90% of consumers use search engines to find local businesses, making local SEO an essential component of any marketing plan for a business looking to attract new customers.
Would a Local SEO Strategy Benefit Your Business?
To begin with, not every firm needs local SEO. Only companies that cater to a particular region (or several) are required to appear in local search results for the key phrases local consumers use to find products and services.
When deciding how to rank a page in the MapPack, Google takes into account a wide range of local search ranking factors. This is why it's critical to approach local SEO strategically, making sure to protect all your gaps and give your company a competitive edge.
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Business Models Which Need Local SEO
● · Both bars and eateries.
● · Casinos.
● · Universities and colleges.
● · Photographers.
● · Car dealerships
● · Museums.
● · Local advertising firms.
● · Manufacturers.
● · Local advisers.
● · Coffee houses.
● · Non-profit groups in your community.
● · Government institutions.
● · Salons for hair.
● · Shops and stores.
● · Suppliers of medical services.
● · Real estate firms.
● · Plumbers.
● · Local business owners.
● · Law firms.
● · Any more company that wishes to get discovered!
Gains from Local SEO
Having a local SEO plan has several benefits that cannot be disputed. Most people think of increased traffic as the initial benefit, but there are numerous more advantages that might help your business develop.
The following are some advantages of local SEO:
● · Improved user experience on the website.
● · Enhanced social cues.
● · Increased local backlinks
● · Increased trust and brand awareness.
● · More customer testimonials
● · Increased website authority
● · Decreased expenditures for advertising.
● · Higher quality traffic.
● · A rise in organic traffic.
Developing Your Local SEO Plan
It's time to develop a plan for boosting your local rankings as well as website traffic after you've decided that your website requires local SEO.
You may create a successful local SEO strategy by following these 10 steps.
1. Make an assessment of your products and services
Choose the search phrases for which you want your company to appear. This will mostly depend on the goods and/or services you provide.
For instance, the likelihood is that you provide paid advertising, Facebook marketing, social media marketing, and similar services if you own local digital marketing business.
You might also include your "services" as "Mexican food," "Mexican restaurant," "taco shop," etc. if you run a restaurant. There, you want to evaluate the services your company provides and identify some important keywords that buyers may use to discover a company like yours. To build a beginning point for the keyword research, create a list of these phrases. Eventually, you'll utilize tools for local SEO to look up these phrases, find geo-specific keywords, gauge the number of searches, and finally choose which keywords to concentrate on for your website.
2. Examine Your Current Website
Discover what, if anything, is wrong on your site and if it has a solid base before you start improving it.
You may find any technical or on-page SEO issues that might be impeding your website's success by doing an SEO audit. Whenever you bother about developing fresh SEO content, constructing backlinks, etc., you should take care of these difficulties and implement data driven decision making strategy
You may create a report of all the faults with your site using the thorough site audit capabilities offered by SEO tools like Semrush. Alternatively, you may choose to work with an SEO expert who can completely examine your website and provide you with a list of issues that have to be resolved.
The following SEO concerns should be avoided:
● · Inadequate mobile optimization
● · A poor index.
● · No HTTPS encryption.
● · XML sitemap absence.
● · Duplicate information
● · Faulty links
● · Incomplete meta descriptions.
● · Poor website page titles.
● · Poor website speed.
3. Perform keyword research on rivals
To rank higher than your local competitors in local search is one of the objectives of local SEO. You must be aware of the keywords they are ranking for and how to achieve this.
You may perform a competitive study using SEO tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to find out what keywords your rivals are performing for, where their backlinks are originating from, and much more. You may also see the keywords for which your website is already ranked.
You can easily find out the keywords a rival is ranking for organically by performing a search on their domain using your preferred SEO tool.
If these terms are a suitable fit for your own site, you can then examine stats for search traffic and competitiveness.
Always keep in mind that you should only target keywords that are relevant to the services or goods you provide, the overall mission of your company, the queries of your target market, and the region you are targeting. You want to drive targeted, local traffic to your website.
4. Determine Geographical Keywords
Let's imagine you run a Mexican restaurant in Seattle, Washington, to continue the prior case.
Step 1 involved identifying a few phrases that best described what your company has to offer. Step 2 involved investigating your rivals to find out the keywords they were using.
Combining the two lists, you may study these phrases using SEO tools to look at search volume and level of competition. By including your location in the keyword search, you may also hunt for geo-specific terms.
Using "Mexican food Seattle" as an example, Semrush's search engine produced a long list of keyword variants, such as:
· [mexican food capitol hill Seattle wa]
· [cheap Mexican food seattle]
· [mexican food west seattle]
· [best Mexican food seattle]
The next step is to perform a search for "seattle Mexican restaurant" to see what additional keyword variants turn up.
