Local SEO Roundup – Experts Share Their Favourite Local SEO Tips

Local SEO Roundup

 

If you run a local business you don’t need me to tell you that it’s competitive out there.

You’ve got enough on your plate keeping your customers happy without having to worry about SEO.

But if you thought that developing a long term SEO strategy was going to be expensive and time consuming then relax. We’ve pulled together the brightest minds in Local SEO to give you their best, proven strategies for Local SEO success so you can hit the deck running and save a ton of time and money and get a top ranking.

We’ve also created this beautiful, step by step graphic to keep you focused so you have the exact steps to dominate your local rankings.

Below you’ll find each expert’s best tips for Local SEO Success. Use the quick links below to go to the area that interests you most or make yourself comfortable, grab a cup of your favourite beverage and get ready to learn how to be the number one business in town!

 

 

If you’re experimenting with local SEO keyword ideas, and want some assurance that they’re worth pursuing, you can get both inspiration and affirmation by searching for local competitor PPC ads.

Using a platform such as SEMrush, do a Keyword Analytics search that includes a target keyword plus a geo term, such as “pizza 19102” or “pizza Anytown”.

You can then leverage data such as keyword volume, CPC, related keywords and other factors to get new ideas while also focusing your efforts where they will have the most impact.

 

Backlinks are still one of Google’s major ranking factors. So even for ranking locally, you need backlinks from other websites.

And the best way to find new backlink opportunities for your website is to check the backlinks of sites that already rank on the first page of Google for your desired search phrases.

You can use Ahrefs.com to put a website of your competitor and see where his backlinks are coming from. Then just try to get the same backlinks for your own site.

 

Our favorite local SEO tactic is so important to us that we’ve started an agency for it. Our philosophy is that local SEO should start at the grassroots level.

Find your local customers where they are – at the 5K, on the baseball field, at the farmers’ market or social networking event.

Community-oriented partnerships can result in everything from PR mentions to links and branding reach. Yes, you should be in Yelp and have a Google Places page (if you’re brick and mortar), but real local SEO and branding begins with being a neighbor.

 

My favorite local seo strategy is on page optimization. Most local websites, unfortunately, are terribly unoptimized. Just look at your favorite restaurant’s website, and often it will look like it was straight out of 2006.

Optimizing the website isn’t just good for local SEO but SEO in general and also user experience, so it can increase conversions AND traffic.

If you’re unsure on how to optimize your site, there are a ton of online graders such as hubspot’s https://website.grader.com/. I think this should be the first thing anyone does at the start of their SEO optimization campaign.

 

Joost de Valk
Joost de Valk
@jdevalk
www.yoast.com/

A local SEO strategy needs a holistic approach, just like regular SEO. So not only should you have awesome content and optimize for keywords with a location in them, you also need a Google My Business page and your geographic information must be consistent across the Web.

That means: on your site, make sure you have a separate page for each office (if you have multiple locations) and optimize your content for it (correct page title, schema.org format etc.).

And off-site, having backlinks from other local websites, citations, listings, and local reviews remains key.

Try to get listed in as many important local directories like Yelp, Yellowpages.com etc. as possible

 

 

  1. Check all your pages to find out which ones are visited the least:
  • Use help from Google Analytics
  • Go to Behavior > Site Content > Landing Pages
  • Pay attention to the bounce rate and the amount of time the user spends on this page
  • Add internal links from other pages to the posts for which you want to increase traffic
  • Use new relevant keywords and increase the content of articles (more useful tips and media content)
  1. Correct common mistakes:
  • Pay attention to the content length of the post
  • The amount of media content (images, videos, slides, etc.)
  • The headline and subheadings. Useful and intriguing
  • Formatting posts and readability
  1. Check Search Traffic:
  • Use help from Google Search Console
  • Go to the section Search Traffic > Search Analytics
  • Tick Impressions, CTR, Ranks. Under Dates, select the past 90 days to see the results for a greater period of time
  1. Start by promoting your least-visited blog posts:
  • Contact all the people you mention in your post. Do so via email, social networks or SMS, which is often forgotten nowadays
  • Send the news about your new post to all your friends and acquaintances. Simply ask them to help you out!
  • Find other blogs in Google with the help of the keywords from your article. Leave a useful comment (100-200 words) with the backlink
  • Look for the questions in Quora that relate to your topic. Then leave a reply with the link
  • Write about 3-4 new headlines for your articles and add them to the scheduleBuffer(a free version is good enough to start) and share them with your readers on social networking accounts
  • Join the interest groups on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn, and help other users by giving them advice. Perfect the style of your replies so that users will want to click on your link and find out what’s next
  • Open Twitter and set your keywords via the advanced search. You can also mark them in the Other> Question? section. There will be tweets that contain the question in the results. You can tweet directly or write a private message with the reply and a link to a detailed description
  • Buzzsumo is one of the best promotional tools out there. It allows you to find the most popular articles by keywords and to see who shared a post on Twitter, and who gave backlinks to it
  1. Find out which sources provide the least traffic and correct the situation:
  • Go to Google Analytics, in the Acquisition section
  • Take a look at the data from the sections Channels, Source / Medium, and Referrals
  • Dig a bit deeper and examine the major sources of traffic of your 2-3 competitors
  • SimilarWeb is an amazing assistant
  • Concentrate on the sources which provide more traffic
Leila De La Fuente

