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The Ultimate Local SEO Guide | Expert Tips [2023]

ultimate local seo guide

In the modern digital landscape, online presence for businesses is not merely an option but a must if you want to succeed. When consumers seek companies for a particular need, they often get their help online using big search engines such as Google or Yahoo. 

Local search engine optimisation increases a business’s online visibility and helps direct traffic to its website. Small companies and huge enterprises can benefit by implementing a regional SEO strategy. 

Now, the real question is: Do you want to see your listings on top of the local results? If yes, this local SEO guide will give you the best local SEO tips and practices to help you optimise your business listings more effectively. 

Remember to visit Digital Estate for more guides into different SEO practices. 

Why do Businesses Need Local SEO?

Why do Businesses Need Local SEO

Different advertising and social media marketing techniques can carry word for your business, and putting your business on the internet opens you to millions of potential clients. But how sure are you that you are targeting the correct audience? 

Local SEO is integral in increasing your visibility in Google’s local search to people who need your business within your vicinity. Here are more reasons why companies need to optimise listings for local SEO. 

  1. Increase online presence. You will be one of many to publish their business online. In most cases, more established companies will overcome your listings. But with the help of this local SEO guide, you now know that you can guarantee that your business will be visible to customers currently searching for your service or products, leading to more engagements and conversions.
  1. Targeted traffic. If you want more engagements and conversions, target local customers who need your products and services. With local SEO, you can target people near your business’s location. This strategy can increase the likelihood of business attracting more customers and directing more foot traffic to the physical stores. 
  1. Level the playing field. It’s always a concern for small businesses to compete with large companies in local search rankings. But with local SEO, you can go head-to-head with big companies nearby. . 
  1. Mobile optimisation. As of this year, almost 7 billion people own a mobile phone or handheld device, and a significant percentage use the devices to search the internet. Local SEO ensures that your business listings are optimised for mobiles, making it easier for potential customers to find your business even on the go. 
  1. Establish brand recognition. Business customers can greatly influence buying decisions through their reviews and testimonies. By utilising local SEO strategies, you manage your business’s online reviews to build a good brand image and credibility. 

Local SEO vs. Traditional SEO

The objective of both local and conventional SEO is to increase a website’s visibility in SERPs. These two, however, have distinct objectives and target audiences. Standard SEO techniques are more focused on targeting a bigger market, which can be local, national, or global.

On the other hand, Local SEO focuses more on specific geographical areas and smaller target markets. Businesses with physical locations will greatly benefit from local SEO. Using proper keywords, creating Google Business Profiles, providing details on local business directories, and gathering local citations are some techniques of local SEO. 

The Different Elements of Local SEO 

This local SEO guide will show you the different elements that businesses have to remember when doing search engine optimization. Local SEO is made up of a number of elements that work together to enhance a company’s local search rankings and link it with local clients. 

Keyword Research

Local keyword research is researching and understanding relevant local keywords to a specific location. This process involves analysing the search patterns of the local audience within a particular area when looking for information, products and services. 

Optimising keywords makes it easier for businesses to attract relevant customers and grow. 

Why is Local Keyword Research Essential? 

Understanding your audience’s search behaviours and preferences is essential for businesses targeting a specific geographical area. Keyword research can help you with that. 

When a business identifies particular keywords that potential clients in their vicinity use in their searches, they can use them to optimise their content, such as titles, product descriptions, headings and other website elements to align with local intent. 

Tips for Local Keyword Research

Tips for Keyword Research 1

You can boost your local SEO through proper keyword research. Several local SEO tools can aid businesses in finding the right keyword and help their local listings rank higher in search results. Here is a quick guide to improving your local SEO keyword research. 

