Whether you have a storefront or service an entire area, Local SEO is the best way to bring in targeted, organic traffic from your region. It’s an essential part of any marketing strategy for businesses that want to grow. This article will outline everything you need to know about Local SEO, from best practices and ranking factors to the most effective strategies.
Unlike traditional search engine optimization, which optimizes a website for the purpose of attracting organic, unpaid web traffic, Local SEO is designed for businesses that want to rank for a specific geographic area. In addition to traditional website optimization, it includes a set of strategies that target external online presence, such as Google Business Profile, citations, and reviews. By optimizing these areas, you can increase your visibility to searchers who are interested in your product or services, and drive more leads and clients to your business.
To optimize for Local SEO, you must first ensure that your business information is correct and consistent across all online properties. This includes your website, Google Business Profile, and any other business listings on third-party sites like Yelp. Search engines look for consistency in name, address, and phone number (NAP) to determine the accuracy of a listing and rank it higher in the results.
Once your NAP is correct, you need to generate quality, relevant content for your website. This content should be useful to your audience and include the keywords you’re targeting. Blog posts, videos, podcasts, and infographics are all great options for creating high-quality content. Creating relevant, engaging content will help you rank for local searches and attract more visitors to your website.
The next step is to build backlinks from authoritative websites in your local market. This is a time-consuming process, but it’s an important component of any successful SEO campaign. Start by researching your local competitors’ links to find opportunities. Then, reach out to these sites to ask if they’d be willing to share your link on their site. This will help you build valuable, targeted backlinks that will boost your local SEO ranking.
Local SEO is a different beast than traditional SEO, and it’s primarily driven by customer reviews and signals on external websites. A steady stream of reviews on major local review platforms, like Google Business Profile, TripAdvisor, and Yelp, will help you rank higher in the local SERPs, and a robust collection of positive reviews can be an indicator of the quality of your products or services.
Unfortunately, unscrupulous companies often use spammy tactics to manipulate local search rankings. This may include keyword stuffing in the business name, inaccurate location data, or creating fake reviews. However, search engines are constantly updating their algorithms to catch these kinds of behaviors. By reporting spammy profiles to Google, you can help the system weed out these bad actors and give honest businesses a fair shot at ranking highly in local SERPs.