Digital marketing services for local businesses

Local SEO: Why It Matters

When it comes to targeting the right customers on the web, service companies, small business owners, and locally-focused companies must create marketing strategies that fit their needs. To no surprise, many turn to Yellow Pages, Home Advisor, Angie’s List, etc. to generate leads.

The problem is, their website is often left behind. Buried on the fourth or fifth page of Google. Never to see the light of day, let alone get in front of a qualified visitor.

Queue hyper-local search engine optimization, or SEO for short. When it comes to optimizing a website for local search (that is, local customers in your community or service area), small businesses are missing out.

CLICK HERE SKIP TO THE DIY LOCAL SEO TIPS

Why You Should Care About Hyper-Local SEO

According to comScore, 54% of Americans have substituted the internet for phone books.

Still need convincing? Check out some more stats below:

93% of online experiences begin with a search engine

93% of online experiences start with a search engine
(via imFORZA – link).

75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results

75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results
(via imFORZA – link).

4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information

4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find local information
(via Google – link).

 88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations

88% of consumers trust online reviews just as much as personal recommendations
(via BrightLocal – link).

 18% of local searches generate sales within 1 day

18% of local searches generate sales within 1 day
(via Google – link).

 The Google local pack appears in the top spot of 93% of searches with local intent

The Google local pack appears in the top spot of 93% of searches with local intent
(via Search Engine Land – link).

 98% of searches choose a business that is on page 1 of search results

98% of searches choose a business that is on page 1 of search results
(via BrightLocal – link).

 88% of consumers consult online reviews before they purchase local services

88% of consumers consult online reviews before they purchase local services
(via BrightLocal – link).

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

  • Local customers rely on local search for product research
  • Local customers trust what they read online
  • Local customers take action
  • You should optimize your website for local search

WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

  • Not optimizing for local search can result in significantly less web-driven leads and sales
  • Local customers can’t read about you online because they cannot find you
  • Local customers are less likely to call you or fill out a contact form via search engines
  • You make less money

How to Dominate the Local Search Market Using Local SEO

Now that we know the importance of local SEO, how can you optimize your website for local search without the help of an SEO agency?

We know what you’re thinking – “Why would an SEO agency tell me how to do this for free?”

Well, we’re just that nice!

We recommend following the steps below to optimize your website for local search and improve your website’s local search engine optimization.

Sign Up for Moz Local to Improve Local Search Listings

Do it, and do it right now.

Moz Local is a great all-in-one NAP citation builder (learn more about NAP).

It looks like this:

moz local dashboard

Moz Local submits your company’s name, address, and phone number to some of the largest business aggregators on the web, including:

  • Superpages
  • Infogroup
  • Localeze
  • Citysearch
  • Insiderpages
  • Best of the Web
  • Acxiom
  • Hotfrog

It also crawls Google, Bing, Facebook, Foursquare, and Yelp to ensure accurate NAP can be found across the web for your business.

The primary advantage of Moz Local is its efficiency.

Rather than take on the daunting process of manually claiming your business on each individual directory, verifying it through the directory’s verification process, and waiting for the directory to update itself, you can use Moz Local.

Moz Local not only creates accurate business listings across the web, but it tells you when it finds an inconsistent listing, allowing you to easily fix or remove the listing within using the Moz Local dashboard.

Moz Local lets you fix incorrect NAP listings

Add NAP to Your Website’s Footer to Improve Local SEO

Rank First Local NAP found in website footer

Adding your company’s NAP to the footer in text accomplishes three things, all of which provide local SEO value to your website:

  1. Puts your contact information in an easy-to-find, consistent location
  2. Allows you to easily implement Schema markup a single time, across your entire website
  3. Allows web crawlers to easily find and crawl your consistent NAP information

Add Local Business Schema to Improve Local Search Results

Schema markup language is HTML text added to the code of your website. The entire markup language is built to be invisible to visitors, but not to crawlers, and is universally recognized across all major search engines, including Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Schema eliminates the need for search engine crawlers to use on-page signals to determine what your web page is about.

Instead, Schema tells search engines exactly what it is crawling.

When it comes to local businesses, we recommend adding LocalBusiness Schema markup to the NAP information in your website footer.

To do this, simply visit www.schema-creator.org and click on “Organization” in the left sidebar:

schema organization markup language

Then, scroll down the page and select “Local Business” from the dropdown menu labeled “Type”:

local business schema markup

Next, scroll down the page and type in your business’s information:

As you can see on the right side of the screen, schema-creator.org automatically writes your HTML code for you, allowing you to bypass one of the more difficult parts of implementing Schema.

Next, copy/paste your Schema markup into Notepad and save as a .txt file.

Lastly, send your saved .txt file to your webmaster or developer and ask them to implement the Schema markup in your website’s footer file.

Get More Online Reviews

As we mentioned above, people are reading local reviews and taking action based on those reviews – some good and some bad.

The good? Calling your company, requesting service, scheduling an estimate, or contacting you in any way.

The bad? Leaving your website and taking action on a competitor’s site.

If you want to improve your local SEO results, get reviews.

If you want to show up in Google’s local pack, which we know earns top SERP placement on 93% of all searches with local intent… get more online reviews!

To learn more about how to get online reviews, read our free small business SEO guide and skip to chapter eight, “Local SEO & Off-Site Optimizations.”

Optimize Each Web Page for Local SEO Results

In addition to off-site local SEO factors, it’s important for your on-page content to align with your off-page local SEO.

For example, include relevant service areas in your title tags and meta descriptions. Not only that, but work them organically into your content in close proximity to your keywords.

You’ll want to create hyper-unique landing pages for every city you service.

For example, home service contractors will want to publish unique web pages targeting customers for all 20 towns and cities in their 40 mile service area.

Don’t forget to incorporate our best practices on how to write the perfect service page!

Read Our FREE SEO GUIDE

We provided the tools, now it’s time to start implementing what we’ve taught you.

For more help on how to measurably improve your ROI from the web, read our DIY small business SEO guide, Small Business SEO: The Definitive Guide to Winning the Web.

Our guide takes you through the entire website optimization process step-by-step, including local SEO optimization, and gives you a thorough understanding of how you can start generating more business from the internet – by yourself.

"Rank First Local is a great company that really keeps me up to date on all of my marketing/website efforts. They are truly a trusted business partner of mine!"

- Jason J., Managing Partner at Vista Homes

Learn more about our SEO process or get started today!

"Rank First Local is a great company that really keeps me up to date on all of my marketing/website efforts. They are truly a trusted business partner of mine!"

- Jason J., Managing Partner at Vista Homes

Learn more about our SEO process or get started today!