Google searches for local information comprise around 46% of all searches online. Local SEO services can help your business gain more local customers by increasing your organic visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) for the keywords and keyword phrases that matter most to your business.
In short, a local SEO strategy is critical to the success of your business, at least in the online world. This guide will help you optimize your website’s pages and blogs so that you can reach local prospects nearby using local intent search queries to decide which products or services to purchase. We will also be sharing tips, tools, and techniques with you that you can use to help optimize your site for local SEO both on-site and off-site.
Ready to Start Getting More Local Leads? One of our local SEO experts would love to speak with you about your project!
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO, short for local search engine optimization, is the process of improving the visibility of local businesses in search engines. Organic traffic from local searches can be improved by following a set of local SEO best practices.
To provide the most relevant local results to users, search engines gather information from signals such as local content, citations, links, and social profile pages.
This allows business owners to position their products and services to be found by local prospects and customers by optimizing for local SEO.
Local SEO Tips
Your local SEO company will handle all the work for you once you hire them, but in the case that you want to start optimizing your site for local SEO on your own, the following 12 local SEO tips will help you do that:
- Conduct a Local SEO Audit
- Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
- Use Social Media and Google My Business to Promote Your Business
- Maintain Consistency with Online NAP Listings (Name, Address, and Phone Number Listings)
- List Your Business in Online Business Directories and Citations
- Build a Strong Internal Linking Structure
- Optimize Content, Links, Anchors, Title Tags, Headers, Meta Descriptions, and Alt Tags
- Publish Location-Based Service Pages on Your Website
- Publish Localized Content
- Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-friendly
- Link to Relevant, Authority-based Websites
- Get Involved in Your Local Community
How to Conduct a Local SEO Audit
SEO is a long-term and intuitive process. It’s not something you want to have to catch up on later on down the road. The first thing you should do if you want to start optimizing your pages for local searches is to perform an SEO audit.
A local SEO audit should consist of:
- Google My Business Audit – Make sure you have a Google My Business account set up, and check out how it looks in the SERPs. Make sure that your information is accurate.
- Google Search Console Audit – Is your site easy for search engines to crawl? Are there any errors that would hinder the indexing and ranking of your pages?
- On-Page SEO Audit – Does your content accommodate all the on-page SEO factors that affect ranking?
- Citation Audit – Is your local business listed in top business directories with correct information?
- Competitor Analysis – Have you checked your competition’s websites? How does your site match up in content, design, inbound links, and rankings?
Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
The Google My Business platform has become a pillar of local search. Google My Business makes an ideal tool to assist your business in meeting Google’s needs since Google My Business supports, verifies, and shares its content freely.
Here are some ways to optimize your Google My Business listing:
- Establish a Google My Business profile and verify it.
- Make use of Google Posts in your account.
- Encourage your customers to leave online reviews.
- Responses should be authentic, indicating the location of the review. Example: “We appreciate your feedback on [the product/service] in [the city, state]. Hopefully, we will be able to work together again in the future. We sincerely thank you on behalf of [full company name]
One of the benefits of optimizing your Google My Business (GMB) profile is that Google may give your business a sidebar space in the local search results if it can verify your business as authentic.
But search engine optimization isn’t the only reason you want to optimize your reviews; your contact information and operating hours are more likely to be found by potential customers if you have them in your reviews. Consumers are more dependent now than ever on current data.
Use Social Media and Google My Business to Promote Your Business
Google LOVES content! To further align social and search, share your Google My Business page on social media from time to time. When you create a new post on your GMB is a great time to do that!
Monitor Your Online Reputation with Google Alerts and Google Sheets
Monitoring your online reputation is extremely important so that you can see what Google Search is finding based on your name, your company’s name, or even your competitors and industry. Google Alerts does that so effectively, especially if there’s a way to amalgamate each Google Alert into a Google Sheet report in an on-going, automated way. Luckily, you can simply read this step-by-step guide to set up your free, automated reputation monitoring report.
Maintain Consistency with Online NAP Listings
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. Set up your NAP listings and make sure that no errors are in them so that people and search engines can find you easily. To display your NAP better on Google’s location-based search results, your NAP should be a crawlable HTML text on your website.
NAP Listings Tips:
- Keep NAP Listings Consistent
- Don’t include only the NAP in an image – search engines like HTML text won’t crawl images.
- NAPs are usually found in the footer or header of a website. A “Contact Us” page should also include your NAP.
List Your Business in Online Business Directories and Citations
The following four map data aggregators provide map data for Apple, Yelp, Bing, Google, Trip Advisor, and many other United States companies:
- Express Update
- Neustar Localeze
Maintain consistency in your citations across these four data aggregators. The wrong phone number or missing suite number can be problematic when there are discrepancies, such as misspellings, abbreviations, or omitted suite numbers, causing your business not to appear in search results.
