Local SEO is one of the most effective marketing tools for generating new leads. This guide will help you improve your rankings, traffic, and leads.
Local SEO is an essential marketing tool for businesses looking to attract potential customers, with 90% of consumers searching for local businesses online.
You need a strategy for targeting localized searches and users in your area whether you have a physical location or an online business that serves a specific location. This is how you outperform your competitors and attract more customers by ranking higher in Google search.
This guide will teach you how to develop a local SEO strategy for any business in order to increase traffic from local searches.
Is a Local SEO Strategy Necessary for Your Company?
To begin with, not all businesses require local SEO. Only businesses that serve a specific geographic location (or several) must rank in local search for the key terms that potential customers in their area are searching for.
When determining how to rank a website in the MapPack, Google takes into account a variety of local search ranking signals.
This is why it’s critical to be strategic with your local SEO, ensuring that you cover all of your bases and give your company a competitive advantage.
Business Types That Require Local SEO
- Restaurants and bars.
- Law firms.
- Local service providers.
- Companies that deal with real estate.
- Medical service providers.
- Boutiques and shops.
- Salons for hair.
- Governmental organizations.
- Non-profit organizations in your community.
- Coffee houses.
- Consultants on the ground.
- Local marketing firms.
- Dealers in automobiles.
- Universities and colleges.
Any other company that wants to be discovered!
The Advantages of Local SEO
There are numerous undeniable advantages to implementing a local SEO strategy. Most people think of increased traffic as the most obvious benefit, but there are numerous other advantages that can help your business grow.
Increased organic traffic is one of the advantages of local SEO.
- More pertinent traffic.
- Ad costs have been reduced.
- Higher website authority.
- More customer feedback.
- Brand awareness and trust have increased.
- Backlinks that are more localized.
- Improved social signals; improved user experience on the website.
Developing a Local SEO Strategy
When you’ve determined that your website requires local SEO, it’s time to devise a plan for increasing your local rankings and website traffic.
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You can create a successful local SEO strategy by following these ten steps.
1-Take Stock of Your Services and Products
Determine which keywords you want your company to rank for. This will be determined primarily by the services and/or products you provide.
For example, if you own a local digital marketing agency, chances are you offer “social media marketing,” “Facebook marketing,” “paid advertising,” and other services.
If you own a restaurant, you could group your “services” under “Mexican food,” “Mexican restaurant,” “taco place,” and so on.
Your goal here is to assess what your company offers and identify some key terms that customers might use to find a company like yours. Create a list of these terms as a starting point for your keyword research.
Later, you’ll use local SEO tools to look for these terms, identify geo-specific keywords, evaluate search volume, and ultimately decide which keywords to target on your website.
2-Examine Your Current Website
Before you begin optimizing your site, you must first determine what (if anything) is broken and whether or not your site has a solid foundation.
An SEO audit can assist you in identifying any technical or on-page SEO issues that may be impeding your website’s success. Before you worry about creating new SEO content or building backlinks, address these issues first.
SEO tools such as Semrush provide comprehensive site audit tools that can generate a report of all your site’s issues.
Alternatively, you could hire an SEO specialist to thoroughly audit your site and provide you with a list of items that need to be addressed.
Here are some SEO issues to keep an eye out for:
• Slow site speed;
• No page titles.
• Incomplete meta descriptions.
• Broken hyperlinks.
• Content duplication.
• There is no XML sitemap.
• There is no HTTPS security.
• Inadequate indexation.
• Inadequate mobile optimization.
More information can be found at How to Boost Local SEO in 2023.
3-Conduct Keyword Research on Competitors
One of the goals of local SEO is to outrank your local competitors rather than just rank in local search. To do so, you must first understand what keywords they are ranking for and how they are ranking for them.
SEO tools such as Semrush and Ahrefs can assist you in conducting a competitive analysis to see what terms your competitors are ranking for, where their backlinks are coming from, and other information. You can also see which keywords your site currently ranks for.
Simply search for a competitor’s domain, and your SEO tool will generate a list of keywords for which they are ranking organically.
Then you can look at search volume and competition metrics to see if these keywords are a good fit for your site.
Remember, you only want to target keywords that are relevant to the service or products you provide, your overall business, what your potential customers are looking for, and the location(s) you are targeting.
You want to drive targeted traffic to your website.
4-Determine Geo-Specific Keywords
Assume you own a Mexican restaurant in Seattle, Washington, as in the previous example.
