SOLID LOCAL SEO STRATEGY

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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Optimizing for local search is important, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses serving specific towns, cities, regions, and even states.

Local search engine optimization requires a strategic and targeted approach that is distinct from general SEO.

Local search engine optimization is a branch of SEO that focuses on optimizing a website to be found in local search results.

We created this comprehensive guide to help local SEO professionals gain a better understanding of today’s local search landscape.

Search Engine Journal’s ebook, A Guide to Local SEO, tackles what you need to know about optimizing for local search.

What is local SEO?

Will your business show up at the exact time when local customers are looking? Will they pick you out of all the local businesses that offer the same products and services?

Content, on-page optimizations, and link building all with a focused, localized intent are part of these efforts.

Customers are searching for the best products and services near them – and they want answers… fast.

If you want to have a solid foundation on local search engine optimization, make sure to read SEJ’s A Guide to Local SEO.

Brick-and-mortar businesses wanting to win against competitors should make sure all the local signals across Google’s local search landscape are consistent and correct.

When done right, local SEO allows people to find information about your business quickly and easily, putting them one step closer to a transaction.

Read A Guide to Local SEO to learn:

Why is local SEO important?

As you may know, the process of researching keywords can get a bit involved. It’s not enough to look for keywords that have a good search volume. You also need to consider the competition, how relevant your keywords are to your audience, how to incorporate them into your content, and more.

If you’re running any type of local business, you’ll want to develop a solid local SEO strategy to get your website or business in front of as many potential customers as possible.

Keep in mind – Local SEO for WordPress is a premium tool, which makes sense considering that it’s somewhat specialized. This plugin will set you back $69 per year, but if you rely on a strong local SEO strategy to help get more business, the expense could be worth it.

How to develop a local SEO strategy (in 3 steps)

In this article, we’re going to talk a bit more about what local SEO is and why it matters. Then we’ll help you set the groundwork for a local SEO strategy in three steps. Let’s get started!

If you’re not listed on Google My Business yet, this is the right time to get started. Plus, having a listing will help people to find you using Google Maps, which is a great way to get noticed by locals.

Keep in mind – local and ‘regular’ SEO go hand in hand. Just because you want to focus on a specific geographic area doesn’t mean you should take general SEO best practices out of the equation. After all, the more people who know about your business, the better!

Unlike the general SEO you may be used to, local SEO is all about targeting the people who are close to your physical location. For that reason, it’s usually not a priority unless you run a store or business that has a real-world location.

Some examples of businesses that can benefit from a local SEO strategy would be:

It packs all the information people need to find and evaluate whether they want to go to your place of business. Your profile can include pictures, reviews, opening times, a link to your website, and more.

What local SEO is (and why it matters)

There are a lot of online platforms where you can ‘list’ your business, much like digital versions of the Yellow Pages. However, as you might imagine, Google My Business is by far the most popular option:

For example, one great local SEO strategy is to use schema markup to provide search engines with specific information about your business, such as your location, opening hours, what type of business you’re running, and more. Adding that markup to WordPress, however, is a bit involved.

To get your business listed, you have to ‘claim’ it via Google My Business. The signup process is simple, but the verification process can be a bit more involved. It usually requires you to receive a pin number via paper mail sent to your business address. That way, Google can verify that you operate at the location you’ve claimed.

It also gives you a special spot in Google’s search results, which means you’ll want to use this space to make your business as visible as possible.

3. Set up a dedicated local SEO tool for WordPress.

If you run a business with a physical location, then local SEO should be near the top of your priority list. A lot of people search for businesses in their area every day. So if you have a strong online presence, you’re bound to catch some of them and increase sales.

As the name implies, local SEO is all about positioning yourself for searches around your physical location. If you run a store, for example, local SEO can help pedestrians find it via mobile searches. When executed well, local SEO may bring you more business right away.

Remember, local keywords are all about including your location, so don’t be afraid to get very specific. Plus, the usual advice about not targeting highly-competitive terms such as “pizza” or “law firm” doesn’t apply as much. The more targeted your intended audience is, the less competition you should find, so don’t be afraid to go for some high-hanging fruit.

That’s a stark contrast to regular conversion rates, which of course vary depending on what your goal is. However, they’re usually much lower than the rates for local searches.

This plugin takes care of adding schema markup to your website and optimizes your contact page to include more information that’s critical for local SEO. Plus, it can help you optimize your website to target multiple locations, saving you a lot of time.

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