Local SEO - Complete Guide for Small Business

Local SEO – Complete Guide for Small Business

Ashkar Gomez
11min read
Table of Contents

50% of all Google searches are for local information; local search is effective for small businesses. You may lose out on potential customers prepared to shop in your neighborhood if your company isn’t optimized for local search.

If you want your company to remain relevant, local SEO is essential. We’ve put together a thorough guide covering local SEO tips and tools to assist you in optimizing your company for local SEO.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) enhances local businesses’ visibility on search engines, particularly for those with a physical presence.

Companies can increase organic traffic from queries made by local customers by adhering to local SEO best practices.

Local SEO is beneficial for any company that has a physical location or serves a specific region.

Local SEO can assist you in expanding your business if, while searching Google for any relevant keywords for your company, a map with three entries displayed beneath it.

Why Is Local SEO Important?

Understanding the significance of local SEO is the first step in improving your local SEO. Using local SEO develops your local consumer base, interacts with your local community, builds brand awareness, and gains a better reputation in your region.

Local SEO makes your company stand out even without a website and increases foot traffic to your storefront by generating online leads.

These leads are also likely to have a high conversion rate because they come from people specifically looking for your company’s goods or services.

Local searches are becoming more common; 4 in 5 users now use search engines to find local information, and 70% of users visit physical stores as a result of search result information.

Additionally, local SEO influences consumer choice in your favor. The more knowledge they have about your company before they come, the more credible you appear to them.

How Does Local SEO Work?

At a high level, local SEO functions similarly to “regular” Google search.

When someone searches, Google searches its index for the best results for that person’s query.

What distinguishes local SEO is that Google ranks local search results using different ranking variables.

Local SEO has its own ranking signals, including

  • the location rom which the person is researching,
  • citations from the NAP,
  • Google My Business listing,
  • Google My Business profile keywords,
  • Online reviewer feedback,
  • Online review keywords,
  • the total number of “check-ins” at that location,
  • social media shares,
  • firm’s Google Maps star rating.

Map Pack - Local Results:

The top-ranking local listings for your location or the search location are displayed in the “Google Map Pack” (also known as the Google Local Map Pack), a central section in the Google local search results.

Businesses are listed in the Google Map Pack along with their address, phone number, operating hours, and other useful details.

Users can click on a listing to get more information about the business, call the number listed, or access Google Maps directions to the company’s location.

For local searches, it frequently appears at the very top of Google’s search results.

Organic search engine results:

The well-known “10 blue links” represent the “regular” organic search results. Typically, they are listed after the “map pack” results.

How to Do Local SEO?

Set up and optimize Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business)

Since Google encourages, verifies, and shares its content generously, Google My Business is a great tool to assist your business in satisfying Google’s needs.

Consider creating a Google My Business profile and verify it. Within your account, use Google Posts. Encourage your consumers to leave online reviews.

If Google can authenticate your business, the search engine may reward you with a coveted sidebar position in Google’s local search.

You improve the experience for potential customers by having reviews and keeping your contact information and operation hours up to date.

Finding current data is more important for customers, thanks to the 2020 upheaval in consumer buying behavior and business operations.

Local SEO Keyword Research

Understanding how people search for the local services you offer is the process of conducting local keyword research. It’s essential if you want to optimize for user searches.

You are dominating your domain wherever you are. See specific search volumes based on over 50k local SERPs to increase your local keyword research.

Research on service-based keywords with target location:

Most people need to consider how people might look at what they do.

For instance, if you work as a plumber, some clients may look you up on Google by entering “plumber.”

Others, however, will look up terms for specific services, like “drain unblocking.”

Because of this, you should start by listing all the services you provide. By doing this, you can increase your visibility for searches made by your customers.

Understand the search volume (SV) and keyword difficulty (KD):

You can see national search volumes using keyword research tools. You must use Google Keyword Planner if you want to search volumes for your state, city, or town.

Unfortunately, there are problems with Keyword Planner:

  • It displays ranges of search volumes rather than precise numbers, such as 1K to 10K.
  • The said combined rounded search volume groups keywords.

Checking the relative popularity of keywords on a national scale is usually more effective. This is due to the likelihood that what occurs in one city will happen in another.

