Local SEO E-book

Increasing search visibility gives local businesses a competitive edge in acquiring new customers. There are two main types of local businesses; brick-and-mortar businesses with physical locations, like a grocery store or dentist’s office, and service-area businesses that operate throughout a certain geographic area, like an electrician or house cleaning company.

Here’s how small businesses and local franchises can improve their organic search presence.

Optimize for Local Search

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing the content on web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. Here are some ways to do that from a local search standpoint:

Keyword Research

On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing the content on web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. Here are some ways to do that from a local search standpoint:

Localize Your Content

Make your page Content hyper-local. For franchise business locations, the best way to speak to potential customers is to make your landing page hyper-local through text and images. Here are some ideas…

  1. Add a hero image of a local landmark, skyline or other significant local place
  2. Add a list of cities, towns, neighborhoods or even streets that your business targets.
  3. Add the name and picture of the manager on your site. Local users can put a name to the face!
  4. List all of your services in a clear, succinct manner. Some franchise locations may have other services or sub-services that others don’t offer. If customers don’t know that by reading the content on your page, you could lose a potential customer.
  5. Include testimonials from local clients

Add "NAP"

Add the business name, address and phone number (NAP) to your local landing page. Although it sounds simple, this will be critical to your local search success moving forward.

Hero Image

A localized image of landmark, skyline, etc.

NAP

Business name, address (full address) and phone number is included. Make sure your phone number can be clicked on mobile for an easy call to the store.

Localized Content

Content in the first paragraph, our services, and throughout the page speaks to the local audience and includes keywords

Images and Description of Staff

Images of the manager and staff are included

Testimonials

Feature testimonials from local clients and customers

Contact Form

Provides another way for potential customers to contact you

Google Maps

Helps users understand where you are in relation to them. It also provides a way to give users directions to your store. This can be particularly helpful for mobile.

Appear On Google Maps

Getting listed on Google Maps can yield a big opportunity. It’s essentially another way to get listed on the first page of a search engine results page. There are certain tactics to take in order to improve your chances of getting ranked in Google’s “Local Pack”:

Optimize Your Google My Business profile

Optimize Your Google My Business Listing: As a local business, if you’re not on GMB, add a listing by going to Google.com/my-business. If there is a listing, make you claim it. By claiming your listing, nobody can change the business information but you. You can claim an existing unclaimed business listing by going to Google My Business by logging to a Gmail account. Here a few things to consider when filling out information on your Google My Business Listing:

Add Address & Phone Number

Match your business name, address and phone number (NAP) exactly how it appears on your site.

Assign Primary & Secondary Categories

Choose your business category wisely. It should be most relevant to the type of business you are. Here’s a list of GMB categories.

List Towns & Cities in Service Area

For service area businesses, manage your targeting. Choose from either a mile radius or specific towns and cities.

Add Business Videos & Images

Add photos! Google my business gives the ability to add photos of the inside, and outside of the building. Add as many high-quality images as you can.

Create a Business Description

Write a description of your businesse and the services offered. Include your unique selling proposition in thje description, and use keywords.

Post Events, Offers, Content & More

Update your Google My Business profile with new happenings for your business – events, offers, products, new content published and more.

Get Highly-Reviewed Ratings

Get High volume of High Ratings on Google My Business: Getting your customers to rate you five stars and truthful comments that speak highly about the services you offer bodes well with Google.

Name Address & Phone

Name Address Phone (NAP) Consistency: Take advantage of listing your business on other directories like Yelp, Bing Places, TripAdvisor – even niche local or industry-related directories. When you do, be sure to accurately list your NAP exactly the same across all directories. You should also add the webpage of the location (if it’s a franchise). This confirms with Google your exact address.

Build Relationships

In addition to on-page SEO and Google maps optimization, off-page SEO is equally as important. Building relationships with other local businesses and organizations will help you have more opportunities to of getting backlinks (links from external websites that point to your website).

By getting backlinks to your local landing page, you can help you further succeed in getting SEO traffic to your website. External links are a sign of trust in Google’s view – so the more links from quality website the better. Through leveraging business and social relations to participating in local events, here are a few ideas on how local businesses can get backlinks to improve a sites organic search:

Obtaining Backlinks Through Relationship-Building

 

  1. Guest blogging and social sharing: By building relationships with local influencers, come guest posting opportunities, which to get a backlink and also exposure. Write an article that you are considered an expert in that another website could get traffic from publishing. 
  2. Participate in a speaking event: Participate at a local conference, a high school or college, 
  3. Build relationships with local influencers 
  4. Events Take advantage of the annual conference or event that you can attend. Sponsor an event. Sponsors can sometimes get links. Host your own event! And get local press to pick up the news.

 

Just remember that if you pay someone or give away services or products in exchange for a link, you’ll have to ask for a “no follow” link, which doesn’t have any direct SEO benefit to your site, whereas “followed” backlinks pass authority to your webpage.

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