Dominate Local Search With Local SEO

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Before your business can dominate local search, we have to cover a few basics first.

Every business in today’s economy needs SEO to stay in the game. 

But we’re all aware of how competitive most industries are. And how hard it is for businesses to rank on first page of Google.

Thankfully, Google has a solution for that—

It’s local SEO.

With local SEO, there’s a chance for every small business to attract more potential customers and grow locally. 

The problem is — very few know how to do that.

In this guide, we’ll share with you the essentials of local SEO, teach you how to dominate local search and show how not focusing on it might be the biggest mistake your local business is making.

Let’s get started.

What is Local SEO?

Unlike global SEO, local SEO focuses on ranking for local search queries and be in front of local audiences. 

It’s usually practiced by brick-and-mortar stores and businesses to attract nearby customers who’re looking for quick solutions.

For example, a query with local search intent can be something like this:

  • Doctors near me
  • Plumbers near me
  • Lawyers near me
  • Doctors in (area name)

Here’s what a local search result’s page looks like:

Local search results page

And this is called the Local 3 Pack or Map Pack.

Local 3 pack

Search users may also use Google Maps to find nearby service providers. And the results there are also influenced by local SEO.

Google Maps search results

Lots of local businesses are doubling down on local SEO as the ultimate strategy for growth.

But now you must be wondering — what makes local SEO so popular? And why is it important for my business?

Why it’s Important to Dominate Local Search

Believe it or not, 46% of searches on Google had local intent in 2018. Because most internet users search for local service providers to solve their problems.

And that number is only going up. 

Especially with all the efforts Google is putting to improve local search functionality.

Also, people coming from local searches are far more likely to convert into customers.

That’s because Google provides them with accurate results for their questions. And that increases the chance that they’re going to use your service once they reach out to you.

But the most important reason is this: 

It’s hard to rank globally for your keywords because, chances are, they’re too competitive.

Try ranking globally for “plumber”, and you’ll spend your whole life without a single customer.

But once the traffic is divided and spread across all areas worldwide, ranking becomes easier.

And so does getting new potential leads.

Local SEO Ranking Factors

Different traffic with different search intent requires different ranking factors. That’s what Google has been working on for decades and is always trying to improve.

Here are the most important factors when it comes to dominating local search:

1- Google My Business

The first step you need to take to get started with local SEO is creating your Google My Business (GMB) profile.

GMB is a free business listing offered by Google. And it helps you interact and engage with local customers more efficiently.

Google business listing

First, create your account, then verify it by entering a PIN number you’ll receive in the mail (in two weeks).

Your GMB account will feed your information to various places online including Google Maps and the search results snack pack. 

That’s why you need to fill your profile completely and with the right information.

2- NAP Citations

Once you create and optimize your GMB account, it’s time to gather some citations.

A citation is an online reference of the NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) of a local business. And it’s another important local SEO ranking factor. In fact, most businesses without citations never rank anywhere on Google. 

You can get citations anywhere on the web starting from business listings, directories, blogs, forums, social media sites, etc.

Here’s an example of an online citation:

online citation

Citations will help you increase visibility and improve your local search rankings on Google.

Also, getting NAP citations is a great way to build links back to your website and increase your authority.

But most importantly, many people use business directories when searching for local businesses. Therefore, you’ll miss lots of potential customers if you don’t start building citations.

Important: To dominate local search, you need to be consistent with your NAP information across the web and update it whenever necessary. Because Google takes into consideration all your online citations and will evaluate your authority based on their consistency. 

3- Ratings and Reviews

Gathering reviews and other online reputation management techniques are essential to getting your business noticed by Google and potential customers. 

It’s a genuine way to establish your business as an authority in the area.

Reviews will show potential customers the quality of your work — which increases your conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

They also give you an advantage against your competitors when it comes to deciding who deserves more traffic.

Google review

To get reviews online, you need to list your business in relevant customer review sites.

For example, you can claim your listing on:

  • Yelp
  • Google My Business
  • TripAdvisor
  • Amazon

Of course, there are many ways you can gather reviews. And that differs depending on the size of your business and the industry you’re in.

But the next step remains the same — just ask!

You need to ask for reviews from your satisfied customers. 

Most of them would be happy to say what they think about your business.

4- SEO

Regular SEO practices still count to a certain degree when doing local SEO. And it’s mostly the same ranking SEO factors that you’d focus on if you want to target global audiences.

  • Performance and security
  • Professional design with a modern brand image
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • High page-loading speed
  • Optimized titles, meta descriptions, and valuable content
  • High-Quality backlinks

You can always improve your website further and make it easy to use for your customers. 

And these practices aren’t a one-time thing but an ongoing optimization strategy to outrank your local competitors.

5- Local Links

One of the best ways to dominate local search is backlinks.

Google always looks for local links when evaluating trust for local businesses. Therefore, obtaining local high-quality backlinks is essential to increasing relevance and showing proximity.

Of course, not all links are the same.

Some backlinks are stronger than others, and some may even hurt your rankings. But your goal as a local business should be to get links that are relevant to your market. 

Conclusion

That’s it! This is what you need to know to dominate local search and grow your business by attracting local customers.

Need help getting started with local SEO? 

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! Contact us today, and we’ll help you with every step in the process.

    Jeramy Gordon is the founder and Chief Content Officer at the Lorem Ipsum Company. He has been creating successful content strategies for almost two decades and believes in the power of high-quality content. He lives in Orange County, California, with his wife and two children.

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