Get keywords from Google Autosuggest:

For all of your service keywords, it’s unlikely that your homepage will rank. Therefore, you’ll need to use separate pages to target some.

Consider the services that the URLs map to when assigning keywords to them.

Assign them to different pages if they correspond to specific services, such as “heater installation” and “shower repair.”

Assign them to the same page if they map to the same service, such as “drain unblocking” and “drain unclogging,” for example.

Write Content on Web Page with Location Intent:

Searchers with local intent want to visit nearby stores. If that is different for your products or services, there isn’t a chance for local SEO.

Google a query, then look through the results to see if it has a local focus. It has local intent if there is a map pack and some local “blue link” results.

It lacks local intent if there is no map pack and no local “blue link” results. You can still target keywords without local intent, but there are better tools than local SEO for the job.

Link Building for Local SEO:

It’s no surprise that this data point is so widely investigated, with 57% of Google users claiming local information is the most crucial information when looking for a business online.

Quality links from relevant websites are the second-best strategy to rank well for local organic search. Inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, and linking domain number are all individual link factors.

Citations (Directory Submissions):

Off-page variables, such as contributing your information to directories and listings, being consistent with your data, the number of citations you have, and so on, are examples of sources. 

While decreasing in number, references are still useful for increasing visibility and creating trust with clients and search engines. 

When a prospective consumer notices that a company’s information is correct and consistent across the web, it helps to establish credibility.

Your company can generate two types of citations: unstructured and organized. You have an unstructured source when your information does not match; it needs to be included or needs to be corrected with your business information. 

When your business information is contradictory in numerous locations, search engines will not consider it reputable or consistent for its users. 

A structured citation is when you upload your company’s information to trustworthy business listings and directories. It is a fantastic and simple possibility for you to obtain reliable backlinks. 

The more you can join these reliable sources, the more legitimate your local organic SEO rankings will become.

Local SEO Ranking Factors:

Optimizing Google Business Profile (GBP)

You’ve probably already realized how crucial it is for your local business to have a Google My Business profile.

But to rank higher in local searches and appear in the local pack, you’ll need to do more than create a profile. You’ll need to take steps to optimize your Google My Business SEO.

So, how can Google My Business listings be optimized to achieve better placement in local search results or a chance to be included in the local pack?

Here are 7 suggestions they provided in response to our request for best practices from their Google My Business SEO checklist.

  1. Verify your company
  2. Fill out your profile
  3. Make sure the information on your profile is (and remains) accurate
  4. Choose the categories that are most relevant and include semi-professional images
  5. Ensure NAP consistency across the web
  6. Additional reviews
  7. Take advantage of Google posts

Consistent Post on GBP:

Your local SEO rankings won’t rise by posting on your company profile. Once we began publishing more content from our business profile, we saw no change in the local pack’s keyword ranking.

However, posting in GBP can result in more website clicks and a higher click-through rate for your business profile. The following justifications support our recommendation to post:

  • Recent content:

You can advertise upcoming events of your company. GBP posts allow you to share current and pertinent content, whether you want to share a blog post, promote a service or event, or share new information.

  • Get in front of both current and potential clients:

When you post on your GBP, it will appear when people search your brand name (more on below). This is a fantastic chance to communicate with both current and potential clients.

NAP - Local Citations (Directories)

A local citation, also known as NAP data, is any online mention of a local business’s name, address, and phone number, whether partial or complete.

Citations can appear on social media platforms, websites and apps, and local business directories. Citations both aid in local business discovery and affect local search engine rankings.

In particular, having solid basic citations can improve your position on Google’s local search results pages. Numerous citations can be actively managed by nearby businesses to guarantee data accuracy.

“What does NAP signify in local SEO? “

NAP abbreviation is a company’s name, address, and phone number (with area code). For Google to display it better in location-based search results, your NAP should be considered crawlable HTML content on your site. Avoid the usual mistake of placing the NAP within a picture.

Quality of Reviews:

One advantage of proactive customer service is getting positive feedback; Google reviews are among the best you can get. 

Google business reviews have the power to make or break a business. They are some of the first things people see. 

You will generate leads if you have many positive Google reviews because people will view you as reliable. 

