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SEO 6 min read November 16, 2016
Elena K.
Local SEO is a set of actions that help local businesses to move up the local SERPs. It's very different from traditional SEO. Thus their methods are not the same. In this article, I'll cover the most useful local SEO tips.
How to Optimize Your Business for Local Search?
Editor at Serpstat
The primary Google's mission is to provide the users with the relevant and actual info. That's why it forms the search results based on reliable sites. Let's look how it works with local SEO. Here is a top-10, for the search request "pizza in Washington":

0. Google Maps results
  1. Tripadvisor
  2. News site
  3. Local pizza shop
  4. Yelp
  5. Yelp
  6. Local pizza shop
  7. Local pizza shop
  8. News site
  9. News site
  10. Local pizza shop
You see that local pizzas occupy only 4 positions in top 10 of Google SERP. The rest falls on local business listing sites such as Tripadvisor and Yelp and news sites. Google considers them as reliable and trustworthy. 4/10 means that pizza delivery/shop niche is quite competitive. But in local SEO being in top 10 is not always the main goal. It all depends on the price of the purchase and its value. People would rather trust a living person's review than the Google choice. Let's look at what we can do to optimize the business for local search.

Target the right keywords

To optimize your site for the local search add the city or region (in which you serve) to the relevant keywords and use them in:

  • URLs;
  • H1+H2 tags;
  • Titles;
  • Image file names;
  • Alt Tags.

Create content that you can use to host these keywords, specifically for the cause. Take example of your more successful competitors, see what pages bring local traffic to their websites.You can use Serpstat to do so. Enter the keywords to the search bar and go to the Top Pages section.
If you don't know what keywords to target, use Serpstat Cluster research to find the keywords that you may be missing. Filter the results by place names and choose "only keywords with toponyms". Let's take "pizza Washington" keywords for example:
Here you have a list of keywords that can be used for optimization of any pizza delivery/shop site in Washington.

Build citations

Local citation is a mention of the business on the web. It usually consists of the company name, its address and the phone number. Local citations are one of the key factors in local ranking. There are several groups of web sources to place your business on:

  • Data aggregators. Such sites as Infogroup and Neustar Localeze enables local businesses to update their local listing information on the local search platforms automatically.

  • Business listing sites. If you don't want to rely on data aggregators sites, you can do everything manually. The main rule here: the more, the better. Create your business accounts on as many sites as possible. Provide them with all info about your business. The most popular are Bing, Google, Yahoo, Yelp, Trip Advisor, Yellow Pages, Facebook, Local.

  • Neighborhood blogs. They are well-indexed because they are associated with a certain location. Thus any citations on such blogs are considered as trusted and relevant by search engines. Remember that such blogs usually have a rigid moderation, so your business has to be relevant to the topiс your business is mentioned in.

Optimize your business with Google My Business

Google My Business is a key element in local ranking. It will publish the company data in Google+, Google Search, and Google Maps so that customers could easily find youк business on any device. I won't pay much attention to this block because we have a detailed guide to Google My Business and Google Maps in particular.

Help crawlers to find and display your company's info correctly

Schema markup is the way to go: Schema.org.

Schema.org is a website that is used to create, markups for structured data on web pages, in email messages, and etc.

All existing search engines can read and understand schema markup. Add these to your page for better optimization. Replace the words written uppercase with your info:

http://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
<p itemprop="name">COMPANY NAME</p>
http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
<p itemprop="streetAddress">ADDRESS LINE 1</p>
<p itemprop="addressLocality">CITY</p>,
<p itemprop="addressRegion">REGION</p>
<p itemprop="postalCode">POSTCODE/ZIP</p.
<p itemprop="telephone">PHONE NUMBER</p>
<meta itemprop="latitude" content="LATITUDE" />
<meta itemprop="longitude" content="LONGITUDE" />
</div>


There will be a follow-up to this article that will tell you even more about ranking locally and working on your local SEO. Follow our social media not to miss our new posts. Don't hesitate to ask your questions. We'll try to do our best to answer them.

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