Understanding the elements of local SEO and implementing them are two totally different things. Here are a few actionable practices.
1. Creating a Google My Business Profile
Creating your Google My Business Profile should be a top priority for every small business. Why? They hold the most weight in how customers will view your business and how to find you. Let’s take a look at an example to better understand this principle.
Assume that someone interested in creating a local search engine optimization strategy is running a computer repair services business in West Palm Beach, Florida. The company is called ABC Computer Repair Services. The idea behind the strategy is to appear on the search engine results page (SERP) when customers search for phrases like computer repair shops near me, computer repair in West Palm Beach, ABC Computer Repair Services phone number, and other similar phrases.
These phrases, however, are optimized for better placements because Google will display results from Google My Business as a card-like result toward the top. This is known by experts as Service in Locations, or SiLs The idea here is to create phrases in this type of format by combining the products or services a company offers with important keywords. A great way to search for ideas is to visit Google directly and enter some of the aforementioned phrases (but tailored to your business). Google will generate an autocomplete for suggested searches.
2. Begin Your Keyword Research
An additional tool that can provide insight as to what others are using and how they rank is to research phrases and words using Google’s Keyword Planner Tool. The tool is highly effective not only in looking at search volume but also in generating possible alternatives. The tool is free to use and should be in the arsenal of items that every person looking to perform local SEO has at their disposal. You can also search online for countless tools that analyze how competitors rank using specific keywords. Try this with similar businesses in other geographical areas. This will give an idea of which words are important.
3. Optimize for Other Search Engines
Local SEO— and pretty much any SEO—is centered around Google. Therefore, interested parties need to use all resources that Google provides, including Google My Business. Make use of the similar tools provided by Bing Local and Apple Maps. Complete NAP and citations as indicated at the beginning of the article. Keep in mind that these are critical to ranking high in local searches, so take your time and ensure that the information is complete and updated.
4. On-Page Optimization for Small Business Owners
Once citations and NAP have been set up, the business should continue the progress of optimizing for local results by creating landing pages for each location the business may have. For example, our West Palm Beach computer store could create pages like
yourdomain.com/westpalmbeach and yourdomain.com/jupiter. These should be location-specific landing pages. Do not create the same landing page using different keywords or terms, as Google will catch on and penalize the company.
Google’s latest update uses geo-tracking to infer the location of the company. Therefore, a businesses’ primary location should be optimized on the home page. This means that name, address, and phone number should be displayed on the main page along with an embedded Google Map. Other relevant information that can increase the visibility locally includes reviews and testimonials and relevant markup.
6. Updating existing content
As you update content throughout your site, keep in mind that you should also update your title tags and meta descriptions to reflect your local keyword research. Depending on the number of pages this can take a great deal of time, but there are tools that can make the process easier.
5. Building Backlinks
After the site has been optimized for location, the organization should focus on link signals and developing a link-building strategy. Most small businesses opt for SEO companies to perform their backlink efforts, but you don’t have to.
Continuing with the example of a computer services business, the company can create useful local resources that are valuable to those needing services. For example, the business can create a quick guide to fix the most common computer viruses. Make sure that the location is mentioned naturallyin the text of the guide. Along with this quality content, engage in link building by creating guest blog posts. These are among the best ways to obtain a high-quality link.
When it comes to optimizing your website for Google, there are two main schools of thought: local SEO and global SEO. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the key differences before you start any optimization campaigns.
Local SEO is all about optimizing your website for specific geographic locations. This might include optimizing your website for specific keywords that are relevant to your location or adding local business listings to your website. The goal of local SEO is to make your website more visible to local searchers.
SEO, on the other hand, is about optimizing your website for global search. This might include optimizing your website for keywords that are relevant to your business, but not necessarily location-specific. The goal of SEO is to make your website more visible to global searchers.
There are pros and cons to both local SEO and global SEO. With local SEO, you can target specific geographic locations and potentially get more traffic from local searchers. However, global SEO can reach a larger audience and potentially generate more leads and sales.
Ultimately, the best approach for your business depends on your specific goals and target market. If you’re not sure which approach is best for you, contact a local SEO expert for help.
How much should a small business pay for SEO?
Small businesses should budget around $1,000 – $3,000 per month for SEO services, depending on the competitiveness of their industry and the size of their website. Larger businesses may need to budget more for SEO services, while smaller businesses may be able to get away with spending less. Ultimately, the goal is to have your website show up as one of the top results in a search engine for relevant keywords and phrases.
How long does local SEO take to work?