  1. Begin with a broad topic. Don’t target specific keywords immediately. Start with a central theme or issue related to your business’s product or service. From there, you can narrow down keywords for local content. 
  1. Look for long-tail keywords. Long tail keywords are keyword phrases that are more accurate and longer compared to generic keywords. These keywords have low competition but can guarantee higher organic search results.
  1. Know the different intents. Understanding the various search intents will help businesses rank higher on organic searches by assisting them to create relevant content through keywords. The other purposes you should consider are informational, transactional, and navigational.
  1. Keep track of the trends. It is crucial to keep up with industry trends. If you want to be on top of the search results, using popular keywords for your customers improves your local search visibility. 
  1. Prioritise local keywords. Relevant keywords only sometimes include location-specific phrases. Using various keywords will help increase your SEO ranking factors, but if you aim to top local business listings, local-specific keyword phrases are essential when optimising your content. 

Identifying relevant keywords and analysing keyword competition 

Analysing keyword competition is a crucial part of keyword research. You can expect different competition levels when trying to rank various keywords. By doing competitor analysis, you can comb websites that rank high for your targeted keywords and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Here are some considerations when analysing keyword competition:

  • authority of competitor’s website
  • relevance of content 
  • content’s quality
  • number and quality of backlinks 
  • online presence and engagement metrics 

There are also keyword research tools offering local SEO competitor analysis. These tools can give invaluable insights to optimise your content, differentiate from other local sites, and increase your chances of getting the top of the search results. 

Google Business Profile Optimization 

Local SEO efforts should be coupled with a Google Business Profile for local searches to your business quickly. Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is an online listing that allows all companies to highlight their information, such as business name, location, contact numbers, website and customer reviews, to appear on Google’s search results. 

Creating a Google Business Profile can help your business appear in local SERPs and establish a solid online presence. 

How to set up your Google Business Profile 

Here is a step-by-step guide for setting up a Google Business Profile. 

  1. Create an email address for your business, proceed to (Google Business Profile), and sign in.
  2. Click Manage Now to add your business and relevant information. 
  3. Select the most pertinent category where your business belongs. 
  4. Add your business’s address to its physical location. If you still need to, provide the correct service area your business can cater to. 
  5. List down the specific area your business can reach. Provide a city, region or postal code. 
  6. List down your business content number and website. 
  7. Verify your business according to Google’s guidelines and verification process. 
  8. Optimise your Google Business Profile and update it regularly. 

Optimising Business Information

Google shows the top local businesses when their Google Business Profile is appropriately optimised. Surely, every business aims for that top spot because it can guarantee that it will attract potential customers. Here are some tips for optimising GBP for local SEO.

  • Make sure your NAP is consistent. Your business NAP (name, address, phone number) should be the same for all online platforms of your business, from your official website to social media profiles. Consistent NAPs will help Google rank your business correctly.
  • Incorporate relevant keywords. Boost your SEO ranking further by using relevant keywords in the information you put in your profile. 
  • Use local content. Prioritising location-specific content or keywords will help search engines understand your geographic relevance to the local searches. Use particular landmarks and neighbourhoods relevant to your business location. 
  • Manage reviews. One local SEO best practice is encouraging customers to leave reviews on your business. High ratings and positive comments in local signals that your company is trustworthy, and Google will see your business as credible, pushing you higher in local rankings. 
  • Maximise Google posts. Use Google posts to keep potential customers in the loop. Share regular updates about your business through posts, promotions and local events. Use relevant keywords so your business can appear on top of local organic results. 
  • Keep an eye on metrics. Google can provide your business insights to track potential customers’ interactions with your profile. You can track data such as views, clicks and engagements to help businesses understand customer behaviour. 
  • Optimise for mobile. Almost 80% of your customers will do mobile searches since handheld devices are famous for surfing the internet. Creating mobile responsive profiles will enhance user experience and local SEO rankings. 

Online Reviews Management 

Online review management in local SEO is essential. The reviews left by customers can have a significant impact on business. It can be a deciding factor in their success or downfall and also one factor affecting rankings in Google search results.

The roles of reviews to local businesses

Local products and services can thrive through reviews. That’s why it plays a critical role in business. Studies prove that customers engage with the company and can influence the decisions of potential customers. It can convince people that a business is credible and provides quality service.

Furthermore, Google looks at the quality and quantity of reviews that can increase local SEO rankings. Actively providing feedback for positive or negative appraisals can help improve search ranking on local listings. 

