Being prominently visible on the search engine results is not an easy activity. In order to be distinctly noticeable on the search engines and win over a maximum number of customers, you need to focus on improving your local SEO as that help you to make sense of the local online demand of your products and services. You need to have a precise understanding of the concept so that you can carry out a Local SEO campaign efficiently which can help your business gain more traffic and customers leading to its growth.
Local SEO is that department which is based on the search engine optimization for local businesses. Once you conduct a Local SEO campaign effectively your business can easily make a significant place on the first page of the Google search engine results including both the "Organic Listings" and "Map Results".
Gone are the days when both SEO and Local SEO were almost considered the same thing.but there are several factors solely affect the latter. As Local SEO is meant for optimizing your business for the searchers based on within reach areas so you should pay more importance to it to let your local business listing on Google. For example, if anyone searches for “best restaurant in Bukit Batok”, Google will show them the following results.
The important question is – if you have a restaurant in Bukit Batok, does the search engine display your business in its results?
If the answer is no, then you are missing a huge number of potential customer as your business is not listed in the local maps or not optimize for the local searches.
This is the main reason why Local SEO is so important for your business.
It can be predicted the worth of Local SEO is to increase more and more in the coming years due to the expected growth in the number of mobile device users.
It is a fact that mobile users usually search for business based on their localities as they prefer to look for immediate and easily accessible solutions to meet their buying requirements. As per research almost 56% mobile searches have local intent. When your website and business information are displayed by popular search engines in the results it will be beneficial for the growth of your business. You can get more click-through-rate and also many customers resulting in the development of your local business.
Local SEO vs. Traditional Marketing
Following are the main differences between Local SEO and Traditional Marketing:
Google My Business, also known as Google Places is of high importance in Local SEO. If you want to get displayed on the local map listings on the search engine results then you need to start out by creating Google My Business page.
Follow these steps to create your Google My Business page successfully:
Google My Business Optimisation
Following are the tips to optimize your Google My Business listing :
We all know that Google is certainly the biggest and the most popular search engine but Bing is also not much behind. It has got a share of 20% of the world’s online searches and is the second biggest search engine. If you dream to maximise your online traffic sources it is equally important for you to be prominently visible on Bing like Google.
Following are the steps that will help you to optimize your search engine listing for Bing Places for Business:
Keyword Research is an inevitable part to make a fast buck in Local SEO. People always search on the internet by typing the relevant keywords. So if you want to stand out in Local SEO then you should conduct a proper keyword research to rank high on the search engine results. There are certain tools and techniques that you can put to use to carry out the research process effectively. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is one of the most popular tools for an active keyword research. It is available for free of cost and can let you know the exact number of people searching for the ‘keywords’ which can relate to your business. It can provide you with some quality keyword ideas that can be beneficial for your local business. Open the Google Keyword Planner Tool by logging into your Google Adwords account and then choose ‘Search for new keyword and ad group ideas’. Get some relevant keywords, include them in the Google Keyword Planner, fill in the required information and click on ‘Get Ideas’. Then click on ‘Keyword Ideas’ to get a display of relevant keywords which you can use appropriately for better search engine results.
Visit the competitors’ website and get a clear idea of the keywords that can work for your business. A thorough competitor analysis will always help when you fall short of ideas.The analysis will let you take advantage of your rivals’ research and make the most of Local SEO. Visit the Google Keyword Planner Tool and then paste your competitor’s landing page URL over there. Then it will show you up the keywords which it will find the most relevant which you can use. If you don't feel satisfied with the displayed keywords then you should execute the same whole process with your other competitors. If you are willing to spend for your business then you can try out premium tools like SEMRush, Moz, etc. which will help you to attain a clear understanding of what your competitor's present performance.
Do add the number of keywords when you target with ‘local keywords’. By adding the name of your locality to the most relevant keywords you can precisely describe your business.The relevant local keywords will have decreased search volume as only the customers based on your location will usually search for that.