Google research reports that 50% of mobile users are most likely to visit a storefront within a day of a local search and more consumers are now searching on mobile devices than desktops. Today local SEO is a necessity, so here are my tips:

  1. Lock down local directory listings (Yelp, SuperPages, YellowPages, UrbanSpoon, DexKnows, etc)
  2. Optimize Your Google Local Listing with Content and Keywords
  3. Encourage Customer Reviews on Sites Like Yelp and Google Local Listing
  4. Integrate Geo-Specific Keywords In Web Page Content, Titles and Links (where relevant)

 

Solid local SEO mainly takes the form of great reviews, NAP (name, address, phone number) consistency and high quality backlinks.

Sure, you’ve heard all that before. So here’s 3 tips to achieve this using non-conventional methods!

  1. Reviews

Ideally, you want a Google+ presence and you also want to be on at least one other review platform such as Reviews.co.uk, Reevoo, Trustpilot etc…

This will not only enhance your presence online and get people talking, it will also enable you to do funky things like add review stars to your listings in Google using something called Structured Data, increasing your click through rate.

To gain a high number of reviews on review platforms, incentivise your customers or clientele by drilling home the importance of their feedback. You could even launch a featured feedback piece each month which displays the most helpful snippet of feedback and how it changed the way the company operates for the better.

Be sure to ask for feedback in a dedicated email which is personalised to the customer. Follow up if they don’t leave feedback the first time around. People are busy.

  1. NAP consistency

Ensure your company name, address and phone number is the same everywhere to help search engines and searchers alike. To check this, use advanced searches in Google such as:

“company name” “city”

Then try:

“company name” “zip code”

Then just try the zip code alone inside quotation marks:

“zip code”

This will ensure you find all listings and iron out any incorrect spellings or other errors.

It is critical to display your NAP inside your footer on your website and on your contact page, along with company registration number and trademarks (if you have any).

If you pay for any listings, please ensure they are worth it and the links apply the “nofollow” tag.

You should aim for as many high quality NAP listings as possible, but add them over time.

A nice image of your offices (taken from the outside) and portraits / team photos of the workforce aid credibility.

  1. High quality backlinks

Links to your site from the right places are powerful. To maximise the benefits, you will want all anchor text to be varied using branded, branded+locality and pure naked URL links.

It is also good to have ~5% exact match+locality links pointing to your site. I.e. if you sell lawnmowers, your anchor text would be ‘best lawnmowers in Seattle’.

These links should be from the most authoritative websites, not low-level directories!

Another great tactic is to gain the help of a local digital influencer – someone known locally who has online clout, both on social media and their own website.

Perhaps you could partner with them. In return for getting promoted on your site, they could speak to other quality websites on your behalf and get some juicy links back.

Hey presto! Your local biz will be ranking in no time 😉

 

To paraphrase former Speaker of the U.S. House Tip O’Neill, “All SEO is local”.

Most search engines now serve you results based on multiple personalized data points, including geo-location.  It is essential, therefore, to start from a solid compliance with best practices – even the shop closest to you is unlikely to rank well if their site violates a large number of best practice guidelines.

Here are 7 helpful tips

1 – Ensure that your title & meta descriptions are unique, compelling and stay within allowable parameters.  These are your opportunity to shine in a sea of competing sites. – https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag & https://moz.com/learn/seo/meta-description

2 – Make certain you have not blocked search engines by having a poorly written robots.txt – http://www.robotstxt.org/orig.html

3 – Make sure that all of your links are valid; broken links can harm the trust that people place in your site. – http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/

4 – Verify that your HTML markup adheres to the standard (this helps provide a standardized experience to your users as well) –https://validator.w3.org/

5 – Eliminate any chained or unnecessary redirects.  Too many redirects can slow your site and lose “juice” – http://www.redirect-checker.org/index.php

6 – Ensure that your content is unique; duplicate content can result in penalties – http://www.quetext.com/

7 – Make your site and pages load as quickly as possible for all devices – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ (Having a hosting service with fast servers can help a lot here – https://www.pickaweb.co.uk/web-hosting/#packages )

 

How many times did it happen that a great pizza place didn’t come up on an online search when you were trying to recommend it to a friend or you were in a hurry to order some? I’m sure we’ve all been there…

Localizing your business is crucial these days due to the fast-paced competition, but there are still a lot of local businesses out there that haven’t aligned themselves with the new online market rules. This means that they are losing customers, especially now that local SEO gains more and more ground.

