All customers are searching for the products and services they need close to them. They want to solve their problems fast and in the neighborhood. That’s the moment when Local SEO jumps in.

Photo by henry perks on Unsplash

Local SEO is helping you to market your business online to local audience. Will your business show up when local customers are looking for your products or services?

Here are 23 SEO experts sharing their best Local SEO Tips:

Jordan Choo, Kogneta

My top local SEO tip is for SMBs to actively invest in their Google My Business profile. Your GMB profile is one of the first, if not only, thing that a person may see before getting in touch with you. 

This includes not only making sure that your profile is fully completed but, also includes doing things like:

– Making sure that you have UTM tracking parameters configured

– Using a call tracking number as your primary number (CallRail is great for this)

– Generating consistent positive reviews and you’re responding to these reviews

– Keeping tabs on questions that are asked and answering them in a timely manner

Chris Castillo, Propel Digital Media Solutions

Getting great reviews from people in the local area of your business is still one of the best ways of improving your local rankings. 

We’ve seen a lot of success in implementing a “review funnel” – a system by which we can generate reviews for clients on auto-pilot through automated email sequences and triggers that take care of all or most of the leg work. 

A simple way to do this is to get your CRM to add new clients to an email marketing system, like Autopilot for example, and have create an automated email sequence. 

Another big misconception is that the ask for a review doesn’t have to come after an order or service is complete. You can send an email after a few days or weeks and ask them to tell you if you’re doing a good job so far. What matters most is that you ask.

Conrad Ayunon, Lawyer SEO Pro

Make sure that you optimize your main SEO page (that is designed for ranking) to also work well with Google Ads. And then run a Google Ads campaign with exact match and phrase match and pointing towards that SEO page. I’ve observed that by running a Google Ads campaign while pointing to your SEO page, your SEO growth increases vrs a SEO campaign that does not have any AdWords at all.

This may be due to the enhanced CTR or user  behavior / interaction which is a signal for helping SEO. So either ways, run a AdWords campaign! Even if you need to Optimize by Click with a low maximum bid to get cheap clicks to make Google happy). This could speed up your time to rank by up to 2 months.

The great news is that your budget doesn’t have to be big! Just run with a small minimal budget and that will be enough to kick start positive effects.

Amanda Thomas, Konstruct Digital

Local SEO is definitely a niche of SEO on it’s own – and in some ways it’s both easier and more difficult than conventional SEO. Here are some of my favourite conventional and unconventional tips:

Conventional tips:

1. Citations Matter: use a tool like Whitespark or Bright Local to submit and manage your citations. Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is exactly the same on: all website references, your GMB profile, and your citations. Consistency = credibility.

2. Utilize Local & Hyperlocal Landing Pages: write local landing pages that target “{keyword} + {location}”. Fill these up with a ton of unique local content including: local awards, neighbourhoods served, how to get there (maps, transit directions, what landmarks are nearby), your local staff, local promotions, etc.

Unconventional tips:

1. Proximity is Key: trying to rank locally for a city when your business is located in a commuter town can be extremely challenging. Google’s algo favours proximity.

2. Choose a business name with your primary keyword in it: keywords in your brand name can help your rank both on GMB and organic listings for a variety of reasons.. But you can’t fake this – if those keywords aren’t in your legal name, don’t add them to your GMB name.

Carlos Obregon, Bloom Digital Marketing

The first local SEO tip is to create posts regularly, these posts can be about upcoming sales, current promotions and any other news about your business. Make sure you always include a good quality image and don’t forget to include your keywords in the posts!

The second tip is to always respond to all reviews, both positive, negative and neutral ones. If the review is positive make sure to thank the reviewer by name. If you get a negative review we recommend the following strategies in how to respond:

1) Empathize, say something like “We are very sorry we did not fill your expectations” or “Sorry that we let you down”

2) Offer a solution. “We will be happy to offer you a refund” or “We hope that you will allow us to try again on your next visit”

3) Take it offline, nothing worse than a back and forth on your reviews section!  You can say something like: “Please contact our store manager at [email protected] to discuss the next steps”.

4) And last, on a negative review response do not include your business name or main keywords as these responses can rank on Google!