‘Long-tail keywords’ can always be more favorable than ‘head keywords’ when you focus on Local SEO. Long tail keywords will not only help you to win over traffic but also reward the customers. By using the ‘keyword modifier’ you can get hands-on extra long-tail keywords that will help you to catch hold of more traffic.
Keyword Modifiers can always help you to search for more keyword ideas and long-tail keywords.You need to know that there are two types of keyword modifiers that you need to put into consideration. They are :
Do make use of Google Trends prior settling on the list of keywords as it will help you to check the fluctuations of interest of the customers on those keywords. It will always help you to pick out the most relevant keywords that will prove to be beneficial for your business.The best part is that you can gauge the regional interest for those target keywords. Thus Google Trends help you to understand whether a keyword will work for a specific region or not.
If you want to rank high on the local search engine results then you should implement the best local on-page SEO practices. Let us discuss explain them individually.
Keyword research is a requisite to execute on-page SEO practices as it will help you to gauge what are your target customers are searching for in your locality so that you can include those keywords in your website.It will always help you to climb up the ladder of search engine ranks and pull in the maximum number of targeted customers. An extensive keyword research will also help you to optimise the metadata of your website.
The title tag is the text which gets displayed in the search engine results as the title of your listing. Search engines pay a lot of importance to it as the keywords it consists of giving the understanding of what the website, webpage or business is for real. Follow the tips to create an appropriate title tag:
Like a Title Tag, Meta Description is also given quite an importance by the search engines. It is a text which consists of the most relevant keywords that intrigue the users to click on it on the search engine results. Follow the tips to create a catchy meta description :
Never forget that the downloading speed of your website is one of the most vital Google ranking factors. As images consume time to load they can slow down the speed of downloading your website. Thus optimizing your images can really for long-term quality performance on SEO. Decrease their sizes without affecting their quality as that will save the time to download. As search engines do not understand the images and only text you should add ‘Alt Text’ while uploading the images which can help you to outshine on the results.Do use the most relevant keywords while uploading an image as that can always help you to rank high in search engine results.
Anchor Text Optimisation
Anchor Text is the text which is put into use when a website builds a link to other websites. Search engines pay quite an importance to anchor texts which link to your web pages. Do modify the anchor text on your website by precisely choosing the words in order to interlink between your web pages. By optimising your anchor text you can certainly fetch a higher search engine rank. Guest blogging and other content marketing strategies can help you to manage certain anchor text links.
To catch hold over the attention of maximum local customers your website needs to be mobile friendly in order to rank high in search engine results. We all are aware of the growing usage and popularity of mobile phones across the world. When your website is not totally mobile responsive you will get penalized by Google and lower your search engine ranking. Thus your website has to be accessible through the smartphones or mobile devices if you want to outdo on local search engine results.
Heading Tag is also an important factor which Google considers for higher search engine ranking. Every page on your website must have H1 tag consisting of the relevant keywords which will give an idea of the context as well as boost the rankings. Do add H2 and H3 tags if you require subheadings as that can also work for improvising your local SEO.
The URL of a web page not only helps the users to find out about its content but better your search engine ranking. Do use the most relevant keywords, location, names of products and services in URL so that you can succeed in local SEO.
Schema.org has got an impact on how websites get displayed on the search engine results pages. So you must put it into consideration if you want to be utterly successful in local SEO. Schema markup is the technology that will let the popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc to show up the site links, testimonials, reviews, etc of a website which will boost the click-through rates(CTR). Articles and blogs are the most used forms of online content posting which local businesses can improvise search engine results.
Here are the tips that you should consider to frame a quality content or online data:
Following are the schema markups that you can use as a local business:
You need to know that there are various local SEO ranking factors that can optimize your local business and help to win over a top-notch search engine rank.
Here are they:
Always choose the right categories for your local business so that you can rank high in the proper category of business. So making it on Google My Business under relevant category is one of the most important factors for better local SEO ranking.
The performance in local SEO depends on a lot of citations. Always keep every important information related to your business like its name, phone number, address, etc consistent. Even if you require to change any of your information then you should also modify citations which were set up earlier.