Build a Strong Internal Linking Structure
What are the benefits of internal linking? Your SEO rankings will also be boosted if you optimize your internal linking structure.
In general, it accomplishes the following:
- Provides Navigation Support for Visitors and Search Engine Crawlers
- Provides Assistance with Website Hierarchy (information architecture)
- Establishes a Ranking Power Distribution System for Pages and Blogs
Optimize Your Content: Links, Anchors, Title Tags, Headers, Meta Descriptions, and Alt Tags
Every new blog post provides a new opportunity to be found in the SERPs. The URL, title, header, meta description, image alt tags, and body of every piece of content should be optimized for search engines. Case studies and customer success stories are great examples of geo-targeted content.
Your best bet for optimizing “near me” local searches is to add more specifications to these assets, especially for each location.
Publish Location-Based Service Pages on Your Website
Create location pages for each of your business locations if you have more than one. You want to add your name, address, phone number, store hours, unique store descriptions, parking/transit information, promotions, and customer testimonials, on each location page.
In addition, make sure you don’t duplicate the same content on your pages. Adding a Google Map will earn you bonus points.
Publish Localized Content
Google’s algorithms are becoming ever more intelligent. Although writing about general topics will attract a large audience, you may have better success attracting a local audience by writing about local or industry news.
Local conferences, company news, employees, and other educational content help attract a local crowd and could make you the local authority for your industry. Make content beyond what you sell at the top of the funnel.
Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile-friendly
61% of local searches are made from mobile devices. 78% of those searches end up purchasing something. People use their phones daily to search for reviews, get directions, and find contact information for local businesses.
Link to Relevant, Authority-based Websites
Local SEO can be boosted with inbound links – each inbound link lets Google know that your company is legitimate and increases your domain authority.
Inbound links can be obtained in several ways:
- Partnerships and Sponsorships
- Contributing to Guest Blogs
- Link Acquisitions
And that’s just a few of them.
Get in touch with your local networks such as the Chamber of Commerce, the trade association, retailers, vendors, manufacturers, and other local organizations. Develop relationships with influential people, host a community event, sponsor a webinar, and arrange a meet-up. In addition, explore the possibility of being featured on partner directories by reaching out to local partners.
Another way to attract backlinks is by being a guest blogger on other sites in your industry.
Get Involved in Your Local Community
Getting more digital PR depends on how much you participate in your local community. It is possible to earn press, brand awareness, and inbound links by teaming up with a nonprofit on a campaign, holding a volunteer day, sponsoring an event (even an online event! ), and appearing in the local media.
Local SEO Tools
Just like architects and inventors can’t build what they can’t see, you will be unable to start on your SEO without some idea of the current state of your website and content’s performance. Luckily, there are tools online that can run tests on your site and your content and help you identify issues to improve and opportunities to grow.
With the following local SEO tools, you will be able to improve your local SEO rankings:
The Moz Local listing verification service ensures that your business listing is verified on Google, Facebook, and throughout the search ecosystem.
- Lite Plan: $14/mo
- Preferred Plan: $20/mo
- Elite Plan: $33/mo
The Ahrefs tool helps you check your backlinks, which are crucial since they are an indicator of your website’s authority. Ahrefs also allows you to analyze your competitors, research keywords, and learn how other websites are structuring their anchor text when linking to yours.
- Lite Plan: $99/mo
- Standard Plan: $199/mo
- Advanced Plan: $399/mo
- Enterprise Plan: $999/mo
Serpstat offers a variety of tools for search analytics, competitor analysis, and rank tracking. Serpstat allows you to try out their software for free without artificial time limits. The number of queries that you can make is limited though unless you go with a paid plan.
- Lite: $48/mo
- Standard: $104/mo
- Advanced: $209/mo
- Enterprise: $349/mo
You can use SiteChecker.pro to monitor and improve a website’s SEO performance easily and effectively through its comprehensive website SEO audit tool.
A site SEO audit tool like SiteChecker.pro, which is all-encompassing and includes substantial amounts of data, provides limited data or overlooks important SEO factors.
Besides site owners, marketers and agencies who need to improve clients’ sites’ SEO can also benefit from its quality performance.
- Basic: $41 /mo
- Startup: $83 /mo
- Growing: $166 /mo
- Enterprise: $499 /mo +
If you want to get more local leads for your business, local SEO services should be part of your strategy. When your prospects are near your service area looking for the products or services that you sell, local SEO is how they find you. In short, local SEO services now— means who’s getting all the attention in your town in 2023 and beyond.
This article should help you on your journey to gaining brand recognition and authority on the internet.