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How-to 16 min read April 11, 2023

Local SEO: Why, How, And Where To Start

Anton Kotyhoroshko - SEO specialist
Anton Kotyhoroshko
SEO Specialist at Serpstat

Local SEO, or local search engine optimization, is a set of tools and strategies, aimed at optimizing a website to rank higher in local search results. Instead of targeting a global audience, local SEO is meant for capturing the attention of potential customers in a close proximity from your business.

In this article, we will explore what local SEO is, why it is crucial for local businesses, and provide tips on implementing it.

What is Local SEO and Why is it Important for Local Businesses?

Local SEO focuses on optimizing a website to improve its visibility in certain regions, rather than globally, and increase its rankings in local search results.

It typically combines a wide range of methods: optimizing your website’s content for region-specific keywords, building local citations, managing business reputation, creating and optimizing local listings, and more. Local SEO aims to improve your website’s visibility in local search results, making it easier for potential customers to find your business online.

Local SEO is absolutely vital for local businesses for several reasons. First, it helps you rank higher in local search results, which is critical for companies that rely on local customers. Second, it enables you to build credibility and authority in your local market. Finally, it helps you reach potential customers searching for businesses like yours in your local area.

How to Do Local SEO

1.Use local keywords in your website’s content, meta descriptions, and title tags.
2.A local citation mentions your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites. Build local citations on directories such as Yelp, Google Business, and Yellow Pages.
3.Create local listings on Google Business, Bing Places, and other directories. Fill out your business information and add photos. Optimize Google My Business page by adding descriptions and hours of operation.
4.Use Google Maps to show your business location and make it easier for customers to find you.
5.Use schema markup to help search engines understand your website’s content and rank it higher in local search results.
6.Encourage your customers to leave online reviews on your Google Business page, Yelp, and other review sites.
7.Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices, as many people use their smartphones to search for local businesses.
8.Use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Business Insights to track your website’s performance and make adjustments.

What are the Best Local SEO Practices?

1.Ensure the company's name, address, and phone number are identical in all directories and listings.
2.Use high-quality photos of your business to attract potential customers.
3.Focus on building links from local websites and directories. Use local keywords in your anchor text when building links.
4.Monitor your competition.
5.Create a blog on your website and post local content regularly.
6.Use social media to engage with your customers and promote your business.
7.Monitor your online reputation and respond to reviews and comments.

What is Google Business Profile (Google My Business)?

Google Business Profile (Google My Business, GMB) is a free tool offered by Google that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google's search engine and other platforms. GMB allows businesses to create a listing that appears when people search for products or services they offer. This listing includes the business's name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, reviews, and other relevant information.

GMB is an essential tool for local SEO as it enables businesses to appear in local search results, making it easier for potential customers to find them. By optimizing their GMB listing, businesses can improve their chances of appearing in the coveted "Local Pack" of search results. It means the top three listings appear in a Google search result with a map.

To use GMB for local SEO, businesses must first claim their listing and fill out all the relevant information, ensuring accuracy and consistency across all platforms. The process includes selecting the correct category for the business, adding photos, responding to customer reviews, and keeping the listing up-to-date.

Businesses can optimize their GMB listing by adding relevant keywords, descriptions, and services offered, providing as much information as possible, and encouraging customers to leave reviews. Moreover, regularly updating the listing with new photos, posts, and events can improve its visibility and ranking.

In addition to optimizing their GMB listing, businesses can also use GMB insights to track how customers find and interact with their listing. This data can help companies/enterprises identify improvement areas and adjust their local SEO strategy accordingly.

Google Business Profile is a powerful tool businesses can use to improve their local SEO and increase their online visibility. By optimizing their GMB listing and using insights to track customer interactions, businesses can improve their chances of appearing in local search results and attracting more customers.

How To Improve Your GMB Ranking And Increase Your Online Visibility

1.The first step to improving your GMB ranking is to claim and verify your listing. This step ensures that your business information is accurate and up-to-date and helps Google recognize your business as a legitimate entity.
2.Once you've claimed your listing, you can start optimizing it by adding relevant keywords, descriptions, photos, and services offered. Ensure you fill out all the relevant information, including your business address, phone number, and website URL.
3.Customer reviews are a key factor in GMB ranking, so encourage your customers to leave reviews on your listing. Responding to customer reviews and addressing any concerns can also help improve your ranking.
4.Selecting the correct category for your business is essential as it helps Google understand what your company does and improves your chances of appearing in relevant search results.
5.Regularly posting updates, events, and offers on your GMB listing can help improve its visibility and ranking. This step also helps keep customers engaged and informed about your business.
6.Consistency is vital when it comes to GMB ranking. Ensure your business information is consistent across all platforms, including your website, social media, and other directories.
7.GMB insights can provide valuable information on how customers find and interact with your listing. Use this data to identify areas for improvement and adjust your local SEO strategy accordingly.

Improving your GMB ranking requires consistent effort and attention to detail. Optimizing your listing, getting customer reviews, using relevant categories, and using insights to track your progress, can improve your ranking on Google My Business and attract more customers to your business.

The Best Practices For Optimizing Your SEO Efforts For Multiple Locations

1.Create Location-Specific Pages

The first step in optimizing your local SEO for multiple locations is to create location-specific pages for each location. Each location page should include the business name, address, phone number, and other essential information about the location. Additionally, you should include unique content on each page, such as customer reviews, images, and local news relevant to the area.