The first thing we recommend our customers that are local businesses is to optimize for local search and here’s how we do it.

[The easy part] Build a consistent local identity

First, we conduct a local SEO audit, to see what elements from the client’s website are poorly optimized. The key points to be checked are:

  • The NAP (Name, Address, Phone) must be present on all of the website’s pages. A very important aspect is that the site needs to be consistent and have the same structure, from every page in Google’s “My business”, to citations on local news articles and to blog posts. There needs to be an exact match between all of the NAP tags, so that Google recognizes all of them as belonging to the same business.
  • The location is present in all of the important meta tags. If your company is purely local, then you need to have the name of your city/town/village included in all of page titles, in H1s, and even in the body text of the pages.
  • Mandatory mobile website. Given that local searches are more likely to be made from mobile devices, a mobile-friendly site is a must.
  • The Google My Business Page needs to be pristine. This means:
  • finding and removing duplicate pages, which is one of our biggest problems and a quite common one;
  • verifying the page, by introducing the code you receive in the verification letter sent by Google, to check that the address is real;
  • using the correct business Name, Phone and Address;
  • making sure that the business is assigned to the right category;
  • adding the business hours, a nice description and some photos (ideally real, good quality photos from the location).

[The hard part] Turn your business into SERP eye-candy for the user

If all of the previous steps are doable and would only require some consistency and attention, the hardest part resides in improving the client’s signals (CTR): how appealing their link is for the user doing the search.

Why is this hard? Because it’s very subjective and it implies a lot of testing.

How can you do this?

  • use nice photos that users want to click on;
  • write a catchy title & description.

Get as many reviews as possible

One of our favorite strategy is to ask a list of Gmail clients for reviews: provide them with a direct link to the review box (if you look up the name of a business in Google and press “Write a review”, you’ll get the direct link). If they are already logged in their Google account, it’ll take them mere seconds to give a review.

Citation building is the new link building for local

As well as links, good citations are hard to find. As a first step, we use the list from Whitespark showing where you can receive citations on relevant and trusted local websites, directories, etc. Next, we take a peek at the competitors, to see where they take their citations from. To do that, you can either use Whitespark – ”the Majestic” of citations – again, or simply type the competitor’s phone number in Google and see the websites where it’s been listed.

Further on, we start a consistent and continuous research for relevant bloggers in our client’s niche and try to get some citations from them, with classical outreach strategies.

These are essentially the main steps you would need to take to get a top ranking for and loads of traffic to your local business. Follow these and you’ll be amazed of what can be achieved.

 

I like to make sure I use schema.org vocabulary with a site, and a contact point phone number, so that when someone searches for the business, and the word “phone”, it appears in an answer box in Google’s results.

 

Our most effective local SEO strategy is review acquisition on ALL sites that accept them. Most of the time you’ll hear to get reviews on Google Plus or Yelp or a top level niche site like Avvo for attorneys.

However, we’ve found the most effective strategy is to acquire reviews for a wider range of sites. We feel reviews are an incredibly strong signal for local that should not be neglected on the tier 2 sites as well.

No only is the review itself an excellent signal for local SEO but it also amplifies your social proof when the star ratings show up in more locations.

Not to mention each comment that is left by a consumer is essentially fresh content being added to the site. So a site with a review may have a better opportunity to rank itself because there are more words on the page. Another simple tip is to “Google” your brand. These are the review sites you should target first and then move on to the lower hanging fruit.

 

The key is to find a perfect balance between focusing on what I consider the 4 pillars of local search:

  1. Reviews
  2. Local Directories (Citations)
  3. Website + Content
  4. Links + Shares

The perfect local strategy includes a plan across these areas.

 

It’s so hard to pick a single strategy that will help a given business rank. Getting your Google My Business page correctly optimised is important. Getting your citations consistent and optimised is important. Getting your site optimised for the address you target is critical. Getting reviews and some reputation signals in place is critical to help win business when you are listed. If you are in a competitive industry or location you will need to look at building links from geographically and topically relevant sources.

Local SEO is all about joining the dots. It is about ensuring Google completely understands what you do and where you do it. It is about ensuring that Google trusts the information out there about your business which is where the consistency of your name, address and phone number (NAP) is so, so important across your site, Google+ and your citations.

If I had to hang my (bowler) hat on one single strategy it would be to get a solid understanding of where you are currently. We use a 56 stage Local SEO audit that allows us to check all potential issues in a structured, procedural manner. This ensures we know where the strengths and weaknesses lie for a given business or location. We can then use the intelligence gathered here to focus on the areas that need work. Experience has taught me that a manual process always delivers the best results however if you are new to the game a tool like Bright Local will give you valuable insight into what elements of your Local SEO need work.

