The Complete Guide to Local Search Engine Optimization.

The Complete Guide To Local Business Search Engine Optimization 

Do you want to increase traffic, leads, and brand awareness to your website from local search?

Organic traffic, leads, and benefits received from brand awareness are free and they are always working for your business 247/365, like an extension of your local business’s sales team.

A Stat that 88% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a related store within a week.

Dominating in the area of local search can transform a business, but with the plethora of information available online today, you might be thinking, where do I start?

Instead of advanced technical SEO or link building, your local Search Engine Optimization strategy should focus on the fundamentals.

In this article, we walk you through local search engine optimization best practices and break down the jargon to make the information as accessible as possible. 

Let’s discuss the fundamentals of every Local Search Engine Optimization strategy.

Optimize Your Google My Business Profile

In order for your local business to appear in Google Maps when people are searching Google for your product or service, you must have a Google My Business profile.

A stat that "Near me" mobile searches grew with 136% year over year.

Info

After logging in to your Google My Business profile head over to “Info” and edit the following information:

  • Business Name
  • Address
  • Phone Number
  • Categories
  • Service Area
  • Hours of operation
  • Website
  • Products
  • Services
  • Attributes
  • Business description
  • Opening date

When filling out the above information, be sure to be as descriptive as possible, and work to implement your keywords as much as possible (especially the business description).

Google Website

Google gives you the ability to create a free website for your business. Although this does not replace the need for your website, it does provide an opportunity for you to take advantage of local SEO signals including:

  • Business NAP (name, address, phone number)
  • Keywords
  • LSI keywords
  • Images
  • Backlinks

Images

There are opportunities for SEO optimizations everywhere within your Google My Business profile, even in the images.

You can include your keywords in image properties such as filenames, and descriptions.

Another neat SEO trick is to embed the GEO location (longitude and latitude) in your images.

Some would argue that this is overkill or unnecessary, but it doesn’t hurt to take advantage of every little opportunity Google gives us.

Reviews

When it comes to local SEO, reviews are important. Not only do customers want to see positive reviews, but they are also fundamental to your business’s online reputation management.

A stat that 42& of internet users in the U.S. list  "reviews from other customers" as a feature that would most increase their likelihood of buying a product.

Google My Business gives business owners the option to see recent reviews on their listings and check the status of reviews they reported to Google.

You can also report reviews that break Google’s guidelines.

Keeping your eye on your reviews is a great start to online reputation management.

On-site Optimization

You can optimize your homepage, product pages, or service pages for “keyword + city” keywords, and “keyword + near me” searches with some basic on-page optimization.

Include your city name in important on-page factors such as:

  • title tag
  • URL
  • H1-H6 tags
  • content
  • image filenames
  • alt tags

To take your on-site optimization a step further, add internal links from your supporting pages or blog posts to the pages you are trying to rank.

Take advantage of your internal link’s anchor text by using exact match, or LSI keywords.

Adding internal links with optimized anchor text will not only increase the authority of the page you are linking to, while also increasing that page’s relevance to the anchor text being used.

Link Building For Local SEO

When it comes to building authority for a local business, a simple yet effective strategy is to reserve-engineer what is already working.

Search google for your most important keyword(s) and take note of the top 1-3 competitors.

Use a SEO tool such as Ahrefs or SEMRush to identify the backlinks of your top competitors.

When analyzing your competitors backlinks you are looking to identify the following backlinks to steal:

  • Local Directories (Citations)
  • Niche Directories
  • Social Media Profiles
  • Guest Posts

If your website is new, or has a low domain authority, distributing a press release will provide a foundation of natural, yet high authority backlinks.

At this point, if your website has a solid foundation of natural links, implementing a white-hat guest posting strategy will take your website to the next level.

Conclusion

When it comes to local SEO, the fundamentals are most important. 

Make sure to drill down on the basics rather than focusing too much on advanced link building, or technical SEO strategies at first.

Take full advantage of your Google My Business Profile, optimize your website for local keywords or “near me” searches, and reverse engineer a winning backlink profile.

With this information all you have to ask yourself is, which of these areas does my website fall short in? If you can answer that question, you know exactly where to start.

Developing and implementing a comprehensive Local Search Engine Optimization plan can feel daunting when doing it on your own. NAV43 is a marketing agency that specializes in developing and implementing local search SEO strategies among other services. Reach out today to find out how we can help your business grow.

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