It can take a while for local SEO to take effect, depending on the competitiveness of your industry and the strength of your competition. Generally, though, you should start to see results in the form of increased website traffic and leads within six to twelve months.
How do I set up a Google My Business Lists?
Setting up a Google My Business Lists is a great way to keep track of your business locations and hours. To create a listing, follow these steps:
Sign into your Google My Business account.
Click the Locate Business button.
Click the blue Add link in the Lists section.
Enter a name for your list and click Create.
To add a business location to your list, click the Add link next to the business name.
Remove a business location from your list by clicking the Remove link next to the business name.
To change the order of your list, drag and drop the business locations.
Edit the information for a business location by clicking the Edit link.
To delete a business location from your list, click the Delete link.
When you’re finished, click the Save button.
How do I increase my odds of appearing in a Local Pack on Google?
There is no one definitive answer to this question, as the Local Pack is determined by a variety of factors, including the search engine’s own algorithm and the user’s search intent. However, there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of appearing in a Local Pack:
Make sure your business is listed in Google My Business (your GMB listing).
Make sure your business’s information is accurate and up-to-date.
Include high-quality photos of your business and its products or services.
Create a strong local SEO strategy, including keyword research and link building.
Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on Google and other online platforms.
If you follow these tips and continue to put the needs of your customers first, you should see an increase in your chances of appearing in a Local Pack.
Should my small business hire an SEO agency?
Yes, a small business should hire an SEO agency. A good SEO agency can help a small business increase its website traffic, which can lead to more customers and increased sales. An SEO agency can also help a small business improve its search engine rankings, which can result in more website visitors who are interested in what the small business has to offer. You can schedule an initial conversation with one of our SEO experts here.
How does social media affect local SEO?
Social media can have a significant impact on local SEO. For example, if you have a local business and you’re actively engaged on social media, you may be more likely to show up in local search results.
Additionally, social media can help you build relationships with local customers and potential customers. This can not only help you attract new customers, but it can also help you better understand your target market.
What is schema markup for local businesses?
Schema markup is a type of code that you can add to your website in order to provide search engines with more information about your business. This information can include things like your business name, address, and phone number. Adding schema markup to your website can help improve your website’s search engine ranking and make it easier for customers to find your business online.
Access schema to boost your local search presence.
How do I find target keywords for my local business?
When it comes to finding target keywords for your local business, there are a few different methods you can use.
One approach is to use Google’s Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to see how often particular keywords are being searched for online. You can also use it to get ideas for other related keywords that you may not have thought of.
Another way to find keywords is to simply think about what your customers might be searching for online. What are the things they might be looking for when they’re looking for a business like yours? Try to think of keywords that are specific to your industry or niche.
Finally, you can also use Google’s Autocomplete feature to get ideas for target keywords. This feature will show you the most popular keywords that people are searching for online. It can be a great way to get ideas for new keywords to target.
How Should I handle a negative review on my GMB page?
If you receive a negative review on your GMB page, the best way to handle it is to respond to the reviewer in a polite and professional manner. Thank them for their feedback and assure them that you are taking their comments seriously. You may also want to consider reaching out to them privately to resolve the issue.
How do I optimize new content for local SEO?
There are a few things you can do to optimize your content for local SEO purposes. First, make sure you include your city and state name in your title and throughout your article. You can also include a map of your location, as well as contact information and a link to your website. Additionally, make sure your website is properly optimized for local SEO. Use relevant keywords and phrases, and include your city and state in your website’s title and description.
How do I optimize local search for multiple local listings?
There are a few things you can do to optimize local search for multiple local listings:
Make sure your NAP (name, address, and phone number) is consistent across all of your listings.
Use the same keywords and phrases in your titles, descriptions, and tags.
Claim and optimize your Google My Business listing, and… your
Bing Places for Business listing.
Yahoo! Local listing.
Four Square listing.
Yellow Pages listing.
Merchant Circle listing.
White Pages listing.
Small Business SEO Can Have a Major Impact on Your Local Organic Traffic
As you optimize for local SEO using local intent, technical SEO ranking factors, your GMB, and your social profile, keep in mind that the process doesn’t happen overnight.
It’s important to note that quality is more important than quantity when it comes to your on-page content. Google has invested countless resources in detecting highly valuable information and ranking such information accordingly. Therefore, focus on creating link-worthy content that others would be eager to read and share.
Also, make sure to update the content regularly, as this indicates to Google that the website is still active and possibly has more valuable information. Finally, remember to measure and track. Do not be afraid to use free tools like Google Analytics to monitor the local search engine results continuously. You can also gain even more insight with paid tools such as Search Atlas.