Ultimate Guide To Local SEO: How to get your local business ranking?
If you have a local business or market one, there are things you should know about Local SEO. Its strategies are a bit different than the traditional SEO strategies, yet its campaigns are crucial for your local business prosperity.
However, by using local SEO you can profit from both general and more focused local internet searches that bring customers to your doorstep.
But as you are the local business, local SEO is more important for you. According to the latest data, local business searches amount for 46% of all Google searches while 78% of them converts to offline purchases.
If you operate locally, you need to target locally.
We know that learning about SEO tricks and tactis is not easy, but don’t worry, in this ultimate Local SEO guide, we will walk you through everything you need to know about it step by step.
Therefore, after reading this article, you will master the Local SEO tool and make your local business shine.
Local SEO Vs Organic SEO
The main difference between local SEO and organic SEO is that local SEO values the searcher’s and business locations when ranking. In regard to the keyword ranks, they are optimized in the same way, except that for the local SEO you will need to add geographical metrics that will lead potential buyers to your space.
On-page factors and links are still highly relevant. It is just that the types of links you should focus on are a lot different.
On the chart below you can see multiple ranking factors that affect local SEO campaigns. There are External Loc. Signals, Link Signals, Review Signals, and My Business Signals that are intended only for local SEO, therefore your successful local Google presence depends on them.
Local SEO: Tactics and Specifics
First, you should ensure that your website is optimized before you start chasing links. In order to be ranked within the local pack listings, you should rely more on local NAP citations, local reviews, and My Business signals.
Next, there are several advanced features that enable you to skyrocket your business success.
1. Google My Business Page
Having a website is essential, but having a Google My Business (or GMB) page is important for reaching your business goals. In the picture below, you can see what shows up in people’s searches when they type anything that is related to your brand.
They will see the location, reviews, maps, questions, website links, phone numbers, etc. on your page. This information is collected automatically by Google, but there are things you can do manually.
I have highlighted the section “Own This Business? “ to show you that claiming ownership of your GMB page enables you to have more control over your page like it is your own blog. You can share your thoughts by posting anything you want. I must admit that’s quite awesome.
Once you’ve verified ownership of your business, you can start customizing the GMB page by using catchy content that I will explain in more detail in the further text.
2. Review Sites Boost your Brand
If you haven’t established these business pages yet, you shouldn’t wait long to grab them. They are as beneficial as your GMB page. You get the customized keywords, URLs, and the domain authority from links that save you precious time.
There is one more valuable solution, which is a plugin WP Business Reviews. It helps you embed multiple reviews that you want to showcase as testimonials on your website. They are important as Google values them highly when ranking. The reviews represent trust signal that build up your web authority and make you look trustworthy in the eyes of the people.
3. Be Active in Facebook Groups
The easiest way to engage with your customers is through Facebook groups. Polishing your Facebook page on a daily basis pays off even more if you share your posts with local business owner in your local buy, sell, trade groups. Those groups should be an inevitable part of your social media strategy.
But be careful not to spam members there as no one likes pushy people. Your Facebook groups are a huge public source of potential buyers who can share your ads with thousands of users per day. The groups are your local jackpot as the people there may be the most interested in your new offers.
Also, make sure to go through the group guidelines in order to avoid ruining your reputation or getting blacklisted.
It is easy to find these groups. You just need to search through Facebook for MyCityName SEO groups, and they will show up in your search results.In regard to the useful keywords in my area, I use SEO knowledge, information etc.
Another very useful tip is to post your items in the official Facebook Marketplace. You can find it in the toolbar of the mobile app. It is extremely beneficial as posting in your business niche will leave notifications to many people who searched related topics in the past, thus they might be interested again.
4. Get Listed in Niche and Local Directories
Every local Chamber of Commerce has a directory of local business members, so does yours. Thus, pay attention to them as they probably have a high domain authority and traffic that you are aiming to get.
A couple of years ago I was working on a local music festival, and I spotted a niche directory that included all kinds of festivals in Noida. Many of my friends and acquaintances told they found about the festival through it, too. And just then, I realized how useful local SEO tool can be.
It is great that you can use these kinds of directories as they target the same people as you do. So, check them out in order to get some links back for your website.
Just take into consideration only the reputable sites. There are many directories from which it would be great to get links, but unfortunately, they are some that are not worth it.
The good ones can bring you a lot of signific traffic as your local business will pop up in their interior searches, but also your page will show up in their results and provide people with your NAP.
It is also good to check the Moz article on how to vet local business directories that you can find. It gives you a good overview and keeps you on the right track.
5. Make Sure Your Schema is Right
Schema.org can improve your website a lot. If you are using SEO plugins like Yoast, your website’s schema is already optimized. But in order to be sure that your site’s schema is optimized also locally, you will need to check your status on the local business markup listed by Schema.org. Looking at it might seem too much of work, as it was for me. Luckily, there are many plugins such as Structured Data Schema or WPSSO that help you customize your appearance.
6. Use Moz Local
Moz Local might not be for everyone as it is a bit pricey. Its subscription packages go from $99 to $249 a year. However, it takes your local SEO efforts to the next level if you can afford it. Therefore, it would be a smart choice to scan the small business tool. I am sure you won’t be disappointed.
I can say Moz is my favorite tool compared to the other SERP and SEM online tools. By using Moz Local, I feel like my local SEO game flourishes every day.
By using it, you can get analytics and rankings that will enable you to maximize your time investment.
For many people, this tool will totally pays off. For some, maybe not. However, this Moz Local stands out and is definitely worth testing.
Local SEO: The Must Have
1. Content is Still Your Best Asset
In both organic SEO and local SEO keyword stuffing can harm your goal-setting. You probably wouldn’t like to have content on your site that seems like a bad radio commercial such as it is the case with: “Come on down to Besties in Your Town, USA for the best deals Your Town has ever seen. Remember, if you need this product, drop on by Besties in downtown Your Town, USA today.”
A copy like that automatically makes people roll their eyes, and Google can recognize in which direction your campaign is going.
I would like to emphasize that it is a huge misunderstanding of what website content should look like. I would rather suggest you use well-written SEO-optimized content that will make your brand look professional.
You should provide a detailed copy of your services, such as writing about why they should choose your products. Create about pages, landing pages, and product pages that would look apealling to your ideal local customer.
It is a great way to connect with them by showing that you are a part of their community. Doing so, will make you approachable and look like a choice they should make.
And if blogging is something that sounds right to you, go for it. You can get inspired by many things in your surrounding. From local people to the general area. Your aim should be to provide enriching content that supports the way your business serves the community.
A good start is to reward customers and community members by highlighting them. Check events in your area or maybe consider even discussing local history because it pertains to your local business as well.
However, you can reach your business goals even without blogging. But, again, you can use it, as it still has a big potential for generating your leads.
2. City Names and Neighborhoods
It is absolutely important to use keywords such as the the names of your neighbourhood or city as people mostly type them when searching.
Also, it is undeniable that your business niche keywords are an influential part of your local SEO. If you are an electrician, you probably plan to check what are the desirable services in your area. In this case, it is crucial to use a more specified targeting strategy that will focus on parts of the cities where you aim to provide those services.
For example, you may live in Minneapolis-St. Paul, but you may operate in the Maple Grove suburb, thus driving your car across the Twin Cities may not in your interest. So targeting Maple Grove, MN rather than greater metro are may be more worth the business.
It may seem irrelevant, but nicknames are actually as important for your SEO strategy as actual city names. For instance, my friend lives in Florence, Alabama. Regardless, locals there more often recognize the area of four closest towns as The Shoals. So while local business owners list their companies in Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, or Sheffield, they mostly focus on utilizing keywords such as The Shoals or just Shoals.
Therefore, you should put those names in your blog post titles, URLs, headings (especially H1s), image alt tags, page copy, and also general website title (or at least the SEO title set through Yoast).
Even if your page doesn’t have the highest rank on Google, when people are searching for local businesses they will pick the one that has a more specific location they are aiming to find.
3. Cooperate with Other Local Businesses
Some local business owners are too focused on providing its services and promoting their content. On the other hand, they lose multiple opportunities that come with joining their forces with other local business.
Of course, you shouldn’t be trying to partner up with your competitors. However, sometimes your customers ask for services that are not in your offer. Therefore, you should point them in the direction towards other local businesses who satisfy their needs and that you probably already have in your mind.
When that kind of situation happens, you can speak with those kind of folks about their online presence. You can share with them the idea of including links to them on your own website and also ask them to return the favor. In that way, you get the chance to establish cross-promotion that is beneficial for both parietes as it will increase your customer bases.
This partnership can also expand on social media channels, allowing you to experience commercial growth through both Facebook and Youtube search, too. Even though these search engines are not as popular among people as Google is, your local customers check recommendations for businesses in their area mostly on Facebook. The more mentions you have, the more your business will show up in their searches.
Also, if your partners have blogs, you should consider asking them to add some of your posts there. There is a chance to get a new back link, reach a new target audience, and strengthen the relationship with your community that you shouldn’t miss. While it may look that Guest blogging is forgotten, it is not. It is still important, especially if you use local SEO.
4. Optimize your Web Page for Mobile
These days mobile design is as important as the web one. And when you operate locally it is even more necessary to include it in your marketing strategy as 89% of people do local searches on their cellphone at least one day in a week. Those people are also 16% more likely to visit your physical location the same day than those on their desktop-based devices as they probably might be outside already or even close to your location.
The most useful information is that 18% of all the mobile searches convert to sales within one day. Therefore, there is a huge opportunity to make your business even more profitable.
In order to successfully connect with this type of searchers, I would suggest a few guidelines you should know when using local SEO that may be observed as not very significant for general mobile design, but yet they are.
You should keep in mind that it is necessary to optimize your local business page. It needs to have your business name, address, and phone number that are easy to find and most importantly clickable. It is estimated that 68% of visitors will either click on your address to find your location or to click on your phone number in order to contact you.
However, you should make sure that your NAP is consistent with every channel that you are using. Therefore, it is wise to compare your Google My Business page, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and so on, in order to ensure you provided the same information and formatting. Otherwise, you risk confusing both the users and algorithms.
You should also consider integrating live chat apps, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, that can increase your sales, too. Even though it has nothing to do with the local SEO it is still important for your business profitability as people mostly use a mobile app to message you in order to purchase your services.
As its name says, local SEO is for local businesses. So If you operate globally and you don’t need local traffic, it is absolutely not necessary to use local SEO campaigns. You should rely mostly on traditional organic strategies that will surely help you reach your SEO goals . However, if your business has a physical location, you should focus on local SEO as it brings you local traffic that drives your sales.
We know that word-of-mouth is the most efficient marketing. But what we should be aware of is that it moved to digital space such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google. And is happening there more often than in person. So my advice is to do an audit of your site, traditional SEO strategies, and current local SEO strategies that make your business grow.
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