 

For Local SEO, it’s pretty straightforward.

First, get your Google local business page verified then link to it from your website. Make sure the NAP (name, adddress, phone number) is correct and consistent in all pages of your site.

Second, get people (preferrably your customers) to write reviews about your Google local business page.

Lastly, build links to your Google local business page from other websites that are verified and are in close proximity to your Google business page.

That should bump you up lots.

 

I find that the most important part of local SEO is determining which citations matter to Google for a specific industry.

A good free tool to uncover local link and citation opportunities is a Chrome extension called N.A.P. Hunter by Local SEO Guide. It runs a series of queries in Google based on the Name, Address and Phone number of a business. Since Google uses this same NAP information in it’s local search algorithms, it’s worthwhile to discover what business intelligence can exists in the SERPs.

This tool can also be used to gather data on competitors who are ranking for your targeted keyword phrases, find good opportunities and learn who is listed with sponsored links.

 

Ivaylo Kalburdzhiev
Ivaylo Kalburdzhiev
@linkody
www.linkody.com

Make sure to submit your website to Google Maps (or claim the listing). Then, you want to fill it out fully with the corresponding information from your website – opening/closing times, addresses, phone numbers, images, YouTube videos – you want to make sure that everything is right there for people to see. Then, go ahead and ask some happy clients for honest reviews, which will in turn influence other people’s decision to get in touch. A lot of your competitors probably aren’t doing this, so it’s a good place to start.

 

Having a fully responsive/mobile friendly website is my favorite local SEO strategy. My answer doesn’t just apply to local SEO, but it also applies to any website or business. However, it has a huge impact on local SEO.

Specifically with local businesses, having a mobile friendly site allows your customers to access your business on the fly. It provides an overall better user experience and in the end that is what Google (and other search engines) want to provide their users. It will increase the “stickiness” of your site and reduce bounce rates which can have negative impacts on your organic listings.

 

As far as I’m concerned, businesses at all levels need to understand the importance of producing linkable assets. Whilst there’s no denying the fact that the likes of citations and the right on-page optimisation is a core contributor towards the success of any local SEO campaign, the reality is that they’re both easy to roll out and implement them.

That’s not to say there isn’t a right and wrong way to carry these tasks out, simply that it’s not overly difficult to get right. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to find a relatively large number of businesses in any one location in any given niche who have spent time on on-page optimisation and building great citations who have done a great job.

If this simply creates a level playing field or a base line in terms of achieving a presence on the first page of the SERP’s, it ultimately means that in order to hit the top (which let’s face it, is where everyone wants to be), an approach which goes above and beyond what everyone else is doing is needed.

Yes, you can go and sponsor a local University event and try to get a link from an .ac.uk domain but these opportunities are often few and far between. If you can make this happen, go for it, however it’s not the be all and end all of taking a local SEO campaign to the next level. Think of such link opportunities as a luxury when they can be found or negotiated.

To me, one thing which is seen far too infrequently in local SEO is a well-thought out and strategic content marketing approach.

Yes, it’s usually only the bigger national brands who are seen to producing great content and earning coverage here, there and everywhere but that doesn’t for a minute mean that a local business can’t create something just as great. When working with clients operating in a local region, once we’ve got all the basics covered, we turn to thinking along the same lines as we would if we were marketing a national eCommerce retailer. That means, in most cases, content marketing!

We find, even in 2016, that infographics can be a great way to earn top tier coverage even for ‘local’ clients, often simply by thinking outside the box a little bit. To give a few examples, we’ve recently launched this infographic for Bellvue Students and this one for Free Tours of London.

Both of these businesses operate in a local market, however we’ve created assets which are marketable on a much wider scale, yet both are very much so related to their target audiences.

The first took the client’s business model of ‘student accommodation’ to create a handy list of house-share hacks for students to have a more peaceful house share experience whilst the second addresses 10 hacks to help tourists use the London Underground a little easier and avoid some of the common inconveniences often experienced. Whilst it’s early days for both pieces, we’re already seeing coverage from national publications.

At the end of the day, I’m a strong believer that you need to ‘hang out where you want to be, not where you’re currently at’ and that couldn’t be more correct with local SEO. Yes, there’s plenty of bottom-line local SEO approaches which are an absolute necessity but if you want to stand out from the crowd and earn the positions which every competitor is trying for, you need to go that one step further.

To me, that’s creating THE BEST content you can around your niche and promoting it like crazy. Local SEO’s should pay particular attention to what the likes of Brian Dean at Backlinko is saying and devise a strategy which sees you using these hard-hitting tactics to supercharge a campaign which was previously nothing more than what every other business in the same city is doing.