Ray Lim, I-credit, Licensed moneylender In Singapore

My best tip would be implement beyond vanity metrics, sometimes optimising for keywords that doesn’t show up on trackers gets you an advantage, since the data others depend on might be a hit or miss.

i.e create doorway pages for each individual action/intent, specific to the location. Say, instead of hostels in Singapore – it’ll be student hostels near “xx”. According to the BERT update in 2019, user intent specific to location would give you the best available search advantage, as well as having low competition for pages like this since not a lot of people will target them.

If done at scale through automation, this could be a quick win for getting traffic from pages people don’t target actively due to low search volume or traffic so low it doesn’t even exist on trackers. 

But it doesn’t change people are still actively searching for this, we tend to overestimate keyword volume trackers instead of user behaviour.

Amit Raj, The Links Guy

While local SEO can be a whole different ball game to doing SEO for a national/international brand – its important if you’re building links to a local business to think beyond just building directory links or pillow links, and think about link building almost from a business development or PR point of view. 

Are there other non-competing businesses in the local city or surrounding suburbs that you can reach out to, and where your business or content could come in useful to anyone browsing their website and existing client base? 

Take this one example of a company we worked with in New England that sold a specific type of seafood. We reached out to a very prestigious local university as we noticed they had a resource page aimed at the seafood industry and we had just the right content pieces to get their attention. We were also located just down the road from them, so I knew we’d get their attention since we’re approaching them as fellow New England-ers. 

The end result was we got the link we wanted, it’s a local link, super relevant and will have some SEO benefit and probably drive traffic as well. But even more importantly – we built a relationship with a decision maker at a very reputable organization. 

Leslie Gilmour, Cube Digital

Ensure you have local links if fairly obvious and so are citations. 

So, my best tip is to make sure your reviews include the keywords you want your website to rank for in the local results. For example if you run an accountancy firm in Dublin, having a few reviews that include are written like this will help. X is the best accountant in Dublin I have found to help me with… 

This way we have accountant in Dublin, the main search term included in your reviews. These mentions will help your site rank higher in the local results, of course assuming you have already optimised your own landing page.

Often the best way to get these reviews is to write them yourself and send them to your client. This is the method I use for testimonials on my website. Everyone has too much to do and writing a review or testimonial is a low priority. I find that sending the client something they can either just approve or quickly copy and paste get the reviews faster.

Bill Widmer, Widmer Enterprises, Inc.

Don’t forget about pictures! You can do everything right and end up ranking high in local search results, but if you want the best conversion rate, good pictures are a must. 

You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve clicked on the #1 and #2 search results while searching for a coffee shop or restaurant and went back to look for something else because their pictures sucked.

Consider hiring a photographer to take professional shots of your business, including the outside, inside, available parking, products, etc. You can find a good photographer for relatively cheap and get those pictures out fast.

If you’re on a tight budget, even smartphone pictures these days can be excellent. Watch a few YouTube videos on how to take good pictures with your phone and go to town!

Zach Doty, Antioch Digital

The biggest thing to keep in mind with local SEO is that it’s best treated as a unique discipline from “traditional” SEO. (If we could even call SEO traditional…) There is some overlap between local and traditional SEO when you have searches with local intent, and regular listings. 

However, appearing and ranking well in the “map pack” brings a set of considerations which many on-site projects might not cover. First, attention to detail is critical. Building out *every* available aspect of your Google My Business profile is key. Parking, hours, photos and every detail matters; you have to be the most conscientious. 

Also, know that you Name Address Phone (NAP) details need to match precisely across every data source you appear in. (Note: tools such as Moz Local can help you automate this.) Second, reviews and reputation are also of great importance. 

True to SEO as a larger practice, local SEO also dives into reputation management. Actively engaging with your customers post-purchase and monitoring yours (and competitors) reviews can help you both defend and grow your business through local SEO.

Nestor Vazquez, SEO Mexico

Use every space available in your Google My Business card to your advantage. 

Make sure you’re filling in as many fields as possible, including the business name and address, photos of your storefront or office space (if available), a link to your website, hours of operation, links to feed content from social media accounts like Facebook or Twitter.

The product and services section is commonly unused by small businesses. In this section, you can list the products and services your business offers with hyperlinked descriptions for each item.

Upload pictures of yourself and/or employees to fill out as much information about your company or service offerings that possible.

Provide a clear call-to-action in either an “About Us” page or on the homepage of your website. 

Provide hyperlinked descriptions for each product and service offered with an emphasis on what sets you apart from competitors. Utilize all forms of media content that are available including pictures, videos, podcasts, blog posts.

Fillip Matekovic, Hunch

Search for high-performing content that’s losing traction in last 30 days – than optimize it.