Make sure you get citations from only the authoritative websites as that can help you to grasp higher search engine rankings rather than getting listed on untrustworthy websites. So aim for targeting as many trustworthy websites as you can and get a citation as that will invariably help in fetching ace search engine rank.
Domain Authority reflects how your business website should function to beat your competitors in local SEO which obviously makes it a vital SEO ranking factor. If you feel like check your website’s domain authority, then make use of MozBar.
The central area of the city is also known as ‘centroid'. Your local SEO ranking position depends significantly on the proximity of your local business to the centroid. It may not be possible for you to shift your office to the ‘centroid’ but you can invest on ‘virtual office’ in the central of the city to pull in more and more target customers.
Search engines always exhibit those local businesses on the results that suit with the keywords and the location typed by the searchers. It is the thing that you cannot take charge of yet it is quite an important factor to upgrade your search engine ranking.
You may know that backlink is the connection between the websites...But...do you know how it can affect your local search engine ranking? A high number of backlinks from trustworthy websites will help you to rank high in the search results. So try to garner many backlinks to be visible on the topmost portion of the SERPs.
Do include the name of your town in Title Tags, URLs, Meta Descriptions and other SEO affecting elements if you dream to steal the topmost rank on the local search engine results.
Citation means the mention of your local business on different websites and web pages whereas the local citation is the one where the business name, address and phone number (NAP) are listed as a whole. Thus the listing or mention of your local business website is called citation.
Why Are Citations Important?
A citation is one of the most important local search engine ranking factors. The increasing number of citations will always help you to earn higher search engine rank. Citations also help the search engines to garner more vital information relevant to business. So if your local business website has few citations then beware as you are ought to lag behind your competitors in the local SEO sphere.
Sources to Getting Citations
Following are the major sources from where you can get citations:
Google, Yahoo, and other popular search engines look for the third party websites namely FourSquare, Yelp, etc frequently. So getting citations on such third party websites as when the search engines will crawl over there they will get to know about your local business and other related information.
Local Blogs can also help you gain more citation. Search engines always display those results on the topmost portion of results pages which they consider worthy and help you perform better in local SEO. So if want to convince the website owners for getting more citation then you can post a local blog over there and also build a backlink to your business website.
Search engines always give high importance to spam free local business directories. So if you want your business to get cited then the local business directories have to be within your tracking system.
Like the local business directories, industry-focused directories will also help your local business to get more citations.
Like the local blogs, you should also consider industry-focused blogs as it will broaden your searches helping you to get more citations. So choose the website of relevant industries wisely and thereby post industry-focused blogs.
You can find out about the citations your competitors have by making proper use of tools like Rocket Ranking or WhiteSpark and imitate them as it can help you to get more citations.
Tools To Help You Get Citations
Following are the most well-known tools that can always help you to earn more citation:
There has been a considerable development in the year 2015 for local businesses get displayed in the ‘’Local Map Pack'. Here are the transformations which have a big influence on the local businesses:
Though the reasons for such modifications taking place are not known to anyone exactly. You only need to know that in order to let your business to exhibit in the Local Map Pack you will have to optimize it highly. It will always help you to make a place among topmost 3 rank holders in local map pack results.
Below are the things you should consider to optimize your business in local map results:
By now you must be knowing that NAP means Name, Address and Phone number of your business which you need to keep consistent throughout to rank high in the search engine results. Never change the NAP information unless it’s urgent as it will leave an adverse impact on search engine results. Besides that, it will also have a negative influence on the local citation.
Google My Business Account can always help you to remain as one of the top 3 rankers on local pack map results. By setting up an account you can easily link your local business to Google Maps which increases your chance to come forth in the local map pack results and make sure your website is well optimized.
Always remember that an increasing number of online reviews will improve your local search engine rankings. Apart from the number of online reviews you get, the frequency at which you get them too matters a lot. Consistency is also important in case of reviews like NAP making it necessary for you to fetch more reviews again and again.