Such campaigns do need a stronger level of investment than ‘doing what everyone else does’ but you know what they say, “to make money, you need to spend money!”

 

My favourite local SEO technique are local reviews. They needn’t just be Google reviews (although that’s not a bad place to start) as they can be other local directories.

Local reviews have a direct impact on local rankings and they act as social proof that a business is credible. In many industries shoppers expect to see local reviews, some good and the odd bad one as it’s all part of a popular business being authentic.

My one tip is to make the process of a customer leaving a review as simple as possible. Consider adding a short URL bit.ly link to where you’d like them to leave a review and you could even record a 30 second video or a mini infographic to show them how easy the process is.

 

Andy Drinkwater
Andy Drinkwater
@iqseo
www.iqseo.uk

Local SEO takes a little bit of nous and some following of Google guidelines, which brings me on to my takeaway (and probably the most obvious) for this roundup, and that is to ensure you are doing everything that Google wants. You can’t afford to get this wrong because Google is very unforgiving of those that rush an entry or try to game them in any way.

You might not realise just how important it is to make sure that you have a valid address in the location where you are based and wishing to rank in. If you are a work-from-home business and don’t fancy giving out your personal address, look for local services that are happy to rent mailbox addresses where you pick up post when you get your Google pin card.

Choose your listing categories carefully. If you get this wrong, you can end up either being listed for the wrong local searches or even not listed at all. Google has been known to flag incorrect / inconsistent listings and you could be left without a local result until you correct it.

When it comes to your phone number, add something local. Let’s say you work predominantly from a mobile or just have a personal phone number, there are always 3rd party solutions where you can rent a local number that will forward through to you. Makes sure you use this number on your designated local page as well as your Google+ Local page and you should be fine.

Concentrate on your NAP. The Name, Address and Phone Number must be the same across all pages and sites where you are listed. This will work with your citations and should match each other as closely as possible. If you are known as Joe Bloggs Inc, then don’t list yourself as J. Bloggs on another listing page somewhere.

 

My favorite local SEO strategy is using Moz Local to verify the business has a presence on all of the top local directories. Moz Local can also ensure NAP (name address phone number) information is uniform across all directories, which is critical when it comes to Google understanding where your business is truly located and how people can reach you.

Also, a new favorite local strategy, after recent news from Google about new local ranking signals, is traditional SEO. Raising the organic ranking of businesses is what I spend my days doing; now that it’s a factor for local SEO I love it even more.

 

My favorite local SEO strategy is PR. It’s so much easier for local businesses to get press than other businesses—take advantage of it!

Each mention you get will include a link back to your website, typically from a website with a high domain authority. Play up the local angle as much as possible to get coverage—whether it’s a profile, a review, or some other coverage.

As a added bonus, this type of coverage will often drive website traffic as well!

 

It’s well known that citations are the most important ranking factor for local SEO, but what do you do once you’ve used up all citation opportunities? Yes you can build normal backlinks to your web property too, but you don’t want to go overboard with this.

Another tactic that can work well is to utilise your GMB and G+ pages. People don’t really seem to notice that being active with your business page and participating in local communities can work well. In some cases, simply joining some local communities on G+, and sharing your latest posts with them (in a non-spammy way of course) can help give Google that extra relevance signal and can boost your rankings well.

This is one of those strategies that you can use once you’ve done all the other standard options, such as citations, links, and all of the usual on-page things. Without that solid foundation, it might not be worth doing the above.

 

My favorite local SEO strategy is focusing on leveraging Social Media Networks. In more detail, don’t forget to utilise Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Snapchat & Quora to name a few, in your quest to enhance your local SEO. To begin with, ensure you have an optimized profile in each Social Media Network you belong to. Moreover ensure your posts and updates are also optimized with “local elements” and helpful to your audience and that you are encouraging shares, likes and comments to them. For example, you might have noticed Tweets currently ranking very high in Google’s search results for certain keywords or phrases. Focus on growing your local following and remember to include your location’s details and website URL in the appropriate fields of each Social Media Platform you belong to.

Make an investment in your presence at and efficient utilization of various Social Media Networks, enhance your local social authority and search engines will sooner or later acknowledge this authority as well. Remember, Social Media Networks are not going anywhere any time soon, on the contrary they are getting more powerful by the day, so you need to have a strong & effective presence where all the buzz is taking place and where many of your potential local prospects are hanging out.

 

First of all, any search marketing expert knows that there are extra ranking factors in local SEO that might not play a significant role in “regular” SEO. Honestly, whatever strategy you choose to follow is less important than being sure you’re paying enough attention to those additional factors. 

