Local SEO: Where to Start?

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 26, 2016

SEO is important for more than just generating organic traffic from major search engines. Local SEO is essential for brick and mortar businesses, restaurants, and other ‘walk-in’ locations. While an eCommerce store doesn’t require local SEO, businesses that rely on face-to-face interaction with customers can’t survive without it. Here’s how to get started.

1. Ensure the information on your business’ website is correct.

Many businesses change their hours and location over time. This is just part of the natural evolution of a company; however, often these changes do not get reflected on the website. The first thing a business owner should do is ensure their domain name reflects the sort of business they run. Then they need to make sure the hours, locations, and other information are correct. The most important places to target for this information are the “Contact Us” and “About Us” pages; these are the perfect areas to include hours of operation and locations.

2. Ensure the information in local websites is correct.

Many times Google, Yelp, and other major local search engines have incorrect information. The address may be wrong, and in some cases, a different business may have claimed the listing. Take the time to make sure there are no duplicate businesses listed with the same name. People often look for reviews on Yelp and other websites when seeking specific services, so making sure the information for your business is corerct makes it easier for them to find you.

3. Be consistent.

The information on all platforms, whether Google, Yelp, or other any other platforms your site is listed on should be the same. This means the same phone number, the same address(es), the same photos, etc. Not only does this help those searching for your company find it more easily, but it enforces brand image and helps to promote the brand you’re putting forth.

4. Don’t ignore keywords.

Keywords are a major component of global SEO, but tend to be overlooked in local SEO environments. However, the city and state your company is located in are major keywords that need to be included in your listings. This helps those in local areas find you more easily, and it also helps search engines tag and include your company in their local listings. For instance, “pizza restaurant” is far too broad of a term. “Atlanta pizzeria” and “Marietta County pizza” are much better terms to use in local searches. Include these terms in h2 headers, as well as in your title, meta content, and throughout the content.

5. Improve the content on your site.

While not everyone website will include content, those that do should put it at a premium. Content is the key to high rankings and repeat customers. High quality content will bring in traffic more easily than any other source, especially if you make sure to include important evergreen information in that content. Content also allows for the inclusion of a high number of varied long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business. To measure how well your content is doing, ask customers who pay a visit to your store what brought them there. Many times, you’ll find it was an article you wrote for your website’s blog.