Your website’s traffic will decrease, and your sales won’t stop unless you receive negative reviews.

Backlinks:

Backlinks are references to your website on other websites. They rank among Google’s search algorithm’s strongest ranking signals.

Our analysis of over 600,000 keywords and ranking positions confirmed the correlation between referring domains and ranking positions.

Websites with one or more links to yours are referred to as referring domains. Your chances of ranking higher increase with the number of referring domains you have.

On-Page SEO - HTML Meta Tags

On-page SEO is the process of improving the content of a page to raise its position in organic search results.

Additionally, it is crucial for local SEO. Your chances of appearing in the local pack increase as you increase the organic results rankings.

You can use Semrush’s on-page SEO checker to perform a quick audit and evaluate the condition of your on-page SEO.

In page titles and meta descriptions, use your locally relevant keywords. Create location-specific pages on your website to highlight your local services.

Local SEO Tools:

1. Google Business Profile:

Google Business Profile is free to sign up, and every local business owner should use it.

2. Google Search Console:

Google Search Console is a free version to monitor your website’s search performance. It tells you how much search traffic you have, where it travels, and what keywords drive it.

3. Google Keyword Planner:

Google Keyword Planner is Google’s free keyword research tool. It’s a good resource for local search volume ranges.

4. Grid My Business:

Grid My business displays the map pack ranking positions for a keyword in the vicinity of your business. It’s freeware and valuable for determining whether and where local searchers will find your business.

5. Yext:

Next is a service that allows you to sync and manage business information across numerous listings. It’s useful for keeping citations consistent.

6. Rank Tracker:

Using Rank Tracker, you can track up to 10,000 keyword rankings for “ordinary” organic search by nation, state, city, and even ZIP/postal code.

7. Semrush:

The Position Tracking tool monitors the position of your website for a specific set of target keywords. 

Because it can also target a particular device type or region, it’s a helpful local SEO tool. (However, you can only track a certain number of keywords.)

8. Synup:

Synup monitors your company’s performance on search engines, regional directories, and review websites.

To ensure your citations are accurate, Synup searches over 200 local search engines and directories for data inconsistencies.

Additionally, it can assist you in monitoring your website’s traffic and rankings, alert you when comments are made so you can reply, and sync your location data across multiple websites.

9. Review Trackers:

Review Trackers is a customer review software tool trusted by companies like Benihana and American Family Insurance. It sends alerts regarding customer feedback on various review websites and compiles the information in one practical dashboard.

10. Brightlocal:

More than 70,000 agencies, companies, and independent contractors use the well-known local SEO tool “Bright Local” for analytics and reporting purposes.

Bright Local’s best attributes include a dashboard for tracking data in a specific location.

This monitor the positions in local, organic, and mobile searches. Organize and increase citations, track online reviews on more than 20 websites, examine and audit directory sites to identify required updates, audit GBP and NAP, and white-label approach for businesses.

11. Birdeye:

Birdeye, a multi-location enterprise company trusted by 80,000+ businesses, including BMW and Nissan, provides a bird-eye view of local SEO. Companies can manage reviews and keep an eye on customer satisfaction.

Birdeye stands out from other local SEO tools thanks to its messaging platform, which supports a variety of communication channels.

Because of this, companies can adopt an omnichannel strategy to draw in leads, convert them into customers, and delight them.

Conclusion:

That’s it, simple local SEO tactics to increase your company’s online visibility and help Google offer more relevant and tailored location-based results to your local customers.

The world of SEO is evolving, and you must stay current. By applying these methods and others provided in this article, you can position your business as #1 on Google’s local three-pack results.

Still, if you look to attract a local audience to your shop or business, check out our Local SEO services to boost your business skyrocket.

Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez

Ashkar Gomez is the Founder of 7 Eagles (a Growth Marketing & SEO Company). Ashkar started his career as a Sales Rep in 2013 and later shifted his career to SEO in 2014. He is one of the leading SEO experts in the industry with 8+ years of experience. He has worked on 200+ projects across 20+ industries in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, UAE, Australia, South Africa, and India. Besides SEO and Digital Marketing, he is passionate about Data Analytics, Personal Financial Planning, and Content Writing.

Table of Contents
Scroll to Top