Local SEO is the optimization of your online properties so you can be found in localized searches. By using the resources and strategies in this guide, you can ensure that your business will be found when your target customers search online.
So now you know what local business SEO’s all about, you’ll probably be wondering how to actually achieve success in it! First, we’d recommend familiarizing yourself with the three core elements of local search ranking:
- Proximity:How close is your business to the searcher?
- Relevance:How relevant to the search query are your products and services?
- Prominence:What do other consumers say about your products and services?
Thanks to evolving nature of search engines like Google, Local SEO can be a lot to work on. It’s always changing, and can take a lot of time and effort to get right. This is why so many SEO agencies and consultants invest in learning how to do local SEO rather than broader SEO. The rules are very different as you’re aiming to achieve different goals, and in many cases clients don’t mind if the high visibility of their businesses in local search and business listings directories leads to more direct contact and foot traffic than website visits.
We’ve covered some of the key things that help to achieve success in local SEO; now here’s an overview of all the local SEO services that can make a difference:
‘Localizing’ your website means including your city, county or region name naturally throughout your site. For businesses with several locations, this could involve creating separate pages or Content Hubs for individual locations. Other tactics include getting involved with local community events and featuring articles and information about them on the site.
Ensure your site features on citation sites and online business directories. Not only will this help customers find your business, but featuring your company’s name, address, phone number and website URL (NAPW) on citation sites and adding extra information to business directories will help improve your search rankings.
Claiming your Google My Business listing
Claiming your Google My Business page is a a key step towards helping your business display on important Google services, such as local search results and Google Maps. GMB (and its Microsoft equivalent, Bing Places for Business) should always be the first online directory you take ownership of.
Managing reviews and ratings
Genuine, honest reviews are critical both for showcasing the quality of your service and for sending signals to search engines that your site and service are trusted and useful. The amount of reviews you receive, the overall quality of the reviews and the authority of the review sites themselves are all important factors for local search rankings.
Getting quality, relevant backlinks
Naturally obtained backlinks from well-regarded websites help search engines recognize your site as a trusted source of information and boosts the ‘prominence’ aspect of the local search algorithm. Links from local newspapers, bloggers and business associations, as well as citations, can all help improve your search visibility.