The Ultimate Guide to Local SEO
Updated: Dec 3, 2021
Do you want to improve your business visibility on Google and other search engines? Are you looking for ways to generate leads and turn them into loyal customers? Local search engine optimization (SEO) is the answer.
According to Hubspot, over 46% of all searches on Google are local. Research shows that over 50% of “near me” searches on Google allows consumers to make an informed decision, resulting in physical visits to the company.
In addition, about 74% of consumers such for information, such as stores near me, locations, hours, directions, and contact information. According to Statista, 56% of people in the U.S use their smartphones to search for local businesses.
A local business can’t benefit from the local online demand for its products and services without a local SEO strategy.
In this guide, we will discuss all aspects of local SEO and help you develop a sophisticated SEO campaign for your company. Read on!
What Is Local SEO?
In short, Local SEO is an integral part of the search engine optimization strategy that focuses on increasing online visibility for local businesses.
Local SEO helps the company optimize its marketing operations, allowing its consumers to search from a nearby location. For example, if a person searches for “barbershop in brooklyn”, Google will show the top results that has the most online credibility and authority. That way, the searcher can choose the best possible one.
Now, If you have a barbershop in Brooklyn, does Google, Bing, or Yahoo all display your business in their top results?
Remember, if your business or company does not appear in the top SERPs, you lose a massive amount of online traffic and potential customers. That’s why a solid local SEO strategy is essential for your business.
Research shows that 56% of mobile searches performed by consumers have local intent. When Google displays your business website and information, you will benefit from the local buying intent.
Not only do local listings get you higher click-through rates (CTRs), but they also increase the number of customers for your local business.
Here are some of the best strategies to develop and carry out a successful local SEO campaign.
Google My Business Optimization
Google My Businesses, previously known as Google Places, is the starting point of your local SEO campaign. It is the heart of the digital marketing landscape, allowing you to make your business visible on local map listings in SERPs. Setting up and optimizing Google My Business requires strategic planning and preparation.
If you don’t know about Google My Business, you can hire a professional Brooklyn digital marketing agency. Our experienced local SEO experts follow a step-by-step approach to set up and activate your Google My Business page.
Here are a few practical ways to optimize your Google My Business listing. Continue reading!
Add all the Essential Information
Adding all the necessary information required can optimize your Google My Business listing. Although you can start the listing without completing 100% of your profile, we don’t recommend doing so. Always fill out every single little bit of information that they ask. Even if you’re open on Christmas.
Add a Compelling Profile Photo
We recommend picking a professional profile picture or logo with higher chances of getting clicked. Make sure the image you choose is interesting and relevant to your local business.
Before you upload the picture, make sure you rename the file with a relevant keyword.
In addition, you must add multiple images to your listing and ensure all of them have a target keyword in the filename.
Focus on Proper Categorization
Proper categorization is an essential part of your local SEO strategy. Categorize your local business can help optimize your Google My Business page. For instance, if you have a restaurant specializing in food from South America, ensure you choose the correct category.
For example, “South American Restaurant in Brooklyn.” SIEMBRA recommends choosing a fewer number of categories. However, you should select multiple categories if your local business falls into variouscategories.
Besides, write down the format you use for your local business—for example, your business name, address, and phone number. So, optimizing your Google My Business is the first essential step to get started with your local SEO campaign.
Keyword Research for Local SEO
If you are a savvy business owner, you must know the importance of keyword research for local SEO. When people search the internet, they use keywords.
For instance, if someone wants to buy weight loss supplements, they may use keywords like:
• Best weight loss supplements
• Buy weight loss supplements online
• Order weight loss supplement now
These keywords show the buyer’s intent.
So, your goal is to rank your pages on Google based on these keywords. Whenever a prospective customer searches for your keywords, they will find you and click on the result to land your products or services’ page.
There are different keyword research tips that SEO services in Brooklyn use daily. In this section, we will give you some practical keyword research tips that you can use to achieve higher ranks in the local SERPs.
