What is Local SEO?

Local SEO helps businesses promote their products and services to local prospects and customers. To gather information for local search, search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations to provide the most relevant local results to the user

 

Do you have a local business? A brick and mortar shop? Or an online store delivering goods locally? Well then, you are in the right place here! This list will contain some tips and tricks to help you with your local business.

 

If you have been following SEO strategies for some time now, you know that it keeps on changing as Google makes constant tweaks to its algorithm, to weed out the spammers and the private blog networks.
Local SEO is a part of SEO and it is also different from your normal SEO strategies in some ways. Of course, you need to include all the usual SEO practices as part of your Local SEO campaign.
In this time, local SEO(local search) has become very popular. Especially mobile-based local search, people are very accustomed to pull out their phones and search for something they are looking for.
Imagine you are stuck on a road somewhere, what would you do?
I know I would pull out my phone and search for  “Car towing services near me“. And this is what I get :
Local Search
Google just gives you a list of what you are looking for according to your location and your distance from the business. Also, it obviously depends on the ratings too if there is a lot of competition in that area. The user has become the centre of all the searches, depending on your location you will get personalised results.

Here is a checklist you need to follow to get your business to rank locally!

Local SEO Ranking Factors

1) Google My Business for Local SEO

Google My Business has become the absolute necessity for any business. Google requires to verify your business as authentic before it gives you the coveted spot in their sidebar. Once you head over to Google My Business, they need you to provide some information for getting your business verified. Just follow those steps and you are good to go!

Google My Business Page

Things to keep in mind while listing your business :

  1. Add a long-form unique description to your business:
    Make sure it is going to answer all queries your customers might be looking you up for. Customers have a lot of choices and they sure are not going to wait for more than five seconds on your page if you are not going to give them answers to what they are looking for
  2. Categories:
    Well, this is fairly obvious but people still make mistakes in identifying categories which will be perfect for their business and this puts their business nowhere on the map.

    Take help, ask people in your niche who already have successfully listed their business, but get your category right. It is absolutely the most essential and most easy part of setting up your My Business Page
  3. Visuals:
    Add good quality, engaging photos to your My Business page. If you are a restaurant, hire a professional photographer to take good, authentic photos of your food.

    Do not use fake visuals, as you are only fooling the customer and he will end up giving you a bad rating. This will make your ratings DROP! And it does not take time for bad reviews to start piling up once they start. Customers are empowered and they know it.

2) Consistency in Personal Details for Local SEO

Local Name Address Phone Number

  1. All the business directories that you are going to list yourself in, please maintain consistency in all the details
  2. Keep a Word file handy with all your information and just copy from there.
  3. Again, another easy task but make sure you take it seriously and don’t mess up even the tiny details!

3) Online Reputation Management

reputation management

  1. So now you have gotten yourself listed in every business directory that exists. Now, the next step is to keep track of all the directories where you have gotten yourself listed
  2. Keep all the information updated everywhere. I suggest you make an excel sheet containing every directory you have your site listed on, this will make sure that you do not miss out on periodic inspections of your business profile.
  3. Every business is going to have customers who are unsatisfied with something or the other, it is a question of how you deal with these customers.
  4. Be active on all the platforms your business is listed on. Answer customer queries, questions and solve their issues. This will give you a position of authority in the market, customers like transparency in a business and they will always respect you for that!
  5. Host contests, giveaways and other engagement activities to improve your online reputation
  6. More than 80% of your customers are going to look at your social profiles before signing up with you for your product or service.

4) Localized Content for Local SEO

Localized Content for Local SEO

  1. This is where many businesses go wrong which is not catering to local needs
  2. If you are running a business which serves customers across different cities, you need to make sure you have content for different localities!
  3. This shows the customers that you care about them and of course, it helps you rank too. It is simple really :

    More Local Content = More visitors to your business=More customers=MORE MONEY!!

  4. So if you are running a multi-local brand, please make sure you create different pages for different locations! Customers will love that!

5) Your Usual SEO Routine

Search Engine Optimization

Now, if it is an online store, you will have to take care of all the regular SEO practices which include:

  1. Title and meta descriptions :clothesThis is a good example of optimizing your keywords for your Title and meta descriptions. This snippet leaves you in no doubt what the website is about. That is what you should aim for! Make your search description unique and compelling because you only have two seconds to capture attention!
  2. Reviews and Referrals (Backlinks)
    Get people to review your services online, this can be done by offering bloggers or reviewers in your niche a chance to use your service or product in exchange for a review on their blog! This is a great way to build backlinks for your website and reach out to a whole new audience.
  3. Use local structured data markup:
    Local Structured Data Mark-up
    Google loves it if you use structured data markup for your website. According to a recent survey, only 31% of websites are using it and they are only using the basics. If you can implement it on your website, I assure you that you are going to swing past many competitors!

    Google wants you to use it because it makes it easy for their crawlers to fetch your website. I suggest you head over to your search console and access the Data Highlighter which will make it very easy for you to set up structured data.

That is all for now, will be updating this article as I learn about more things you can do to improve your Local SEO !