Here is a list of items that include:
· [mexican restaurant capitol hill seattle]
· [mexican restaurants in seattle wa]
· [mexican restaurant west seattle]
· [best Mexican restaurant in seattle]
This method of keyword research should be continued until you have a comprehensive list of all the pertinent, localized keywords you can locate.
Make sure to do a variety of searches for the products or services you provide as well as the various geographies you serve.
5. Adopt On-Page SEO
The main objective of on-page SEO is to optimize your site for the localized keywords you found in stages 2-4. To make sure your website works for local search, you will be adhering to on-page SEO recommended practices in this situation.
The steps in this on-page optimization procedure are:
● · Map your goal keywords to the various website pages using the term "keyword mapping." Each page should ideally have a goal term that is associated with the content of the page.
● · Optimization of page titles and meta descriptions involves using your goal keywords in both places on your website. Ensure that the title and description on each page are distinct.
● · Writing useful, keyword-optimized material that describes your company's mission and the products and services it provides is known as content creation. Be careful to use your target keywords consistently when writing with your intended audience in mind.
● · Include internal links within your website's pages. These will make it easier for people to reach your key pages and get the information they need.
● · Include captivating photos with proper alt text to improve image quality. If at all feasible, try to incorporate your target keywords. To speed up page loading, make your picture files smaller.
● · For each of your sites and articles, make sure the URLs are short and to the point. Each URL should ideally contain the targeted keyword for that page. On your website, fix any broken links.
6. Make regional landing pages
Localized landing pages are websites made especially for organic local search placement. These pages should include helpful material that appeals to your target audience and be optimized for the geo-specific keywords you've discovered.
The best practices for developing landing pages include composing body copy that is keyword-optimized, integrating internal links, adding pictures, and mobile search optimization.
When done properly, you can also run sponsored advertisements to these landing pages to drive both organic and paid traffic. To encourage users you contact you, just make sure to add appealing calls to action.
7. Improve your Google My Business profile.
All local companies may use Google My Business for free to increase traffic, get customer feedback, and more. For your company to have the best chance of ranking in search, your listing must be thoroughly optimized.
Simply register for an account and add a new listing for your company. Then, so that consumers can learn more about you, you may enter your company's address, phone number, website link, photos, hours, and more.
GMB is regarded as the most beneficial local marketing solution for a reason. Use GMB to your benefit by completely improving your listing to gradually raise your local SEO.
8. Send important company information to directory listings
You may upload your company data to other web directories than GMB. There are a ton of internet directories, but the most reliable ones include Yelp, YellowPages, Bing Places, and BBB.
Your objective should be to publish your material to reputable and, ideally, locally focused organizations in order to increase local SEO by generating traffic and links.
Look for industry-specific directories that you may add your company to, if at all possible. Nevertheless, stay away from spamming websites and avoid purchasing directory listings only to obtain a connection; not all directories are made equal.
9. Create a Localized Link Building Plan
Generally, link building is crucial to SEO, although it might differ slightly from link building for other sites when done locally. The geographical location of the websites referring to your website is also significant in this case.
Try to get connections from nearby companies to your website. In order to achieve the greatest results, produce localized content to encourage local links and ask for customized anchor text.
A few ways to earn backlinks include:
● · Creating content assets.
● · Guest posting.
● · Outreach.
● · Directory submissions.
10. Create favorable customer reviews
For local SEO, the amount of critical acclaim your website has on GMB plays a crucial ranking role. So one of your main objectives as a local company owner should be to gather as many favorable evaluations as you can, ideally across all of your directory sites.
Asking clients for reviews following your involvement is a terrific approach to gathering feedback. Additionally, you may send consumers follow-up emails requesting reviews on GMB, Yelp, Facebook, etc.
It's crucial to reply to evaluations that are unfavorable. A polite, professional reaction may make a big difference. Although receiving a bad review is never pleasant, how you handle it can reveal a lot about y
A comprehensive manual on local SEO for businesses was just published by Search Engine Journal. This manual covers a wide range of topics, including local SEO definition, link-building strategies, and social media optimization.
Begin with these resources if you're ready to develop your own local SEO plan. To boost your ranks, increase traffic, and take control of local search, you may evaluate your website and create a data-driven SEO strategy.
Author Bio: Aabhas is the founder of littlelittlesteps
of Avija Digital a complete digital PR agency for online Strategy and Marketing, Expert in providing consultation as a content strategist for SaaS and tech brands. He begun his career in digital marketing in 2016, which continues to this day. He spends his free time in the gym, playing board games, and learning new technologies in IT sector.