Google Keyword Planner
According to SIEMBRA, a professional service offering web design in Brooklyn, the Google Keyword Planner is the best and most effective tool for keyword research. If you want to find the best keywords for your local business, we recommend using the Google Keyword Planner.
In addition, Google Keyword Planner is a free tool, meaning you can use it to find some great keyword ideas. The tool shows you what people are searching for, the type of keywords they use, and its relevance to your local business.
Google Keyword planner breaks down the search volume for each search term by month, allowing you to see whether there are seasonal variations in the demand in your business niche or industry.
Start by logging into your account and open the tool. Select “Search for new Keyword” or ad group ideas. That way, you can brainstorm a few essential keywords with high relevancy to your local business.
For instance, if you are a barber, keywords like “barber,” “barbershop,” “best haircut,” and “beauty salon,” etc., are the most relevant and appropriate keywords. It is crucial to insert these keywords in the tool and remove the default country targeting.
The purpose is to specify the location or local area you want to target with your barber’s shop. Click on “Get Ideas” to proceed. Click “Keyword Ideas” on the next page to see a long list of relevant keywords that you can analyze to start your local SEO.
Remember, you can use keywords from the list as inspiration and dig up some relevant keywords that you might not have retrieved the first time. Besides, you can use the keyword ideas from Google Keyword Planner with other techniques that we will discuss in the following sections.
Although it seems a little bizarre, stealing keyword ideas from your competitors is an excellent way to streamline your SEO operations. Remember, analyzing your competitors is not unethical. This practice is also known as “reverse engineering”. You basically steal an competitor’s success plan and work make it even better.
We think it is an intelligent business tactic because you save on time researching, and you get a jump start on WHERE to start.
A little secret, you may not know, but some other local businesses in your industry may steal keyword ideas from your business website. That’s how the cycle works.
The question is how to do competitors’ analysis?
The good news is that Google Keyword Planner allows you to carry out the process effectively.
First need to paste your competitors’ landing page or homepage URL in the keyword planner tool.
Then the tool will show you relevant keywords based on the competitors’ page content. You can use these keywords as “seed keywords” to research more search terms. In addition, if you think you are running out of keywords, we suggest repeating the same process by using another competitor’s landing page URL.
Moreover, you can use premium keyword tools for competitors’ analysis, such as SpyFu, SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs. These are reliable tools, allowing you to perform in-depth analysis and gain valuable insights about your competitors. That way, you will know how successful your competitors are and how you can follow the same strategy.
Optimizing your local business website requires you to target “local keywords.” It is a pretty straightforward method that adds your local area name with relevant keywords to your business.
For instance, if we continue the barber’s shop example, some local keywords are:
• Brooklyn Barber
• Barbershop in Brooklyn
• Barbershop near Brooklyn
• Brooklyn Barber
• Brooklyn Barbershop
• Hairstyles Brooklyn
• Best hairstylist Brooklyn
• Best Barbershop in Brooklyn
Although local keywords have lower or moderate search volume, the intent of internet users searching for such keywords is precise.
Next, we will talk about long-tail keywords that can further enhance your local SEO.
Long-tail keywords, also known as head keywords, are more effective than short-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords reflect the user intent, and every local business wants to rank for such keywords. These keywords have more buying intent.
While long-tail keywords have lower search volume, they have a higher conversion rate. We recommend going after long-tail keywords for your local business. Not only do these keywords drive organic traffic to your website, but they also bring high paying customers.
Unlike local keywords, you can use the “Keyword Modifier” method to get more long-tail search terms or phrases to get better and more targeted traffic. We suggest using common adjectives that people use when searching for local businesses, products, or services. For example, “best barbershop near Brooklyn” or “affordable hairstylists in Brooklyn.”
Whether it is email marketing, local SEO, or any other marketing strategy, you can find proven, time-tested, and reliable methods to streamline your marketing campaign. The same goes for your local SEO campaign. Let us now discuss the best practices for local on-page SEO. Keep reading!
The title tag is an essential aspect of your on-page SEO process. It appears in the SERPs as the title of your local business listing. Besides, the title tag also appears at thetop of the browser when a user visits a webpage.
We recommend the following best practices for achieving perfect title tags.
• Keep your title tags under 60 characters, so Google and other search engines do not shorten them
• Ensure your local business’s name is visible in the title tag
• Use the best primary keyword in the tag with a high search volume
• Make sure the keyword is relevant to your business
• Use keywords at the front of your title tag
Besides the title tag, the Meta-description is an essential factor considered by search engine crawlers and algorithms for ranking. Your webpage’s Meta-description is a text snipper that contains valuable keywords for your local business. At the same time, it serves as a mini advert, encouraging the readers to click on your listing over your competitors.
Make sure your Meta-description has the following qualities.
• Include essential and relevant keywords with high search volume for your business
• Each webpage on your website should have a unique description
• Include the main keyword to optimize a specific pageon your website
Apart from Google and other search engines, human readers also see this description in SERPs. Therefore, it is crucial to crafting a Meta-description that compels and entices your target audience, encouraging them to clink your link.
Images take time to load, meaning they can slow up your website. Google and other search engines don’t prefer ranking slower websites at the top of SERPs. Your website’s loading speed is an essential ranking factor, so it is crucial to optimize your images.
The purpose is to speed up your website’s loading time. We recommend resizing your images to ensure the file size is as small as possible. However, you must not compromise the quality of your pictures.
Remember, search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., can’t read and understand images. In fact, they interpret the text. It means when you upload photos or graphics on your business website; Google will have no idea what these images are about, so that’s why we use the “Alt Text” code to each image.
The “Alt Text” is an essential feature that describes the intent of the image you upload on your website. Take advantage of this opportunity and insert your main/relevant keyword to specific photos.
In addition, if a user can’t see the photo for some reason, they will see the “Alt Text.” That way, the user will know that the purpose of the image. Not only does “Alt Text” improves user experience, but it is an integral part of local On-page SEO.
Name your images with relevant keywords before you upload them to your website. For example, the file name of your image should be “barbershop-Brooklyn.jpg.” When you name the file appropriately, search engines will further understand its contents.
Anchor Text Optimization
Although “anchor text” optimization is under your control entirely, it is crucial to know about it. Improve your local SEO when you get an opportunity to optimize the anchor text. It refers to the text that a website uses to create a link to another site.
For instance, “homepage” is the anchor text of a website homepage link. Google considers this factor for internal and external SEO on your website, allowing algorithms to understand the type of keywords used on your website.
It also describes your webpage. For instance, if you have a “Barber’s shop in Brooklyn, you will get backlinks with anchor texts, like:
• Barber’s shop
• Barber in Brooklyn
• Barber’s shop in Brooklyn
• Best barber’s shop in Brooklyn
• Best barber near Brooklyn
• ABC (Your shop’s name) near Brooklyn
We recommend diversifying your anchor text to target numerous relevant keywords. Select your keywords carefully to take control of your anchor text on your local business website. You will use these keywords to interlink between your web pages.
You can also use anchor text links to your site from other websites through different methods, such as guest blogging, content syndication, and other marketing techniques. So, these are the methods and techniques you need to use to streamline your local SEO.
Developing and maintaining your local SEO strategy allows you to put essential information about your business website, including name, business purpose, address, phone number, etc. Besides, local SEO is the best way to promote your products and services.
However, if you don’t know how to carry out local SEO for your website, make sure you hire a professional digital marketing company to evaluate your website status, determine the best platforms to invest in, and improve your local SEO.
SIEMBRA, a professional digital marketing agency in Brooklyn, has qualified and skilled experts with many years of experience in local SEO. Contact us today for efficient, reliable, and cost-effective local SEO services.