Local SEO is an element of SEO which differs quite a lot to the standard SEO process people think of. Local search results also change more rapidly than any other type. National, international etc…
Before you start your targeting your local SEO campaign there is some prep work you should make sure you have done, by having this done beforehand it will maximise your chances for success and getting the best results possible so you will rank high within the local listings.
There are six things in particular that you should have done before launching your local SEO campaign and they are the following:
Have a working Google My Business Page Set Up
It’s important that in order to have a strong presence on google that you have set up your Google My Business page. Once you have set it up, you should make sure it includes the following elements:
- A long, unique description that’s formatted correctly and includes links.
- Choose the correct and appropriate categories for your business.
- Upload as many photos as possible onto your google my business page of your business
- Add a local phone number
- Add your business address that’s consistent with that on your website and local directories.
- Upload a high-resolution profile image and cover photo.
- Add your opening times/days
- Have real reviews from customers
Optimize all of your landing pages with local keyword data
Your landing page is the most important page on your website as it is the first impression a user gets of your website. You should make sure this page is optimized with the correct keywords. A good idea is to incorporate the page with some particular keywords which you think users will use to search with.
Ensure your NAP listings remain consistently across the web
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. NAP is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results, because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for their searches. This becomes even more important for Local SEO. You need to ensure that you have your full NAP across your whole website (i.e. every page). Furthermore, you must use the exact same details/format when you mention your address on other websites (i.e. local citations). You should also use Schema.org markup on your NAP to give the search engines all they need to display your company information properly.
Generate genuine reviews from your customers on Google and Yelp
Local reviews will have a direct impact on your local search rankings, it’s pivotal that you try and gain as many real genuine ones as possible so you’ll want to spend some time acquiring them. Whilst there are many types of reviews from different platforms for now I would advise to focus on getting as many google reviews as possible.
Optimize your search engine snippets
Google Featured Snippets are very search friendly and they help users to get answers without having to click any pages. By making sure to optimize your search engine snippets you will increase your chances further for ranking as high as possible in the search rankings.
Focus on localized link building
When you are doing a local SEO campaign it is extremely important that you have done effective link building. Unlike traditional national SEO, Local SEO places a lot more importance on gaining links from other local websites that are relevant to your business and industry. National SEO places a greater importance on gaining as many links as possible from high authority websites and whilst of course that is still something to aim for, with Local SEO the links from websites local to you are what is the most important!