Why Local SEO?
Local SEO is the process of optimizing your site to achieve better rankings for searches focused on a specific location.
Local SEO is a search engine optimization strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google.
Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO. If you search Google for any important keywords related to your business and a map with 3 listings appears underneath it (also known as a map pack), then local SEO can help you grow your business.
If a user includes the name of a city in their search, or the search engine pulls in a location from the user’s device, they can get results based off their location.
An example of a local search would be “car dealership in Southwest Michigan”.
To optimize for these local searches, you’ll need to utilize various techniques and tactics. Doing it successfully will improve your business’ position on local search rankings.
Local SEO is all about increasing online search visibility so your business can be found by nearby online searchers.
Think about ordering a pizza. If you did a Google search for “pizza delivery”, you’re going to get a list of all the pizza restaurants near your current location.
Now, there’s overlap between regular SEO and Local SEO – several of the factors that influence search visibility are the same, or very similar. But if you’re a business that falls into that local category, Local SEO will give you far better results.
So the big question I get from most businesses is “how do I know if I need Local SEO?”
The easiest answer is – any business with a physical brick and mortar location OR that serves customers in a particular geographic area needs Local SEO. So if you have a physical location that serves customers in a given area you definitely need Local SEO.
Why Local SEO?
Local SEO is a branch of SEO that specifically deals with search engine optimisation for local businesses.
Undertaking an effective Local SEO campaign will allow your business to appear on Page 1 of Google’s search engine results pages, both in the “Map Pack” and the “Organic Listings”.
If you optimize for local searches, you focus on letting Google know — through all kinds of signals — that your business is located in a certain area and wants to be found by customers in that area.
Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO.
In Local SEO, the primary focus is ranking two main entities on Google. These entities are Google Business Profile listing (formerly known as ‘Google My Business’) and the business website.
Google Business Profile Listing is able to rank in the “map pack”, while website ranks in the organic results.
Whenever people search Google for any important keywords related to that business, a map with 3 listings appears underneath the sponsored website listings, this is one of the ways local SEO helps businesses to gain visibility and gain traffic.
If you are a local business that wants to get noticed in search engines and generate more customers, you have to understand Local SEO.
10 Local SEO Mistakes You Must Avoid.
Many of these businesses primarily serve their local areas which means that they can narrow their scope and focus their SEO efforts on attracting local customers.
While focusing on targeting local customers and ranking well within local search results can relieve some of the stress, effective local SEO still requires some level of SEO expertise.
Knowing what to do when it comes to local SEO is important. It’s equally important to know what not to do and avoid making mistakes that could hurt your rankings and lower the traffic to your website.
1. Targeting Broad Keywords
Targeting broad keywords does not help a local business.
Local businesses benefit more by targeting geo-specific keywords.
For example, a local attorney that targets the keyword “divorce attorney” is likely to get lost among the many other attorneys throughout the U.S. that are also targeting that same keyword.
But instead targeting the keyword “divorce attorney in Schaumburg,” they are narrowing the scope and increasing their chances of ranking higher in local searches.
Keep in mind that geo-based keywords are often less competitive than generic keywords which gives you a much better chance of improving your rankings in more relevant searches.
2. No Google Business Profile Listing.
Make sure your business creates or claims your Google Business Profile and optimize it with your business name, address, phone number, website URL, customer reviews, photos, and any other important information.
If you do not create, claim, or optimize your Google Business Profile listing, it will not rank well in local search results or on Google Maps, hurting your local online visibility.
3. Poorly Optimized Website
Good SEO starts with a well-optimized website. If your website is poorly optimized, you will have a much harder time ranking in relevant local searches.
4. Poor Mobile Optimization.
it is very important to have your website properly optimized to display and function properly on mobile devices.
Google gives preference to mobile-optimized websites which means that websites not optimized for mobile will likely not rank well.
Even if a mobile user does find your website, they will likely leave your website for a competitor if it does not display or function properly.
If you need help optimizing your website more mobile friendly just send me a massage for help.
5. Poor Content / NOt optimized content.
Websites with quality, well-optimized content rank much better than poor and not optimized content.
When writing content for your blog and web pages, make sure to write quality, keyword-focused content that has value for your audience.
Avoid writing thin or irrelevant content and while it is important to optimize your content, make sure you avoid keyword stuffing.
6. NO customer Reviews/Ignoring Negative Reviews.
Customer reviews also show Google that your business is trustworthy and can help improve your organic rankings.
Make sure your business works on generating customer reviews on your website, Google, social media profiles, and other websites like Yelp.
You should also be active in responding to customer reviews, especially negative reviews. Responding to negative reviews will show potential customers that you care about resolving your customer’s concerns while ignoring them gives legitimacy to the bad reviews.
7. No directory Profiles
Submitting your business to a directory also helps build backlinks to your website which helps improve rankings.
Local businesses can get listed on bigger directories like Yelp, Yellow pages, GBP, and Bing places, and there are also local and industry-specific directories that you can join. Make sure all of your directory listings have your contact info and website URL.
8. No Backlinks.
Websites with quality backlinks rank better because it indicates to Google that your website has value as others want to link to it. The main reason building backlinks is overlooked is that it can be challenging.
You can build backlinks on directories and your social media accounts, but this alone is not enough.
One of the most effective ways to build quality backlinks is to write guest blog posts and content for other websites that are relevant to your industry or local area. Creating a quality, well-optimized content for your own website also helps as other sites will naturally link to quality content.
9. No Contact info/Inconsistent NAPW.
Make sure that all of your contact information is featured on your website in places that are easy to find such as side navigation menus and dedicated Contact pages.
Your contact info should include your address, phone number, and contact forms. You can also embed Google maps on your contact page to show your location.
10. Duplicate Listings.
Businesses sometimes end up with duplicate listings within a directory such as if a second listing is created by mistake or information is changed and a new listing was created instead of updating the previous listing.
The presence of multiple listings can be confusing to users looking for your business and for Google, especially if the listings have inconsistent NAPW information.
If you have duplicate listings within a single directory, remove one of them and ensure that the NAPW information on the other is accurate and consistent with all of your online channels.
3 Overrated Local SEO Concepts
1) DA – I’ve had quite a lot of discussions with clients about DA. It seems to be THE goal in many people’s heads. DA/DR/AS is a nice indication but should never be seen as an isolated factor. The number is just too easy to fake.
2. Geotagging – Many people think this is the holy grail. It’s quick and easy, and you feel like you’ve accomplished something important. The truth is: There’s ALWAYS something more promising that someone can do. If it doesn’t take time, fine. If you need to talk about it in a Facebook group, not so good.
3. Local Rank Tracking – People seem to be obsessed with geo-grids. It must be because they look quite appealing and you get some dopamine whenever you notice a change from red to green. However, MOST clients couldn’t and shouldn’t care less about rankings. What they need is new customers: Calls, form submissions, messages, walk-ins, sms, telegrams you name it. But don’t get me wrong, using a geogrid to exploit weak areas is a great way to improve. It just shouldn’t be your main goal.
SEE ALSO : WHAT ARE ON-PAGE AND OFF-PAGE SEO
Summary: You don’t need an amazing DA, geotagged images, and outstanding rankings to win the game of local SEO.