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Local SEO: Improve Your Local Search Rankings on Google

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search results. Local SEO is the practice of optimizing your website for local search. This comprehensive guide will explain what local SEO is, why it’s important, and how to improve your local search rankings on Google.


Quick Overview

Why is it important to get on top of the search results in Search Engines like Google?

What are some Local SEO basics that must be done?

How can I improve my local search rankings on Google?


Google Map photo used in Local SEO

What is local SEO?


Definition of local SEO


Local SEO is the process of optimizing your website for local search results. Local search uses search engines to find products and services in a specific location. Local SEO is essential to digital marketing, especially for businesses that want to attract local customers. It involves optimizing your website content, citations, reviews, and Google My Business profile to increase visibility in local organic and map pack search results.


According to research made by Safari Digital, 46% of all searches on Google include local intent. This statistic alone is a reason why to use local SEO.


Local SEO factors include using location-based keywords, having accurate and consistent NAP (name, address, phone number) information, creating local content, utilizing local business directories and review sites, and earning positive customer reviews.


Examples of location-based keywords are "SEO companies in New York," "Best PPC Agency in New York," and "French Restaurants near me."


Why is local SEO important?


Local SEO is important for several reasons. First, it improves your visibility in local search results, which are the search results that appear for queries with local intent. Second, it helps you attract local customers who are searching for products and services in your area. Third, establishing your online presence helps you compete with other local businesses.


Why is it important to get on top of the search results in Search Engines like Google?


Being on top of the search results in search engines like Google is vital to the success of any business or individual. This is because most users tend to click on the top results of their search and ignore results that appear lower. Thus, by achieving a higher search engine ranking, a business or individual can increase their visibility, generate more traffic to their website, and, ultimately, convert more leads or sales.


Additionally, a higher search engine ranking conveys credibility and trustworthiness to users, which can lead to better customer loyalty.


What are some Local SEO basics that must be done?


In order to improve visibility in local searches, there are several fundamental elements that businesses should focus on for effective local SEO. Claiming and verifying a business listing on Google My Business and other popular directories such as Yelp is essential. Accurate and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information should be provided across all online platforms, including the website and social media. These basic local SEO practices establish a solid foundation to increase online visibility and drive organic traffic to a business's website.


What's Inside of a Local SEO Package and How Does it Work?


A Local SEO Package typically includes a range of services that are designed to help businesses improve their local online visibility. These packages generally include an initial website analysis, keyword research, website optimization, and content creation.


Website analysis involves a detailed review of the current state of the business's website, identifying any areas that require improvement. This is also called an SEO site audit. This analysis typically includes a wide range of factors, including website design, content quality, user experience, functionality, and security. It helps businesses better understand their website's strengths and weaknesses and opportunities to enhance their online presence and attract more visitors.


Website analysis can be performed using various tools and technologies, such as Google Analytics, website auditing software, competitor analysis tools, and more. Based on the results of the analysis, the business can develop a tailored strategy to optimize its website and address any areas of concern. Get a free website SEO audit tool here.


Keyword research involves identifying potential customers' most relevant keywords to locate similar businesses. This process includes researching industry-specific terms, competitors' keywords, and popular search queries related to products or services.


The goal of keyword research is to optimize a website's content and online presence to attract more search engine traffic and improve search rankings, ultimately increasing visibility and potential for conversions. Effective keyword research can provide valuable insights into consumer behavior, and trends businesses can use to inform their marketing strategies.


Website optimization typically involves making changes to the website to improve its overall performance, including its speed, functionality, and mobile responsiveness.


Content creation involves the development of high-quality, targeted content that is designed to attract potential customers to the site and build trust in the business.


Additionally, a Local SEO Package may also include the following:

  1. Google My Business optimization: Creating and optimizing a Google My Business listing to ensure the business appears in the local search results for relevant keywords.

  2. Local citation building: Creating and optimizing business listings on local directories, such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and Foursquare, to improve local search rankings.

  3. Online review management: Monitoring and responding to customer reviews on websites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook to improve local search rankings and reputation.