In order to rank in the top 3 map pack results, the citation profile of your local business holds quite an importance to Google. Here also you need to maintain the consistency and give your best shot to perfectly set up your local business citation profile.
Backlinks are been always given huge importance by search engines whether you are a local business or not. If you have quality backlinks then you are ought to make a place in the Local Map Pack top 3 results. So if you do not have good backlinks then you may lose out high ranking in Local Map Pack.
Location is that which the search engines value a lot while displaying the results. Google will never show up your business which is very distant from the location typed by the searchers. So you need to optimize the locality of your business to be among the top 3 on the Local Map Pack results.
Build your credibility with local reviews if you really want to make it big in Local SEO as search engines pay a good deal of importance to those. The number, types, and frequency of the reviews significantly affect the search engine ranking of your website.
Fetching more and more online reviews can be beneficial for other different reasons. Here they are:
Follow the below tips to earn reviews in a high number:
By simply asking your customers to reviews you can easily get numerous reviews. They may not be positive but do thank them for that and request them to post the similar kind of commendation via an online review. So just ask and gain good reviews.
Make sure the process of leaving reviews for your local business is easily accessible. If it is not then they will not feel interested to post reviews. By putting into use in-shop ‘Find us On Google/Yelp/Facebook’ banners you can boost the number of reviews. Add direct links to review websites in your email signature or indifferent ‘hot spots’. Once the transaction gets completed you can send those direct review links through a Thanksgiving email.
By providing incentives you can earn great reviews for your local business. The incentive should be decent enough so that it can intrigue the customers to leave reviews resulting in its increase in number. Never appeal for positive reviews and accept every negative review wholeheartedly. Try your best to offer high-quality services to customers every time and the reviews you are ought to get will certainly be positive. You can also offer a discount to the customers who review frequently on a monthly basis in order to encourage them.
Do thank the reviewers always who leave reviews for your business. The reviews may be positive or negative but it is your duty to thank each of them. By doing so you can win over a pool of devoted customers and enhance the credibility of your business.
Carry out a research to find out the review websites that are suited for your local business and set up profiles over there. Create profiles on websites like TrustPilot, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc as these are quite popular and the reviews posted there get displayed on Google which will help you to catch the attention of maximum target customers.
The Bottom Line With Online Reviews
You should always aim for getting more and more online reviews in order to upgrade your local SEO and also boost the prospect of your business. You may get loads of negative reviews from the customers but if you focus on providing high-end services positive reviews are bound to come your way. The frequency by which your local business gets reviewed is also considered as an important search engine factor in Local SEO. So the more frequently you get online reviews the more improved will be your Local SEO.
Like traditional SEO, backlinks also play an important role as Google search engine ranking factor for Local SEO as they can improvise a local business website’s Domain Authority as well as credibility. Building backlinks for local businesses differ from other businesses as it is mostly about boosting your traffic and customer based on your location.
Following are the most effective ways by which you can build more backlinks for your local business website:
By sponsoring local sports teams you can get more exposure and setup potent backlinks for your website. Once you opt for the sponsor you will fetch from that sports team’s website and also get displayed on popular social media websites like Twitter, Facebook, etc. Local blogs and websites due to which you can more suitable backlinks.
By hosting several community events every year you can steal the limelight and thereby high-quality backlinks. The events or programmes which are worth to be covered by the media will help you to get mentioned in the local news and relevant backlinks.
By visiting meetup.com you can find quality local links. Search for the local groups that can be relevant for your business and also create categories that are related to your business in some way. It will help you to earn huge traffic and backlinks for your local business.
Build up a local resource page that is relevant to your business. It will prove to be very informative for the target customers based on your location. It will also help you to get a lot of backlinks from both local or non-local websites that will benefit your local business.
Conduct a research to attain knowledge about the awards and competitions that are suited for your business to take part in. If you get an award based on your local area or community you will get backlinks and acknowledgment on social media which will obviously give you more popularity.
In every locality, you may find some famous personalities. Do interview them because if it gets published it will automatically fetch you a high number of backlinks.
