Local SEO service is About Bringing Customers Through Your Doors. Local SEO refers to the process of ‘optimizing’ your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. These searches take place on Google and other search engines like Bing, Yelp, Apple Maps, etc.
- Local SEO activity, such as citation building, helps build online visibility
- Greater local visibility means more foot traffic, more service customers, and more sales
- Optimizing your site for local search delivers more targeted traffic and more traffic for relevant search terms
- Google My Business optimization can lead to enhanced Google Maps visibility
- Content marketing and link building will improve the relevance
- Reputation management builds trust in your business (prominence) which can drive increased traffic and generate more sales
An online business citation is simply an online mention of your company’s name, its physical address (ideally including zip code), and phone number. This set of data is known as your NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number).
Directory listings are a very common source of online citations but they can also be built elsewhere. When you fill in your Facebook Page profile information and add your address, for example, you’ve built a local citation.
Building citations on sites like Google, Facebook, and within relevant online directories such as Yelp or TripAdvisor gives your business more online visibility. It also helps your business to be found by the right people (those interested in your specific product or service in their local area) at the right time (when they’re actively searching for a business like yours
Citations are an important part of any local SEO campaign. In fact, the Moz Local Ranking Factors study shows they’re the fourth most important factor for local ranking success and the fifth most important to localized organic rankings.
In the process of optimizing your site for local SEO Service positions, you’ll need to consider a range of on-page and off-page factors. Much like traditional SEO, there’s a long list of on-page requirements but some are given more weight than others.
One of our most fundamental local SEO Service tips is not to assume that the changes you make now are the be-all and end-all of your local SEO work. To continue to reap the benefits of local SEO Service, you’ll need to continually revisit your on-site optimization and adjust as needed.
The rollout of the Google mobile-first index had serious implications for local SEO Service and dramatically shifted the optimization landscape. The core takeaway from the change was that mobile and desktop versions of the site needed to serve the same content to visitors. This in turn has meant that the requirements for on-page and local optimization have changed recently but currently, you’ll need to:
- Ensure your site has a mobile-responsive design
- Continually work to improve page load speed as pages that are slow to load on mobile (which is the key driver of local search traffic) will be penalized with lower rankings and lead to higher bounce rates
- Provide full SEO metadata for each page
- Conduct thorough keyword research at regular intervals to ensure your content reflects consumer search habits and is targeting relevant search terms
- Use keywords naturally throughout your on-site content (including landing pages, product pages, and blog posts)
- Set up rank tracking so you can accurately monitor keyword rankings and make adjustments as needed
Of course, being vigilant about your on-page content, structure, and page loading times also benefits your business over and above improved search rankings. While all of these actions will help to improve your local search position and therefore grow your online visibility, they will also ensure you serve up accurate, relevant content to your site traffic.
Monitoring and working to improve page load speed also helps to ensure a positive user experience, which in turn helps to build trust and brand loyalty and can directly lead to sales, reservations, and bookings.
Google My Business Signals make up the most important ranking factor for the local pack
The proximity of your address to the search user plays a big role in local pack rankings—this is also one of the factors outside of your control. You can’t change your physical location relevant to the searcher but there are other factors that you can positively influence. One such example is your Google My Business profile.
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool for businesses and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including Search and Maps. By verifying and editing your business information, you can both help customers to find you and tell them the story of your business. – Google
According to Google, businesses that verify their Google My Business information are twice as likely to be considered reputable by consumers. Google My Business is a directory of sorts; when you claim your listing you’ll able to provide a host of useful information such as business category, opening hours, web address, and phone number.
This information is used by Google across several properties, including Search and Maps. While most ranking factors are kept behind closed doors, Google states that using Google My Business will improve your local search ranking. And, if your ranking or visibility is poor, you can maximize your local search presence by improving your Google My Business information.
Choosing the right service and business category for your Google My Business profile is a good first step. This ticks off the relevance requirement for a local search position—meaning you’re more likely to see local SEO ROI.
Other tasks, such as building and responding to reviews, adding images, providing accurate contact information and opening hours, using Google My Business posts to share news and offers, and using the Q&A function are also important. This information not only helps to create a rich GMB profile and position your business in the best possible light to search users, but it also helps to build visibility and conversions through Google Maps and the local pack.
Content marketing and Link building improve prominence and relevance.
How well-known your business is (its prominence) and how well your listing matches a search user’s requirements (its relevance) will determine how good a local ranking your business has. You can positively influence these two factors, and unlock further local SEO Service benefits by performing content marketing and link building.
Local content marketing should naturally see you talking about your local area or hometown and involving your local community. Not only does this help with prominence, but it can also bring your customers closer to your business, building stronger links, brand loyalty, and increasing engagement.
When you take the time to create locally-focused evergreen resources you’re also more likely to receive links back to your site from other local businesses. These links, whether they are from a local source such as your town newspaper or an industry-specific site (such as your local chamber of commerce) will boost your relevance and prominence signals, while also adding to your authority and credibility as a local business.
Links are the second most important ranking factor for local businesses seeking local pack rankings according to the Moz Ranking Factors study (just behind Google My Business). They’re also a sustainable way to drive relevant traffic to your site—which directly translates to more leads and more sales.
Reputation Management builds trust in your business ad drives traffic and sales.
It’s no secret that reviews are vitally important for local businesses. Online reputation is increasingly referenced by consumers and is fast becoming a make or break metric for those looking for a local business online.
The annual Local Consumer Review Survey is our yearly yardstick. It tells us that the number of positive reviews required by a consumer before they’ll do business with a local firm is increasing year on year. Furthermore, around half of local shoppers say they expect to see four-star reviews as a minimum before they’ll spend their cash with you and 85% now trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Review quantity, velocity, and diversity are all important factors here, with Local SEO Service Guide’s research telling us that you’ll need to regularly accrue new reviews, respond quickly, generate reviews that include a keyword and location and move fast to respond to negative reviews.
It’s not just that getting more good reviews can generate more business either—the more reviews you get as part of your reputation management strategy, the more visibility you’ll earn in local search. Greater visibility, plus top-rated, fresh reviews are a magic formula both for local pack prominence and consumer trust.