Searching for content that’s not performing well can be a great way to find new and interesting ways you might want to explore. quick tip no1: Search for high-performing content that’s losing traction in the last 30 days – then optimize it.

quick tip no1: Search for high-performing content that’s losing traction in the last 30 days – then optimize it.

quick tip no2:  Find low-performing content with high intent in last couple of weeks- and find a way to scale it.

Galen Weston, AdvisorWorld

If you’re looking to get your local customers’ attention, authoring content that speaks or relates directly to a local event or issue is a great way to do so.

You can regularly create blog posts that cover the latest happenings in your city, or create videos about a local charity or cause that your business supports. Or, if you serve different parts of a region, set up location-specific web pages on your website with high-quality content about that location that also mentions how your service benefits the people of that area. 

Doing this with an awareness of what keywords competitors are ranking for makes this even more powerful ~ What gets your competitor’s website to rank in Google? What keywords do they target?

 Spy on them, see what is working for them and use the data to enhance your own campaign. Creating authoritative, local content with an awareness keyword areas your competitors are doing well for can systematically increase your local online market share month on month.

Skyler Reeves, Ardent Growth

The best thing we’ve seen improve the rankings across the board (both in the regular organic results and map pack) has been high-quality informative content on the site in the form of service pages and blog content. We’ve seen consistent results that work better than previous link building campaigns.

The best way to approach this is to figure out what you hubs of content should be (we use our topic clustering algorithm to do this) and then create 1 central article per hub and 3-5 “”spoke articles”” that are clearly written by an expert in the industry and actually help people solve their problems. 

Once that content is made, we internally link every spoke to the hub and every hub back to its respective service page.

Don’t bother targeting regionally specific queries unless the business is a park, tourist center, etc. We tend to focus on broad problems that people across the country would search for. Things like, “”hot water heater won’t kick on””, “”why do floors creak””, and so on. 

The basic idea is that by targeting these types of terms you can rank for them nationally and while that may not drive qualified traffic, it does help establish the site as a “”national authority”” in the field—and if Google recognizes you as a national authority, then you’re by default an authority locally as well.

Using this approach we grew a small service-based business from 300 organic visitors/m to over 30,000 in a year without building links.

Cristina Moraru, Media Training Ltd

Most of the SEO experts focus their marketing strategies on global content that can reach a larger audience. Therefore, they might forget about their real target customers and who can really convert. 

That’s because the content is not local enough. If you’re looking to maximise the efficiency of your SEO efforts and improve your website conversion then you should concentrate on creating more local content. 

Try to focus on the problems, issues or topics that interests the audience around you. Then relate those problems with how your company can help by incorporating the relevant local keywords. 

For example, you can create more content around events in your industry, news or local problems.

Jordan Slover, Neon Ambition

Local SEO is about more than stuffing your website with regional keywords.  You need to focus in many areas from local link building to social media signalling and optimizing all your content with your local focus in mind. 

Your URL, title tags, headers, meta descriptions, and content should include your city or region and the target keyword of the page they describe. This tells search engines know the geographical location that your pages are relevant to and that the content also is relevant to a particular geographic location.

On-page SEO elements and copy should clearly signal to Google and other search engines exactly what your business does and crucially, the location in which it does it. If your location matters, then you need to ensure your online presence is as locally focused as your bricks-and-mortar premises.

James Lee, Monetized Future

In my opinion, the greatest opportunity in Local SEO is consistent content.

Something I’ve always done for any local site is to make sure that I am posting at least one blog post per week.

You see, most service businesses have very little interest in treating their website like a blog.

If they have even tried optimizing for on-page SEO at all, they are usually just adding target keywords to an already existing page. 

So, if you can get a local site on a consistent content posting schedule, you are usually miles ahead of the competition. 

A mistake a lot of SEOs make is posting low-quality or spun content, and thinking that this is good enough for a local site. Make sure that the content you are posting is high quality, so you can get the maximum benefit from Google’s algorithm. 

Combine consistent high-quality content with proper interlinking, and you can often dominate an area.

Adam Grim, Bootstrap Local

Our secret weapon has been localized service videos on YouTube — with a twist. We have seen results from localized content in general (service area pages, blog posts, etc.), but publishing localized videos has lead to an 80-90% increase in organic traffic for nearly every client who has tried it.

