Local SEO enables your business to be found easily in Google’s search results. However, local SEO is a lot different from the usual SEO techniques. So how to rank your local business better? Here are the steps to do local SEO for your website and rank your local business better on Google.
How to do Local SEO for your Local Business?
Here’s a step-by-step detailed guide to do Local search engine optimization for your local business so that it ranks higher in local search results.
1. Claim your Google My Business Page
If you haven’t done it already, you need to claim your Google My Business Page. Your My Business Page is like a Google Profile for your Local business and provides tons of useful information for people who are searching for your business on Google. Here’s a simple video of how to claim your Google My Business Page
Once you’ve setup your Google Business Page, you need to optimize it for your local business. Here’s how:
- Add a long description about your business that includes relevant keywords and links about your business.
- Choose the right categories for your local business
- Upload at least 4-5 high resolution photos about your business. They can be about your office, products, and employees. Don’t use stock photos.
- Add an address and phone number to your business. Ensure they are same as the ones displayed on your website. Select the location on Google Maps. You can also learn how to add your business to Google Maps.
- Add a high resolution profile photo and cover image.
- Add the working hours & days for your business
- Get reviews from real customers (more on this below)
- You can also add YouTube videos to your Google Business Page, if you have any videos about your business, or tutorials & how to’s that you’ve shared on YouTube. If you’re using YouTube videos, ensure that you have done YouTube SEO to optimize your videos to rank better on YouTube & Google Search.
2. Build a consistent Online Identity for your Local Business
In order to build a consistent online identity for your local business, you need to ensure that you provide the same name, address and phone number of your business across all pages of your website. Also, you must mention the exact same name, address and phone number whenever you mention your business details on other websites.
Also, use Schema.org markup for local businesses to ensure that search engines easily understand the contact details of your business and display your company information correctly in search results, and other places.
Here’s a an example of how a website has added its name, address and phone to the website footer using Schema.org markup .
Here’s the code you can modify for your own website, just replace the parts in bold with your local business details.
<div itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/LocalBusiness">
<p itemprop="name">COMPANY NAME</p>
<p itemprop="address" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/PostalAddress">
<p itemprop="streetAddress">ADDRESS LINE 1</p>
<p itemprop="telephone">PHONE NUMBER</p>
<meta itemprop="latitude" content="LATITUDE" />
<meta itemprop="longitude" content="LONGITUDE" />
3. Get Local Reviews from Real customers
The next step is to get local reviews about your business from actual customers. Local reviews have a huge impact on search listings, and appear almost everywhere in local search results. You’ll see the star ratings next to your business listing, and also a couple of lines of user reviews, even while using Google Maps. The first step is to start with Google Reviews, and then get reviews on your Yelp Page as well as other local directories.
To begin with, you can reach out to your happiest customers who will gladly provide a review for your business. You may also offer incentives (e.g 10% discount) to customers who submit business reviews. You can also create a separate page (http://example.com/write-a-review) that lists the steps to review your local business on popular local directories and sites, to help non-technical users fill out a review for your local business.
4. Local On-Page SEO Factors
On-Page SEO for local business web pages is just like the usual On-Page SEO, with more importance placed on the location of your business. To begin with you need to do a keyword research to find out the target keywords for your business. Don’t forget to do long-tail keyword research and semantic keyword research to include long-tail keywords and LSI keywords respectively, in your website content.
Once you’ve completed keyword research and created your content, place “city/region name + keyword” in :
- title tag (learn how to create keyword rich SEO optimized Title Tags)
- header tags
- anchor texts
- beginning paragraph
- ending paragraph
Also embed a Google Map with your Business Marker on your landing page.
Check out our On-Page SEO Checklist for in-depth understanding of all the On-Page SEO Ranking Factors and how to do On-Page SEO for your website.
Finally, ensure that your local business website is optimized for mobile devices, by following Mobile SEO Best Practices and Tips.
5. Local Link Building & Citations
Link Building and Citations in Local SEO are very similar to the usual SEO. The only difference is that you need to build backlinks from other websites that are highly relevant to your local business. It’s not so important to get links from high authority sites, as it is to build backlinks from sites that talk about things similar to what you do.
Therefore, even local directories are very useful sources of backlinks to your website.
Here are some local link building strategies & campaigns that you can use to get links easily:
- Sponsor a Meetup: Go to Meetup.com and find a meetup in your industry. Look for meetups with websites and other contact information. Reach out to them to see if you can sponsor their meetup (generally a lunch). If they agree, you’ll get a backlink from their high authority meetup page.
- Reach out to local reporters using services like HARO (Help a reporter out) to get quoted in local publications.
- Offer discounts to local organizations for your products & services, in exchange for a link from their website.
- Reach out to relevant online publications for an interview or column.
- Write guest posts and articles on other local websites and ask them to include a link to your website in the author bio.
- Create a profile on online industry forums, and participate in their discussions. They allow you to add a link back to your website, in your user profile.
Similarly, citations are online references to your business name, address and phone number. They don’t even have to be linked to your website, as long as they’re consistent with the name, address and phone number displayed on your website.
Here are some ways to get more local citations:
- Submit your business to a service like WhiteSpark that will find and add local citations for you.
- Go through the extensive list of citation sources by Moz and submit your citations.
- Use local SEO tools like Ahrefs or Majestic to do competitor research and find out your competitors’ citations.
- Set up google alerts to track any new mentions of your competitors’ name, address and phone number online.
Check out our list of Off-Page SEO techniques to build backlinks to your website.
To summarize, here’s a simple local SEO checklist with the steps to do local SEO for your business
- Set up your Google My Business Page
- Optimize all landing pages with local keywords in content
- Ensure you use a consistent Business Name, Address and Phone number all over the web
- Get customer reviews from real customer on Google Reviews and Yelp Pages
- Focus on getting highly relevant backlinks to your website, instead of getting links from high authority sites
Hopefully, these local SEO tips will help you create a powerful and comprehensive local SEO strategy for your own business.
Local SEO Factors are very similar to the usual SEO Ranking Factors, with a few differences. You need to place more emphasis on location during on-page SEO and relevance during Off-Page SEO. If done correctly, Local SEO can improve local search engine ranking for your website, drive highly qualified traffic to your website and grow your local business quickly.
What do you think? Do you have any tips & best practices for local SEO?