To prove this, I want to share some results of a recent survey distributed among local SEO experts:  

  1. 67% of experts say that local reviews are among local SEO ranking factors.
  2. 84% of local SEO websites show that not using microformats and schema mark-up negatively affects a site’s visibility.
  3. The main challenges are earning links and citations, keeping NAP (name, address, phone number) consistent across the web, and tracking conversion paths from various digital marketing channels.

The survey involved other aspects and was also a part of a large research project about local SEO. You can check here for further details.

 

“We must always think of the Way of strategy as being both a rat’s head and an ox’s neck”
– Miyamoto Musashi, The Book of Five Rings

Mr. Musashi was a cunning Japanese samurai fighter who relied on strategy and principles to defeat his opponents. In local SEO we must remember to think big picture and small picture, a rat’s head and an ox’s neck. Often we get lost in the weeds of Onpage SEO, technical Schema, title tags, citations, website mentions (links), social, etc, that we forget why we are doing marketing in the first place – tell a story, and earn enough trust and rapport for initial contact.

SEO is heavily influenced by user metrics as we see the rise of Crowd Search and other traffic generation platforms. One of the biggest wins we have found is to simply tell the client’s story more effectively, and focus on conversion. New traffic is important, but if you aren’t converting existing traffic, you aren’t solving the core problem.

I don’t need you on my website or client’s website if you aren’t converting.

As other experts have stated, design is important, but humans do business with other humans. When a visitor is leaving one of our agency sites, Atlanta SEO, they are halted with an exit intent video. It’s a hail Mary, last-ditch attempt to squeeze value out of the traffic, and connect properly with the prospect. Instead of being a faceless company, now you are speaking directly to the prospect, explaining your value proposition. This is true of any industry. We all have a story to tell. The video adds to the user experience, time on site, and most importantly conversion rate. Of course it doesn’t hurt to dominate the competition in terms of technical onpage SEO and offpage promotions but when you add the missing piece – humanity – the real marketing magic begins to compound.

 

Brandon Seymour
Brandon Seymour
@Beymour
www.beymour.com

Now that Google is much better at interpreting – and even predicting – user intent, content is becoming a huge ranking factor for local SEO. One term you’ve probably heard thrown around is “hyper-local” marketing and advertising. Hyper-local is different from traditional marketing in that it targets users based on a very specific geographic area. Instead of casting a wide net, hyper-local marketing allows brands to connect with users on a local level. This is really important for brands that have multiple locations within a close proximity, but also for local businesses in general. It could be as simple adding a local spotlight section where you feature local, non-competing businesses, or partnering with some local charities and non-profit organizations.

The more you can tie the content in with your niche, the better. For instance, if you’re an attorney, you may want to include some local legal resources, such as courthouse hours, contact information, and driving directions. Anything that adds value to your local audience. The more you can localize the content on your website, the more you establish local relevance, which is good for local SEO, and even better for the user experience.

 

I would say don’t think exclusively about the Google SERP anymore. There are an increasing number of ways that consumers now find local information. These include new user experiences and interfaces (e.g., voice/virtual assistants, messaging apps).
Obviously don’t neglect the traditional SERP, but increasingly think of “local SEO” as local data optimization for all the many and varied consumer distribution points, which will only continue to grow.

Embed Our Infographic On Your Site!
Just copy and paste the following code on your website to display the infographic

You Might Also Like

51 Comments

  1. 1

    Wow, what an awesome post. It’s great to see so many different thoughts on this topic which goes to show just how many different things are needed to create a complete local SEO strategy.

    Thanks for including me!

  2. 2

    Hi Chris,

    It was a pleasure & thanks for participating.

    The point you make about Mobile/Responsive sites is really important. Even now, most local businesses don’t have mobile ready websites. Their potential customers are searching on their mobiles, tablets, etc. – not just desktops & laptops. It’s a great way to get a competitive advantage especially with Google favouring mobile sites in mobile search results.

    Again, thanks for sharing your expertise.

  3. 3
  4. 5

    i’m aiming to do a new site which will involve e-commerce; because I must be crazy it will involve coding it myself using PAyPAl PHP Rest Api for client purchase.
    Also it will be built using a framework ; now in regard to SEO & the metatags (keywords & description) frameworks present a problem because every web site page is constructed using with the same bit of head code (also footer code) and constructed like a sandwhich with the main content (view) in the middle
    bit head code section:

    Now this means you can not use static keywords or description , even title since for every page it will be different. In a nutshell so you have to code to generate them. I have been thinking are they important enough for me to do the coding work , if for instance i make sure there are a few good words in the content?

    On SEO & Google i’m aware of the viewing from a mobile element & my approach is probably going to be using Twitter Bootstrap with a certain amount of override of CSS.

  5. 6
    • 7

      Hey Sean,

      Great to have your input, thanks. I definitely agree with your points: NAP Citations, Google reviews, links – and guess what – nothing techie involved, nothing on page – anyone can make these moves.