Here is the process we use:

1. Pick a local service topic (e.g. Organic Lawn Care in Columbus, OH).

2. Record a video that answers the most common questions about the topic; you can use Google’s People Also Ask feature to get ideas.

3. Include content that is unique to your location. Using our lawn care example, you could talk about grass varieties that grow in your climate, diseases that affect lawns in your area, or watering regulations that are unique to your town. 

4. After you create the video, publish it on YouTube with a strong title and description, get a transcript (Rev.com is our tool of choice), and post the video and transcript to your blog.

We have tried this for dozens of home service and professional service clients and have been able to rank well for several competitive keywords.

Justin Herring, YEAH! Local

My #1 tip for local SEO would be to get high authority DA 40+ backlinks to the pages you want to rank.  I see so many local websites that have the technical SEO dialed in but wonder why they are not ranking.  

The reason is backlinks! They don’t need to be local either.  They just need to be from good websites with content relevant to your business niche.  

An example would be CNN writing an article about the top dentists in Atlanta and linking over to your business website. The website does not need to be of CNN’s caliber but you get the point.  This is not easy to do but will easily catapult you to the top of Google. Along with on-page SEO and monthly backlinks you can position yourself to dominate local search.

Will Cannon, Signaturely

Partner up with local companies

A great way to improve your local SEO is by looking for businesses that already have good local optimization themselves, and partnering up with them.

The easiest way is to write an article for them. Writing content can redirect highly-qualified people to your website and create traffic. However, since the business is local, you can do more than just writing content.

You can partner up with them in an event you can both be at, or aiding them with offers and freebies for one of their promotions or giveaways. You may even sponsor local non-profits, or support one of their events.

When looking for the right company, always try to aim as high as possible, looking into their SEO stats before jumping into a partnership.

Since you’re giving something (content, gifts, time, or money), you may ask for specific things, like specific backlinks, mentions, and more, to ensure you’ll get SEO help in return.

Kartik Ahuja, GrowthScribe

Laying the foundations of a strong local SEO is extremely imp for –

– Being visible on SERPs

– Not missing out on traffic

Why is that so?

According to Google, 76% of consumers that search for something local on their phone visit a store that day. 

Here are my top 2 proven local SEO tips to dominate the SERPs: 

1. Roll into Google My Business (GMB) listing

The first step for ranking well rank in local searches is creating your GMB account as it is the #1 factor when it comes to local SEO. 

To ensure maximum optimization of your business profile, fill 100% of the fields available such as adding photo, product and services details, description, etc. 

Additionally you can create mini-posts for your clients to show Google that you are actively managing your listing. 

If you haven’t created your GMB account yet, add it to your highest priority to ace your local SEO game. 

1. List your business in online business directories

Having your business listed in online business directories ensures that your business’s   relevant information is visible to your prospects.

If you are in USA, you can list your business on Yelp, BBB. Similarly, depending on the country you live in, search for local online listing platform and register your business.

This will help you take the benefit from their well-established SEO and appear on the first page of Google.

PS – Make sure your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone number) is consistent across all the online listing platforms.

Patrick Garde, ExaWeb Corporation

If you want Google to know that you are physically located in a specific location, you should embed a Google Map on your About or Contact Us page. 

First, search for your business in Google Maps. Then, click on the dropdown menu which you can find on the upper left corner, and select “Share or embed map”. Once you have the code, you can now embed your business’ map on your website’s About or Contact Us page.

Another tip is to optimize your meta descriptions with local searchers in mind. This will improve your organic CTR and you will avoid a meta description that is stuffed with keywords. 

If you want to find a convincing copy for your meta description, you can search local businesses that uses Google Ads. This will give you an idea on what kind of copies get clicks. Just modify it to fit to your local business offering.

Shaurya Jain, Attention Always

The hottest thing I can think of now is voice search. Never disregard voice search, seeing its miniscule coverage of the search market at the moment. We’re only at the threshold of what voice search can become in the following years. That’s why in local SEO— optimizing your content keeping in mind how regular people are phrasing their queries when searching from their smartphones is key.

When it comes to typing out a search term, people tend to be as concise as possible. With voice search, there are no such considerations. The content should fit the tone of how one speaks and use more of—who, what, when, where, why, and how.

Another aspect worth noting is people frequently conduct voice searches when they need something. Yes—voice searches often have transactional intent. Any marketer knows how valuable that can be. Information like when your business hours are or the location of your business should be both easy-to-find and optimized for search.

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