Businesses and service providers who offer products or services on a local basis can benefit greatly from ranking in local SEO, showing up for the customers who need them when they need them. That is the most important difference between local SEO and organic SEO (which often doesn’t include the geographical element that local SEO focuses on).
This guide to local SEO will provide you with the information you need to optimise your website for local searches that will, in turn, help you to attract local customers.
Your Local SEO Guide:
Google My Business
First and foremost, you need to appease Google to rank in their search engine rankings pages. So, you’ll have to claim your “Google My Business” listing. There are many simple tutorials to follow to claim your GMB listing, which should enable you to do it without any problems. Claiming your GMB listing will help Google to give accurate information to potential customers when they search for your types of products and services. In addition, it will help you to rank locally because Google has access to the information in a format they prefer.
Confused about snack pack and organic rankings? It can most certainly become overwhelming to understand all the different rankings. But, the most important thing to remember is that all these rankings work with best practices for SEO. And, keep in mind, ranking in local SEO will help you to show up in both snack pack and organic rankings.
Organic rankings are the regular Google results rankings that we’re all familiar with (you can find many different resources on our blogs to help you understand organic SEO).
Snack Pack Rankings
The snack pack results appear when doing a local search. The top three ranked results for that specific search query will be arranged at the top of the page in a blocked out area just underneath a local map.
Quality content will remain an important factor in SEO. So, if you create content that is not only of high quality, but also locally relevant, you’ll be taking important steps to improve your local SEO ratings.
When creating your content, remember to add internal backlinks that point to important pages and content on your website. These will give Google a good indication of how useful your site may be to local users. If you cover local topics in your content, you may also see a jump in your rankings as long as Google can see that you are providing your readers with quality content that will be relevant to their searches.
Ranking in local SEO depends on your use of relevant local keywords. By using a keyword research tool like Serpstat, you can find keywords related to your business that rank in local searches. With Google’s keyword planner you can even research your competitors’ keyword rankings and base your own keywords off of this information.
Pick keywords based on your industry terms, by using modifiers (words that describe events, products and services to refine the main keyword into a more specific term). You should also research trending local terms and competitor keywords. This type of keyword research will enable you to pick keywords you can rank for locally.
Backlinks and Reviews
Both of these elements will further prove to Google that your business exists, that you have good content and that you’ll be useful to their audience in search results.
You can start building links to your site by claiming your GMB listing, by joining other reputable listings in your area and by guest blogging for sites that report on local news and events. Building a backlinking strategy is a complex endeavour and deserves more attention than we’ll be paying it in this post, but you can find good backlinking resources here.
Good reviews from your clients will also boost your credibility and help you to climb the local ranks. Getting reviews from clients can often be as simple as asking for them. You can do this in a newsletter, in person or on social media.