Tarun Gupta

How to Begin with a Right Local SEO Strategy?

Tarun Gupta | Jul 7th, 2021 | Search Engine Optimization

As more customers are turning to local businesses for buying services and products, a solid local SEO strategy is essential for businesses. Local SEO helps to capture local buyers in your target geographical locations.

Physical brick-and-mortar stores at specific locations or online businesses serving local consumers must have a strategy for targeting localized searches. This is the only way to rank well in organic search and keep the competition at bay.

Why Local SEO is Required?

Local search engine optimization is essential for businesses targeting customers at specific geographic locations. With righty aligned local SEO it becomes easier to rank in local search for the competitive keywords customers are searching for in their geographical locations.

There are several local search ranking signals that Google takes into consideration for ranking websites in MapPack. Thus, your local SEO must be strategically planed for maximum business advantage at targeted locations.

How Local SEO Benefits Businesses?

Local SEO strategy brings several noteworthy benefits to businesses. Though increased organic website traffic is the topmost advantage, a well-planned local Search Engine Optimization strategy can cut ad costs, boost website authority and increase brand awareness.

Steps to Create an Effective Local Strategy:

As you’ve decided to go for local SEO, you need a strategy for increasing your local rankings and website traffic. This article will help you create a comprehensive local SEO strategy step-by-step for more traffic from local searches made by your potential customers.

Understand Your Audience

Before even starting your SEO activities, try to identify who your target audience is. It’s futile to waste money, effort, and resources on targeting the wrong people. Devote efforts to find how people search. It’s always a good thing to know who you’re trying to reach and how you can address their pain points.

Evaluate Your Business Goals

Before launching a local SEO plan, outline your business goals. Find out what will be your core products/services on offer and the keywords/terms you want your business to rank for.

The idea here is to list your offerings and find keywords your customers might be searching for to find your competitors. Once you’re ready with the keywords, you can use some premium keyword research tools to identify geo-specific keywords and the search volume of each keyword.

Audit Your Business Website

Don’t start optimizing your website in haste. Before jumping the gun make sure your website’s elements are fit and fine. Anything broken should be fixed first. A comprehensive website audit helps you unearth several undetected issues that may break your website. These issues should be taken up before starting your website optimization.

A good SEO tool like SEMRush can generate several important reports about site speed, page content, links, and mobile optimization, etc. The report will present a list of website issues to be addressed without any further delay.

Conduct Competition Research

The major objective of Local SEO is to rank higher for competitive keywords in local search and outrank competitors at scale. To beat the competition you need to know about the keywords your competitors are ranking for.

An SEO tool like Ahrefs can help you conduct a competitive analysis to obtain several important details about your competitors including the key search terms they are ranking for, where their backlinks are coming from, and acquisition strategies they are following.

Search volume and competition metrics help you to determine if you can also use these keywords for improving ranking and traffic. Borrow only those keywords that perfectly fit into your product or service niche.

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Discover Geo-Specific Keywords

While finding keywords using an SEO tool your focus should be on identifying geo-specific keywords. These keywords have locations added to it such as “best Thai food in Mexico City”. You can also search for variations of these keywords. Do it until you find a comprehensive list of relevant, localized keywords as you can find.

Fix Website’s On-Page Elements

In this step, you have to find on-page website issues and fix them. The optimization ensures that a website is fully optimized for local search. Start with keyword mapping. It’s a process to map your target keywords to the individual pages of your website. With keyword mapping, it’s ensured that each page is optimized for a target keyword and the keyword is relevant to the page.

The next element to take care of is the page’s Meta Title and Description. Make sure that each page of the website has a unique title and description. Besides Meta, page content should also be up to the mark. The page content needs to be informative, plagiarism-free, and keyword-optimized.

Internal linking is another important aspect to look out for. Interlinking pages on the website help users find the information and access important pages on the website. In addition, optimized images and a well-defined URL structure will also help improve website rankings.