Tips for generating positive reviews 

No one can deny the importance of positive reviews and high ratings for business success and local rankings. Take note of these valuable tips to help your business get more positive reviews. 

  • Deliver flawless products and services. Being an exceptional business should go beyond the actual listing. You should be able to deliver what is posted in your listings.
  • It is okay for businesses to ask their customers to leave reviews on their profiles. You can do follow-ups through emails, post-purchase messages or a subtle nudge on your product packaging. 
  • Make it easy for your customers to leave reviews on your profile. You can provide a direct link or see it on your profiles after a purchase or transaction. 
  • You can give incentives to customers for leaving reviews. For example, customers who leave total reviews with matching images or videos can receive vouchers or discount codes. This will entice more people to leave a review on your business profile. 
  • Highlight reviews on your profile. This will give customers confidence that businesses see their reviews, encouraging them to write reviews for your business. 
  • Remember to respond to reviews. Leaving a simple thank you message for a positive review will mean a lot. The same goes for responding to negative ones. Resolving issues immediately will be good for business.

Dealing with the negative 

Dealing with negative reviews is part of review management. You have to be flawless for your business not to get negative reviews. Fortunately, this type of situation can be easily handled, so it does not affect your SEO efforts.

Here are some ways to handle negative reviews properly: 

  • If possible, address the complaint immediately. Replying to feedback quickly will show that your business is committed to resolving the issue immediately. 
  • Practice professionalism. Keep your cool when answering your customers. Always show understanding towards their concerns. 
  • Offer an apology and take responsibility for the issue. Assure your customers that you will resolve the concern as soon as possible.
  • Investigate the complaint. This will help solve the problem and prevent it from happening again in the future. 
  • It is better to resolve matters offline. Give your customers a direct line so your solution is more personalised to their situation. 
  • After fixing the issue, encourage your customers to leave positive reviews. A testimonial that you can resolve matters to build trust and good customer relationships. 

Local Link Building 

Local Link Building

Link building in local SEO is the practice of obtaining various backlinks from websites that are relevant to your business. Using this strategy in local SEO is critical to increase your chance of higher search results for local listings. Here are some reasons why acquiring local backlinks is essential for businesses. 

  • Local backlinks from businesses found in your location will tell search engines that your business is geographically relevant. 
  • Your service area can benefit from local backlinks’ consistency. This will serve as a source that mentions your NAP and helps search engines verify your business. 
  • Backlinks can help build your website authority in your local community. This means more websites will link your profile to their content, increasing online presence and local organic traffic. 
  • Backlinks promote community engagements. Engaging with various websites, bloggers, and influencers can lead to opportunities for your business. Building relationships in your community works for local SEO since it can give your business more exposure and collaborations. 

How to Get Local Backlinks 

Not all links are good backlinks, so you have to choose correctly to ensure you benefit from local SEO strategy. Here is a list of local backlink-acquiring tips you can use. 

  • Local directories. Give your website to credible local business directories. These directories will allow you to include their link on your website. Popular online directories are Yelp, Yahoo Local, Apple Maps, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business.  
  • Local partnerships and sponsorships. Once in a while, sponsor local events like sporting teams, charities and local organisations. They could provide a backlink for your business in return for your support. Remember to choose events aligned with your business to ensure you target your intended audience.  
  • Creating relationships with local influencers. Influencers and social media personalities in your service area can connect you with your target market. You can propose collaborations, interviews or product reviews. When they mention your business in their content, you can ask for a backlink to boost your visibility and reputation. 
  • Partner with the local press. You can start building relationships with local journalists and reports covering news related to your business. You can send them related and exciting stories about your business or press releases to feature your business in news articles. You can ask for backlinks of the news piece and place it on your content. 

Get Your Local SEO Guide Through An SEO Service Provider

Creating a successful local SEO campaign can be tedious, especially for business owners new to the internet. This definitive guide will help you boost your regional SEO strategy and properly put your business listings on top of search results. 

For more SEO services, book a call and start working with us today! 

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