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Anastasia Sidko

Local SEO Tips and Tricks #SEOcafe

Anastasia Sidko
Local SEO Tips and Tricks #SEOcafe

Every day we see harsh competition between globally recognized brands on the Web. So when it comes to starting a small local business, your first thought might be They’re going to tear me apart! But then you begin to understand that the local approach to SEO is different.

Today we’re going to discuss local SEO tips, tricks and life hacks with our special guest Jaydip Parikh, SEO, social media and e-commerce consultant and CEO of Tej SolPro. Let’s find out what strategies small businesses can implement to successfully compete with large brands in the local SEO field!

What Are the Key Factors That Impact Local SEO?

If you look closer at the known Google ranking factors, you can see that localizing your business becomes more and more important.

You may also notice that almost no factors are solely related local SEO. So it’s fair to say that the key factors for local SEO are still the same as for international SEO. But they need to be implemented a little bit differently.

  • On-page Factors — titles, descriptions and alt tags matter in both global and local environments. If you want to beat the competition in a particular city, district or even country, localize all these parameters.
  • Keywords — it should come as no surprise that local keywords should include geographical locations. So, make sure you’ve added enough relevant keywords that include the names of countries/cities/districts you are targeting.
  • Citations — in international SEO, the quality of referring domain means the most. When it comes to local SEO, it is essential to be listed in local resources. Your strategy could include local directories, digital media and manually reaching out to local influencers.
  • NAP Consistencyyour name, address and phone number are vital for local optimization. Make sure they’re crawlable by search engine robots (in text format, not image format) and consistent throughout all your listings.

You can perform a quick audit of each of these factors by following the steps laid out in this article. Also, study the infographic created by Rachel Howe explaining why Starbucks dominates local search:

infographic-3-ways-starbucks-is-crushing-it-in-local-search-and-you-can-too-1-638

What Should Small Business Owners Focus on If They Have Only 30 Minutes a Day for SEO?

Entrepreneurs are busy people. They’re people of action, and they spend a lot of time solving problems and establishing connections in their respective niche. Some companies are so small that they can’t afford a full-time SEO specialist and they have to deal with search engines by themselves. Sometimes you can only dedicate 30 minutes per day to optimization. If so, you should focus on the following aspects:

  • Local sites listing - local citations have direct impact on your SEO, and they can become a good traffic source.
  • Content - the more educational, informational or simply entertaining your content is, the more people will engage with your website. For SEO, this means decreasing your bounce rate, which is a strong signal that your materials are worthy of being at the top of SERPs.
  • On-page SEO - check your website with an audit tool and deal with errors and issues one by one.
  • Reviewsgetting your product or service reviewed is the first step toward local success. Among other benefits like more traffic and possible conversions they can improve your rankings among other companies.
  • Social Media — make sure you are present on all relevant social media channels. Use hashtags that include the name of your city to better engage with your local audience.

What  Strategy is Best for Local SEO?

Now let’s concentrate on keyword research as a crucial activity that helps small businesses coordinate their SEO efforts. First of all, you need to study competitors in your niche.

Here are some examples of questions you must answer when studying your competitors:

  • Who are your competitors (globally and locally)?
  • What keywords are they using to make it to the top of the SERPs?
  • How do they use backlinks and structure their content?
  • What are their unique keywords?
  • Which of their keywords are similar to yours?
  • What are your unique keywords (brand keywords, etc.)?

To rank well locally, you should add geo-location cues to your keywords. For example, “buy mens shoes” can also be “buy mens shoes in Nevada,” or the phrase could be narrowed down to the name of a city or even a street. Try different keyword variations (maybe even local slang) and you’re ready to go.

How Can Small Businesses Use Content Marketing to Earn Backlinks?

  • Write something new and original. There’s no sense from either an SEO or a marketing perspective to copy texts that are located at the top of SERPs. Instead, try to incorporate your expertise: use real life examples and case studies, make your audience talk and share their experience with the product, and use storytelling.  Good content will earn backlinks in a natural way.
  • Post on local blogs or city media, because they’re already targeted to the appropriate geo-specific segment of your audience. Charity projects are also a point of interest, because of their non-commercial nature.  Use them to both increase brand awareness and earn inks from non-commercial, reliable sources in your city or region.
  • Ask for reviews and testimonials. Encourage your clients or partners to write testimonials and share stories. You can also contact local bloggers and journalists and offer them the chance to try your product in exchange for a review.

You can find more ideas for link-building opportunities in the article “How to Get Quality Backlinks for a Local Business.

What SEO Technique Has Had the Highest Impact on Your Local Rankings?

It’s time to turn to the personal experience of marketers. It’s sad, but true – most of them agree that there is no “silver bullet” for local SEO success. Yet, Jaydip Parikh listed some key ingredients:

  • A Google My Business listing
  • Implementing local Schema
  • Listing your business in Yelp and other local directories

Here are some other suggestions:

All these factors will build a solid foundation for your local presence, but real success can only be achieved through research and experimentation.

Mastering local SEO is much like mastering international SEO — the more you get into it, the more you understand what should be done to dominate SERPs. By using the right ranking factors, a  business has all the chances to establish itself on the local filed. And the advice above will help you establish a strategy and identify areas you should delve into deeper.

Anastasia Sidko is Content Manager at SEMrush. She has four years of experience in content creation and PR and has written over 50 articles to the leading industry blogs within one year. Her areas of expertise include SEO, digital marketing and content marketing. Twitter: @sidko_anastasia.

Anastasia Sidko, Content Manager at SEMrush. I have four years of experience in content creation and public relations. My areas of interest include SEO, digital marketing and content marketing.

Comments

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Bru Code
All the steps about the local SEO is well understood.. every time content matter I can see here because people come to your site is not really a big issue thing is what the same people stay here and for how long time all that things are depend on our content like anastasia your content is really meaningful and it helps people that's why we like to stay, read and comment.
Local RankWatch
Local RankWatch
Great work on the research Anastasia. It is indeed amazing to read how these local SEO tips and tactics can help you to rank and dominate SERP.
Anastasia Sidko
Local RankWatch
Thank you, glad you liked the post!
BrianEricksonCO
BrianEricksonCO
Thanks for the article. I found the Starbucks infographic to be the most interesting piece. In an effort ensure consistency, I created a free citation template if anyone is interested: https://disciplr.com/3-local-s... The post says it is for churches, but the info works for any business.
Kathleen Burns
BrianEricksonCO
Thanks for the resource Brian! I loved the Starbucks infographic too. What other places would you recommend for local landing pages besides Google Local?
BrianEricksonCO
BrianEricksonCO
Kathleen Burns
I'd tend to figure out what map services people regularly consult and then figure out what feeds them. Oftentimes, businesses can claim listings directly on those services (ie: Apple Maps), but it may be worth considering paying for MozLocal or Whitespark to feed multiple maps and local pages.

Mostly, Google has been pretty good to the businesses I've worked with.

Have you tried much on Yelp? I haven't.
Kathleen Burns
BrianEricksonCO
I don't normally use Yelp. However, it is a popular review site, so having a local listing on there can be useful. But the problem with that platform is the "recommended reviews" area - only reviews that pass the algorithm appear on the business page. Everything else ends up there. You can read more about it here: http://www.lifelearn.com/2015/...
BrianEricksonCO
BrianEricksonCO
Kathleen Burns
Thanks, I'm checking it out now...
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