves as a means to build trust with your customers while also encouraging them to buy your products or services. Last but not least, it offers you a chance to target the right local customers. Here are some tips that can help you create better content:
Answer Customers’ Needs
In order to create successful local content, you have to know what kind of problems your customers need to solve. Doing so will give you insight on the purpose behind their searches. Hiring a digital marketing agency to help create your content is a good idea as they often have a better understanding of what your local market needs the most.
Try Different Types of Content
Instead of writing nothing but traditional articles, try to branch out and do other types of content, such as video tutorials or visual diagrams. The most important thing to keep in mind is that the content needs to answer your customers’ problems. For example, how-to articles are very useful for your customers, which means that they are able to generate more traffic to your website.
Another thing that you can do to increase your local ranking is to include the local keywords for your titles. If your location is in Chicago, try adding “Chicago” to your title. Articles that involve lists can give you an opportunity to do that. For example, you can write an article on “Best Fashion Brands in Chicago” to attract more local audiences. This also helpful to boost your rank for voice search questions as well.
Google My Business Listing
Google My Business (GMB) is another effective tool that you can use as part of your SEO strategy. If you have a strong GMB profile, there are higher chances for your business to appear in Google’s Google Maps, Local Pack, and Local Finder, as well as in the local search results pages. Below are some tips to optimize your GMP account:
– Include a location keyword in a GMB title.
– Make sure your NAP details are up-to-date.
– Select the most relevant category for your business.
– Write a detailed description of your business, including all relevant links.
– Make sure your website link is correct.
– Include high-quality pictures of your business.
– Add other helpful information about your business, such as a map.
Local Business Directories
GMB is simply one of the platforms that can help with your exposure. However, it is simply not enough. Business review sites, such as Yelp, are where you should get your company listed on as customers will visit these sites as the first places they go to when they need more information to decide whether or not they want to work with you. Other business directories that you can benefit from are Bing Places, MerchantCircle, TripAdvisor, Foursquare, and many others. You can do more research if you want to find out how you can use these sites to your advantage.
Local Link Building
Link building is something that’s overlooked. You want to deplete competition, you’re not sure how to go about linking, and you’re not sure what to link.
However, local SEO solutions rely a lot on link building. And not just any link building — local link building.
So how do you go about local link building? Your link building efforts need to be relevant to what you do, but you don’t want to risk competition.
This a great way to cross-promote with other businesses and produce content. And you’ll find it easier to benefit each other.
For example, if you own a clothing company, you can start a link building campaign with a company who designs shoes. Or if you own a gym or personal fitness center, you can cross-promote with a smoothie or health food brand.
Don’t forget about citations. These are a reference to your company, featuring your NAP. You can also cross-promote in this way, using a combination of link building and citations.
Don’t Forget Internal Link Building
One of the main local SEO solutions companies overlook is internal linking. Add relevant page links to the other pages on your site, paired with relevant anchor text.
These include landing pages, blog posts, and other informational pages.
When you develop internal linking structure, Google will be able to latch onto your website more effectively, boosting your search engine performance.
SERP and Click-Through Rate
Google caters to SERP (search engine results page) and CTR (click-through rate) to local SEO solutions.
In case you didn’t know, CTR is the gauge that judges how well your website, advertisement, nonpaid and paid keywords, etc. are performing, and SERP is the page that’s displayed when certain terms are searched.
And you can easily implement these two marketing strategies together. You can engage in paid AdWords or a paid advertisement directing to a specific page on your site.
For example, say you’re measuring the CTR of a search term. If there’s one page that needs more exposure (a blog, or even the website’s homepage) then you use that search term as the main keyword.
CTR and SERP don’t stop at the typical search engine. Maps (Google Maps, Apple Maps, etc.) also search your business based on CTR and your SERP appears with the searched term.
Now, on maps, the website only appears when your company is selected. So it’s important to utilize both organic and inorganic (nonpaid and paid) keywords.
Get Your Website On the Google 3-Pack
A few years back, Google changed the local search results maps view from a ‘7-pack’ (meaning seven results are displayed) to a ‘3-pack’ (meaning three results are displayed).
Google made the change from 7 to 3 based on mobile visitors and the last four didn’t receive as much traffic.
It’s obvious you need to be in the 3-pack. How do you get in the 3-pack?
First off, your information needs to be correct. Since Google isn’t going to double-check in the directories, you need to be sure your NAP is displayed accurately across all web pages.
