Is your brand discoverable to your potential customers? If you have set up your online business but are not nailing in local seo, you might be losing customers who are willing to flatten their wallets for you.
Like traditional SEO, local seo helps you pop up high in the search results. In fact, even above the organic results.
However, it’s not quite the same as SEO. While you get to target a global audience with SEO, local SEO lets you capture the local market, and outrun the local competitors.
In simpler words, local seo is nothing but showing-up when someone is looking for specific services that you co-incidentally happen to offer.
Moreover, there’s no point in getting traffic when you can’t show up exactly when your customers want you.
Since most of the local searches mean that customers want immediate services, brands are using local SEO solutions as potent tools to enhance their demographic targeting, overall sales, and add a new dimension to their organic SEO services.
If you are looking to establish a focused market in specific locations, this local SEO guide will help you in it. The process might take time, but every second will be worth a wait.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s earn some local customers. Here’s the local SEO checklist.
Local SEO guide— en route to a great local brand
#Step 1 Local SEO: Optimize your website
Although having a website for local businesses is not necessary— an online web portfolio is always a plus. If you don’t have a website, get an optimized online landscape, and if you already have— optimize it for easy searches.
- Define your local SEO strategy. Different niches require different approaches. Your restaurant business will have a varying plan than your medical clinic.
- Add valuable pages such as home page, about us, & contact us on your website.
- Try to be as specific and concise about your services on the page. We don’t want to sound puzzled. Thought-clarity drives conversion.
- Add business details like name, address, & phone number (NAP) on the contact page.
- Add multiple branches at multiple locations in the footer section.
- If you’re skeptical of adding your business address, you can simply create contact us form page and address all the queries on mail or phone. The same goes for the phone number. However, mentioning addresses and phone numbers get you more leads than tedious form filling.
- Make contact numbers and emails clickable on the mobile version.
- NAP entries should be consistent across all the info web pages.
- For more dynamicity, attach Google map for your location. It helps users to drive-way to your company.
- Add local business schema structures to allow Google search engines to identify the niche of your brand.
#Step 2 Local SEO: Set-up your Google My Business account
You need a Google My Business account to promote your brand through local SEO. Creating a similar Bing account will help you get a diversified search engine audience. Here’s how you set-up a listing account.
- Sign in to Google My Business and create your business account.
- Enter your business address, and position a marker on the location of your brand branch on a map.
- Search and select for the category your business falls in.
- Enter your contact info and URL of the website and tap the finish button.
- Verify your account. And your Google, my business account is all-set.
#Step 3 Local SEO: Identify local keywords and phrases; don’t overstuff them.
Keywords are probably named so because they are one of the ‘key’ techniques to rank high on search engines. But what’s the link between keywords and key topical phrases with local SEO when we use them for SEO?
Well, local seo studies show that websites with good organic reach do well on Google My Business. So, you need relevant short & long-tail keywords to make your site excel on the organic part. Here’s what you can do:
- Search for localized keywords using free tools such as Google Keyword planner. You can also use paid tools like KWFinder for more in-depth insight and understanding of local keywords.
- Prefer localized keywords like “luxurious restaurant in Alabama” over “restaurant in Alabama.”
- Use limited keywords. Don’t overuse them. Check their performances and improvise your keyword strategy.
#Step 4 Local SEO: Make relevant local content
Content is king? Hell no! Relevant content is. If your content isn’t adding value when readers are going through them— time to change your content strategist. Here’s what you need:
- Create local content that gets you backlink, recognition, and authority.
- Use keywords in title tags, alt text for images, and meta tags.
- Optimize blog posts, graphics, and videos. If you offer a restaurant service in a specific location, being outspoken about what you do will increase engagement and attract nearby customers. Adding local community services through blog posts also does great justice to your image.
- Snap local photos and videos (with keywords) to generate emotions.
- Update old blogs, check for the broken links, & refurnish your content from time to time.
- Publish original content. Plagiarized content will hurt your rank and credibility.
#Step 5 Local SEO: Attract local citations
Do you remember how your businesses were cited in telephone directories and magazines? Local citation services work on the same principle. It’s mentioning any combining detail of your brand on the web. It can be NAP, or NAP + web URL, or NAP + zip + website. It’s one of the key factors which decide your local search results. Here’s what you can do to earn citation:
- Use local or automatic citation. You can either use one of the two or have the right balance between the two.
- The local citation gives you massive control over the process; however, it can get very strenuous if you try to move to another citation method.
- On the other hand, the automatic citation is super-quick and scalable, but expensive and hands less control over the process.
- Third-party citations are even better options to enhance your local searchability. Providers like MozLocal, BirdEye, SEMrush, BrightLocal, etc. have lifted many local businesses.
#Step 6 Local SEO: Focus on social media and customer feedback
User-generated content on social media and customer feedback paves the way for improvement. But you can use these reviews and content to build credibility among customers. Here’s how customer review and social media will make your case stronger:
- Use customer testimonials to your power. Post them on your website. It’s an on-page-SEO tactic.
- Set up your accounts on crowd-sourced local business reviews and social networking sites like Yelp, Glassdoor, and Bing places for building a robust local reach.
- You need to collaborate your business with Google reviews if you want to attract local customers. The customer’s review gives recognition to your services. Google lets you create review forms super-easy and post them.
- Integrate review management systems like Yext, Reputation, etc. to get customer review notifications and act accordingly.
- Get yourself up on social media platforms like Linkedin, Pinterest, Facebook, etc. and link your website to all the accounts.
- Follow the NAP+W rule across social media channels.
- Attend all the queries of the users on social media. If you are too caught to do it, hire a social media manager to respond on your brand’s behalf.
- Never go for fake reviews. Display all the reviews—negative or positive.
- Get your social media and Google My Business account verified. Verified accounts often show up on local searches more than the non-verified ones. You will need a unique and robust content strategy to achieve it.
The final words
I wouldn’t separate local SEO with SEO because a lot of on-page and off-page SEO efforts affect your local reach. And with a blend of local SEO checklists at your disposal, you can easily target customers in your local vicinity and bring yourself more revenue. Learn about local SEO packages checklist to build local brand veracity.