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Local SEO Best Practices

Publish Date: March 21, 2023

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a digital marketing strategy that aims to increase the visibility of a business in local search results. It involves optimizing a website and its content to target specific geographic locations, such as a city or a region, to attract more customers from that area.

 Local SEO is essential for businesses with a physical location or businesses that serve a specific local market. This includes brick-and-mortar locations or local service providers. (For example, HVAC companies). By optimizing their website and other online properties for local search, these businesses can appear higher in search engine results when users search for keywords related to their industry and location.

Local SEO strategies typically involve:

  • Optimizing a website’s content and structure for local search.
  • Building citations and backlinks from local sources.
  • Creating and optimizing a Google My Business listing.
  • Engaging with customers through online reviews and social media.

These efforts help businesses to appear more prominently in local search results and increase their visibility to potential customers in their local area.

 

Onsite SEO

Showing up in the local search results starts with your website’s health and performance. From content and site structure to scheme markup language and coding, websites are more likely to be indexed well in search engines when onsite SEO best practices are properly addressed.

Some of these areas include:

  • Title Tags, Alt Tags, H Tags, Page Descriptions, etc..
  • Menu Optimization and Internal Linking Optimization
  • Structured Data
  • Content Writing and Optimization
  • Mobile Optimization
  • Page Speed (mobile and desktop)
  • FAQ’s
  • Offsite SEO

There’s more that contributes to local search results than what’s happening on your website. A complete SEO strategy takes into account what is happening offsite, as well. This includes best practices such as local listings. citation building, and backlink building. Also important are social media and review management.

 

Social Media

A significant amount of SEO happens around social media. It’s essential to post-to, and monitor social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Posts from these sites are also indexed in search engine results. Google Business Profile, although not considered “social media,” some of the same best practices apply here, too, such as posting regularly and responding to Google Reviews. Engagement on these sites helps your web presence and promotes the content you post on your website. These efforts work towards generating social signals that boost SEO performance, as well as show customers the signs of life for your business’s online reputation.

 

Review Management

Online reputation is everything in this highly competitive digital age. Not only do reviews speak to customers, but they speak to search engines as well! Regular reputation checks and responding to online reviews are critical. And regardless of the review being positive or negative, all reviews can be responded to in positive ways. Engagement in reviews helps in the search engines and in the eyes of other users considering doing business with your company. Reviews left unmanaged are risky in the online world where we do business.

 

Local 1:1 Branding & SEO

Local SEO requires granular attention to detail, keeping in mind the users’ search “intent” when searching for localized results. It’s equally important for search engines and customers to understand that you genuinely are local in each location within your service area.

 

Why do customers care?

In the current search state of users looking for a service provider, they have special intentions and entitlements. They may not even be conscious of these factors, but they influence decision-making. Providing website content unique to specific locations within your service area gives customers trust and buying confidence.

 

Why do the Search Engines care? 

Local Search is about being LOCAL! When users “geo-modify” their search (ex. Springfield Plumber), search engines serve up localized results. This produces search results in maps, as well as organic listings, and even rich results (rich snippets).

 

Two critical areas of focus for Local SEO are:

 

1. Local City Mini-sites 

Having “local” or “city” pages on the website will get you close to the mark. But competing in highly competitive areas requires more. Websites are built with “local area” menu items. Success in this strategy requires creating unique content for each page. But more importantly, creating content that is specific to the local area. That includes page copy, headings, images, HTML tags, and schema.

Example of Local City Mini-sites:

Example of Local City Mini-sites

2. Local Directories & Maps 

It’s critical that your customers can find you in local listings, even if you don’t have a physical address for customers to visit. Local listings (your business citations – name, address, phone) should be synchronized across as many local listing sites as possible. This is an opportunity to show search engines how relevant you are as a business location. There are over 200+ listings publishers, of course, the most important being Google Business Profile (GBP).

GBP is essential in letting people know where you are, when you’re open, what you have to offer, and how they can contact you.

Some GBP Management Best Practices Include:

  •  Confirming and updating your business information
  • Optimizing to increase your business’s online visibility.
  • Optimizing to increase traffic to your website and conversions on the profile.
  • Managing customer reviews and reporting those violating the platforms’ terms.
  • Creating and posting “Google Posts” (mini blog articles) on your profile.
  • Creating backups of photos & videos, in the event, your listing is suspended or removed.

 Some Best Practices for Other Local Listings Management:

  • Confirming and updating your business information regularly
  • Optimizing to increase your business’s online visibility.
  • Optimizing to increase traffic to your website and conversions on the profile.

If you have yet to commit to your local SEO, it is very likely that your business is not on the first page. Most potential customers will never see your business.  

Let’s take the first step together. Contact our team for an evaluation and a plan containing the next steps.

Contact GoTime Media about Local SEO Best Practices

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