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Local SEO, a complete guide for your website performance. Do you run a local business in your city or region and want to increase visibility?
In this case, local SEO is something that you absolutely need to consider in your marketing campaigns. In this guide, we will explain to you what local SEO is.
You will find out how you can benefit from it and what are the most important elements of local SEO. Dive in and explore everything you should know about local SEO!
What is local SEO: definition
Local SEO is the process of website optimization and planning both off-site and on-site strategies to increase visibility in organic search results for local user searches.
Local SEO should be introduced primarily for businesses that have a physical location. For example, restaurants, bars, barber shops or law offices.
Benefits of local SEO
With local SEO, you can increase your visibility in search results for local keywords. For example, those that include the name of a city (“best SEO Agency Munich”).
This way, more users who are looking for some specific services nearby will be able to find your business. They will receive all the necessary information to choose your local business.
Not a national or even international giants! Simply put, local SEO gives you the opportunity to stand out and get local customers.
The main benefits of local SEO are:
- high positions in search results for local searches;
- increased web traffic;
- more leads;
- higher revenue;
- better brand awareness and recognition;
- more loyal local customers.
Still don’t believe that local SEO can do wonders for your business? Here are some statistics that will convince you:
- 76% of mobile users who search for a local business on their mobile device visit the business within one day;
- 28% of local searches translate into a purchase;
- 30% of all mobile searches on Google are related to local businesses.
Local SEO checklist
If you’re planning to include local SEO in your marketing activities, here’s a list of things you shouldn’t forget:
1. Google My Business
We can’t talk about local SEO without Google My Business.
It’s absolutely a must-have for any business that has a physical location and operates within a city or region. To see a Google My Business profile, enter a business name in Google, and you’ll find it displayed to the right of the search results.
How to optimize your Google My Business profile? You need to provide as much information about your business as possible:
- business name;
- address: provide your real physical address so that users can easily find you on maps;
- contact information: add your phone number so that mobile users will be able to contact you;
- website: include your homepage URL;
- opening hours: inform users when they can visit your business;
- photos: show what your headquarters looks like, introduce your team;
- category: Google suggests a number of business categories. Choose the one that best describes your business.
Don’t forget about the social media accounts. Add links to Facebook, Instagram or other platforms;
- questions & answers section: answer your users’ questions.
2. Google Map Pack
Google Map Pack (aka Local Pack) are local search results that include Google Maps. These come up every time you search for local businesses.
What’s interesting is that The Map Pack has a slightly different algorithm than Google’s traditional search results. So, you should properly optimize your site to appear high in Local Pack.
The most important elements of Google Local Pack optimization are:
- register in Google My Business and include all the relevant information about your local business;
- add your business to Google Maps;
- include photos of your services, products or team;
- get users’ reviews;
- make your website mobile-friendly;
- include local keywords on your website.
3. Local Keywords
Do you want to achieve success with local SEO? Local keyword research is one of the most important elements of your strategies.
Let’s start by defining what’s the difference between traditional keywords and local keywords. When it comes to local keyword research, the most important rule is always to include your location.
Whether it is your city, your region or your country.
Basically, a local keyword can consist of 3 elements: modifier + core term + location. To properly understand the structure of local keywords, it is worth understanding what they stand for:
- modifier: a phrase that makes the keyword more specific and adds an additional value to it;
- core term: the most important part of a local keyword describing what you actually do or sell;
- location: where your business is located, in which city, region or country.
What’s especially important when choosing keywords for your local SEO process? Search intent is something you should never ignore.
In a nutshell, search intent is what a user wants to get by typing in a given query. What is the main intention behind Google searches. There are 4 main types of search intent:
- informational: users want to get information on a topic and get a better understanding;
- navigational: users are looking for a specific brand or website;
- transactional: users want to buy something or use a service;
- commercial investigation: users already know what they want to buy, but are looking for reviews or opinions.