      People often assume they’re going to need technical help, loads of re-design, lots of complexity & cost but it doesn’t have to be that way at all.

      Thanks again for your contribution Sean.

  6. 8
    • 9

      Hi Tim,

      Many thanks – I love creating that kind of content. If you liked that, maybe you’ll like our Star Wars themed CMS comparison at https://www.pickaweb.co.uk/blog/cms-comparison/

      But back to your point about local (competitive) link building, that is such an easy technique that often gets overlooked. Just get your competitors, head over to ahrefs, plug them in and see where they are linking and reverse engineer their links. Most of the time for local businesses they won’t be links that are too exotic or difficult to get for yourself. Just create a list and go for them over time.

      Just a quick note on Ahrefs – we are big fans over here at Pickaweb 😉 Constantly referring to it for research. Keep up the great work.

  7. 10
  8. 12
    • 13

      Hi Andy,

      It’s a pleasure to have your input. Getting the (Google) basics right and getting your NAP correct and consistent is a popular piece of advice.

      Anyone reading this take note – get the basics right is the key, especially NAP Citations.

      Cheers Andy

  9. 14

    What a great infographic, Tony!

    Also, learned plenty from this post.

    For instance, Matt Southern said:

    “…using Moz Local to verify the business has a presence on all of the top local directories.”

    I didn’t even know that could be done, but that would save a lot of time. Nice tip.

    Then again, I’m no local SEO expert either. 😉

    Hope you’re having an awesome week,

    Brent

    • 15

      Hey Brent,

      Glad you found a little nugget in there. There’s always some little trick to learn & it’s great that people are prepared to share their knowledge with the rest of us.

      Have a good one.
      Tony

  10. 16

    Hi Tony,

    First of all, I’m honored to be part of this great article. You managed to bring here some of the biggest names in this industry.
    And the infographic is amazing.

    • 17

      Hi Radu,

      Thanks, that’s very kind of you and thanks for your input to the roundup. I completely agree with you about NAP Citations. That seems to be the consensus. And how easy is that? It’s not something technical or difficult – this is the sort of thing that any small business owner can manage.

      Likewise with reviews in Google My Business/Local – these can be achieved with just a consistent, methodical approach. The point is that you need to start asking for them & I think people get a bit shy about that, but in my experience people are happy to give reviews. It’s the same for referrals – but that’s another subject for another day 🙂

      Again, thanks for the contribution and the kind words.

      All the best,
      Tony

  11. 18

    Awesome infographic! One way to trim a bunch of time & effort off the first part of the process is to use MOZ Local. For $84/yr. per location, they syndicate your info to: Infogroup, Neustar Localeze, Acxiom, Factual, Foursquare, Central Index and ThompsonLocal.

    • 19

      Hi Scott,

      Thanks for that – I appreciate the feedback.

      Yes, Moz seem to be focusing heavily on Local nowadays. Anything that makes the process of gaining & maintaining NAP Citations is definitely a winner & as you say – very cost effective.

      The frustrating thing is that often when I speak to many local business owners they just don’t understand how straightforward it can be. It’s almost like they assume it has to be complex & expensive. It doesn’t need to be either.

      All the best,
      Tony

  12. 20
    • 21

      Hi Joe,

      It’s a pleasure including you. I 100% agree with you on getting reviews, especially for your Google My Business account. That’s a nice tip too about creating a video or some instructions. Really good, simple idea.

      Cheers,
      Tony

  13. 22

    Awesome infographic! There is a ton of actionable advice here. Thanks for allowing me to participate as well. At the CoLT event in Vegas we had a big debate about Yelp their influence, consumer experience and how to get their reviews to stick. More and more consumers are acknowledging the importance of local search.

    • 23

      Hi Chris,
      Thanks for that, we appreciate your comments & thanks for participating.

      Chris, I have a couple of questions about review acquisition because I know that is one of your key strategies.

      Firstly, do you have a template that you use to ask for reviews?

      Secondly, if someone says to you that they think that asking for reviews might be perceived as being a bit pushy, what’s your answer to them (I hear that objection quite a lot over here in the UK)?

      Would be great to get your views.
      Cheers,
      Tony

  14. 24
    • 25

      Hi Anthony,

      Thanks. It’s great to get so much great knowledge condensed into one post. Now I can just point my clients this way when they need help on local SEO.

      Cheers,
      Tony

  15. 26
    • 27

      Hi Dominic,

      Thanks for giving us your insight too.

      Your point about using GMB and G+ is really important. As you say you need to cover off the basics (good on page, NAP Citations, etc.) but then you need to focus on the reviews and getting known in your community. There does seem to be a (positive) correlation between the number of Google reviews and the position in the 3 pack and depending on the industry you can get a better ranking with just a few reviews. Is that your experience too?

