local seo guide

Though most of us did probably not even notice it happening, the past few years have seen an exciting new frontier in the use of mobile technology. Location-based services and the increasing use of mobile phones for browsing have brought the world wide web to a local level. But do you know how this technology can help your business?

One way is through the use of local online searches and their traffic. Read on as we give our essential local SEO guide.

Local SEO

Local SEO involves improving ranking factors on your website to increase traffic from a specific location. This may involve finding keywords that are related to local areas, adding yourself to Google my Business, and other various tasks.

Imagine you are selling red sneakers from your small, independent store. If you type this term into Google, you can not hope to compete with the major retailers and brands in search terms. However, with local SEO, you will gain a huge advantage.

The reason for this is that Google and other major search engines are beginning to prioritize searches for products and services in local areas. Therefore, if you can let them know where you are, you can increase both internet and physical traffic to your business. Your trainer shop no longer needs to compete with Nike and Walmart for web traffic, but other shops in the area.

Part of this rise in local SEO has been twofold. Firstly, locations services on more mobile devices have made it possible. It is also a movement by search engines to provide more relevant information to searchers.

Local Linking

Backlinks are important to the success of any website. They act as a nod to search engines from other sites. It lets them know that your content is valuable and what it is about.

Local linking is much the same, but it has the added factor of letting the search engines know where your business is located. It can involve building citations, putting the correct contact information online, and building links from other websites based in your area.

Where local link building differs from standard backlinks is the penchant towards high domain authorities. For example, it may be more beneficial to get a backlink from a small, local forum than one from a major international site.

Google My Business

The most essential of the local SEO tips is to register on Google My Business. This is Google’s own database of businesses in the local area. All you need to do this is a Google account, and you can place your business on it free of charge.

When it comes to GMB, nothing is more important than getting yourself into the map pack. Previously, these were the seven top local businesses that would show in a search result. Now, this is only three, making competition more fierce.

You have probably seen the map pack before. It is the top three results that will appear when you type a search term related to a business into Google. It will appear with a website link, a rating, and a location tag on the map itself.

For example, imagine you have a burger restaurant in Dublin, Ireland. You will have a lot of competition for the term ‘Burger Restaurant Dublin’. If you are 10th on the list, you are highly unlikely to get chosen.

However, if you are top three in the map pack, then you have more chance to get picked out. People may visit your website, then either come to the place physically or order online.

Getting yourself into the map pack involves increasing your local SEO ranking using the advice in this article. Depending upon the level of competition, it could take a while to get right.

Building Reviews

Online reviews can play a huge part in increasing your local SEO strength. Not only do they often provide a backlink, but they direct traffic and increase your brand awareness.

As well as Google My Business, look for industry-specific review sites. These are often readily available for tradesmen and service providers. Others may have to look a little harder, but they will be around.

As well as industry sites, try product review sites. Trustpilot is the most well-known of these. You can facilitate this by encouraging any customers to leave reviews for you.

Finally, don’t forget social media. Facebook has its own business pages where customers can review your service. This may involve setting up pages for your business, but this will not take up a lot of your time.

Content for Local SEO

It can be tough to get content localized. Usually, you would create a killer blog post and let it go online. However, these can often be for a universal audience and lack local SEO touches.

Luckily, there are a few ways to localize the content on your site. One way is to create specific landing pages for those in the town or state. For example, if you have two stores in different towns, each may have its own specific localized landing page.

Another way is to build an FAQ section. Not only does this provide great customer service, but you can also answer questions related to the local area. When doing this, keep in mind that many people are now using voice searches as well, so think about how people would ask a question verbally as well as type it.

Finally, offer something of value to people in the local area. You might be able to provide discounts and tie them into the specific landing pages mentioned before. Consider organizing local events to showcase your skills and products, making links back to your website.

Local SEO Guide

Now you have completed this local SEO guide, you can begin implementing it. Don’t get rid of your previous SEO strategy. Instead, this should complement what you already do.

For SEO help and assistance, then Bipper Media should be your first stop. We can help with everything from backlinks to web design. Contact us here for a free 30 minute SEO consultation.