Local SEO Development
Local SEO is a different form of search engine optimization that focuses on helping small businesses operating in one or more local areas rise to the top of the search engine results for geographical searches. Though many of the tactics are the same compared to general SEO, the strategies for local SEO are different.
Sachs Marketing Group understands the complexities of local SEO, and is ready to assist you. It’s a lot of work to take on as a small business owner who’s already wearing multiple hats over the course of any day. We’re here to help take the pressure off, and put you on the path toward growth.
A 2010 study revealed that 97% of customers are using the internet to research local products and services. Though the information is a bit dated, back then the numbers showed 90% of consumers were using search engines, and 42% were using shopping comparison sites. As we’ve become more advanced and reliant on technology, search engines have made changes to ensure consumer needs are met.
Focus on Citations and Local Reviews
In “standard” SEO, there’s talk about building links to your website from other reputable sources. While those certainly won’t hurt your local SEO efforts, there’s more focus on building citations first, and links second.
Why? So you can rank in the “Map Pack” like our client “AP Urgent Care” shown below.
To do this, we focus on three core areas:
- Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) Citations: We make sure you have your full NAP on every page on your website. And, however it is listed there, is how we’ll mention it on other websites. It is essential that each citation be done in the exact same format, and include all the same details. We’ll use the org markup on your NAP, to make it easier for search engines to display your company information correctly. Your address needs to be a real, physical business location. This means it cannot be a virtual office, as Google requirements state it must be staffed.
- Local Reviews: Since Google launched the Local Carousel feature in June 2013, they’ve had influence on how a business is ranked. According to Moz, they account for about 10% of how the search engines decide to rank results. When we focus on reviews, we don’t craft reviews for you – we help make sure your business profiles are claimed on all the popular review sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others specific to your business services. This way, all the NAP information stays consistent, and you can start encouraging customers to leave honest reviews for you.
- My Business Signals: We’ll make sure you’ve created or claimed your business in Google My Business, and assist with the verification process. We’ll include the correct category data for what your business is, rather than what it does. We’ll scan for duplicate listings and get rid of as many as possible. If we can’t get rid of them, we’ll minimize the listing. We’ll add as much rich data as we possibly can, such as your hours, photos, and a business description. If your business has multiple locations – more than 10, there’s a bulk option, too.
Our team will handle crafting the citations for you, which will save you time and effort. Plus, we’ll take it one step further to look at all the citations your competitors have gained, so we can be sure you are wherever they are.
Just how much do online reviews matter to your business? One survey shows before deciding whether or not to conduct business with a company the majority of people research reviews. Whether or not those reviews are trusted depends largely on the demographic, with 70% of Millennials believing customer reviews (compared to 85% of them believing personal recommendations from friends and family. However, overall, nearly 1/3 of people trust reviews they believe to be authentic.
Local SEO On-Page Factors
Your content matters just as much as it does with a more generalized SEO campaign. The search engines still want to know you’re providing value to their customers, so that means investing in quality content that educates and informs, but also engages your target audience. Beyond the use of keywords in the content itself, it’s a good idea to add your city or region with a relevant keyword to the following locations:
- Landing page title tag
- Landing page H1 tag
- Landing page URL
- Landing page image ALT tags
To help users find your business, it’s also a good idea to embed a Google Map with your business marker in your landing page.
Mobile-friendliness is a factor regardless of whether you’re focused on general or local SEO, but it is especially important for local. Google reports more than half of all web traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. You need to assume that at least some of your audience will be searching for your services from their mobile devices, and make it easy for them to contact you directly from their smartphone, as 30% of all mobile searches are related to location. Plus, 76% of people who search for something nearby with their smartphone, visit a business within a day, while 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
We’ll audit your existing website to make sure it is optimized for search engines, making adjustments for improvement where necessary. We’ll analyze the results and refine in an ongoing management campaign to ensure you get increased rankings and visibility.
Local Link Building
Once the citations are built and the on-page SEO is handled, we’ll shift our focus to local link building, with a number of tactics, such as:
- Getting local press coverage for your business
- Arranging interviews to feature in relevant online publications
- Sign up for press request services to allow your business to be quoted as a source in local publications
- Sponsor a local little league team
- Donate to a local charity
- Infographic creation and distribution
- Social media
Are you a local small business that’s struggling to make progress with your online marketing efforts? Give Sachs Marketing Group a call to learn more about how we can build the right strategy for you.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock