Do you want to dominate your local market in 2023?
Local SEO is one of the most important marketing strategies for businesses that operate in a specific geographic area. It can help you reach more customers and beat your competition.
In order to dominate your local market, you need to optimize your business for Local SEO. In this guide, I will teach you how to find keywords, improve your social media, email, and website’s visibility, and use the best tools available. Keep learning with us and you will be on your way to success!
Local SEO topics to be discussed
- Local SEO defined
- How SEO Works
- Keywords for Local SEO
- Optimizing Your Business for SEO
- Local SEO Tools
- Additional Resources
Change Why Is Local SEO Important
As a business owner, you know that it is important to be found online. Over $5 trillion dollars annually are transacted online! However, with so much competition for visibility, it can be difficult to stand out from the pack.
It's no secret that in order to be successful in today's economy, businesses need to have a strong online presence. But with so much competition for web traffic, it can be difficult to get your site seen by potential customers.
Local SEO is the answer. By optimizing your website and content for search engines, you can increase your chances of being found by people who are looking for your products or services. SEO is an effective way to reach more customers and grow your business.
Check out the 7 Steps to becoming a Super Affiliate Guide highlighting tips by one of my mentors and super affiliate, Jonathan Montoya.
Local SEO Defined
Local SEO is the process of making sure optimizing your online presence to increase local traffic, visibility, and brand awareness.
Typically tasks include:
- Evaluating keywords
- Optimizing your Google Business profile
- Creating locally relevant content.
Any entrepreneur or a business that has an actual brick and mortar can benefit from local SEO
Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO.
Let's take a look at a Google Search. Here is a sample search.
I keep preaching daily - there are $5 trillion dollars transacted online annual. It starts with the Google search. More than 30% of Google searches. Billions of people around the world search Google everyday.
Local SEO helps get your business in front of Google Search.
Keep reading this guide to local SEO and to help learn how.
How Does Local SEO work?
Google has many ranking factors. It works on its local search algorithm. In reviewing this, the main factors are used to help find the best match:
- Relevance - The best experience for the searcher - the words a searcher uses in their query
- Distance - How far Google believes the intent of the user to a business when they search
- Prominence - Ranking of Google to a business. The amount of importance.
Next, two types of search results will be displayed by Google for local searches.
Organic results and the local pack - Google Maps and Business Profiles.
For example, when you search for “dentist detroit,” Google displays a local pack at the very top of the results.
With the “regular” organic search results underneath.
When you start to type in your search, Google will show local results based on what they think the intent of this query is.
But Google doesn’t just show local results for queries that contain a specific city, state, or “near me” keyword.
If Google believes the intent of your search is local, it’ll display local results.
Even if the keyword isn’t explicitly local.
For example, if you were in Toronto and searched "shoe repair". Google still displays a local pack
For example, if you were in Los Angeles and searched for “barber shops,” Google would still display a local pack for Los Angeles barber shops.
How Keywords are Found for Local SEO
Keyword research for local SEO is defined as the process of finding keywords that people use and are looking for, when searching for local products and services.
The right combination and clarity of your product, you will rank for these keywords.
The algorithm then drives highly-targeted local traffic to your site and sends more customers your way.
To get started, you need a short list of keywords that people can use to find your local business.
There are a few ways to do your research.
Research Your Competitors
The money is in the research! Don't recreate the wheel. seeing what your competitors are doing to model there content is an easy way to start gathering ideas.
There are several tools out there. When I started my affiliate marketing journey, mentors recommended these tools for success: Canva, SemRush/AhRefs, Jasper and many others.
I personally use Semrush, which has an organic research tool.
Place any website into the browser and click Start now. It will produce data on your website. Let's take a look at rudyratings.com, my travel blog, on SemRush.
Here you can see my blog, Rudyratings.com, has an Authority score of 7. You want to have your authority score as high as possible. When setting up a blog, make sure you are using backlinks on your journey to help your channel grow.
If you take a look at the organic keywords, you want to have as many as possible to help gain traction with the Google algorithm.
You can also use to search competition and target there keywords to business relevant to you.
Google Search and Google Autocomplete
The Google autocomplete feature can be a great time-saver and help you discover valuable keywords for local SEO.