  4. Local link building: To improve local search rankings, build high-quality links from other local websites.

  5. Monthly reporting: Provide regular reports on the progress of the local SEO campaign, including rankings, traffic, and conversion data.

Overall, a Local SEO Package is designed to help businesses with the tools they need to increase their online visibility in the local search results, attract more local customers, and ultimately grow their business.


How to optimize your website for local business searches?


Local Business doing Local SEO

Optimizing your website for local search


You must include relevant local keywords in your content, meta tags, and headers to optimize your website for local search. You also need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly, has a fast loading speed, and includes a clear call-to-action (CTA) for local customers.


Creating a Google My Business profile


Creating a Google My Business profile is free and easy. You’ll need to provide information about your business, including your name, address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. You can also add photos, videos, and customer reviews to your profile.


Building local citations


Building local citations means adding your business information to Yelp, YellowPages, and Foursquare directories. This helps search engines and potential customers find your business online. Make sure your business information is consistent across all directories.


Why are Local Citations important to improve Local SEO?


Local citations are critical in improving local SEO and securing a higher ranking on search engines. With the rise of Google My Business (GMB), local citations have become even more crucial to aid businesses' online visibility. These citations denote any place on the internet where a business is mentioned by name, address, and phone number (NAP).


Local SEO uses these mentions to ascertain the credibility and legitimacy of the business, considering that these citations represent seamless details of a business's physical location. Maintaining consistent and accurate local citations is fundamental for optimum local SEO performance, as it informs search engines of the business's location and service offerings, affecting ranking on the map and local search results.


How to acquire local citations for Local SEO?


In order to improve the local search visibility of your website, it is essential to acquire local citations. These citations provide information about your business, such as name, address, and phone number (NAP), to online directories, review sites, and other relevant sources.


One approach to obtaining these citations is through active outreach to local media outlets, such as newspapers and online publications, requesting coverage for your business. Another effective method is to connect with other local businesses, such as suppliers or partners, and ask for a citation exchange.


Additionally, submitting your NAP information to local business directories, such as Yelp or Yellowpages, can increase your chances of obtaining local citations. It is crucial to ensure that your NAP information is consistent across all directories, as it can impact the accuracy and reliability of your information for search engines and potential customers.


Why is creating Local Content important for Local Search Ranking Optimization?


Creating local content is essential for businesses that want to improve their search engine visibility in their local area. Local search ranking optimization requires a deep understanding of the local market, and businesses that can deliver high-quality, relevant content will have an advantage over their competitors. By producing tailored content that is specific to the local area, businesses can increase their visibility in search results, particularly in Google's local pack, which is now a major factor in local search rankings.


Local content includes writing about local events, local products or services, and industry news that is relevant to the local area. By creating this kind of content, businesses can build a relationship with their local audience and become a trusted authority in their industry, boosting their online presence and ultimately leading to increased conversions. Learn more about Slaterock Automation's blog on Content Creation.


How can Social Media, E-Mail Marketing, SMS Marketing, Web Development, PPC, and Business Automation help Local SEO efforts?


Social Media, E-Mail Marketing, SMS Marketing, Web Development, PPC, and Business Automation help Local SEO efforts

The world of search engine optimization (SEO) is ever-evolving, and local businesses need to keep their game up to remain competitive. Social media, email marketing and SMS marketing, web development, and business automation have become crucial tools for businesses to improve their local SEO efforts.


Businesses can engage with potential customers and improve their online reputation by optimizing social media profiles and building a strong presence. Similarly, email marketing helps to foster relationships with customers and bring more traffic to a company's website. SMS marketing offers an effective way to engage customers with targeted and personalized messages that help to increase customer loyalty and drive more sales. Business automation simplifies managing multiple channels and campaigns, while web development helps ensure a business's website is mobile-friendly, fast, and easy to navigate.


Additionally, businesses can use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to target local customers and drive more traffic to their websites. By leveraging these tools and focusing on local SEO efforts, businesses can increase their online visibility, improve their search engine rankings, and ultimately, drive more sales and revenue.


