You may feel discombobulated by all the different SEO strategies.
National SEO, international SEO, local SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, Google Business Profile SEO, technical SEO, and the list goes on and on.
In this short guide, we will walk you through the exact steps you need to take to optimize your local business website for the local search results in your area.
How to do SEO for a local business.
1. Work on your Google Business Profile.
Before optimizing your website, you need to claim, verify, and optimize your Google Business Profile.
It’s the fastest way to get in front of your potential customers in your local area.
While ranking a website in your local search results might take a while, ranking a Google Business Profile in the local pack is way easier.
Proximity is a very important ranking factor when it comes to a local map pack.
And you can get an edge over other competing businesses just because your business location is closer to the user.
While you won’t get as much exposure as if your website would be ranking on top of search results across the whole city, you still can get the word out about your business pretty quickly.
2. Build citations for your business.
Once you optimize your Google Business listing, you need to build NAP citations.
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. It’s general information about your business.
Google needs proof that you’re a real business, and the way to establish your credibility in the eyes of Google is to add your business to various online business directories.
Those directories can be divided into three separate categories: master citations, local citations, and industry citations.
Master citations include top-tier directories like Yelp, YellowPages, Manta, etc. They’re around 120-140 master directories, and you want your NAP information prominently displayed there.
Next, we have local citations. Those are directories for your particular area, city, or state. While most master citations are free, local directories often charge a small fee. But you still want to have your business information there to establish your local relevance.
Finally, we have industry citations. Those sites list websites in a particular industry, like dentists, lawyers, etc. Find directories for your niche and get your website featured on these.
3. Get more Google reviews.
Reviews on your Google Business Profile are important not only for your potential customers when they are doing research on your company but also for Google as it’s one of the most important ranking factors when it comes to a local map pack.
Reach out to your previous customers and ask them to leave you a review.
And always ask your current clients to write a review for your business.
Keywords in the reviews play a significant role. A good trick is when you ask someone to leave you a review, tell them to mention what services or products they buy from you and what they think about it.
This way, you will get naturally keyword-rich reviews that will help your Google Business Profile rank higher.
4. Optimize your website for mobile devices.
Once you’ve taken the most important steps in optimizing your Google Business Profile, it’s time to optimize your website.
Before adding new content to your site, you need to make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
It’s very important for local SEO as most users use their smartphones to find a local business.
5. Create and optimize your services pages.
Now, you need to conduct keyword research to find how people search for your products or services—what keywords do they use?
Once you have a list of keywords, you need to create a separate page for each product or service your business provides and optimize those pages for the target keywords.
6. Publish more informational content.
Informational content is very important for your website.
Even though it usually targets informational keywords that don’t convert as much as commercial keywords, it can boost your rankings for your commercial content.
Google is very good at understanding the intent of the page. And it doesn’t like when all a website has is tens of pages selling products or services—that’s why you must dilute your website with informational content.
Informational content will also help you to create an interlinking structure to boost your rankings for your main pages.
Use People Also Ask to find ideas for your blog posts and publish new content regularly.
7. Create an internal linking structure for your website.
An internal link is when you add a link to a page from another page on your website.
Create 5-7 blog posts around each product or service page on your website and then add a link to that page from your blog post.
8. Acquire relevant backlinks from other sites in your industry.
While internal links are links from your own website, backlinks are links from other websites to your website.
And they are one of the most important ranking factors.
But it’s nearly impossible to get backlinks for your commercial pages—because why would someone link to a commercial page? People usually link to information content that they think will be interesting for their readers.
That’s another argument for why you need informational content. People would be more likely to link to your blog posts where you answer questions related to your industry that people might have, rather than to your commercial pages where you’re trying to sell your services.
And if you get a link to your blog post, it will pass the link juice to your commercial page because you have an internal link to your main page in the body of your article.
Reach out to other websites in your niche—but not your competitors as there’s no way they will link to your website—and see if you can persuade them to add a link to your blog posts.
We’ve covered the general aspects of a local SEO strategy.
Hopefully, now you understand what exactly you need to do in order to rank your local business in your local search results.
Consider reading our other articles to garner more in-depth knowledge about SEO.