Local Dudes Marketing is a top local SEO marketing company we have over 16 years within this industry. We put an emphasis on educating and providing digital marketing services to small businesses. Please read on to learn about local search engine optimization marketing and how it can help your company grow.
Do you have a local business, but nobody comes around? With local SEO, you increase your local search rankings and attract more visitors. In this post, we will explain to you what local search engine optimization is, which ranking factors are important for it, and how you can optimize your company website to be a fit for local SEO.
What is Local SEO?
We can think of local SEO as a subtopic of search engine optimization with a focus targeting regional traffic from a specific geographic area such as a city or a town. There are essentially two ways to do local SEO, we can do this through map listings on the major search engines which can also include the local pack or you can target local keywords that drive traffic.
The map listings contain your company name, phone number, address and link to website while local SEO focuses on search intent of a specific city. An example query of this would be to use a city modifier such as San Diego + keyword. There are ways to optimize your website to show up for these local searches. We’ll cover that soon, but for now I want you to have a good understanding about what local search engine optimization is.
Map Listings on Google, Bing and Yahoo
Map listings such as Google My Business, Bing Places and Yahoo Local are largely driven by proximity to your location. The closer you are to a particular business, the more likely it is to show in these map listings. A couple miles in a different direction and you are likely to get different search results.
Let’s focus our efforts around Google My Business and their map listings since it provides the most traffic.
First off, if you would like to sign up for Google My Business or Bing Places you can do so by clicking on these links https://www.google.com/business/ and https://www.bingplaces.com/. Signing up is just the starting point and I say this because I don’t want you to think that’s all you need to do to have your company name populating the local map listings.
I can’t express this enough: map listings are location-based searches, the closer people are to your business address the more likely your company is to show within the listings. If you are in an area with lots of competition, you will need to work on optimizing your map listings to have a better chance of showing up.
What if I Have Multi-Location Business?
Having a multi-location business is not an issue for Local SEO marketing. Many companies have top rankings for multiple city searches. The great thing about SEO is that once you learn it, you will see that it’s a repetitive process that can be duplicated to aid in your online marketing success.
You can rinse and repeat the steps taken to rank in one city location and apply it to another. You will need to customize your media and content around the particular city name that you want to rank for. You also might need to build more backlinks depending on the competition for a particular city, but the process is the same.
Local Pack and Local 3-Pack
The local pack or local 3-pack is the name used to describe the amount of businesses listed in the map listings when performing a search on Google. Originally the amount was seven but when mobile searches became more popular Google changed it to three so it displayed better for mobile devices.
I don’t name these things and frankly I think it’s silly, but it is what it is. The more you learn about SEO, the more terms you will come across. Don’t worry if you can’t remember them all, you can look them up online if you forget.
Local Search Intent
Search intent from an SEO standpoint is about your website and does the content on the site fills the needs of what people are searching for. Local SEO intent is fulfilled by targeting a specific geographic location along with having the relevant content of what potential customers are searching for.
To provide you with a better understanding of local search intent, I would like to provide you with some examples of search queries. Since my business is in San Diego, let’s use this as the city we want to search. Here are some keyword terms that would probably be used to find local SEO services in my city.
- San Diego Local SEO
- San Diego SEO Services
- San Diego SEO Agency
- Local SEO San Diego CA
- Local SEO Near Me
All these searches have local intent by using city name or the near me parameter within the search. If you were to remove the San Diego from the search results and looked for keywords such as local SEO marketing company or local business search engine optimization you would probably get different results.
For which Companies is Local SEO Important?
Some form of local marketing is probably useful for all companies unless you are strictly selling products internationally. However, local SEO is far more valuable to brick and mortar or service oriented companies that rely on local traffic to sustain their business. Local search engine optimization can help drive that much needed traffic to their company.
There are basically two groups of users for whom Local SEO is particularly relevant:
- When there is a physical store where the user can buy a product or use a service, such as a restaurant, movie theater, spa, gym, and more.
- In addition to physical store locations we have service companies work in a particular geographic area such as HVAC, plumbing, electricians and landscaping companies.
In short, Local SEO is relevant for everyone who offers their products and services and wants to attract more visitors locally.
