Like SEO in general, Local SEO Guide is about increasing a business’s visibility on search. To make it simpler when someone asks what Local SEO is, it is a method to improve business presence on Google and Bing. Increasingly people are looking for local business through their mobile device, so it is imperative for businesses to be present on local search results. Brick and motor businesses like Dentists, or a service based business like plumbing companies, or window tinting should take this seriously if they want to get customers from online channels.
Well, why are we talking about Brick and Motor only? Should all businesses take advantage of Local SEO to get ranked on Local organic results right? Absolutely, but it’s the user behavior that decides if a business should do Local SEO or not. Example someone is looking to buy flowers; he or she will look for “florists near me” or “florists nearby.” This is the intent of someone who wants to visit a store and buy flowers. Majority of time people who want to visit a store/business will resort look for local search results. That is why brick and motors businesses should do Local SEO for sure. There is a whole lot of dope that is available on the Internet about Local SEO, but we will go through some basic on what is Local SEO Guide in 2019. If a business has a single location but wants to targets multiple locations in their digital marketing efforts, should look into local web pages instead of local listing. Even before we talk about Local SEO or Local Search, we should first understand why Google is displaying local search results over any other results. When Google first launched their algorithm in 1998, their algorithm as naive and then search engines like Yahoo and AOL were the best. With years Google tried and tested their algorithm until they realized “Local” was the way to go forward. How did the word”Local” pop up in Larry Page’s mind? There is an interesting story behind it.
If someone searches the term “Website Creator” or “Website Designer” from a small town like Bowling Green, OH Google will show the results of all the website development agencies in the world. The results were sorted based on the monthly visitors it had. The users would click on every link of the search results, only to get disappointed. This increase bounced rates of all websites that were getting ranked in Google. Looking at these results, Google then got into search results specific to a certain country. That is why we see “Google.com” for the USA, “Google.ca” for Canada and so on. Based on the users IP address, a local country search page of Google is first opened.
Unfortunately, this solved 50% of the problem. Few users were satisfied, and few were still not satisfied with the search results. Google then narrowed down the search to state, city, and when they showed search results based on a users exact location; they solved the problem. So now users searching for businesses or services of the business are shown results that are close to their exact location. From here on Google came up with “Local” concept and everyone were happy. Apart from just location-based results, Google also used specific parameters to figure out the rankings of results. Your right, even in local search there are some signals that Google uses for ranking Local Businesses or Local Services. We will talk about them soon.
When you say “Local,” people say the word “Business Listings,” but what exactly does this mean? Business to get ranked in Local Search Results, need to be present online with the help of a website (their own, or anyone else’s). When business details are current in any website, i.e., not owned by them, it is called a listing. The website will have a unique url (identity), for the business, and it will have information such as Business Name, Business Address, Business Phone Number, and Business Description. The more such business listings you have, the chance of you getting displayed in local search results is more. These are also called as citations.
There are lots of businesses listing websites where you can add your business details. But what websites are relevant to which business? Best example, you cannot add your manufacturing business to trip adviser, since they do not have a business category for the manufacturing industry. Instead of blindly pulling out a list of business listing websites, do a bit research on what business websites are relevant for our business to be listed on. This is one of the factors in Local SEO technique; we will be talking about all the elements very soon. You can also use these Business listings as local search marketing.
Thanks to marketing agencies, businesses are scared of local seo because of the cost of these agencies charge. But the biggest question is, who should do local SEO? Well, all businesses that are targeting local prospects with a physical presence should do local seo. I know agencies charge a bomb, but you could always do it on your own or use small business marketing providers like WebRowdy. If you’re a business with multiple locations or you have expanded your business on a franchise model, local seo is a yes for you. There are some live examples of local seo that will convince you of the benefits. But first, let’s talk about why you should do local seo when compared to a website.
Local SEO is a Tool for Businesses, Website is a Tool for Brand Freaks
We must have used the word, Local, Search, Google, Search results a lot till now. But why didn’t we talk about having your website to rank in local seo? There is a reason. Businesses are busy thinking about how to satisfy customers, and how to make more money. Building a website, writing content on it every single day, getting it ranked in search results, and finally expecting leads from it is a long haul process. For a small business listings are cost-effective, and give results in the fastest possible time. While large businesses who want their brand to be on Google should invest in their website while doing local seo. Yes, your right! Local SEO+, Your website, is a deadly combination.
