Local SEO Guide – How Does Local SEO Work?

It’s not just about the big players anymore! Nowadays, local SEO is more important than ever. If you’re a small business or company looking to grow your customer base, this post will help you out immensely.

Well, let me explain to you that there are tons of things that you can do to improve your rank on Google Maps and other search engines for potential customers in your area. Of course, you already have heard of some of these tactics before. It is like optimizing content for keywords and including them throughout your site.

 

What are the Basic Things To Do

Still, I will go into detail so it’s easier to understand how it works. Many people don’t realize the power of video marketing – something as simple as uploading a quick video tour/commercial to your YouTube channel can drive tons of traffic to your website via the map results.

Another tip is to create a separate page for each location you have so that when someone types in your name or address, there is a specific page waiting for them with all of your contact information and directions.

 

The Possibilities

Let us say, if you own an auto parts store and you have locations in several states, you’d want to create a new page for each site. You’ll also want to upload that map address to your contact page on your main website and include the link on all of your social media accounts as well as your Google+ Help Center (Google My Business).

This step could be tricky to get the hang of because it takes time and effort to do this correctly. So if you can afford it, that’s great! If not, I would recommend using a service like Birchstone  who have proven results with their clients.

 

Local SEO Checklist

” Local SEO is an optimization strategy that helps a website rank high in local search results.” — Bing Webmaster Tools.

Local businesses typically need to rely on foot traffic for sales. Therefore, local searches are more important than ever for the majority of eCommerce and B2B businesses. Plus, people are using their mobile phones more often to search for local companies.

The good news is, it’s easier than ever to outrank the competition on Google Maps. Here are five essential guides that will help you get started:

Optimize your business information in Google My Business

My first suggestion is to submit an entry for your business in Google My Business. It’s a simple form to fill out, and it helps your business appear on Google Maps. You can also add photos, hours of operation, website information, etc.

SEO Tip: After you submit an entry for your business in Google My Business, make sure you claim all the listings that show up under your company name on Google Search Results and Google Maps. It’s free of charge, and it will only take a minute to do!

Claim your NAP on Yelp, Yellow Pages

Having multiple listings for your business in the same directory like Google My Business is one thing.

Now you need to claim all the listings that show up under your company name across directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, etc. It’s free to claim listings on websites like Yelp and Yellow Pages, so be sure to do it today!

SEO Tip: I searched for a local business the other day and noticed that their directory entries didn’t have their company name on Google Maps. It indicates that they haven’t claimed all of the listings that show up under their company name.

So, if your business doesn’t have a listing on a directory like Yelp or Yellow Pages, consider going to the site and claiming one!

Claim your NAP on Google Maps

The big player in local search is Google Maps. By claiming your NAP as mentioned above, you already have one listing for your business on Google Maps.

Now, your next step is to optimize that listing with additional information like hours of operation and a link to your website.

SEO Tip: As mentioned in a previous article, if you want people to click on the “more info” button from the search results page for a local business, you need to use your company name and location as anchor text.

If you don’t explicitly tell Google how to display your listing, it will only show the address, which may or may not result in a click-through.

Show up on Bing Maps for the local market

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, you should be showing up on Bing Maps.

If your business has a local reputation, then it will show up in the local search results. It is especially true if your physical address is listed elsewhere online.

Use Schema markup to get rich snippets in Google Search Results

Schema Markup consists of HTML code that tells Google what an address, phone number, or review is.

Rich snippets show up in Google search results as part of the local SEO strategy and are often a deciding factor for whether or not someone will click on your listing over a competitor’s.