How to Dominate in Local SEO
If you’re a local business owner, you know how important it is to rank highly on local search and get found by customers nearby. But with ever-changing Google algorithms and new factors to consider, local SEO can feel overwhelming.
Not to worry! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through exactly what you need to do to help your business dominate the local search in your area. With some strategic optimization and consistent effort over time, you’ll have local customers flooding in.
Let’s dive into our local SEO tips!
Optimize Your Google Business Listing for Local SEO Gold
Your Google My Business (GMB) listing is the foundation of your local SEO strategy. Treat it like your website homepage – optimize it completely and keep it updated regularly. Local searches prioritize the results that are displayed within Google Maps (known as the map pack), and having a tuned-up Google business profile is the best way for your business to display in local search results.
Here are key elements to focus on:
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
- Thorough Profile Completion: Leave no section untouched in your GMB profile. Fill out all your business information, service categories, provide a detailed service menu, update business hours, and offer pertinent COVID-related updates. Don’t forget attributes like wifi accessibility or wheelchair accessibility, which can be pivotal for certain customers.
- Craft a Compelling Business Description: Write a captivating business description that clearly communicates your offerings and unique value proposition. Use relevant keywords naturally to improve search engine visibility.
Harness the Power of Customer Reviews
- Proactive Review Management: Actively encourage satisfied customers to leave thoughtful reviews on your GMB profile. Respond promptly and courteously to both positive and negative reviews, showcasing your commitment to customer satisfaction. (Shameless self-promotion below)
- Implement a Review Generation Strategy: Develop a systematic approach to generating reviews, possibly through post-purchase emails or incentives. A steady stream of positive reviews enhances your business’s credibility and authority in local search results.
Visual Appeal with Professional Photos
- Invest in Photography: Local searchers love to see good quality imagery that demonstrates the visual brand of your business. Search engines know this, and that is why they prioritize showing local businesses with recent and engaging photos. Hire a professional photographer to capture high-quality images of your business premises, staff, and products, or have someone on your team capture the images. Images should be updated seasonally to keep your content fresh and relevant.
- Showcase Your Business Environment: Let your potential customers explore your business visually. Include images that highlight the ambiance, cleanliness, and unique features of your establishment.
Engage Your Audience with Regular Posts
- Google Posts: Utilize the Google Posts feature to share company news, events, promotions, and other engaging content directly on your GMB listing. Regular updates not only inform your audience but also boost engagement.
- Develop a Content Calendar: Plan and schedule regular posts to keep your audience engaged. Share not only promotions but also company news, events, and behind-the-scenes glimpses. This demonstrates your business’s personality and fosters a connection with your audience.
- Utilize Multimedia Content: Diversify your content with a mix of images, videos, and text. Visual content tends to be more engaging and shareable, contributing to improved visibility on local search.
Continuous Improvement Through Insights
- Regularly Monitor GMB Insights: Track crucial metrics such as views, actions, and calls provided by GMB Insights. Analyzing this data over time will offer valuable insights into user behavior and preferences.
- Adjust Strategies Based on Performance: Use the insights gathered to refine your local SEO strategy. Identify what works well and optimize underperforming areas to continuously enhance your GMB listing’s effectiveness.
Build Trust and Authority with Quality Local Link Building
If you’ve read about SEO at all, you have no doubt seen the concept of link building come up. To someone not versed in local SEO efforts, this task can feel daunting, but it is critical to establishing the authority of your website.
While this is crucial for local businesses, there are some simple ways to conduct local link building and attract local customers. Links from reputable directories, local citations, media sites, and local listings demonstrate to Google that your business is trusted in your community.
