Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a branch of SEO that focuses on helping local businesses rank for their area. Local SEO is much different from a non-location specific SEO campaign. Additionally, local search results change more rapidly than any other type of search results.
Your local business requires local SEO to attract customers and clients. A tailored local SEO campaign will help customers find you instead of your competitors. You’ll boost your revenue, gain a reputation, and grow your business with a comprehensive local SEO campaign.
Begin with Google My Business
The first step in your journey towards local SEO dominance is to claim your Google My Business page. Setup is straightforward; follow the onscreen directions to claim your business.
As you’re going through the process, you should include:
Earn Citations and Build Links
Citations and links are two separate, yet related, elements of local SEO. Local directories are an outstanding resource for acquiring citations.
A citation is any type of online reference to your business’s name, address, and phone number. It doesn’t even have to be linked to help boost your local SEO efforts. It’s important that all business citations that include your name, address, and phone number are consistently the same.
To find business listings and to earn citations, you’ll have to do some legwork on what’s available in your area. Here are a few resources to get you started:
- AlphaMind Studios uses BrightLocal to build high-quality citations for our clients. However, services like Yext and WhiteSpark offer similar citation services.These are paid services, so be ready to invest.
- Go through the Moz directory of citations and submit your site to the right directories.
- Use a tool such as Open Site Explorer to research the citations earned by your competitors and copy them.
- Setup a Google Alert for your competitors, then see if you can reach out to the same resource for a mention of your business.
Link building is an important aspect of both SEO and local SEO. However, local SEO requires a different approach. Your focus is to acquire relevant links from other local businesses that are related to your business. A few strategies for building links that are effective for local SEO are:
Focus on becoming a local resource. A large part of Local SEO is relevance. In order to be seen as an authority in your local market you must:
Local SEO and PR have a tremendous amount of crossover. Being involved and active in your community will help build a loyal audience that can quickly become brand evangelists.
AlphaMind Studios helps business large and small create winning local SEO strategies.
Acquire Local Reviews and Testimonials
The amount and quality of your local reviews have a massive impact on your local search engine ranking, so it’s well worth your time to focus on acquiring them.
We don’t just mean focusing on Google Reviews (although they are important). You should also focus on acquiring reviews through Yelp (which is used by Apple Maps), Facebook, and any other review site that’s relevant to your industry. However, since you’re busy and have limited time, focus on Google Reviews first and the others later.
The best way to begin acquiring reviews is to contact your existing customer base (through an email newsletter or social media post) and simply ask them to leave a review specifying where you’d like them to leave it.
After you’ve contacted existing customers, consider creating a page on your website that directly asks visitors for a review. Add that page to your main menu. On top of asking for a review, provide step-by-step instructions for leaving a review on Google Maps and Yelp.
Here are a few more ways to solicit local reviews and testimonials:
Explore the World of Geofencing
What is geofencing? It’s the practice of using GPS and RFID technology to define a geographic boundary. Once the virtual perimeter has been established, the creator can set up specific triggers that send out texts, emails, or app notifications when a mobile device enters or exits the area.
Simply put, businesses can create a geofence and then communicate with devices that enter that area.
Geofences are largely based on apps. The app user only has to turn on location services to start receiving push notifications when they enter or exit a geofence.
Consider investing in an app with geofencing capabilities. It may be a daunting up front cost, but you’ll have a direct line into the pockets of your customers.
Reach Out to Local Influencer
Influencers are people with authority in a specific industry. Over time, they have proven themselves as a credible source of information. Having an influencer discuss your business can do wonders for your revenue as well as your local SEO. To earn these outstanding benefits, you’ll have to put in the legwork to find and build relationships with local influencers.
How do you find a local influencer? Your first step is to learn how to identify one. A local influencer has:
Now that you know how to identify one, how do you find them? Here’s how:
Create a list of local influencers, and then reach out to them. Think about it like dating. You don’t go right for the marriage proposal (asking them to link to your business or share your social media posts). Instead, ask them a pointed question that starts a conversation. Over time, allow a relationship to grow naturally. They may start helping your business without you having to ask. Of course, you can certainly ask for some support once a relationship has developed.
Use Schema.org & JSON-LD Markup with Rich Snippets
Your name, address, and phone number are vital aspects of your local business. They must appear exactly the same consistently throughout your website, social media accounts, Google My Business account, directories, and anywhere else that contains your address.
Use Schema.org data markup on your name, address, and phone number to provide search engines with everything they need to properly display your information. This is specialized code, so it may be confusing. We are here to help with that!
Another type of coding that will benefit your local SEO efforts is JSON-LD. This lightweight linked data format is ideal for formatting data, such as your name, address, and phone number. It can also be used to format your business hours, geolocation, and social media profiles. JSON-LD can be complex, but if you work with a developer, ask them to use JSON-LD to format your data.
Both Schema and JSON-LD create rich snippets that will allow search engines to easily acquire your vital business statistics.
Are you ready to launch a tailored local SEO campaign? Contact us to get started on your journey towards local SEO dominance. Contact us today:303-569-6810!
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