2.Use Unique URLs for Each Location Page

To ensure that search engines understand that each location page is unique, use a unique URL for each page. For example, if your business has locations in New York City and Los Angeles, use URLs such as "yoursite.com/nyc" and "yoursite.com/la" for each location page.

3.Optimize Your Google Business Listings

Optimize your listings for each location. Ensure that your listings include accurate information about each location, including the business name, address, phone number, website URL, and hours of operation.

Local backlinks are essential for local businesses to gain visibility and increase their search engine ranking. When search engines crawl a website, they look for backlinks to determine its authority and credibility. Therefore, backlinks from reputable local websites increase a business's relevance and trustworthiness, resulting in higher search engine rankings.

1.Get listed in local directories. Registering with local directories such as Yelp, Google Business, and Yellow Pages can help you get high-quality backlinks and improve your local SEO ranking.
2.Partner with local businesses. When you collaborate with local businesses, you can create content promoting both businesses to each other's websites.
3.Participate in local events. You can sponsor events or participate in community events and get backlinks from the event's website or local media outlets.
4.Guest posts on local websites. You can create high-quality content relevant to the website's audience and link back to your website.
5.Create shareable content. When you create high-quality content, people are likelier to link to it, resulting in backlinks and increased search engine rankings.

Localized Landing Pages: What Are They and Why You Need Them for Local SEO

Creating localized landing pages can be a game-changer when it comes to local SEO, But what exactly are they, and how can they help your business rank higher in search engines?

Localized landing pages are web pages designed to target a specific geographic area, such as a city or neighborhood. These pages are optimized for local keywords and typically include relevant information for the local audience. For example, suppose you own a pizza restaurant in New York City. In that case, you might create a localized landing page with information about your restaurant's location, menu, and delivery options in the New York City area.

Here are a few reasons why you need localized landing pages:

1.Better targeting. Localized landing pages allow you to target specific geographic areas, which can help you attract more relevant traffic to your website. By targeting local keywords and including location-specific information, you can attract users who are more likely to be interested in your products or services.
2.Improved user experience. When users land on a page tailored to their specific location, they are more likely to engage with your website and take action. For example, if a user is looking for a dentist in their local area, they are more likely to click on a landing page that mentions their city or neighborhood.
3.Higher search engine rankings. Creating localized landing pages can improve your website's relevance and authority for local search terms. With that your website ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for local queries, which drives more traffic and leads to your business.

How to create effective localized landing pages:

1.Your landing pages should include information about your business's location, hours of operation, and contact information. This information can help users find your business and contact you more easily.
2.Use local keywords in your page titles, headings, and content to help your landing pages rank for local search terms. Research relevant keywords for your location to ensure you target the right audience.
3.Your landing pages should provide valuable information relevant to your local audience, including information about your products or services, customer reviews, and local events or news.

Affordable Local SEO Services

1.Serpstat is a complete SEO solution that includes local SEO optimization. It offers a range of affordable plans that include local keyword tracking, competitor analysis, on-page optimization, and backlink monitoring. Serpstat also provides a white-label solution for agencies and resellers.
2.Moz Local is a local SEO tool that helps businesses improve their local search rankings. It offers a comprehensive local SEO audit and optimization services, including citation building, review management, and on-page optimization.
3.Synup is an affordable local SEO service that offers local listing management, review management, and analytics. It also offers a feature called "Intelligent Data Cleansing," which ensures that your business information is consistent and accurate across all online directories and citation sources.
4.BrightLocal is an all-in-one local SEO platform platform offering affordable small business packages. It allows you to manage your local search optimization, track your rankings, and monitor your online reviews. BrightLocal also offers citation building, listing your business on online directories and citation sources.
5.
6.WebFX is a full-service digital marketing agency that offers affordable local SEO services. Its local SEO services include citation building, local keyword research, on-page optimization, and review management. WebFX also provides a free local SEO audit to help businesses identify areas for improvement.

Affordable local SEO services are available for businesses of all sizes. Businesses can improve their local search visibility and attract more customers by using these services.

FAQ

How can I optimize my website for local search?

You can optimize your website for local search by including local keywords in your content, creating location-specific landing pages, and including your business's NAP (name, address, and phone number) on every page.

How can I build local citations?

You can build local citations by listing your business on local directories, creating social media profiles for your business, and getting your business mentioned in local news articles and blogs.

How can I get more positive online reviews?

You can get more positive online reviews by asking satisfied customers to leave a review, making it easy for customers to leave a review, and responding to all reviews (positive and negative) in a professional and timely manner.

The best way to automate content creation is to use AI content marketing tools. For example, the Serpstat tool set now has the following tools:

— Title generation
— Description generation
— Paraphrasing
— Grammar and spelling
— Article generation
— Keywords extraction
— Bag of words
— Keyword patterns

Content marketing automation is a strategy, that uses artificial intelligence for content creation and reduces human involving. AI cannot completely replace a copywriter or editor, but it can reduce time on routine tasks. For example, you can instruct the AI to generate titles, descriptions, or rewrite part of the text on the page. Such text requires only slight review by the editor or SEO-specialist.

The opinion of the guest post authors may not coincide with the opinion of the Serpstat editorial staff and specialists.

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