Local search engine optimization, aka local SEO, can be a fairly similar strategy to regular SEO, but with the main difference of trying to target those searching within a city or metro area. This is also the main type of search engine optimization that we specialize in here at SEO Services KC, for example, trying to target people searching online for “lawn services kansas city” or “attorney in overland park ks”. This is an ideal strategy for most local service-based businesses and brick-and-mortar stores trying to be found by people within a certain radius of their business or within certain nearby cities or zip codes, especially on mobile devices Below are SEO Services KC’s top 2017 tips for local SEO success:
Have Consistent NAP Business Profiles
NAP stands for your “Name, Address, and Phone Number” for your business. You want to make sure your business information is accurately listed across the internet and is 100% consistent on websites like Google, Yahoo, BBB, Yelp, Dun & Bradstreet, Manta, YP, Angieslist, Merchant Circle, Foursquare, etc. *A great, affordable way to get a quick edge-up on your business citations is to use Smart SEO’s $20 service for 50 Quality Citations* This is a standard we use for our new clients and often gets them in the Google Maps section for their city and type of business. Another great SEO tool to check business profile this for your business is Moz Local. The more quality sites you have your correct NAP information on for your business, the better! This also helps you show up in the Maps section of Google (shown to the right), as a consistent NAP profile builds trust with Google.
Get A Dozen+ Real Customer Reviews
Yes, asking customers for reviews on Google, Yelp & Facebook can be an inconvenience, but it is extremely important! According to a study done by Search Engine Land “88% of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations“. Reviews are also one of the main factors in Google Maps rankings as well, which is a great place to show up on in a search result (since Google displays your contact info, directions if applicable, and reviews upfront). Providing a small incentive to those customers that you ask to provide you an online review is a good strategy as well, even if it is something as simple as offering a $10 gas card. You generally want to shoot for having 12 or more reviews on Google, but depending on what your competition already has, you may want to set your goal higher. Also, always keep an eye on Google, Yelp, and Facebook for new reviews and respond to any and all reviews if possible, especially negative ones!
Create “City Landing Pages” On Your Website
This tip may not be applicable for every local business, but if you do business in a metro area and service a dozen or more cities (all of which you would like to rank on Google for), it may be a good idea to actually create “city pages” on your website, in which you create and write a page to rank for searches done in a particular city. For example, if you offer electrical services as a 24-Hour electrician in the entire Kansas City metro, but you want to try to target people searching for “electrician olathe ks”, “electrician blue springs mo”, “electrician overland park ks”, etc. you can crate a page on your website that focusing on that city alone, and includes the city in the H1, alt text, content, links, and H2s to have a better chance at ranking for that city-specific term. Trying to rank your homepage for multiple cities as a local business is a trying task, and utilizing “city landing pages” can be a good way to get some quick SEO wins for cities you want to rank high on online searches for.
More On On-Site SEO here- “What Are The Best On-Site SEO Techniques?“.
Maximize Your Google My Business Listing
If you have not set-up a Google My Business listing (aka GMB) yet, stop reading this and set one up here- https://www.google.com/business/ now! This is Step #1 in local SEO success, and also takes a week or two to confirm, since they have to send a postcard to your business address for verification. Once, you have your GMB listing setup however, you should log back into it, add pictures, a description, more business categories (that accurately describe your business), and also some updates and posts on Google+ wouldn’t hurt either. See this awesome article by the guys at Search Engine Watch for more info on “How To Optimize Your Google My Business Listing”
Linkbuild on Locally Authoritative Websites
I know, I know… link building can be a controversial topic, especially among SEOs who have been around a little, and the “link building best practices” can be completely opposite depending on who you talk to. According to the Moz’s Local Search Ranking Factors for 2017– Links account for 17.31% of the Google ranking algorithm for how a website is ranked on a local-based search, and that portion is quite large when you consider all the factors that go into the algorithm for Google. Some good places to get locally relevant links can be your local Chamber of Commerce, local news stations, press releases with local newspapers, being listed as a resource for other local businesses, etc. These are just a few examples and sometimes take more personal outreach to obtain, but can be extremely worth it if it gives you a local SEO ranking edge over your competitor.
Our team at SEO Services KC hopes these tips for local SEO in 2017 help you, your search engine rankings, and your business goals! We are here if you have any questions, would like to suggest a future SEO blog topic, or if you would like to receive a free quote for our SEO services or other online marketing services.
Related Read: Why Should A Business Invest In SEO?