Fix Technical SEO Issues

You may have a nice business website packed with great graphics, colors, and typography. However, onsite technical issues can impact your website’s online visibility, organic ranking, and traffic. Thus, It’s recommended not to begin with an SEO or content marketing campaign unless your on-site technical issues are fixed. They build the foundation for your website, so need to be in the good shape.

Some of the common technical issues that need immediate attention are website speed, duplicate content, and broken links.

Optimize Website Pages

Website optimization isn’t only optimizing individual pages based on target keywords. Instead, the more important is to write well-planned, engaged, and value-driven content.

The content should have keywords strategically placed throughout the content. The keywords should be organically placed by adding targeted keywords appropriately on your website.

Other on-page elements that should be optimized well include the page’s title tags and subheadings, images and videos, meta descriptions, and internal links.

Optimize Google My Business Profile

The Google business profile is integral to any local SEO strategy. The creation of the GMB profile is easy to update. Its impact on small businesses is overwhelming.

With Google My Business profile, merchants provide all the essential information about their business. Based on the information, your potential customers make decisions such as making calls, getting driving directions, or ordering online.

Start with claiming and verifying your Google business listing. Try to fill all the essential fields. You should also include photos and videos in the listing to enhance its visibility. Check the right category that is relevant to your business. To create more user engagement, create questions and answers to allow people to ask questions about your services.

Analyze Your Competition

When your business is catering to customers in local areas, you have to look at your competition differently. When analyzing the competition, list the top ten of your immediate competitors. Use the best competition analysis tools like SEMRush or Ahref to unleash the hidden potential of your competitors and find the following:

  • Websites that are ranking for your keywords
  • The number of indexed pages they have
  • How their website is structured
  • How powerful their backlink profile is
  • If a competitor’s website is faring than yours in terms of page speed
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Get Backlinks from Local Websites

Backlinks are important when it comes to gaining visibility and improving rankings. It eventually translates into new customers and more sales. Discover the linking opportunities with local businesses operating in your areas.

These businesses should be relevant to yours. When building links, the focus should be on link quality rather than frequency. The more links you get for your local business, the more value you can create for your brand.

Request Business Reviews

Positive local reviews for your business can skyrocket your local search rankings. Local reviews are now a crucial ranking factor for small local businesses.

With reviews, you can ask your customers to leave honest feedback for the product(s) they bought or services they subscribed to. Reviews directly impact your conversion. There are several platforms available where you can organize and manage a review campaign. Moreover, you can request customers to leave reviews on online review sites.

But getting reviews on your website isn’t enough unless you respond to them. If a customer leaves a comment or review on your local listing, make sure you respond, too.

Your response will be visible to the person behind the question and other local searchers too. Even if the reviews are negative, try to connect with those customers as well. It will show that you care for them.

Run Both Organic and Paid Campaigns

Organic search is the best way to gain sustainable rankings and traffic. However, when you want to generate instant leads to grow your business, you can go for a paid search.

Therefore, when you move forward to run a local SEO campaign, set aside a budget for paid campaigns. It will help you ensure a steady flow of organic traffic.

Build Localize Landing Pages

Localized landing pages are meant for ranking in organic local search. Such pages have location-specific keywords and include content focused on the target audience living in those specific locations.

An ideal landing page has heading tags (H1-H3), keyword-optimized content, internal links, images, videos, etc. A well-optimized landing page can drive massive traffic. You can also run paid ads on these landing pages to generate paid traffic.

Optimize Google My Business Listing

You can utilize Google My Business to generate qualified traffic to your website. GMThis is a free platform that businesses can use to drive more traffic and generate authentic customer reviews. You can get the most out of it by optimizing your Google Business Listing to increase your chances of ranking in search.

To claim your business listing on Google My Business, create an account and list your business comprising all the business details including business address, phone number, website URL, images and business hours eyc. You will get full advantage of local SEO if you optimize your business listing well.

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