How to Optimize Your Google My Business Profile and Improve Your Organic Rankings?


Having a fully optimized Google My Business Profile is crucial for any business looking to improve its organic search rankings. By providing accurate and up-to-date information such as your business name, address, phone number, website URL, and business hours, you increase your chances of being discovered by potential customers in search results.


Additionally, adding photos, videos, and descriptions of your business can give users a better understanding of your offer and increase engagement. Properly utilizing the Google My Business Profile and implementing Local SEO strategies can help boost your visibility within the local search results, especially for location-based searches. This includes using localized keywords, building authoritative backlinks, and earning positive online reviews. It is important to regularly monitor and update your profile to ensure the information remains accurate.

How does local SEO work for different types of businesses?


Local SEO for service-based businesses


Service-based businesses, such as plumbing, HVAC, and landscaping, can benefit from local SEO by optimizing their website, creating a Google My Business profile, and building local citations. They can also offer promotions and discounts to attract local customers.


Local SEO for e-commerce businesses


E-commerce businesses, such as online retailers, can benefit from local SEO by optimizing their websites for local search, creating location-specific landing pages, and building local citations. They can also offer free shipping or local pickup to attract local customers.


Local SEO for brick-and-mortar businesses


Brick-and-mortar businesses, such as restaurants, retail stores, and salons, can benefit from local SEO by optimizing their website, creating a Google My Business profile, building local citations, and offering promotions and events to local customers. They can also use online booking and reservation systems to make visiting their business easier for local customers.


What are the best local SEO tools to use?


Google My Business

Google My Business Homepage for Local SEO

Google My Business is a free tool that helps you manage your online presence across Google, including search and maps. You can update your business information, respond to customer reviews, and track how customers interact with your profile. It allows businesses to verify their information, manage their reviews, and post updates to their profile. This tool is particularly useful for local businesses as it helps them appear in local search results and provides potential customers with crucial information such as the hours of operation, phone number, and address of the business.


BrightLocal


BrightLocal is a local SEO tool that helps you track your local rankings, monitor local search results, and manage your local citations. It also provides you with a comprehensive local SEO report.


Semrush and Ahrefs


Semrush and Ahrefs help you find local keywords, analyze your competitors, and track your local rankings. It also provides you with a local search engine optimization checklist.


How can an SEO Company Help Small Businesses with Local SEO?


Small businesses can significantly benefit from Local SEO, and an SEO company can help them achieve it. On-page SEO is crucial for local businesses as it ensures that their websites are optimized with relevant keywords and phrases that people are searching for in their area.


Local listings allow businesses to reach potential local customers and increase their visibility on search engines. SEO consultants and experts can provide valuable insights and support to small businesses in optimizing their website's content, building relevant backlinks, and maintaining their local listings. With the right SEO strategy, small businesses can gain a competitive edge over their competitors and reach a wider audience.


Conclusion


In conclusion, local SEO is essential to digital marketing for businesses that want to attract local customers. It involves optimizing your website, creating a Google My Business profile, building local citations, and implementing a local SEO strategy.


By following the local SEO best practices and using the right tools, you can improve your local search rankings on Google and attract more local customers to your business. Get a free assessment of your Local SEO from Slaterock Automation.


Local business doing Local SEO

Frequently Asked Questions



What is Local SEO?

How does Local SEO work?

What are some Local SEO tips?

How can Local SEO benefit my business?

How can I increase my local search rankings?

What are local signals in Local SEO?

How important are local business listings in Local SEO?

Can Local SEO help me rank higher on organic search results?

What is Google's local search, and how does it affect Local SEO?


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Founded by William Mingione and managed by Dominick Galauran.

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Slaterock Automation is a Digital Marketing Agency focused on bringing the power of Ai to small and medium-sized businesses throughout the United States and Canada. "We utilize Ai for businesses through functional web design, Ai SEO, and business process automation."

 

Slaterock Automation is a Certified Wix Partner, Certified Semrush Partner, and Certified Google Partner.  Slaterock has served over 100 Wix clients and currently manages over 25 active SEO and PPC campaigns.

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