Step 1 involved identifying some terms that summarize what your company provides. Step 2 involved researching your competitors to determine which keywords they were targeting.
By combining these two lists, you can use SEO tools to research these terms and determine their search volume and level of competition. You can also look for geo-specific keywords by adding your location to the keywords you are searching for.
Continue conducting keyword searches in this manner until you have a comprehensive list of all relevant, localized keywords that you can find.
Make sure to look for different variations of the services or products you provide, as well as the various areas you serve.
5-Utilize On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is the process of optimizing your website for the localized keywords that you identified in steps 2-4.
Following on-page SEO best practices will ensure that your site is optimized for local search.
This on-page optimization procedure entails the following steps:
Keyword Mapping is the process of mapping your target keywords to individual pages on your website. Each page should ideally have a target keyword that is relevant to the page’s content.
Title and Meta Description Optimization: Including your target keywords in your website’s page titles and meta descriptions. Make sure that each page has its own title and description.
Making Content: Writing informative, keyword-optimized content that explains your company’s mission and the services/products it provides. Write with your target audience in mind, but keep your target keywords in mind at all times.
Internal Linking: Create internal links between your website’s pages. These will assist users in finding the information they seek and will make it easier for them to access your important pages.
Image Enhancement: Use eye-catching images with optimized alt text. If at all possible, include your target keywords. Reduce the file size of your images to shorten the time it takes for your website to load.
URL Structure: For all of your pages and posts, create short URLs. Each URL should ideally include the page’s target keyword. Restore any broken links on your website.
6-Make Regional Landing Pages
Localized landing pages are webpages created specifically for ranking in organic local search. These pages should be optimized for the geo-specific keywords you’ve identified, as well as include informative content that will entice your target audience.
Landing page best practices include optimizing H1, H2, and H3 headings, writing keyword-optimized body content, including internal links, adding images, and optimizing for mobile search.
When done correctly, you can also run paid ads to these landing pages to drive both organic and paid traffic. Simply include compelling calls-to-action to entice users to contact you.
7-Improve the visibility of your Google My Business listing
Google My Business is a free platform that all local businesses can use to increase traffic and generate customer reviews, among other things. It is critical for your company to have a fully optimized listing in order to rank higher in search results.
Simply sign up for an account and claim your listing, or create a new one. Then, to learn more about you, include your business address, phone number, website URL, images, hours, and other information.
There’s a reason why Google My Business is regarded as the most valuable local marketing service. Make the most of GMB by fully optimizing your listing to improve your local SEO over time.
8-Submit Important Business Information to Directory Listings
There are other online directories where you can submit your business information besides GMB. The most trusted directories are Yelp, YellowPages, Bing Places, and the Better Business Bureau, but there are countless others available online.
In order to drive traffic, earn links, and improve your local SEO, you should submit your information to authoritative and (ideally) localized directories. It is critical that your company’s name, address, phone number, and website URL (NAPW) remain consistent across all directories.
If possible, look for industry-related directories to which you can add your company. Simultaneously, avoid spammy sites and paying for directory listings solely to earn a link; not all directories are created equal.
9-Create a Localized Link Building Strategy.
Link building is an important component of SEO in general, but localized link building may differ from link building for other sites. The physical location of the sites that link to your site is also important in this case.
Attempt to gain links from other businesses in your area. Create localized content to drive local links, and use localized anchor text for the best results.
Directory submissions are one way to earn backlinks.
This is a guest post.
Developing content assets.
10. Obtain Positive Customer Feedback
The number of positive GMB reviews for your website is an important ranking factor for local SEO. As a result, one of your primary objectives as a local business owner should be to generate as many positive reviews as possible – ideally across all of your directory platforms.
Conducting client exit interviews is an excellent way to solicit feedback from clients after your engagement. You can also send follow-up emails to customers asking them to leave reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and other sites.
It is also critical to respond to negative reviews. A professional and courteous response can go a long way. Nobody enjoys receiving negative feedback, but how you respond to it can speak volumes.
Resources for Local SEO for Businesses
A comprehensive guide to local SEO for businesses was recently published by Search Engine Journal. This guide covers everything from what local SEO is to how to find link opportunities to how to use social media to improve your SEO.
Start with these resources if you’re ready to develop your own local SEO strategy. You can audit your site and establish a data-driven SEO plan to improve your rankings, drive traffic, and dominate local search.