Local SEO in a Nutshell

The plethora of local SEO is fast evolving at the speed of light. A lot of digital marketing entrepreneurs are aware that the right implementation of local SEO is crucial to getting your business found online and claiming a hefty slice of the digital pie.

There is a gray area between thinking global and thinking local. If you are a local company seeking local audience online then you must cast a narrow net. What’s fundamentally great about local SEO is that you don’t need highly competitive searches or general searches. You get to make restrictive or less competitive searches within a certain niche and region.

The more followers you have – the better it is for your brand. This is in terms of social media; but when you do local SEO – a number of geo-targeted followers are considered better than having millions of followers.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a trifecta of directory syndication, on-page SEO, and geo-targeting to build interest and engage consumers so that your page appears on the first page of SERPs to target people who are searching locally for your brand. Ask any realtor, location is key. Yes, location is very important for your business. You need to concentrate on where it matters – local SEO is all about focusing on clients that are within the city using the mobile or desktop platform.

Local SEO is stronger now than ever. Tapping on the digital platform is a hit or miss matrix. Doing business online is never an exact science but it’s something that can be executed with a calculated trajectory to improve precision with results.

There was a time that when you hit search on Google or other major search engines, the SERPs would usually be dominated by the key players or giants in the industry but with the onset of local SEO, multitude of doors opened up for small- to medium- scale businesses to gain more traction and get on top of the coveted SERP list.

It’s a David vs. Goliath gameplay online. The household names or the biggest brands always get that instinctive name recall. Now, it’s high time to level the playing field with the increased implementation of local SEO. This maximizes brand visibility by capturing the attention of your target consumers right at specified moments of interest. Audience targeting and segmentation is very important. We execute this by looking for the top terms based on its local relevance with the integration of social media and local search.

Consider this – If you are a budding entrepreneur with minimal capital and few employees or a startup business with a home office– is it really necessary to set up a website for your business and do local SEO?

YES. There are no bit players in the industry. As a matter of fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau data for 2012, small- and medium-scale businesses are the backbone of the economy. It’s amazing to note that businesses that have less than 20 employees are able to produce a whopping $4 trillion in sales receipts.

It is highly important and basic for you to have a website no matter what business you are in. According to Small Business, it is crucial for any business to get a virtual presence online in response to customer expectations. More consumers search online for products and services that are in close proximity or within the city. You can reach and engage your target market readily by running a website for your business and reap in more traffic conversions and offline sales with the implementation of local SEO.

Go Organic!

Local search results will give you organic results which will display the highly relevant results found all across the web. This will cover local directory listing, reviews, and other similar businesses. Dive into different local websites, local radio, newspaper, or magazines where you want to be mentioned.

The 7-Pack of Local SEO

In order to implement the 7-pack of local SEO, you need to sign up with Google first.

  • Check if your business already exists on Google Business.

Before you register your business name though, it is necessary to check for an existing list. Just go to Google.com/business and sign in. Indicate your phone number on the search box to get the most relevant and precise results. There could be business names similar to yours so it is safer to hit search using your phone number.

  • Register for Google Business.

 

  • Proceed to com/Business.
  • Choose “Get on Google”.
  • Create an account.
  • Type in your business name.
  • Select “Add Your Business”.
  • Fill in your business details.
  • Click “Continue” and allow Google to send you a postcard (which could take up to 2 weeks or so). Once you receive the postcard, enter the PIN to confirm your location.

 

  • Fill Out Your Profile.

 

  • Indicate your business operation hours. Some people undermine this detail but this is important so that your customers will know your opening and closing hours.
  • Add images. Make sure that your images will reflect your brand. This should be eye-catching to draw the attention of prospective consumers.
  • Indicate keywords that best describe your business. Avoid keyword-stuffing.
  • Ensure that you are labeled on the right category. This is what Google would use to determine your relevance on local searches.

 

  • Focus on Building Your Local Presence.

Here are fool-proof strategies to build your local presence:

  • Indicate location on your website. Indicate your city or state on the website title tag, H1 tag, and your body of content. This will help Google identify that you are a locale to the city which optimizes both local and organic search
  • Build citations. Local NAP citations stand for Name-Address-Phone Number. This is also referred to as “Geographic Markup”. Your complete NAP must be placed on every page of your website as well as on local citations on other websites. You can even include details like accepted payment options and operating hours. Follow the same format for every citation and page mentions on your own website as well as other social media sites. Citations help Google identify you as a legitimate business and that you are part of a city or community. Citations can be in the form of links or just a mere mention of your business name. Citations should always be consistent whether it’s for a local search listing or worldwide lists. One more option is to go for paid listing services like Moz Local, White Spark, Bright Local, and Yext.
  • Connect to Social Media. Your aim is to build a community of local followers. It’s okay if you got followers from other countries but focus more on local following. Initiate and build up interaction with local followers. You can also check out the network of your local followers which most likely are local as well – tap on that. Find local followers, follow them, and give them a number of reasons to follow you back – that’s the trick.
  • Connect with Other Local Businesses – You need to connect and engage with your suppliers, partners, clients, colleagues, or other government units connected to your business. This will give you an avenue to promote your business to their respective networks. Show good will by putting up a designated page for “Local Businesses that We Recommend” which will encourage other businesses or contacts to refer you or send more business dealings your way.

 

  • Local Reviews.

A whopping 72% of consumers trust local online reviews as much as personal recommendations. This is according to a Local Consumer Review Survey conducted in 2012. Reviews on authority sites like Bing, Google, Yelp, and UrbanSpoon would build brand awareness and credibility. In fact, a study by Bright Local as featured on Search Engine Land says that 88% of consumers are said to trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations. This is word-of-mouth advertising done on a digital plane.

  • Schema Markup.

Markup tags help Google identify the sections of your website better. Here is a way to simplify this:

  • Go to http://schema-creator.org/
  • Click “Organization” and choose “Local Business”.
  • Fill in complete details.
  • Copy and paste the generated code on your website.

Local SEO for the New Digital Breed of Marketers:

Local SEO is maximizing geo-targeted results for your brand. The old school SEO still works but is gearing towards providing real value to consumers. Content is still king but Google is screening content to provide better search experience for users.

Modern-day digital marketers must invest more on content that offers real and evergreen value to consumers. People are not out to purchase just content but “results” or “deliverables” that can be obtained right away. Make your content compelling enough for people to actually talk about it or for it to be share-worthy; so-to-speak.

Local SEO is all about internal SEO – only better. It’s about on-page SEO but with the addition of social media, engaging PR, and irresistible content.

It’s a very uncommon and unconventional SEO practice that makes perfect sense as it delivers exactly what your target clients want and demand from your brand.

 

 

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