Local SEO 101: Learn the Basics

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 27, 2018

If you run a local business of any size, it’s important to have your website and services appear at the top of the search results. Local searches, especially on mobile devices, are becoming more important than ever, so you need to have a strategy in place that gets you more business from your local area. Here’s your local SEO 101 course to help you get started.

Do Your Keyword Research

By understanding what terms people are using when they look for your business on search engines, you can build content that answers their questions – and which will appear at the top of the first page of results. Keyword research will help you figure out what terms to use and when to use them. For example, if you run a flower shop in Dallas, you would want to see how many people search for “”Dallas florists near me””, or “”flower shops in Dallas””.

There are several keyword research tools available which can help you. Simply add in the search term and you will get a report of its search density, how often it’s searched for, and how competitive the keyword is. Once you’ve done your research, make an Excel spreadsheet with the keywords and any associated data to save for later.

Build Landing Pages with Local Search Terms

You’ve got your keywords for local SEO, but don’t just start adding them into your existing website content. The trick is to build a new page built around a keyword or search term that answers the question people are asking the search engine. To go back to the flower shop example, let’s say that lots of people are searching for “”flower shops near me in Dallas””. You would then build a landing page with content that describes how your shop is based in Dallas, the sort of services you provide, and your opening hours.

Create a Search Engine Business Page

Well-written content will help boost your organic search rankings, but to be successful with local SEO, you also need to maintain the information that search engines hold about your business. Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, and Yahoo!Local all help you keep your address, contact details, opening hours, and other information up to date. You can also manage reviews of your business from these platforms. This is especially useful if you have multiple physical locations.

Manage Your Backlinks and Online Reputation

A profile of healthy backlinks to your site can show search engine crawlers that you are a legitimate and trusted business. Work with local companies in real life to get links to your site from theirs. This could be from the local chamber of commerce, a retail association, or a related business you trust.

Don’t forget to manage reviews as well – when people search for your business, they will often look for “”business name + reviews””. Be sure to respond to every review on Yelp, Google, Trustpilot, Feefo, or any other platform. By showing that you engage with customers, you’ll earn their trust.