Local SEO gets frequent attention because it’s frequently effective! Throughout the 2010s, we saw growing focus on location-based services and location-based searching. Now in the 2020s, local SEO is a key part of everything from business profiles to social media, and incredibly important for developing an online presence.
If your brand would like to grow local customers and leads, local SEO is the perfect place to start: These actionable steps should be a priority for everyone.
Maintain a Google My Business Profile
Google My Business listings are one of the most powerful tools in local SEO. It’s vital to get your business on Google’s listings, where it will be easier for Google to include in search results and more likely to show up when people are searching locally by city, address, etc. It’s a core requirement for showing up on Google’s “map pack” at the top of search results, on Google Maps, and in other key places.
One problem we’ve seen is that some businesses treat this as a quick check-off on their list and then move on: Google My Business works best when it is fully filled-out and maintained. That includes posting several pictures related to your brand/products/menu, adding an SEO-friendly description of your business, and paying attention to Google’s dial that shows how complete your listing currently is.
Check for Changes
This is common – and practical – advice for businesses that filled out profiles several years ago but haven’t thought about them since. This becomes a problem when contact information shifts and may no longer be correct. Some organizations may have changed addresses. Others may have updated their full business names or chosen a new phone number or email. All this information must be correct across all listings and directories online.
If it’s been a while, check on your listings. Make sure common registries like Yelp, HotFrog, and FourSquare all have the most current information. Check your social media accounts for the same reason and give any contact information on your own website a quick look, too.
Create Geo-Targeted Content
Geo-targeted content is any online content that has a local aspect and can include local SEO keywords and metadata. The good news is that there are many opportunities for any brand to develop geo-targeted content, no matter how local they are. Articles about case studies or testimonials are ripe for local metadata, as are pieces on local trends, interviews with local leaders, spotlights about local events, and much more. All this content should include the proper metadata and local SEO keywords, which brings us to the next important step…
Find the Best Local Keywords to Target
If your brand hasn’t done so yet, now is the time to sit down with a keyword analysis tool (Google Analytics, etc.) and find out what the best search volumes are. This is particularly important for local SEO because there can be a lot of gems in the long tail for specific types of searches. For example, if your company offers window repair services in Houston, you’ll want to look at keywords like “window repair, Houston,” and “broken window in Houston,” etc., to see what’s going to get the best results.
Additionally, this is an excellent time to track your local rank and how it compares to similar businesses in your area. Tools like GeoRanker can help you find these answers, which will provide valuable insights on how to stand out from the crowd. If your team is already busy enough, Blue Atlas Marketing can help drill down to the most pertinent information and save you the time!
Look for Any Important Mobile Optimization
When people are looking for local goods and services, they tend to look on their mobile devices. That means your website content needs to be optimized for mobile searches, too – Google watches mobile performance carefully when bringing back results on a mobile device. If there is some mobile optimization that you’ve been putting off, now is the time to complete it.
If you aren’t sure where you stand on mobile optimization for SEO, it’s time to find out. Google’s own URL test is a good place to start, but we recommend getting a mobile strategy in place ASAP.
Get More Local Inbound Links
Look for ways to incorporate inbound local links into your content. Linking to the Chamber of Commerce or location business associations is always a good idea. Your brand may also be partnered with nonprofits or sponsor local events that are prime for linking opportunities on your website. You may also want to consider guest blogs or other interactions with local sites connected to your industry.
Have a System to Encourage Ratings
An important part of local SEO is, of course, your online ratings and scores. This can be a frustrating topic for businesses since much of it can seem out of their control, but we do suggest creating a system to remind and encourage customers to rate your business, especially after an online interaction where it can take only seconds to do. Over time, this type of action can make a difference, along with other rating management techniques.
Local SEO has never been more important, and these simple steps are an excellent way to improve your local SEO and avoid common mistakes. If you’d like to dive further into the local strategies that are best for your business, Blue Atlas Marketing is always available to go over your unique situation.