Local SEO 101 – A Beginner’s Guide to More Online Visibility

When developing your Digital Marketing Plan, there are so many options to take into consideration. It often involves many different variables from social media marketing to email marketing, as well as making sure you have an up-to-date and appealing website

But what about Local SEO?

You might be quick to dismiss the idea of Local SEO or try to understand how it works, but it is actually one of the most effective ways to market your business that will have long-term payoffs, well into the future.

Let’s jump into the basics of Local SEO and how you can begin your Local SEO efforts and start becoming more visible online.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a method of using various online marketing tools and techniques to optimize your business, services, or products for a specific location or region.

When you search for a local restaurant, doctor’s office, or business that you would like to visit or inquire about their services, what do you do? Chances are, you start by Googling it. 

Based on certain keywords that you used for that inquiry, Google will try to generate the very best results based on what information is on the internet. The businesses or services that have the best match for those specific keywords in that area or location will come up as some of the top searches, therefore driving traffic to that place of business. 

Local SEO is not something that just happens overnight. It requires intentional planning and actions on the part of the business to increase its visibility and rankings on Google.

You have to recognize that Local SEO is a long-term game that you have to stay in long enough to get the results you want. 

Where Do I Start with Local SEO?

If you are just beginning your Local SEO initiatives, you will want to start by first making sure you have a Google Business Profile. 

Begin by claiming your Google Business Profile for your business and then start adding the required information on your listing like address, phone number, etc.

To learn more about optimizing your listing, read our post about Optimizing Your Google Business Profile.

Determine Your Focused Keywords and Locations

Next, you will want to begin making a list of the locations and keywords you would like to target. If you are just starting out, choose 1-3 locations or regions to really focus on as you start out. 

For focused keywords, you will want to think about the services and products that you offer and how potential customers would be searching for those. Put yourself in a client’s shoes and think about what they would actually type into the search bar when looking for your services. Sometimes it is really obvious and other times you might have to get a little creative depending on your industry.

Focus on These 3 Ranking Factors

There are many factors that can impact your rankings. All of these factors collectively contribute to where your business will fall in rankings compared to your competitors.

As mentioned above, Local SEO is a long-term game. These methods and techniques require constant evaluation and tweaking, but once applied consistently, you will begin to see results. 

If you are just beginning your Local SEO efforts, here are three areas that would be a good place to start focusing on today. 

1. Regularly Update and Add Information to Your Google Business Profile

After initially optimizing your Google Business Profile, you will want to continue to edit and add information regularly to your listing. 

Think about some common Q&As you get from customers, and add that information. Use the “Posts” feature and add pictures with blurbs about your business, or highlight different products and services from time to time. Keep your GBP up-to-date and stay active by answering and responding to all and any inquiries in a timely manner.

2. Collect and Respond to Reviews

Everyone looks at reviews before choosing to go with a business. If you don’t have any reviews, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. Reviews are one of the signals that affect your rankings. 

Be proactive about collecting reviews for your business and be sure to respond to both positive and negative reviews. People are watching how you respond to negative reviews as much as how you respond to positive reviews, so be sure to respond quickly to any and all reviews.

3. Optimize Your Website with Keywords and Locations for On-Page Signals

Make sure you have your business’s website up-to-date and optimized with your targeted keywords and locations. You will want to make sure that your website has your location mentioned throughout the website on various pages in the titles, landing pages, and even in the regular content you publish on your website. 

If the backend of the website is intimidating, consider working with a digital marketing agency to help you get your website optimized with the keywords and locations. At Open Sky, we offer a Technical SEO package where we will optimize your website for you, as well as can make some suggestions for additional landing pages or smaller tweaks that would help with your On-Page Signals. 

Start Working on Your Local SEO Today!

Local SEO is a must for local businesses that need to target ideal clients in their community and surrounding areas. If you begin by applying these beginner tips, you will be well on your way to presenting your business to future customers and increasing your online visibility. 

Have more questions or need additional assistance with your Local SEO game plan? We would love to help! Contact us today for a free 15 Minute consultation!

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