  16. 28
  17. 30

    Thanks for the inclusion Tony 🙂

    Some great tips here – localised anchor text from authoritative websites for the win!

    Then get that social proof solidified with reviews and social presence…

    Keep up the great work, honoured to be a part of this awesome piece!

    Sam

    • 31

      Hi Sam,

      It’s a pleasure. And thank you for providing such great advice. Definitely agree with you on Reviews, NAP Citations & Backlinks.

      None of this is really complex either. If you take a typical local business then getting reviews is about as difficult as sending a few emails to your best clients (who you probably know pretty well anyway). 9 times out of 10 they’d love to give you a review.

      For NAP Citations, again that is something that anyone can do. Once you’re aware of what you need to look for & how to do it consistently it’s easy.

      OK, backlinks maybe a bit more difficult for a non SEO trained business owner to grasp, but there are loads of great local opportunities to get links from reputable sites to send signals to Google. One easy win would be giving testimonials to local suppliers. Again – as difficult as sending an email. Or getting on a sponsorship page for some great local causes.

      Again, thanks for participating Sam.

      Have a great weekend,
      Tony

  18. 32

    Wow there are some great tips here. I attended Search Love in the UK at the end of 2014 and remember hearing David Mihm from Moz speak. He knows a ton about local search engine marketing. Perhaps you could still reach out to him and add his tips along with these great experts?! Either way this was very informative.

  19. 33
  20. 34
    • 35

      Hi Nathan,

      Be my guest. If it helps you explain the process then all the better. It will help you to onboard junior staff so that they hit the deck running and start making a difference for your clients.

      Glad to be of assistance.

      All the best,
      Tony

  21. 36

    In a world where the term “infographic” has been applied to anything that’s “fancy designed text”, you’ve really contributed something of value here to the SEO community. By taking an abstract, complex process and creating a true visual map, I think you will help many marketers get a better understanding of how to approach local SEO and what some of the opportunities are.

    • 37

      Hi Martin,

      Wow, that’s very kind of you, I really appreciate it.

      It’s my birthday today & you’ve just made my day!!

      Yes, you are right – there are so many moving parts when it comes to local SEO & I know that many small business owners feel overwhelmed. I know it looks like a jumble at first view, but the idea is just to follow the steps & tick them off as you go.

      Again, thanks for your kind words & thanks for the great input.
      All the best,
      Tony

  22. 40

    Fantastic post and surely super helpful for all. Being an optimizer and SEO trainer, I would love to share this post with my learners and audience and I am sure they will also appreciate this lovely content. Proper GMB business listing, consistent NAP citation, authentic reviews, regular GMB page updates on G+ with industry relevant information, links from local authoritative sites and location name on all important webpage Metas are really important for local ranking. Thanks for sharing this post and all those suggestions. Thanks to all local SEO experts here.

  23. 41
  24. 42

    wow, if someone were to read all these tips they could start their own agency or dominate ranking their local business. Very well put-together by a lot of smart people, happy to be a part of it.

    I would just like to say traffic has been the missing component to most campaigns. Google, Bing and other search engines understand real businesses get real traffic. Direct, referral, organic + a good user experience along with all the technical onpage SEO and of course promotions = domination.

    • 43

      Hey Matt,

      Great to have your input & insight. That’s a great point you raise about bounce rates & the exit video. Can you let us know what tool you use for that. I think that’s a really original approach. In fact, I might give that a go myself.

      Again, many thanks for your input.
      Cheers!
      Tony

      • 44

        your welcome and my pleasure. For WordPress sites we use OptinMonster. You can use for exit intent, or based on time, etc. It’s very versatile. We also have a suite of paid plugins we have as an agency that we install for free on our clients sites, such as minimizing javascript, css, optimizing images (speed), schema, etc.

        Notice all metrics are increasing: conversion rate, time spent on site/page and rankings.

  25. 45

    You’ve done enormous work! Thank you for including my advice into your roundup. Your infographic is indescribably good. I’ll recommend your article to anyone who needs Local SEO.

    • 46

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks for the kind words – we really appreciate it.

      Thanks too for your really comprehensive advice. There are a some real gems in there which are really useful for anyone who is determined to get a top ranking. As you advise, outreach is really important these days. You have to hustle and get in there and let people know about your content. Backlinks, shares and traffic don’t just happen by accident. You have to get stuck in.

      Thanks again.
      Tony 🙂

  26. 47

    Have just seen this – What a fantastic post! Very well put together and great to have lots of advice from different SEO experts all in one place.

  27. 48

    What can I say, a well written helpful informative article supported by quite an impressive compilation of contributors and an impressive infographic, one of the best I have seen…

  28. 50

    A great collection of relevant contributions to a topic that baffles even the most experienced digital marketers. I have bookmarked this for future reference – thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *