How To: Local SEO
The first in a series of how to articles; we’re going to hyper focus and talk about Local Search Engine Optimization. We’re going to give you a step-by-step breakdown to ranking highly on local searches. Print and check off each item as you complete it. We’re going to use ourselves, Oak City Tech, a local webdesign/seo company based out of Raleigh/Durham, NC for any examples below. Be sure to check back from time to time as we will update this post when appropriate.
Page Last Updated: Nov 17, 2016
Originally Published: Jan 2, 2015
- Make sure you’re using a local area code for your primary phone number. (protip: this is the most important aspect of local SEO)
- Get a physical address in the city.
- Include your product or service keyword in your business title. (if possible)
- Update your business information with the secretary of state. Make sure the name, address, and phone match your website.
- Make sure there you don’t have more than one Google Business Page and delete the extras if you do.
Optimize Your Website
- Include the City and State in the title of all pages.
- Include the City and State in your H1/H2 Tags, especially on the homepage.
- Make your site load as quickly as possible. (protip: if using WordPress speed up your website and decrease load time with the caching plugin or use CloudFlare)
- Optimize your titles, meta descriptions, and URLs to make them keyword rich and clickable, giving you a high organic click through rate.
Setup Your Google Business Page
- Make sure that your business is listed in the correct category.
- Make sure your Name, Address, and Phone Number on your website match those on your Google Business Page.
- Have the business owner verify the Google Business Page.
- Fill out your Google Business Page completely. Try to get the numerical percentage as close to 100% as possible.
- Include your product or service keyword and your city name in the description of your Google Business Page.
Repeat these steps for Yahoo Local, Bing Local, YP.com, and SuperPages.com
Content & Multimedia
- Write as much as you can about your industry and post articles to your blog. Write for people, not search engines. Don’t keyword spam; write the article in such a way that you, a human, would enjoy reading it. (protip: Minimum: one article/blog post per week.)
- Create audio and video content to post on your website and video sharing sites like Youtube. It’s 2016, folks really like video.
- Include the name of your city in your domain name. (if possible)
- Include the name of your product or service in your domain name. (if possible)
- Register your domain name several years into the future.
- Make sure your WHOIS information is public and that the name, address, and phone match that on your website.
Blogs & Newspaper Articles
- Put a blog section on the homepage of your website.
- Put out a press release. (protip: pay someone to syndicate it in print.)
- Contact local blogs and newspapers and ask them to interview you.
- Add as many pictures as you can to your Google Business Page.
- Google your business. Make sure your Name, Address, Phone and other info is correct on any site you see. Claim your profile and correct it if not. (protip: Do this, seriously.)
- Update your information with local data aggregators. (Localeze, Acxiom, Factual, others)
- Get as many native reviews on your Google Business page as you can.
- Get reviews on as many different 3rd party review sites as you can.
- Make extra effort to seek out your customers who already use sites like Yelp and Google, and ask them to leave you a review. (protip: Reviewers who have many reviews are more authoritative in the eyes of a search engine).
- Ask your customers to mention the specific product or service they purchased in addition to the city they live in within in their review.
- Ask for reviews consistently over time, not in bursts. Make it a habit.(protip: Search engines don’t like a lot of reviews to show up overnight because they look fraudulent.)
- Open a YouTube and/or Flickr account and upload geotagged photos and videos. Be sure to link the account to your business’ website.
- Open a Facebook business page, and make sure your Name, Address, and Phone number match your website.
- Setup a Twitter account and mention your name, your city, and your product or service keyword in your bio.
- Setup your blog to automatically post to Facebook and Twitter. (protip: use IFTTT.com to do this for free.)
- Add Social Media buttons to your website and/or blog posts.
Creating high quality and high value content on your website or blog is the best way to have a strong link building campaign. People will share your website across their Social Media platforms or in simple conversation if they feel it was of high interest to them.
- Build links to your domain from websites about your city or other places in your city. (ex. review sites, city guides, city business directories, your church’s website, etc.)
- Build links to your domain from websites about your industry. (local or not)
- Build links with your product or service name and your location in the anchor text. (e.g., “Oak City Tech, Raleigh, NC web design”)
Choose Oak City Tech, Your Local Web Design & SEO Company
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