Being found by your community, which needs what services you offer, is critical to your success as a local business.
Especially right now, with fewer people out and about, for obvious reasons, your online strategy for funneling people into your business is more important than ever before.
So, this article is going to be your ultimate guide telling you every major step-by-step process that you need to focus on. So to help you to show up in local searches, making you way more visible.
Of course, more visibility leads to more customers. This is all stuff that’s guaranteed to move the needle in your favor.
Whether you want to outrank your competitors, you just need to do slightly more of it than what your competitors are already doing.
So let’s get into what you can do starting today, and I should say right off the top that when I say Local SEO Optimization Steps
The 2 Different Places Your Business Can Be Found Are;
- Google Maps.
- Organic Search Results.
One really important difference between these two placements is that the map results change pretty drastically based on the physical location where your prospective customer is searching from.
Basically, Google is always trying to show them the closest results to them.
The organic listings underneath are pretty much the same across the board no matter what, which is great whether you’re centrally located or not.
Action Steps to Take Over Your Competitor’s Business Listing
Local Keyword Research
The first thing you need to do here is to find the keywords that your local customers are going to use for the search.
To find keywords and there are a ton of keyword research tools out there, but the most popular one is Ahref’s keyword explorer.
Put your seed keyword in the search and pull out the low-keyword difficulty and high-volume keywords with the location specified and create a sheet out of it.
Create Your Google My Business Profile
So, next, you need to set up your google my business profile here for success.
Now according to Moz, The key component for appearing in the map pack is the signals that your Google My Business profile sends out.
And you probably already have a listing if you’ve been around for a bit, but there’s a right way and a wrong way of filling that out.
If you really want to stack the deck in your favor, first off, make sure that yours is filled out completely 100%, and you’ll know how to fill that out.
They do provide you with a completion score, but even if you receive a flawless score of 100%, we will still advise going beyond that.
Actionable Steps to Optimize Your GMB Listing
Select The Right Category
To start off, select categories carefully that you choose to describe your business.
Now they make you choose your top-level category, and that’s actually where most businesses stop, but instead, you’re also going to choose a few secondary categories that’ll help you rank for even more keywords.
Just make sure they fit at least one of your services, and you should be good to go.
Filling Out Services and Product Section
You also want to pay close attention to the services and product sections on the left sidebar
This is going to give Google some extra content about what you offer. These are just really fantastic places where you can naturally work in some of your keyword phrases for extra SEO power.
Now, this is a fairly new factor when it comes to Google my business. It’s really the first time that we’re seen that reviews are directly impacting rankings.
So what you should be doing is making a strong push this year in 2022 to get more of those 5-star reviews from your customers.
And you should be replying to every review you get Because it’s really likely that having your desired keywords in the text of your reviews is going to help to strengthen your SEO scores.
But also to enhance the customer service experience. If you can work in a keyword phrase in your responses, it definitely couldn’t hurt.
The major focus should always be on either praising them for a wonderful 5-star review or attempting to make things right in the case of a negative review.
Optimize Your Website
Once your Google My business is in optimal shape for you, we need to focus on what your website says.
It’s super important to understand that what Google is really looking for here is a lot of consistency across your Google my business profile and your website together.
It should all paint a really clear picture of what you do and that you are a legitimate business in the area that you’re trying to rank for.
Create Location Specific Landing Pages
Even if you can’t realistically rank in the map pack across your entire service area.
Let’s say you cover a tri-county area. You can create location pages on your website for each individual city and do the work and hope to rank each of those pages in organic search.
It doesn’t matter if you have a physical location there or not, but there’s a right way to do this, too, and most people do it completely wrong.
If you want to do it right a few things to keep in mind.
Customer Centralized Web Page Copy
First off, if you’re planning these location-specific web pages to get actual customers, you need to design them and write the words on them like actual human customers are reading them.
In other words, treat them like service pages with actual persuasion-based copy, benefit sections, and testimonials.
Think about it this way if you create these pages purely for search engines, and then you turn off all your human site visitors in the process, they will increase bounce rate %, and guess what?
Google is going to notice that and will not show that page on the next visit for that search.
Design Your Web Pages Full Heartedly
By creating the pages to appear more like thoughtful home pages, you can make the pages appealing to human visitors.
Then just turn that into a reusable template where you can change the text on each individual city location page.
But we are aware that you need to change all the text because unique content is extremely important. If you reuse the same copy from page to page, Google’s only going to count one version of that page & the rest of the pages are never going to hope to rank for anything.
So make sure you’re using your most desired keyword phrase along with each city’s name in your h1 heading, which is the main <h1> on the top, then use it in one or two headings and a few times in the body as web copy.
Then go ahead and sprinkle in some of your secondary keywords into subheadings and body copy where they read well and make sense.
Finally, give each page a great Meta Title and Meta Description using that same keyword city phrase in the title.
If your listing pops out from the rest of the businesses, you can get more clicks than the other listings above you and beneath you, and that will help you to get more clicks.
What it does is Google starts to think that you should be the one that needs to start climbing up the SERPs.
Optimize Your Footer
When you have all your location pages live and online, you just want to create a really simple footer menu And title it something like the locations we serve and list them all out using your local SEO keyword phrases as that actual link text.
Even If it’s just one location page, you probably still want to embed a Google map on the page for the city where you’re located in.
For example, let’s say you’ve got location pages for every city in Boulder County in Colorado, but you’re actually physically located in the town of Louisville.
Well, then, you do all your city pages as normal, as we discussed above.
But then, on your Louisville page, you just want to add your map to the page with your complete business name, address, and phone number.
So doing that’s going to give you some extra power to rank in the map pack within your actual physical location.
Remember when I said that Google likes to see consistency across your Google my business profile and your website?
Well, the plot thickens here because Google also wants to see consistency between those things and across the entire internet, specifically any mention of your business, to be exact, and we call these mentions of your business citations.
A citation appears on your social profiles, business directory sites, review sites, or anything like that. The goal is to not only have as many mentions or citations as possible across the internet.
But they also need to be super consistent, too. I mean consistent with each other and with what your website and your Google my business say so.
You need to be consistent with that you put it out there as well so that it should be your business’s name, address, and phone number to be correct and exact, which is also known as the (NAP).
So, when you’re building your citations and listing your address on your website, for that matter, I do recommend starting with the format that they give you that’s listed on your Google my business profile.
You’ll put in your address, and then they’ll take what you give them, and they’ll put it into a very specific format, and that’s what you want to copy and paste. You want to paste it exactly as it’s written out there and write it just that way on your site and all your citations.
Start building citations manually yourself by doing some research on all the different directories that cover your industry and your local area.
Create High Authority Backlinks
Successful Link building is having a lot of good links to your website from other sites has always been a key ranking factor.
And honestly, it’s not any less important today than it was 10 years ago, and not only do lots of good backlinks help you rank your site organically they also can help you in the map listings now too.
The thing to remember here is you want to make an extra special effort for local SEO to get links not just from any site out there, but if you can get them from other local businesses, that is even better.
Because these links are going to tie you to your local area further so, just make a list of all the businesses that you can maybe have a relationship with and then reach out to them.
Especially if they already have a section or a page on their site where they have links to businesses they work with, you can also really easily get a link from your local chamber of commerce and BBB (better business bureau).
You can also sponsor local events and get some really powerful backlinks out of that too.
If you are still finding issues with your local SEO optimization, you can then simply contact us, and we will surely arrange a free consultation for you to drive more revenue to your business.