What Is Local SEO?
Everything you need to know about Local SEO
Are you asking yourself, what is local SEO? Local SEO is essential if you own a storefront shop or any business that depends on a local clientele. In this article, you learn everything you need to know about local SEO and how to strengthen yours.
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is how you make your business website rank higher up on Googles search results. When someone wants to find the best service in their area, Google shows them local listings. Local SEO is how you get on that list.
Your city name, store address, and contact information must all be optimized to attract local search results. Read about what local SEO is, and how to leverage it.
So what is Local SEO anyway?
Local SEO is a part of your local business marketing strategy. It concerns the level of prominence by which your online website appears to users of Google and other search engines.
Local SEO is the practice of making your online presence more visible to potential customers. If you own a brick-and-mortar store of some kind, local SEO helps people find your business. If you offer an online product or service, local SEO strengthens your search rank for online users.
If you provide a product or service that is targeted towards a specific market, local SEO targets the geographic locations where that market is most prevalent. For this reason, local SEO dictates that your optimization must be relevant to the service which you provide.
If you provide a location-based service, you optimize for geographic viewership. If you have a non-centrally locates service, you optimize for content and viewership. If your viewers come from Chicago, you optimize for Chicago.
When you go to a website that is specifically for a Chicago HomeDepot, that is the localized SEO business website. If you live in Chicago and search for Home Depot on Google, it shows you the site for the closest branch.
Search engine algorithms can only perform this specific task because of local optimization. Sites can do this by adding a local page to the website and posting blogs about the local community. Local SEO includes five main components:
1. Localizing Your Website
From the admin dashboard of your website, you should 'localize'. This means, optimize your site to include the name of the city in which you operate, the county, region, and state.
If your business operates in multiple locations, you need content that is localized to each area. Post blog content that is specified to your individual areas of operation. Create a page on your site that is dedicated to the area's your business serves. This will improve your local search strategy.
2. Listing Your Site on Google My Business
Google My Business is the most important directory on which to list your business. List your business on Google My Business before any other citation site. Google makes it possible for users from all over the world to find your website and business information-near and far. So, start with a Google My Business account.
3. Citations and Business Directories
Before listing your business in a directory, you have to register your domain. Here is a list of business directories and citation sites to list on first:
Facebook is an essential piece of your off-site SEO puzzle. List under their small business directory list.
- Google Maps
Googles map platform is the most widely used in the market. When you list and activate your business with Google it will show up on Google Maps.
- Apple Maps
Apple Maps is the biggest competition to Google Maps. Connect your business to Apple Maps in order to real in the iOs users.
LinkedIn is a source of reputability for your companies team. Make sure that your website has a Team Member page, and that it features the names of your core leadership and development staff. All of the individuals listed on your website should have an up-to-date LinkedIn page.
- Bing and Yahoo
Bing is the Microsoft equivalent to Google, so make sure your site is registered with Bing. The most reputable websites and businesses are those which show up the same no matter which search engine is in use. So, it is important to register your business with the most popular search engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Online Reviews and Citation List
After the above-mentioned cornerstones, strengthen your citations further by registering your business with...
- Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- Yellow Pages
- Angie's List
- Yahoo! Local
- Merchant Circle
- Super Pages
- Yellow Book
List of Free Online Directory and Citation Sites
Make sure that you are doing everything you can to bolster your local SEO citations by creating accounts for your business on...
There are plenty of other free and paid business directory sites on which to list, but these are a great place to start. The more citations and directories that feature your business's information, the better you look to Googles local SEO algorithm.
4. Manage Online Reviews and Ratings
Once you have your business listed on a bunch of directories, generate positive feedback in the form of reviews, testimonials, and business ratings. Google is concerned with the level, quantity, and frequency of reviews and ratings that show up online regarding your business.
Generate at least 10 positive reviews of at least 100 words each. Then, continue to generate organic customer feedback on a regular basis. This shows Google that your business is operating successfully and is worthy of a high local search rank.
Honest, genuine user comments and reviews can be hard to elicit.
The catch-22 is that to get customers you need to show up on Google. But in order to do that, you need good reviews. But, to get good reviews, you need customers.
There is nothing wrong with forming partnerships with third-parties to provide your business with positive online feedback.
5. Get Backlinks to Your Site
Organic backlinking is an essential piece of the local SEO puzzle. A backlink is a link to your website that is featured on another websites post content. Or, if someone shares your blog post publically on their social media feed, that is an organic backlink.
Google holds these backlinks in high regard, which is why many websites engage in guest posting and backlinking partnerships with other local companies.
As a rule of thumb, you don't want to send any of your potential customers to the competition. You want to form backlinking partnerships with business that are complementary to yours.
For instance, if you have a website that sells farming equipment, partner up with the local grocery store websites and farmers markets. If you provide physical therapy screenings, partner up with a chiropractor and orthopaedic shoe retailer.
When several local businesses reference each other, it helps all of their local SEO. These partnerships benefit all parties involved.
Internal Crosslinks and External Backlinks
Provide internal cross-links to other content on your website, and external backlinks to complimentary content from other local businesses. Also, backlink to reputable sources, such as governmental agencies, and non-profit quality assurance organizations, like the BBB.
When other entities online reference to the content of your website, that is called off-site local SEO. Off-site means anything, not on your website. So, get friends and family to help out by posting your website content on their facebook wall, and other social media accounts.
Create your own social media accounts to promote your business and share your local SEO blog content.
Off-site local and global SEO is, by far, the most difficult to cultivate, because it is out of your hands. But, you can enlist SEO companies that build backlink partnerships for you, saving you a lot of time and effort.
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