Churn out those business websites in your local area that is somehow connected to your business. Then you should get in touch with each of them and ask to write free guest-post as that can be one of the most effective ways to get backlinks. The guest post by local bloggers can also help you get backlinks.
It is a known fact that every city has got a local business directory which can help you to get many backlinks to a local website. If you are not aware of your city’s local business directory then find it out by research to list your business in that. This way you can promote your business and get more backlinks.
The best thing about online business is that you can keep a record of everything. If you want to track every little action of your business for free then Google Analytics can any day be the best option. It will give you the clear vision of the mistakes you have committed which you can correct to offer impeccable services to users helping you to flourish your business.
Follow these steps to build up Google Analytics and thereby Google Search Console successfully:
Once you are done with everything you need to wait for 24 hours for your website’s stats to show up in Google Analytics after which it will track every action.
How To Setup Google Search Console
After setting up the Google Analytics account, you need to make Google Search Console accessible. It provides a good deal of knowledge about your business alongside improving the SEO.
Do you know how to set up your website in Google Search Console? If not then here are the tips for you:
If you dream of a long-term success in your local business then it a must for you to carry out a Local SEO audit on a regular basis. It will boost your search engine rankings significantly bringing an excellent growth in your local business.
Here are the ways by which you can run a Local SEO audit effectively :
Impeccable usage of keywords is a prerequisite for a quality local SEO performance. In order to discover the appropriate keywords for your website, you should use The Google Keyword Planner Tool. You need to insert the URL of your website after which Google will display the keywords which are relevant to your business. Ahrefs and SEMRush are the tools which can provide you with the facts about the keyword rankings and how they being beneficial for your business.
After gaining knowledge on the keywords your website is ranking for you need to analyze organic search results. You need to type an appropriate keyword in Google in private searching mode. The results you get will reflect your competitors and also the web page for which it is getting ranked on the search engine results. Always pay attention to those who rank higher than you as from them you can learn how you can create URLs, title tags, meta descriptions and other ranking factors are created. You should also go their web content and see how it differs from yours. By keeping that in consideration you can modify your content and rank higher on SERPs leaving your competitors off the pace.
Find out the errors in meta information and rectify them then and there. Screaming Frog is a tool that comes for free and can make the error finding process very convenient. Download the tool to include your website’s URL to get meta information. If you get missing meta titles or descriptions then you need to make them intriguing by filling them with the most relevant keywords. Then do make them fully optimized if they are not. Do remember that the meta titles and meta descriptions should be of maximum 55 and 160 characters respectively.
If you want to get quality information about the SEO performance of your website, then Google Search Console Audit can be one of the best options. The information you acquire will help you during the SEO audit. You can rectify the errors which can upgrade your accomplishment in SEO.
Social Signals have always got an impact on the SEO performance of your website whether in a direct or indirect manner. Quality social signals can bring in huge traffic and positive reviews. Thus you can expect higher search engine ranking. Search for your brand name in Google to initiate the social signal audit. If you find several social profiles of your business get displayed in the search results then you are indeed on the right track. Do update them and include your brand’s name in each of every social media profile as that will help you to get prominently displayed on the search engine results.
Chapter 14: How To Audit Your Competitors’ SEO
Auditing your Competitors’ SEO will always be worth for your business as it will help you to get an idea of how to enhance the local SEO from every aspect and emerge as the topmost search engine rank holder.
Here are the ways by which you can audit your competitors’ SEO:
Go to Google Keyword Planner where you should insert the URL of your toughest competitor whom you should examine and determine. You can discover the keywords your competitor’s website has used and their search volume. If you find them relevant to your business then do use them with no second thoughts. With the help of SEMRush, you can evaluate your competitors’ keywords and search engine position of each of them.
By using the free tool, Screaming Frog you can easily get to see the title tags and descriptions used on your competitor's’ websites. If you find some keywords used often then you need to check how those are performing in the SERPs. Do try out new techniques if you feel those can improve the optimization of your meta tags.