But speaking of local directories, gaining traction on those sources also helps Google identify your website even better.
Since Google is catering local SEO solutions to the mobile-friendly sites, you have to make sure you have a mobile-friendly website.
Check your website on your mobile device, make sure all search results directly to the correct page, and make sure you can easily navigate your mobile website.
You’re probably thinking, what about major chains and corporate competitors?
While these do have an impact on the 3-pack, Google does appeal to locally-based businesses to give them a fair chance at marketing over the major corporations.
Get Local Coverage
Google pays attention to the press, blogs, podcasts, and other sources of media. The press utilizes local SEO solutions very well, which boosts performance on your level.
Start by finding people in the press who live in your area. Find journalists you can form connections with, and try a cross-promotion with them (free advertisement on your website, etc.).
When your brand starts appearing in more web-based blogs and podcasts, Google will help to increase brand awareness on search results.
Create Local Business Profiles
Your website shouldn’t be your only website presence. Create spaces in local pages and other service pages.
These will help Google remember your name more effectively, and helps more results for your brand appear.
And don’t forget about social media — and social media local SEO solutions.
Major social media platforms have their own search engines. They’re a little different, such as boosting SEO based on shares, retweets, and follows.
But social media pages and social media SEO still helps Google direct customers to your social media pages, and ultimately your website.
Don’t Forget These Local SEO Solutions
Potential customers are searching for local businesses like yours every day. The competition is fierce, but utilizing local SEO strategies keeps you on top of the game.
Local SEO might seem difficult, but once you know the solutions it will become a part of your normal marketing routine.
Knowing what keywords to use, how to use them, and being in control of your business and how it’s represented on search engines will improve your search query performance.
4 Quick On-Page Local SEO Factors To Use Right Now
On-page SEO is quickly shifting towards much higher importance for local SEO ranking. This because Google is actively using GPS technology to offer local recommendations for people using mobile devices. It is now more important than ever to get your site ready for local rankings and unfortunately, most website owners have no idea how to do that.
The internet is filled with various articles talking about the subject. You can always find quality in articles like Johnn Reviews’ article about useful off-page SEO strategies, but what should you actually add to your sites right now? Here are some vital elements that you should never miss.
Business Name And Address
Schema markups allow you to so easily add local business mentions that have a high weight in local rankings. It all should start with business name and address. The business name has to be present in the actual text of the website and on the About page. At the same time, you want to have it in your footer. If you want to use the schema markup, make sure you use “legal name” for the business name though since when you just add “name” the search engines do not understand what the name is for.
After adding the business name, the address has to be added as you want to show that there is a physical location that you operate out. Consistency is important here as you might have different addresses submitted by different people as time passes. Google can get confused and not know the physical address, which is why you should always have your street address, city, state, postcode and even country on your pages.
Nothing shows local presence more than a phone number that is associated with an area. Phone numbers are added automatically in search engines these days and are actually used by potential customers looking for extra information. While it is obvious you want a contact form on your site and email addresses highlighted, whenever a phone number exists you do want to add it, together with its purpose (general number, customer service, tech support and so on).
This another important element that you can add to your site through schema. The tag you use is “hasMap”, which is then pointed to the Google Maps business location page that you have. Information from Maps is really useful for local SEO rankings. In fact, many SEO professionals that work on local SEO first make sure that the business has a presence in Google Maps before they do anything else.
Potential Affiliated Sites
Many companies have affiliated websites that are not properly presented on the main website. This does hurt potential local SEO rankings. The best examples of affiliated sites that should be included are social media profiles, local industry directories, and Wikipedia entries. The schema markup you want to add is “SameAs”. Add it to the site to let Google know that the other pages linked are associated with the business.
How to Know if Your Local SEO Agency is High-Quality
In the modern world, online exposure is everything. If your brand awareness is low, it’s almost like your business doesn’t exist. This why search engine optimization (SEO) is so important, and it needs to be done correctly to ensure that you’re getting the results that you’re looking for. To help you choose the right SEO company for your business, here are a few tips you can follow.
Focus Areas of Expertise
There are different types of SEO projects you can do, and the key is to find one that specializes in the specific field that your business needs most. Content management and on-site optimization are completely different aspects of an SEO effort, and it’s a completely different task. To make sure that you get the most out of your investment in your SEO effort, you want to make sure that the company you’re working with is an expert in the area that you need help with.