Doing Local SEO for your website takes time, but having a website and listing is always better. But once again, the cost is a concern, so I strongly recommend small businesses to invest in local seo or if you get Local SEO+website at the expense of Local SEO; Go For It. You can check out WebRowdy for small business marketing solutions like this one.
All this while we are talking about Local SEO and why it is essential. But did you ever think what kind of keywords will you get ranked for and how keyword research, after Local SEO is done? Here are some samples for the search term “Indian restaurants near me Manhattan, NY” (I am using this term to get local results in Manhattan, NY. If you are in Manhattan, NY just search for the term ”Indian restaurants near me,” and you will get the same search results like the below).
You can see that in the search results page, the first slab is reserved by GMB (Google My Business), two and third positions are again reserved by Business Listing Website. So why are you waiting to analyze Local SEO? Get started now by visiting -> https://webrowdy.com/. They will list you in 50+ websites that are relevant to your domain and location.
These are generic keywords. What if you search for your brand on Google? Here is an example:-
Google is automatically showing results from business listings first, and their website is not in the first place yet. But if you are a favorite brand like the below. Your website will rank over the business listings. But even though this business is accessible, you can see that it is available in numerous business listings. Do you know the reason why?
This business wants to get leads from all sources like their website and their business listings. They want to get maximum visibility in Google. So they have Local SEO+ Own Website. Don’t run away, next I will be talking about Local SEO ranking factors.
Ranking in Local SEO is fast and easy, but some key factors will come into play in Local SEO.
1) Google My Business Listing–
You want your business to rank in Google right? So it’s evident that you need to list your business in Google My Business page (since Google uses data from it for displaying in local search). You need to give you correct Business Name, Business Address, and Business Phone number. Additionally, I would suggest you add your business working hours, business store photographs, a complete 400+ word business description, and social media accounts. One crucial thing uses your official work email id while creating a GMB listing, and make sure you get it verified (Google send you a secret code to the address you submit in Google). If you list your business here, it will automatically be listed on Google Maps.
2) Business Listings –
Google My Business is not the only business-listing avenue. You should list your business in at least 20 other (I would suggest 50+) business listing websites that are relevant to your location. Make sure all these business listing websites are high DA and high traffic pulling websites. Your Business NAP (Name, address, and phone number) is consistent across all business listings.
3) Social Media –
You do the above two steps and have zero social presence, then Local SEO effort goes for a toss. Also, have numerous social accounts, and be active in at least 1 or two of them.
4) Reviews –
Having business listings is not enough. You should have multiple reviews on your business listings so that you rank high. When two stores at the same location and provide the same service are ranked based on the reviews. So get as many positive reviews as possible.
5) Unclaimed listings –
If you have a business listed on multiple websites, and most of them are unclaimed (you do not have access to them) then your Local SEO score goes down. You can use a tool, agency, a freelancer, or DIY to claim all the listings.
6) Duplicate Listings –
If you have more than one business listings in a specific website than it is harmful to your local seo. Always delete duplicates, and have individual listings in every website. You can reach out to me for finding out how to remove duplicates.
7) Business Category –
Pick the right category of your business in every website you list your business. Make sure this category is consistent across listings.
8) Website –
I know the website is expensive, but for Local SEO it is hygiene to have a website that is linked to all your business listings. Make sure you add the same NAP used in all the listings in the footer of the website. Write localized content on your website and share them in social media accounts to improve your local search rankings.
Here is an overall view of Local SEO and why businesses should do it. If you think Local SEO is a painful process and you can’t do it. Hire a small business-marketing agency like WebRowdy or give it to a freelancer.
HERE ARE 14 BUSINESS WEBSITES WHERE YOU SHOULD LIST YOUR BUSINESS FOR SURE
1 JAiCOUPONS https://www.jaicoupons.com/
2 Google My Business https://business.google.com
3 Bing Places https://www.bingplaces.com/
4 Apple Maps https://mapsconnect.apple.com/
5 Infogroup https://www.expressupdate.com/
6 Acxiom https://mybusinesslistingmanager.myacxiom.com/
7 LocalEze https://www.neustarlocaleze.biz/
8 D&B https://www.dandb.com/businessdirectory
9 Facebook https://www.facebook.com/
10 Yelp https://www.yelp.com
11 Yellowpages http://www.yellowpages.com/
12 Foursquare https://foursquare.com/
13 CityGrid http://www.citysearch.com/
14 Yahoo! Local https://local.yahoo.com/