Local SEO: A Basic Guide for Getting Started

- January 19, 2016

The ability for a website’s content to rank organically for location-intended and geotargeted queries adds additional layers of opportunity above and beyond SEO Best Practices you may already be focused on. Following are 4 basic items to address when getting started with your organic local search strategy:

  1. Start with your website: It should be easy for users and search engines to get all the most important details about your location(s) on your website including: address, local phone number, hours of operation, etc. If your business only has one or two locations, you can simply feature those details on a Contact Us or About Us page.

    For multi-location entities, it’s important to develop a more comprehensive onsite content strategy, which could include:
    •    A crawlable location directory
    •    Region- or location-specific landing pages
    •    Location-centric unique content
    •    Geo-targeted keyword optimization
    •    Local Structured Data Markup
    •    Mobile-friendly / responsive presentation of the location information, including click-to-call phone numbers

  2. Local directories: Create or claim and “clean up” the location information listed in top-tier local directories, including: Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, YP, and YellowBook. Ensure that location information is consistent across all listings.
  3. Enhance Local listings: Once you have control of your local listings, add more information, beyond the basics, to those pages, including descriptive text, location-specific imagery, and user feedback in the form of reviews.

    Making headway acquiring reviews can sometimes be a challenge. You may want to consider incorporating secondary calls to action to request reviews in your marketing efforts (email marketing, onsite calls to action, offline in your locations, etc.), to help gain traction.

  4. Maintain up-to-date location information: The initial local data setup / cleanup is only the first step. Keep an organized list of all your location-centric listings, content, etc. and be sure to make it a standard business practice to update those details when information, such as hours of operation, phone numbers, etc., changes.

In addition, you may be interested in Best Practices for Local Search Advertising.

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