Impactful Link Building Tactics for Local Businesses
- Claim and optimize your local listings on free business directories such as Yelp, Apple Maps, Bing Places, etc. using consistent name, address, and phone number information (NAP)
- Utilize local SEO tools (such as Moz) to view the local directories your competition is listed on, and view those sites to identify opportunities to copy your competition’s link profile
- Local events are a great way to give exposure to your business, but could also have a local SEO benefit. Volunteer for or sponsor local events/fundraisers and get listed on their sites for a relevant and local backlink to your site
- Pitch expert guest posts to local media outlets like city newspapers and radio stations
- Request to be featured as a top area business on sites like chamber of commerce, travel guides, local influencers
- Carefully manage reviews on third-party sites like Facebook and Yelp
By securing quality links, you show Google you’re an authoritative business that deserves those coveted map pack slots.
Craft On-page SEO for Each Critical Location-Based Keyword
Whether it’s targeting broad terms like “dentist in Miami” or honing in on specific neighborhood nuances like “Dentist Wynwood,” crafting a robust on-page local SEO strategy is key to unlocking success in local search results. In the steps below, we’ll delve into actionable steps to maximize your on-page elements, improve local search rankings, and be found by local searchers.
Key Strategies for On-Page Optimization:
Targeting Both Broad and Specific Keywords
- Strategic Keyword Research: Begin by strategically researching a mix of broad and specific relevant local keywords. This ensures a comprehensive approach that caters to a diverse audience. You can find local keywords through Google, review the organic search results, or utilize local SEO tools like Moz or Ahrefs.
Optimizing On-Page Elements
- Strategic Placement of Relevant Keywords: Integrate your local keywords strategically into meta titles and headers. Conduct quick keyword research to identify relevant local keywords for your content. This signals to search engines the primary focus of your page, boosting its relevance for the target and related keywords.
- Natural Keyword Integration in Page Content: Incorporate your keywords naturally throughout the page content. This not only enhances readability for users but also reinforces the topical relevance of your content to search engines.
- Dedicated Pages for Neighborhoods: Create specific pages tailored to neighborhood names and optimize the content for each distinct area. This targeted approach allows you to address the unique characteristics and preferences of local communities. However, it is important to ensure this content is actually helpful and provides value. If not made with care, these pages can appear spammy to users.
Leveraging Local Business Schema
- Implementing Schema Markup: Enhance the visibility of your business details in search results by implementing local business schema markup. Include key information such as business type, opening hours, and location details. This structured data markup provides search engines with valuable context about your business.
- Incorporating Location Details:
- Address, Phone, and Direction Links: Integrate your business information including address, phone number, and direction links prominently on your website. This not only facilitates easy contact for potential customers but also reinforces your business’s physical presence in the specified locations.
- Comprehensive Location Information: If you have multiple locations, provide detailed information about each location, highlighting unique offerings or features. This helps in tailoring content to the specific needs and interests of the local audience.
Track Rankings and Optimize for Local Pack Domination
Simply optimizing your local SEO and then hoping for the best is like starting a long road trip without a map. On your journey to better local SEO, you need to actively track your progress and tweak efforts over time.
Use these tracking tactics
- Monitor ranking positions for target keywords in your area every month using Google Search Console and tools like SEMRush
- Check where you rank in local packs for key terms and who outranks you
- Search for your top keywords incognito on mobile to see live Google search results
- Set up ranking alerts and reports to catch changes quickly
Once you know precisely where you stand for important terms, you can shift optimization strategies accordingly.
Maybe you’re page 1 locally for “plumber” but still on page 2 of the map pack. Time to get more reviews! Or you rank #1 in local rankings for “Italian deli Chicago” but don’t yet appear in the 3-pack. Could be a missing cuisine category on your GMB listing, or negative reviews weighing down your local search optimization.
By continually tracking and testing, you’ll unlock what works to conquer both local organic rankings and map packs long-term.
Ranking #1 Locally is Possible with Comprehensive SEO
As you can see, dominating local SEO requires some dedicated effort across key areas like your GMB listing, high-quality links, on-page optimization per keyword and consistent rankings tracking.
But with our guidance, you now have everything you need to become the go-to local search result for customers in your neighborhood and securely own those coveted map pack slots.
Put these tips into play this year, monitor your progress monthly, and just watch your foot traffic and revenue grow! We can’t wait to see you ranking #1 locally soon.