The Ultimate Guide to Local SEO for Small Businesses

small business local seo strategy

Local SEO refers to increasing the website traffic and awareness from local searches and search engines. This includes desktop, tablet or mobile searches and methods like using relevant local keywords and optimising your Google my business profile.

Local SEO strategy should never be underestimated. 46% of all 2022 searches have a local intent, in google at least.

“Near me” related searches have been growing 150% faster than traditional searches. 29% of all google SERPs contain a local pack in the results. 74% of consumers that search for a service local on their phone will then visit the store that day. This proves that optimising for local searches is vital and could offer a huge benefit to small businesses.

How does local SEO work?

Local SEO indexing, scanning and ranking works just like traditional SEO, but what makes it unique is that local search ranking factors involved in local SEO are different.

Some of the local SEO signals are:

• User’s location

• Name, address, phone citations (NAP)

• Utilising online reviews

• Google My Business presence

• Google Maps rating

• Number of check ins for that location

• Shares on social media

The Google Map Pack

A local pack is a set of business results with their locations being used from google maps. When we search for a business, the top search results are shown on a map with all the search locations. The algorithm used in this is a bit different to other SEO techniques.

Google will not actually show local results for keywords that contain specific city or state. Instead, it will show you local map results, if google thinks that your search needs local suggestions, even if the search isn’t actually containing locations.

This needs to be kept in mind and generic keyword “store” type of searches need to be focused on too instead of “store+city”.

So how to proceed local SEO keyword Research.

Fortunately, you don’t need to constantly find new keywords for local SEO. It is generally a one

time process. You can find keywords from Yelp suggests by just typing in a keyword which someone in

your area might be searching for. This also works with Google suggests.

Local Voice Searches are also growing in current times. According to Google, 20% of all Google searches on mobile are now voice searches.


small business seo

How local SEO in Google actually works.

In local SEO, your Google my business profile is just as important than your website.

According to a study by Moz, the number one factor for ranking in the map pack was a Google my business profile.

It doesn’t mean that your website isn’t important, the content on your site and backlinks still play an important role in your local rankings, but your Google my business profile remains a top ranking factor.

NAP or Name Address and phone number citations are another important local SEO factor, as Google uses NAPs to confirm that all of your business info is correct. The more they see NAP citations for your business, the more confident they are that your address is where you say it is and that your phone number is correct.

Online reviews are also really great for reputation management, review signals play an

important role as it shows that customers had a good experience with your organisation and hence you’re trustworthy.

Google my business

Google my business profiles are really important for SEO.

Keep in mind these few points to make your profile better.

Keep everything consistent.

When it comes to GMB, consistency is HUGE. Not only should everything you enter into the GMB match your website, but it should also match your NAP citations around the web.

If your business changes its name, physical location or phone number, it’s important that the new data gets updated ASAP.

Make your profile detailed and fill out everything you can.

Fill in all the information possible and make the content relevant.

Google gives you a score for how complete your profile is, and you can get a really good score by just filling in the basic information. But if you want to rank for a competitive keywords, you’ll have to do more than that.

Add your category, your Secondary category and services and products tabs in the profile, as they all help Google to make more sense of your business.

Another important step is to keep your business data updated. Information like opening hours, holidays and other basic business info should be updated regularly as per your firm’s times.

Getting reviews is also an important part of local SEO.

It is one of the important local SEO ranking factor. One pro tip is that reply to every review you can, whether good or bad.

You need to ask customers to leave reviews and you need to make it so easy for them. Send customers an email with a review link to make it as simple as possible.

Localised SEO Strategy tips

Write blog posts around focus keywords

Your local business has something unique to offer, and by blogging regularly with local content and about local events and things happening within your company, you’ll be able to improve your local SEO success in local search results and gain more potential customers.

Write unique content for every Location.

Google gives you a score for how complete your profile is, and you can get a really good score by just filling in the basic information. But if you want to rank for a competitive keyword, you’ll have to do more than that.

Add your category, your Secondary category and services and products tabs in the profile, they all help Google to make more sense of your business.

Another important step is to keep your business data updated. Information like opening hours, holidays and other basic business info should be updated regularly as per your times.

Getting reviews is also an important part of local SEO.

It is one of the important local SEO ranking factor. One pro tip is that reply to every review you can, whether good or bad.

You need to ask customers to leave reviews and You need to make it so easy for them. Send customers an email with a review link.

Write unique content for every location.

As long as you avoid duplicate content, you can create these sorts of landing pages for cities that you’re not physically based in.

Schema MarkUp

Schema MarkUp is another thing which is nice to have, for local SEO. You can use this Schema to markup your address and phone number.

Review markup is another way you can use it. Like any SERPs, review stars can turn your boring result into an eye-catching Rich Snippet.

Local citations

Local citations are really important as they can give your Map Pack rankings a real boost. As you are reaching out to people in your local area, your outreach conversion rate is usually going to be insanely high. Question is, how do you find these local citations?

You can use the Intersect link feature in Ahrefs.

Take a batch of two to three competitors and you’ll get a bunch of results detailing a list of citations and link building opportunities.

Local Link Building.

First step is to outreach other local business in your areas and build a relationship with them.

Start with people you already know or are familiar with.

List out the Distributors Supplier Wholesaler Contractor Neighbouring business. Then search for a page in your site where your link would make sense.

Get a link from your local chamber of commerce.

Your local Chamber of Commerce is one of the easiest links you’re ever going to get.

You can get a relevant link from your local chamber of commerce by giving a talk there about some you know more of. You can also indulge in local PR as most of the local media agencies are dying for good stories. And if you do something interesting enough, you can get a good link from them.

Local business listings

Sign up to your local business directories as they will be potentially seen by local customers.

Conclusion

Local SEO should not be ignored. Take the time to understand user intent and optimise for local searches to get a steady stream of focussed traffic.

If you need help with your local SEO strategy, contact me today for a no obligation chat about your businesses requirements.

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