Do check the kind of backlinks your competitors are getting and from which sources as that will increase the chance of getting quality links for your website too. You should aim to match up the standards of backlinks of your competitors so that you can beat them. You can tool like Ahrefs and Moz to know about backlink profile of your competitor. The analysis will help you to discover how and from where competitors can get quality backlinks.
The presence of a business in social media matters a lot these days for its success. So you need to check the occupancy of your competitors on social media platforms and how many Facebook and Twitter followers they have. Instagram is also quite popular these days. So you can also try out your luck there. Do not forget to search for your competitor’s name on Google as you can know about their social media profiles on search engine results. Go through their social media profiles to get an idea of the kind of content they publish as that will help you to frame the marketing game plan on social media on that basis.
Content is the most dominant factor in higher search engine rankings. So those who appear above your business on search engine results must be doing better than you in content marketing. Use the free version of BuzzSumo to analysis your competitor's’ content. By adding your competitor’s URL you will get to know about the reigning content on the basis of sharing on social media platforms.
By using Google Trends you can easily distinguish between your competitor's performances. It will give you a clear insight into your powerful competitors who pose a threat for you to outshine in local SEO. Besides that, you can know about the keywords which your competitors used the most comprehensive search volume trend had an impact on everything.
Google Alerts help you to keep a record of every upgradation related to keywords in your area of interest. By creating alerts for the most relevant keywords for your business you can get immediate notifications when anything occurs. Thus by setting up alerts for your competitors, you can get to know about every update. Keep in consideration the information you get to put into use those strategies which can help you earn utmost recognition in the crowded market.
Chapter 15: How To Track The Progress of Your Local SEO Campaign
It is your responsibility to check how the Local SEO strategies you have implemented are working. But do you know how to do that? You need to track the development and performance of your Local SEO campaign on a regular basis.
Here are the techniques that you should apply to track the progress of your Local SEO campaign:
The more website traffic you get, the more successful your Local SEO campaign is. You should find out the total number of website visitors you are getting on a monthly basis or how much more or less you are getting as compared to the previous year. If you get less traffic in some months it doesn't mean your Local SEO campaign is not working out. Get to know about the numbers from Google Analytics by logging into your Analytics account. To discover the exact number select Acquisition, then Overview, then All Traffic and finally Channels.
There are always certain goals for website conversions which mainly depend on the online marketing strategies like transforming visitors into customers, converting website visitors into email subscribers, etc. If you do not see any growth in the conversion rate then there is definitely certain issues which require you to run A/B tests so that you do not end up not making the best use of the traffic produced by SEO campaigns.
Local business owners depend heavily on the total number of traffic they get. As almost everyone uses mobile phones these days it is a must for your business to rank high on the search engine results in order to fetch maximum mobile traffic. So login to your Google Analytics Account and select Audience > Mobile > Overview to check your mobile traffic. Your website may lose traffic if it's not mobile compliant. So always focus on boosting bile traffic.
The number of backlink profiles should increase on a regular basis in order to make a successful Local SEO campaign. By utilizing Ahrefs and Moz you can analyze your website’s backlink profile and discover about new backlinking scopes.
Referral Traffic is a requisite for the success of local businesses. You need to check how much traffic you fetch from other websites. You may feel disappointed with the numbers but there is nothing to worry as you can optimize the third-party website to pull in maximum traffic.
By using Google Chrome’s Incognito browsing mode you can find out how your Local SEO campaign is performing. You can also check the rank for your target keywords. Type every keyword and discover its ranking position. When you do not use the browsing mode it will be overshadowed by the previous search history and you may not get the exact results. Moz will help you to track keywords on a weekly basis as it will mail you updates on keyword ranks on a weekly basis.
Chapter 16: Bringing it All Together
It can be concluded that Local SEO is definitely the most effective marketing technique if your business is based in certain region, city or location. By conducting a Local SEO campaign efficiently you can hope for ranking high on the SERPs. There are several factors which affect the way you rank on the local search engine results like keyword research, Citations, backlink reviews, etc. So do lay prime importance to these factors in order to attain better results in the coming days and take your local business to the pinnacle of success.