Ranking Factors for Local SEO
When looking at ranking factors for local SEO you have to separate the map listings from SERP listings. Although there are ranking factors that can help both, my recommendation to you is to treat them separately.
In order to become more visible in the local search, additional criteria apply in addition to the ranking factors for the generic search index. According to MOZ the most important ranking factors for local SEO as follows:
- Google My Business Signals, e.g., Proximity, categories, keywords in the title
- Link Signals, e.g., Anchor text, number, and quality of the linked domains
- Review Signals, e.g., Number and quality of reviews and reactions from the company
- On-page Signals, e.g., NAP, keywords in the title
- Citation Signals, e.g., Number and quality of local citations, consistency of NAP data
- Behavioral signals, e.g., CTR, check-ins
- Social Signals: Signals from social networks
Probably the most important ranking factor in Local map listings is the physical proximity to the location of the user, and at the same time, it is also the factor on which you have the least influence. Your chances of being found increase if your business is in the center of a major city, but the competition there is fierce, and it makes more sense if you open your business close to your target group.
The most important ranking factors for local SERP rankings are content, authority of your website and backlinks.
The Meaning of NAP – Name, Address and Phone Number
So that your users can find you, it is important that your company data is consistent. The following data are relevant:
- Name The company name. It can also be specified in combination with the location or your offered service.
- Address: The address of your location. This should be the same for all entries.
- Phone Number: Your phone number, you should always use the same spelling for this too.
In summary, this company data is also called NAP. This information should be entered on all of your channels and, above all, be uniform. Here is a small selection of channels on which you should enter the NAP information:
- Your Google My Business account
- Social media channels (e.g., Facebook page)
- Your website
- Review portals
With a consistent entry of your NAP data, you will have already fulfilled an important factor for local search engine optimization. You ask what I mean by being consistent is to write your company name, address, and phone number the same way for all your NAP listings. The best way to do is to build a template so you can copy and paste your information.
How Local SEO Works and Why Local Search Engine Optimization is important to your business
- Own or operate a local business with or without online sales.
- Own operate a company that has multiple locations
- Work as a local service provider
- If you are looking to target a specific city
You should definitely look into the opportunities that local search engine optimization offers you.
We can view local SEO as the process of boosting your web presence regarding the local search results. You can make Local search queries by entering search terms (keywords) such as “San Diego Local SEO” and by using generic terms such as “SEO near me”. These types of a search query will often trigger the map listings and they often base the results you see on proximity of how close you are to a relevant business location or service.
With Local SEO, you have the opportunity to provide potential customers who are looking for a product or service within a specific region with relevant information about your business. When done correctly local SEO can provide a significant boost to your company. It also helps even the playing field for small businesses and allows to compete against larger companies. Here are some benefits you can expect from local SEO marketing.
- Increased brand exposure
- More traffic
- Increased leads
- Higher sales
- Brand retention
What business wouldn’t want these types of benefits for your company. You can achieve this in one of two ways: you can learn how to do it yourself or hire professional such as Local Dude Marketing to boost your local rankings and help generate business.
Local Search Engine Optimization in Three Steps
I would suggest following these three local SEO optimizations steps to help your business get found more easily and quickly on the web.
Step 1: On Page optimization
Your company’s website will be SEO-optimized to be relevant to local search results.
Step 2: Google My Business
Your company entry in Google My Business will be optimized and maintained.
Step 3: Local Citations
Your company and its key data (name, address, telephone number, etc.) will be entered and linked in various business directories and review portals.
On Page Measures for your Local SEO Success
With the correct information on Google My Business, the establishment of structured data, and the entries in relevant business directories, your local search engine optimization basics are already fulfilled. Since your website’s information also influences the rankings, you should also keep an eye on it.
You should definitely consider these measures for local search engine optimization:
- NAP information: Of course, the NAP information must also be adhered to on your website so that it matches the directory entries and your Google My Business account. This information is rounded off by the opening times and directions.
- Optimize your homepage’s main heading (H1): The H1 of your homepage should contain the location, company name, and the main keyword. If there is a possibility, you can try to include a secondary keyword.
- Optimize Snippet: Optimize your website’s title and description to make the local reference of your page visible in the SERPs.
In addition to these measures, it is worth investing in high-quality content. If you display content with added value on your website, you stand out from your competitors.
Enter your Local Company in Yellow Pages (Local Citations).