You want to work with an SEO company that has an experience with your industry so that they understand the industry standard and audience expectations. This incredibly important for the content creation and management process, and it can also help with your web design as well. UI/UX design might not be the focus of an SEO effort, but it helps to increase traffic and user retention time. Both of these metrics are great for your rankings.
Honesty and transparency
There are a lot of things you need to worry about when it comes to optimizing your website. You need to be kept up to date so that you can make the necessary changes in a timely manner. If your partnered company omits crucial information from you because they want to hide their mistakes, you won’t know what to do to fix the problem. You will continue to see your performance dips without knowing what to do with it. As a tip, if the SEO company you’re interviewing starts making unrealistic promises, you should keep looking.
You want to keep a close eye on how your SEO partner and how they take care of you even before you finalize your deal with them. See how attentive to your needs and your inquiries, as that will tell you a lot about their customer service quality. Every good agency understands how important it is to pay attention to their customer’s demands and preferences, so if they’re not doing that to you, then keep looking.
A complete SEO project involves a lot of different skill sets. To ensure that your SEO effort pays off, your partner SEO company has to outsource their work from time to time. Ask them if your partner agency is looking to outsource any of their work, and if they do, you need to know exactly what company they are going to work with. It’s not a bad thing to outsource work, but it needs to be in moderation and managed correctly.
The cheapest SEO service is not necessarily the best choice, neither is the most expensive one. It depends on what type of service the company offers and how their work is carried out. If their work ethics and specialization fit with your company’s needs, then they are the right SEO company for you.
5 Tips for Launching a Local SEO Campaign
If you operate a business that caters to local clients or customers, chances are you’re eventually going to launch a geo-targeted SEO campaign to generate leads in your area. You can outsource this task entirely to an SEO agency, but it’s still wise to have some influence in the direction of the campaign. As the owner or manager of the business, you’re the ideal person to inform your SEO team about the company’s specific value propositions and marketing materials so that this information can be used to create more effective ad & keyword targeting. Here are five tips you can use to get better results out of your local SEO efforts, whether you’re going it alone or collaborating with an agency.
1. Target a Multitude of Local Keywords
Try targeting longtail variations of popular keywords accompanied by the names of cities. neighbourhoods, and counties in your area. For example, an SEO firm operating out of Belfast, Ireland could potentially generate more leads by going beyond the core “SEO Belfast” term and into more specific variations for surrounding areas, such as “SEO Bangor,” “SEO Strandtown,” “SEO Castlereagh” or a regional variation like “Northern Ireland SEO.”
2. Ensure NAP Consistency Across All Channels
Many people don’t know that your rankings can potentially be hurt by inconsistent Name, Address, and Phone (NAP) data across different directories. Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo crawl the web looking for information about your company and use algorithms to detect whether your contact information is reliable and up-to-date. Excessive variation in NAP data should be avoided and your contact information should be listed the same on every site.
3. Leverage Local Link Building
Local link building is the practice of generating in-bound links from websites that have regular audiences in the area you’re trying to target. For example, if you own a sporting goods shop in London, you could try to get an in-bound link from a blogger who writes about London sports teams. Since Google and other search engines aren’t very friendly about reciprocal or out-of-context links, one of the only legitimate ways to proactively build local links is to author a guest post that adds real value to the blog that publishes it.
4. Focus on Generating Positive Reviews from Local Customers
Did you know that having a high rating and lots of reviews on sites like Yelp and Google+ can help your local SEO rankings? Try to motivate your customers and clients to leave positive reviews.
5. Optimize Social Networking Signals
Finally, search engines also crawl social networking sites like Facebook, so make sure your social media presence is strong and you’ll be generating lots of traffic and exposure while also improving your local SEO rankings.
Local SEO Can Be Easier Than Global SEO, especially if You Diversify
While certain industries are saturated and overly competitive in most major cities, it’s usually possible to rank within the top 5 for most local longtail keywords. In conclusion, here’s another bonus tip you can use to generate more local leads and rank better for geo-targeted keywords: Come up with a diverse list of 100-500 keywords to target. While some niches may allow for more, this a good range to ensure you’re covering all bases initially.
The tips above are just a few ways in which you can maximize your reach by investing more time and money in budget SEO services designed to target your local area business. If you are looking for a low budget SEO solution to give your brand a boost in local traffic on the web, reach out to the experts in small business inbound marketing at The Guerrilla Agency. Our team works to provide your small business with a targeted approach to SEO, helping you capture the attention of your local audience and increase traffic to your website. Get started today for as low as $500 a month and contact The Guerrilla today!