For example, if I’m in Dallas Texas and type “best mexican restaurants near here” into the search bar -as soon as my cursor starts filling with letters-,
a list of suggestions appears right above it including places nearby that meet this criteria!
Use Google Keyword Planner for Research
Google’s Keyword Planner helps research keywords for paid search campaigns.
But it’s also great for discovering new keywords related to your business.
Start by going to the “Discover new keywords” section and click on the “Start with a website” tab.
Use the tool to enter the domain of one of your competitors. When you get the results, Google will suggest a ton of keywords based on the search criteria.
A good rule of thumb is to pick three of your top competitors and review all the relevant keywords to your list.
Google Keyword Planner also gives search volume data for different geographic areas. This feature is helpful when you have a lot of keywords, and want to pick which one would work with your target.
Check this out:
How To Optimize Your Business for Local SEO
Let’s explore the most important Google local search ranking factors and a few tips on how you can optimize for them.
Google Business Profile
Google says optimizing your Business Profile is the most important SEO ranking factor.
Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free business listing.
Google My Business is a free way for you to list your business and get it seen online.
It's simple, easy-to use interface makes navigating through all of the different aspects quick & straightforward so that clients can find what they need whether looking locally or across countries!
Google will display information about each listed establishment on its search engine results pages (SERPs), giving them higher ranking than before when people would type " Restaurants" but only see one restaurant name in an ad group with many other listings beside it.
If you want to be in the local pack, you need a Google Business Profile. This will give you a better opportunity to rank.
- Business hours - set detailed hours including holidays and weekends
- Use various attributes to describe your business (wifi, outdoor seating, restrictions etc.)
- Photos and Videos uploaded regularly promotes engagement and boosts rankings.
SemRush has an amazing guide that is helpful to learn more. It helps setting up and optimizng your Business profile.
Local Citations: Name, Address, & Phone Number (NAP)
The NAP citation is a directory listing that includes your name and contact information.
This makes it easy for potential customers or employees to find out more about you!
As Google uses these citations in their search engine, they need confidence with all the data on file so be sure to keep accurate records of any changes made through time - like changing business cards at work graduation parties... etcetera
The more Google sees a NAP citation for your business, the more confident it is that your address is where you say it is and that your phone number is what you say it is.
Try to get consistent NAP citations on as many reputable websites as you can.
There are several different ways to easily check your listings. Semrush’s Listing Management tool is a good resource to help.
The report will show you the current state of your online presence, including listings to fix and average star rating.
The tool also provides a list with important directories that are relevant for finding accurate information about your company's location/hours
- Present - Business is listed, the data is correct, no further action is needed
- With issues - Business is listed with issues
- Not present - Business is not listed, missing out on customers
- Unavailable Directory does not support your category
You can also download all of this information using the "Export" button in the top right corner.
Having a paid subscription lets you automatically distribtue your business to several/all directories.
Make sure your business listing is up to date.
You can make changes by clicking Edit Info. Then add photos, videos, Google Business Profiles and social media information.
Business Profile Information
- Your listings Current Status listings
- Google Ads Launch and Track Ad campaigns
- Duplicates Clean up duplicate listings
- User Suggestions Approve/Reject Customer Feedback
- Reviews Check Reviews and Monitor
- Local Rankings Evaluate how well your business is in city locations
- Heatmap Track keywords to give your business insight
The tool will keep your NAP citations consistent everywhere online.
- Citations are kept everywhere 100% consistent (same name, address, phone number)
- Make sure to provide information to popular directories in your local area and industry
- Get submissions to big larger companies (like Apple Maps, YouTube, Yelp, Bing Places, Facebook, Pinterest etc.)
Reviews and testimonials are essential to building customer trust.
They provide social proof, validate your expertise in the industry you're servicing or selling goods for that particular business--and give potential buyers confidence when they see how many people love doing business with them!
Google believes it's important not only reply back but also take time out of each day (or week) specifically dedicated towards responding properly- because there might be one review telling all about what happened while another had nothing but bad things.
So make sure everyone knows exactly where he/she can go should any issues arise: right here on our site.
To find reviews to reply to, use the Listing Management tool with SemRush and click on the Reviews tab. You can sort by oldest, lowest or highest rating by toggling on the box.
- Don't offer or accept money in exchange for reviews. This includes both positive and negative feedback - if a customer feels like they are being pressured to post an online review, it's likely that this is against Google’s terms of service so be aware!
- Verifying your Business Profile will allow you respond directly through the site while also preventing future messages from showing up as spammy content on other people ' s Profiles ."
What is On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing a website's content to help it rank higher in organic search results.
And because Google factors page loading time into their algorithm, making your site take less than 2 seconds when loaded starts getting you closer and closer towards ranking for local searches too!
To do this quick audit on how well optimized each webpage might be using Semrush’s On Page SEO checker tool, you will get results fast and easy.
The results will give very specific insights about whether there are any issues with keywords or HTML code as well has providing many tips depending upon what needs work done from all those data points collected.
It will also provide recommendations of what pages need to be optimized and how to make impactful results.
When you have this information, you use the information found in your keyword search to optimize your existing content and create new.
- Include your locally targeted keywords in page titles and meta descriptions.
- To increase the chances of visitors finding you on Google, add specific location pages to your website.
- Internally link from within your website to each service
Importance of Backlinks
I truly did not realize the importance until recently.
Backlinking is one way you help improve your site's ranking in Google search rankings and it has been shown to work consistently over time with many different keyword sets, regardless if they are relevant or not!
Referring domains also have a significant impact on where websites rank for specific keywords- so having more than just 1 referring domain will give users higher ranks while reducing competition significantly since there won't likely ever happen two sites that link at exactly the same.
You want to have as many quality backlinks on your website. It is not about the number, it is about the QUALITY.
There are lots of unique opportunities local businesses can make use of.
- If you're not able to find any non-competitor links, reach out and ask for some!
- Contact your local newspapers or sites. Fiverr has different opportunities for this!
- You can also sponsor events in order share stories with people who might enjoy them as well (and get their attention!).
Additional Local SEO Resources
The local SEO landscape is changing all the time.
To stay competitive, you need to be on top of your game and know how best use these tools that can help take care of some tedious tasks for you in order get more customers into your store or website!
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is an easy-to use tool that helps monitor, maintain and fine tune your site's presence in search results. It can be used to understand how Google sees a particular page on the website as well as ensure it will rank properly for certain keywords or phrases people might input into their browser window while searching online!
Semrush’s Listing Management
Looking to get found by more customers in your local area? Semrush’s Listing Management tool can help! With easy-to-use listings management system, you can add your business NAP (name, address, phone number) and submit it to over 70 directories.
Plus, you can track all your customer reviews in one place – so you can quickly respond to any negative feedback and improve your online reputation. So why wait? Get started today with Semrush’s Listing Management and get found by more local customers!
Semrush’s Position Tracking
With Semrush’s Position Tracking Position Tracking tool, you can monitor keywords and rankings on a ZIP code level as well as in local packs. It also enables me to stay up-to date with changes in position while keeping an eye my competitors!
Social Media Toolkit IDPLR
Semrush's Social Media Toolkit helps you post and schedule updates on all your social media accounts in one place. You can use it to share offers, events or products from any of the different platforms that suit best for each specific account type - Google Business Profile (GBP) being just an example!
IDPLR (Private Label Rights)
If you're looking for high-quality PLR content that you can use to make money online, IDPLR is a great option. You can get started for free following this link.
You will get two free downloads. With a one-time lifetime fee, you'll have access to their huge inventory of courses and ebooks.
Many of the products come with reseller and master resale rights, so you can sell them on your own blog or website. And because the quality of the content is so high, you're sure to find PLR products that are relevant to your niche or industry.
Time etc - Virtual Personal Assistants
Time etc - virtual assistants offers a wide range of services to help busy professionals like you get their lives back on track. Whether you need help with scheduling, organization, research, or even just staying on top of your email, we have a virtual assistant who can help.
Their goal is to make your life easier so that you can focus on what's really important.
Change Wrap Up
Now that you have a good understanding of how local SEO works and what You can do to optimize your business for better visibility online, it’s time to get started.
If you need help getting started or don’t have the time to commit to this type of project, consider hiring an agency that specializes in Local SEO.
In the meantime, please subscribe, follow and support Being the Change on YouTube for more business resources and tips on how to improve your digital marketing strategy.