You are probably familiar with this from earlier times: If you were looking for a company of any kind, you opened the “big yellow book,” and you had a large selection in front of you in no time at all.
It still works in a similar way today. However, online and always up to date. The yellow pages are still one of the most important directories for companies of all kinds. You should focus on getting your business listed on these top-quality local directories.
Besides the well-known “Yellow Pages,” these are, for example:
- Angie’s List
- City Search
A tip on this: You will quickly notice that the range of company directories is very large. Not all of these online directories are equally useful for your local SEO marketing or search engine marketing.
That is why it is advisable to make a selection. The easiest way to do this is to look in which directories your largest and most successful competitors are listed. Make a list and follow suit with your competitors.
Mobile Optimization for Better Rankings
Another important factor for local SEO is the mobile optimization of your website. Did you know there are more searches performed on mobile over desktop? Think about it smartphones are so prevailing in today’s world, and most users search while on the go. Especially when the user is looking for a “restaurant” or “store,” that is nearby. Local relevance is essential to show up in these searches. Would you want to waste your time driving twenty miles when you could have gotten the same quality item two minutes from your location?
Mobile optimization includes fast loading speed and a responsive design that adapts to the end device’s display size. If your website is optimized for mobile use, it is more likely that it will also achieve better rankings locally.
A well thought out mobile-friendly design also creates a better user experience. Nothing worse than trying to browse a website that not only loads slowly but is hard to navigate. You can tell whether your site is already optimized for mobile use with the Google Mobile-Friendly Test.
What Does Bing Places bring?
Not all internet users use Google for search. You are probably thinking to yourself if Google provides most of the traffic, why do I need to worry about the other search engines and map listings? The answer is more relevant traffic.
I would look at Bing and Bing Places being complimentary to Google. They can bring relevant traffic and further increase your brand exposure. Although there are fewer users overall here, the competition is typically lower, which increases your chances of good rankings on this platform.
Why local SEO Pays Off for You?
Local SEO offers enormous added value, especially for locally operating companies with physical stores or services. You can position yourself locally, reach your users directly, and ideally have them visit your store or inquire about your service.
A consistent and well-maintained entry on Google My Business and Bing Places, an up-to-date company page, and a continuously increasing number of reviews (and your response time to them) help you improve your local map listing rankings and reach even more potential customers.
Local search engine optimization typically cost less than a nationwide SEO campaign or paid ads. The reason for this is that you have less competition, but this depends on the industry of your business. With less competition, it means quicker rankings.
If you’re not sure if local SEO is the right fit for your business call or email Local Dudes Marketing and we will look over your site and let you know. We want you to be successful so you need not worry about us trying to sell you none needed stuff.
Local Dudes Marketing Will Develop the Ideal Local SEO Marketing Strategy for You!
Let professionals support you with your website’s local search engine optimization needs. You can rely on the many years of experience we have with internet marketing and sure to provide a plan that will cut out the wasted time and expense you will experience on your own.
With a strategy customized to your business, we will surely improve the findability of your page in local search.Our SEO specialists optimize for you:
- Your website designed to have a local focus
- Your Google My Business listing
- Regional backlink sources (citation links)
By hiring us you can remove some stress and doubt about how you are going to drive relevant website traffic and create leads for your business. We are experts and will work with you to come up with the best local SEO strategy for your company and your budget. Whether that be through the map listings, regional SEO or paid aids.
We have the capabilities to handle all your search engine optimization and PPC management needs. Contact us today, you will be happy that you did.
This Local SEO Marketing Company Wants to Help Your Business Grow
We understand being a small business is tough, and you are often stuck dealing with a limited budget and resources. So, hire us because this Local SEO Marketing Company will always work hard for you and do our best to keep our pricing affordable for all.
We are not looking to just take your money. What we strive to do is build a lasting partnership with all of our clients. This is not a simple task, but we feel our recipe for success is to provide you with significant results, reasonable pricing and an upfront transparent approach.
If you need to increase revenue to your business and feel that our local SEO marketing is a good fit then call us. We will work with you to grow your business.
If you want to do the work yourself and need someone to help guide and teach you, then you should inquire about my San Diego SEO consultant service. I will literally teach you the same techniques and show you the tools used to rank my website and clients.