January 28, 2021 - Brittany Garlin
Local SEO is the search engine optimization of a website based on user requests from a specific geographical region. No doubt, it is easier for local businesses to promote both offline and online. A narrow target audience, located in a limited territory, is almost an ideal prey for marketers. The fact is nearly 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. The main thing is the offered product or service should meet this target audience’s needs and desires.
Most often, search engine promotion is localized for the sites of those businesses that users find by queries linked to the city or district: “where to get a haircut,” “where to go for a business lunch,” “where to make delicious coffee,” etc. Users want to get more personalized search results considering their location. After users enter regional search queries, local companies go to the top of the search results.
When talking about local SEO, you should focus on the physical location of the business. That is, not just indicate “New York” in the headings, but focus on the address, the company itself, and use maps. Promotion in the local zone assumes that all pages will be somehow oriented to the local niche.
Website optimization for regional and local search promotion is one of the main growth points for any commercial site. Here are a few reasons why:
I am standing on the street looking for a barbershop nearby – and I do not need a barbershop on the other side of the city. Search engines understand this and will show me a list of those salons that are within walking distance from me. This means that the client will get those who have better adapted their business on the Internet for local search.
If your company works in a specific geographic region, local SEO will allow people living in that area to find you online quickly. If your company serves several areas, a holistic local optimization strategy will enable search engines to independently determine stores’ locations. And you will compete with the business of these regions.
You need local SEO if you want to:
Local SEO has a set of unique ranking indicators. A few of them are listed below:
Google My Business is a marketing tool that allows you to post information about a company and promote the business on Google, especially on GoogleMaps. It is one of the easiest platforms to promote your business online. Google My Business makes it possible to get into the first lines of Google search results for some queries without much effort. Any business will discover a list of advantages when marketing with Google My Business listing.
So, what are the benefits your organization gets from registering on Google My Business?
Once the registration is complete, your company will be on the maps, and users will be able to see your working hours, get directions directly to your office, view photos, and visit your website. Take care of the right, high-quality photos, ensure that the information is always updated, and all the suggested fields are filled in. Your Google My Business account will be your business card in Google space.
If no one is looking for what you write about, you will not get traffic from Google, no matter how hard you try. According to the research, the first five organic results get 67% of all clicks. That is when keywords come in.
Keywords are search queries that users use in a search engine to find the information they are interested in. Keywords play an important role in search engine promotion. The easiest and most profitable way to attract more visitors to the website and turn them into buyers is to choose the right keywords. Keywords reveal the real tasks, goals, and problems of people, and help to understand precisely how potential customers find the site, which queries are more effective, and which of them will be a waste of time.
Keyword research is where local SEO starts. After conducting such research, you can develop a clear plan for website promotion, an effective content strategy, specific steps for link building, and much more. Another essential advantage of the research will be finding a number of keywords and phrases that are most effective in terms of popularity and low competition.
If you know your niche, you should have a complete understanding of your customers’ information. When starting a search, think about the main keywords.
It would seem that everything is simple – popular queries for which you would like to be in the search:
However, this is not exactly what is needed. To determine the appropriate key queries, mainly rely on your services and location:
You can use Google search suggestions to create additional search query options. To do this, enter the beginning of a phrase in the search bar, and you will see similar frequently requested combinations.
When it comes to long-tail keywords, pay attention to such research tools like Keyword Explorer by Ahrefs or Google SERP features.
Using keywords to optimize content is a separate big topic. But you can start by adding keywords to:
When we talk about NAP citations, we mean any mentions of your company’s name, address, and phone number all over the web. Some also talk about UNAP/NAPU (name, address, phone number, URL) and NAPW (name, address, phone number, website). Moz did a survey and concluded that citations are the fifth most important ranking signal for local queries.
You can come across structured and unstructured citations. Structured citations are those where the NAP information is presented in a visually structured way (business directories, social profiles, etc.). Unstructured citations are mentions of your business that are posted in an unstructured format (blogs, newspaper websites, etc.).
An essential point is your NAP data should be consistent in all the resources – website, Google My Business profile, local listings websites. Once verified, you are ready to build more NAP citations.
A citation audit is an important step to stick to consistency. Some of the citations will be incorrect and/or incomplete. Some citations will have the correct company name and address but the wrong phone number. Others will have the right company name and phone number, but the old address. Moz’s local search tool and WhiteSpark are a few tools that can help you with the audit.
Now that you have found and corrected the existing citations, it is time to add even more mentions of you. WhiteSpark is still an excellent solution to build structured citations.
Moreover, you can use such industry-based websites as TripAdvisor, HealthGrades.com, HomeAdvisor.com, etc.
Do not underestimate such data aggregators as Infogroup or Acxiom that collect information about different companies.
Review websites (for example, ConsumerReports) are a great solution to run through the information and locate your company mentions. Check out if your company details are updated and accurate.
Social media is another powerful instrument for NAP citations. Create a few business accounts on popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and specify the accurate contact information.
Link building in local SEO is not that standard SEO link building you may have heard about. It is more about involvement in the local community. As per experts, local link building is considered to be an influential ranking factor. The importance of links may vary, but it is impossible to promote sites in global, regional, and local search results without them.
The effectiveness of link building depends on the quality of the sites you choose for building links. Let’s check a few useful methods.
Check if there is a section in the catalog specifically for the services you are promoting. Potential clients of a digital agency from the city N will look for it in the “Marketing” section. Being in city N, it would be strange not to get this traffic to your site.
Yes, you can provide services online, send the contract by mail, and post links to local forums in other cities. Remote cooperation is becoming possible for more and more new areas. Are you developing a chain of coffee shops in the capital? Let potential franchise buyers from regional centers see you in the search, thanks to articles in local business communities.
Links on the sites of well-known companies in the city lead customers directly and increase local search ranking. Let’s take a complex product – digital meetup. Place links to the meetup website on any possible resources of related fields. First of all, digital companies from the city of the master class (or conference). The algorithms are already so smart that they will rank your site at the top if it is referenced by readable articles in digital agencies’ blogs.
This is probably the most obvious format for local link building. Residents of large cities read local media because their daily lives directly depend on the news. Schedule of main street closures, fare increases, holiday events, New Year’s Eve subway schedules, and other highly-publicized news. Using mass media to increase site indexing is a good local SEO strategy.
With the Ahrefs service’s help, you can find out where links to competitors from the TOP 10 are. At the same time, it is worth checking the traffic and other important indicators of both link donors and competitors in the Similarweb service or similar. Perhaps those sites are not as good and useful as it seems at first glance.
If there are no local websites, you can place publications on industry-specific ones. In this case, it is less likely to get customers, but an article with a link to a reputable resource will add points to the site.
Guest posting and media publications are reliable ways to get high-quality links:
For an engaged target audience who knows exactly what event they want to go to, finding the right event will not be difficult. Participate in local events and make sure event websites will include the link to your business as a partner or contributor.
The methods of local link building are the same as for large-scale promotion. Difficulties arise due to the smaller number of sites and newsworthy events. The good news is that it is easier to stand out with the right approach and be remembered.
On-Page local SEO is a set of techniques and practices aimed at optimizing the internal content of web pages to achieve better ranking results in search engines. The ultimate goal of internal optimization is to achieve more traffic to the site.
If you want to rank for the particular query, you must consider those “search intentions” and create content that matches the top of the search results.
A low loading speed negatively affects the user experience. Users will immediately leave your page if it takes a long time to load – even if you are in the 1st place of the search results. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to check the loading speed of the website.
Firstly, there is still a small correlation between ranking and the presence of keywords in these elements. Secondly, it helps to demonstrate to users the maximum relevance of their search query.
A properly compiled URL with keywords has a high probability of getting into the top search results. A URL can give hints about the content it links to. Providing users with this information before they click on a link is a good idea.
Schema markup helps search engines better understand the content of your pages. If you have ever seen results with rating stars, images, and reviews, then you know the effect of Schema. Is Schema markup a direct ranking factor? Not really. However, it is an indirect factor that affects the traffic and clickability of the link. The search engine takes this into account when determining the site’s position in the search results.
The search engine pays attention to the audience’s behavioral signals (time on the site, viewing depth, bounce rate, etc.). This data (together with other factors) determines how much a particular page is interesting for readers and whether it should be shown to more users.
Internal web page optimization is creating a perfect page for both the user and the search engine.
We all read and leave reviews. When talking about local SEO, online reviews of local business matter. 8 in 10 consumers consult online reviews for local businesses. This means that online reviews can boost your site’s ranking on Google.
First, determine which websites will be most useful to you. If you are engaged in real estate services, Zillow is a site with reviews for you. If you are in the restaurant business, TripAdvisor is a good place to start.
If none of the resources work for you, use the basic platform for reviews – Google reviews. Reviews from this site are displayed next to your page in Google My Business, along with your rating.
Online reviews strongly influence most consumers. So, the more high-quality, positive feedback you get, the better your chances of convincing customers to spend their dollars on your business. Make sure that these reviews stand out prominently on your site.
We have covered the essential local SEO techniques in this guide. The result from local SEO justifies all the efforts spent. You will increase low-frequency traffic and bring conversions to a qualitatively new level. Moreover, you will be able to compete with big brands that have monopolized global search successfully. Invest your time and money into these proven practices, and enjoy your traffic!
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