4. NAPs Citations
Have you ever heard of NAPs? It’s a very powerful Google ranking signal that can take your local SEO to the next level. NAP is an acronym that stands for Name, Address, and Phone number.
The basic elements that allow local customers to get in touch with you.
NAPs are important as they are sufficient proof for Google that your business data is accurate and correct. So add information about your business on numerous local NAPs. Keep in mind the following rules so that NAPs actually work and contribute to your local SEO:
- complete all key information about your business. Name, address, and phone number are mandatory in every NAP. However, if you have such a possibility, enter your homepage URL, email, description, logo, or images;
- make your NAPs consistent: always give real data;
- keep your NAPs updated: if you change address or phone number always update NAPs as soon as possible.
5. Schema LocalBusiness
Schema (also known as structured data) is a great solution. Help Google crawlers interpret your content and find all the important information about your business. Find out more about what means a content tool.
There are many types of schema. But when it comes to local SEO you should implement LocalBusiness schema. It can bring tangible results to your website search.
Do you want to check whether your website has a properly implemented local schema? There is one great tool that will help you with that.
Go to Structured Data Testing Tool and enter your homepage URL. This Google tool will prepare a report for you with all the schemas for your website.
LocalBusiness schema should contain the following information:
- company name;
- opening hours;
- price range;
- homepage URL;
- phone number;
6. Local SEO content
This is another incredibly important part of optimizing your website for local searches. Here are some ideas of what your on-page content distribution should be like:
- create city-specific landing pages. Do you want to rank for local keywords? It’s necessary to have proper location landing pages prepared. This is especially important if you run a multi-location business and operate in several cities;
- create regional landing pages. Do you operate in several cities within the same region, state or county? Create regional landing pages where users can reach city-specific landing pages. You’ll get more local customers who enter both queries for the region and specific cities in that region;
- create FAQ pages. This is a great solution, as more and more users are choosing voice search. Thanks to the FAQ section or a separate page your website may appear in featured snippets;
- create blog articles. A blog can bring tangible results. Not just for local businesses, but even for e-commerce giants. Do you want to increase your visibility in search results and appear for more local keywords? A blog is the perfect place to do it.
7. On-Page Optimization
The next step to success is proper on-page optimization.
If you’ve ever dealt with SEO, you’ve probably heard which on-page elements need to be optimized first place. Keep the following things in mind when doing on-page SEO for a local business:
- include a keyword in the H1 heading;
- add at least several H2 headings to separate your content;
- make URLs short, user-friendly and include keywords in them;
- include alt text to all your images;
- use HTML emphasis tags for keywords.
Special attention to the metadata, title tag and meta description
A title tag should:
- contain 50-60 characters;
- be unique and descriptive;
- end with the name of your brand;
- include the most important keyword related to your pages;
- contain the city or region where you operate;
A meta description should:
- contain 140-160 characters;
- include CTA;
- briefly describe your content;
- contain keywords and the city or region where you operate.
8. Local SEO link building
In the end you need to create local backlinks. Link building is one of the key elements of SEO strategy. A large number of natural links coming from quality domains sends a signal to Google.
Your local business offers good products or services.
Keep in mind that local link building is a bit different from the traditional process of obtaining backlinks. Here it is important that the links are directly related. Not only to your industry or niche but also to your city or region.
Find local directory sites, forums or blogs that represent the location where you operate.
Do you want Google to love your local business? Then you definitely should introduce local SEO into your marketing efforts. Over time, you will see the desired results.
The COVID pandemic has changed our lives. More and more customers are choosing to support local businesses, making local SEO more powerful.
Above we have listed the most important elements of local SEO. Follow our guidelines and you will increase visibility in search results for local keywords. This will translate into more leads or revenue.
Are you looking for real experts in local SEO? You have come to the perfect place! Our SEO specialists will prepare a long-term data-driven SEO process for your business.
Don’t hesitate and contact us, we’ll be happy to help you!