Local Business SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) allows local businesses to improve visibility and attract nearby customers through targeted organic search results. By optimizing online assets for relevant geographic and keyword factors, companies can gain traction against national competitors to drive in-store sales, website traffic, phone calls and map directions. This guide covers key local SEO tactics.
Optimize Google My Business Listing
Claim and complete your free Google My Business (GMB) listing which displays prominently in local search and maps. This centralized profile signals to Google your business exists in the area.
Fill out all fields – name, address, phone, website, hours, photos, services, attributes that describe your business. Ensure accuracy across all Google surfaces where info displays.
Add descriptive categories to place you in specific industry verticals and help searches find you. For example, a bookstore would include terms like “bookstores”, “literature”, “signed books”, “reading”, etc.
Upload photos of your business exterior, interior, products, services, staff and customers to bring the listing to life. Provide engaging descriptions for each photo.
Build Online Assets Referencing Locations
Create a Google Maps listing with your business name, address and phone number listed accurately. This aids local SEO prominently factoring into map rankings.
Set up website pages featuring your city, state and regional geography in page titles, content, tags and metadata. This signals relevancy for related searches.
Publish blog articles chronicling your business journey and roots in the community. Share local events, partnerships and historical company facts tied to your area.
Post interesting local photos and media on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter highlighting your business engaged with the city. Check-in at your locations and tag them.
Optimize On-Page Elements
Include your city, neighborhood and region names on your website’s contact page and “About Us” page to strengthen local targeting. Explain community involvement.
Create individual location pages if operating in multiple cities with unique addresses, hours, staff and offerings. Link to these prominently from navigation menus.
Add schema markup to your pages identifying you as a local business with embedded address, telephone, opening hours and geo-coordinates. This extends reach to voice searches.
Incorporate local area codes and phone numbers on pages so search engines associate those digits with your business and locations. Set up unique numbers per city.
Build Local Link Authority
Pursue backlinks from local business association directories, chamber of commerce membership listings, online coupon sites focusing on your region, and local company supplier/partner pages.
Sponsor local events, contests and teams involving your business to gain exposure, listings and links from their websites and calendars. Get featured on visitor and event guides.
Cross-promote with complementary but non-competitive nearby businesses through exchanged links and social media co-mentions. Don’t endorse direct competitors.
Earn editorial features and press mentions in local newspapers, radio, TV and city magazines. Pitch stories positioning you as a community authority.
Publish Local Content
Blog regularly with city-specific trends, insider tips and local “best of” lists related to your business offerings. Share little-known local facts and historical accounts.
Interview respected figures who strengthen community ties like the mayor, charity leaders, university deans and notable investors. Publish these Q&As on your blog.
Create “Our Top X Places in City Y” blog and social posts highlighting beloved landmarks. Include historical photos and famous residents. Tag the locations’ online profiles.
Partner with local influencers and ambassadors to make custom content endorsing your business. Give them incentives to share and tag your locations across their channels.
Improve Online Review Volume
Build online reviews through Google, Facebook, Yelp and other platforms. Satisfied customers organically enhance credibility better than anything you self-publish.
Monitor review sites and respond promptly to any criticisms. Offer apologies, explanations of improvements or incentives for giving your locations a second chance.
Ask happy customers onsite and via email to leave positive ratings and reviews describing their experiences. Provide direct links to simplify the process.
Reward frequent and influential customers with VIP perks for taking time to post thoughtful, in-depth evaluations helping your brand.
Analyze and Refine Local Rankings
Search your business name plus local zip codes or neighborhoods to determine current local pack rankings and opportunities for visibility gains.
Fix technical issues like incorrectly listed business info, duplicate unclaimed listings, or spam pages outranking your legit profiles. Submit consolidation requests in Google Search Console to merge duplicates under your verified listing.
Monitor ranking fluctuations around impactful updates like launching a new location, changing business name or phone number, rolling out a separate website, or moving addresses.
Set Google alerts tracking your company name plus cities and scan results regularly to catch inconsistencies and new competitor attacks quickly.
These local SEO tactics leverage your physical business locations as powerful marketing assets when optimizing online. Consistently prominent visibility in “near me” search and maps builds brand awareness and buyer trust in your area over competitors. Dedicate resources specifically to online reputation and community engagement as a core strategy alongside broader digital marketing channels. Local success stems from becoming an authentically ingrained area icon.