LOCAL SEO COMPLETE GUIDE

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Google presents its local search results in Maps and in its Local Pack:

Getting a GMB account involves:

Once you’re set up with a GMB account you can then use our complete guide to succeeding with Google My Business.

We’ve written a guide on setting up your Google My Business listing that will take you through this process, step-by-step.

You’ll need to supply Google with this information to get noticed in the Local Pack, which you can do through a Google My Business account.

The Benefits of Local SEO Marketing.

Local search engine marketing plays a crucial role in getting customers (and so more $$), as it favors smaller businesses over the larger players.

So the definition of local SEO can be thought of as ‘the practice of applying search engine optimization tactics to specifically target these valuable local customers’.

Quite simply, local SEO marketing is needed by:

Let’s get straight to it—what is local SEO marketing, and why should you care?

Local SEO stands for “local search engine optimization”, and as any business knows, attracting local customers can be key to success or failure:

Access research found that 92% of consumers traveled just 20 minutes or less to purchase their day-to-day essentials.

Search engines know this, and so apply a specific set of local SEO ranking factors for searches that:

If one of these describes your business, then your business will benefit from local SEO.

The most effective way to start getting your business seen for local searches is to focus on Google.

How Do I Start Doing Local SEO Marketing?

You can look at each search engine ranking factor and show Google why your business deserves to appear by:

Also known as the 3-Pack, this area includes additional information on businesses such as opening times, contact information, photos, and reviews.

Other search engines (such as Apple or Bing) will be valuable later on, but to start with it makes sense to target the search engine with 92% of the world’s market share.

Local SEO marketing is the process of convincing search engines that your business should appear in the results for these location-based searches.

All of these topics (and more!) are covered in our complete guide to local SEO.

Who Needs Local SEO?

Don’t just do this for the SEO, either. By having reviews and keeping your contact information and operating hours up-to-date, you’re improving the experience for potential customers to find you. Finding current information is important to consumers, now more than ever, due to 2020’s disruption in consumer shopping behavior and business operation.

Some of the most common ways people will use your site in a mobile environment is to look up reviews, find directions to your location, and search for contact information. In fact, “near me” searches on mobile have increased 250% since 2017 (Think With Google).

Now that we’ve covered how to optimize your business for local SEO, let’s explore some useful tools you can leverage to improve your ranking in the areas where it matters most.

2. Engage on social media and add posts to Google My Business.

The tool can help you generate and monitor reviews on local sites, understand your local search performance, and analyze nearby competitors.

Google My Business has become the creme de la creme of local search — since Google understandably feels most comfortable sharing content it can support and verify, Google My Business is their tool to help your business meet Google’s needs.

It’s also important you avoid duplicating content across multiple location pages. For single location businesses, create a locally descriptive About Us page. You’ll get big time bonus points if you add a Google Map to your website on your respective location page(s).

Consistency is key: verify that your citations are consistent and complete across these four data aggregators.

Citations matter because they help surface local businesses in online search, and when local businesses actively manage their citations to ensure data accuracy, it promotes trust of these online listings.

Less expensive than most of its counterparts, Moz Local will ensure your business listing has been verified on Google and Facebook, and distribute your listing across the search ecosystem.

11. Get inbound links with relevance and authority.

If Google can’t determine which information about your business is correct, it may not show your business at all in search results.

This desktop program crawls websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps from an SEO perspective. Curious if you have any 404’s? Wondering about missing meta descriptions or H1’s? Screaming Frog will analyze up to 500 URLs for free and offers an unlimited paid version for $200/year.

BuzzStream facilitates earning local backlinks, which helps you identify and build relationships with local influencers by researching influencers, tracking conversations, and providing reporting insights into your outreach campaigns, team performance, and link placements.

For United States companies, these four map data aggregators provide a large amount of the map data for Apple, Yelp, Bing, Google, Trip Advisor, and more.

1. Whitespark Local Citation Finder.

For example, given that .edu links are the bee’s knees for domain authority, why not earn some links by featuring a scholarship in your geographic region? It should be relevant to your industry, send the right signals to your domain (given the backlinks from schools) … and make you feel good, too! Moz built up a solid guide on the steps to success for effective scholarship outreach.

Also, being a guest blogger can help attract links. Talk to and about (positively, of course!) other people in your industry, and act as a resource provider for the community. If you’re an active participant in community conversations, the buzz around you grows in the form of inbound links, social media growth, and media coverage.

Discrepancies like misspellings, abbreviations, lack of suite number or wrong phone number can be problematic.

When it comes to content, every new blog post is a new indexed page for your site, a new page on which to target a geographic search phrase, and a new opportunity to get found in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

BrightLocal is a comprehensive SEO tool suite specifically built for local business marketing needs.

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