Local SEO is one of the key elements that boost your online rank, but you won’t optimize your business for location by simply having an address. It’s important for every kind of business to optimize for location, but those that serve a local clientele can dominate their online markets through local SEO. Start with a closer look at the technology you’re currently using. The digital device you might be reading this on is likely equipped with GPS modules that identify where you are.
Using location services to build a better online brand works because of consumer demand. More than half of all search results provide data on location, so based on how people are already using online maps, you have a big source of web traffic to access right now. The following will guide you into the areas that you can expect to work through when developing an SEO strategy that will lead to improved results.
You’ll learn about:
- Understanding where your competition stands
- Reiterating your position
- Optimizing for Google My Business
- Researching location-based keywords
- Targeting a specific audience
1. Knowing Where You Are and Who Your Competition Is
Knowing where your brand is calls for you to recognize your competitors and how you stand against them. Your competitors aren’t only relevant due to their location; their successes and failures place your brand within a marketing hierarchy in your local industry. If you can’t compete on a service or product level, then you haven’t built the right foundation to expand your local SEO upon either.
Competitor Research: What Is It?
Competitor research puts your SEO strategy into perspective by revealing how you should compete. Some in your business market have already done research for their own SEO. The Surefire Local Marketing Platform has a Competitive Analysis tool that examines your local presence versus your competitors. Here’s what you should aim to uncover in your competitor research:
- Value only: Your objective isn’t to copy the exact strategies your business neighbors are using. In fact, by finding out which strategies those businesses do use, you’ll learn about what to avoid. Consider researching location as a way of finding market voids that your business can fill.
- Standing out: Differentiation, or “uniqueness,” is known as the science of standing out. Your research on local businesses provides you the data you need for doing local SEO differently.
- Reverse engineering: You’ll find that some of the marketing tactics used by local competitors must inevitably be used by you. If it’s necessary, dissect your competitors’ SEO as a shortcut to the work you need to also accomplish.
2. Verifying Your Location Across Multiple Platforms
Local SEO only works when the data you publish can be verified as identical in multiple places across the web. This effort takes a while to pay off, but having your brand’s identity confirmed across the web will result in long-term traffic sources. You can even make your SEO more effective by presenting your identity as a region that’s then optimized in the form of a keyword.
“NAP”: How Is It Used?
Maximizing your rank using local SEO starts with ensuring, across the web, the consistency of your “NAP.” Business names, addresses and phone numbers (NAP) provide search engines with the basics for your local optimization. It’s not the use of NAP that gives us an advantage; it’s the diversity of places in which your NAP data appears the same. In conjunction with NAP data, your local presence can also be established via local schema.
Structured data, which is what local schema creates, has the ability to speak directly to search engines. While search engines are constantly crawling websites, structured data tells the “searchbots” the who, what and where of your brand. Here’s a better look at what’s involved when using NAP for local schema:
- Names: You have to treat your brand name like a trademark if you want to boost your local SEO online. Maintaining your exact message and voice in every brand appearance is necessary for ranking well with local SEO. The structured data is then used to specifically relay that the name you implement is a brand name.
- Addresses: Creating a data trail that leads to your business location starts with publishing your business address. Consider using your address in places that readers might not even see it. It’s important to know, however, that your address isn’t rendered as a place by search engines. Instead, through local schema, search engines can see that the information published is a location.
- Phone numbers: Your phone number, though certainly useful to your consumer, can establish the consistency of your brand across the web. Your phone number, however, like all figures crawled by search engines, is received as random numbers unless it’s specified that those numbers lead to a phone line.
3. Optimizing for Google My Business
Through a Business Profile, Google offers us the chance to use its clout for our own optimization. This profile works because it was initially designed to index local businesses without them relying on websites. Google My Business is pivotal in local SEO because through it, your company is also listed on Google Maps.
Google My Business: Am I Missing Out?
Maps, in regard to searches made for locations, make up over 40% of the search results generated every year. Even if it’s unintentional, online prospects can find you when your brand leverages every facet of location that it can. The quickest way to establish your location is through Google My Business. Google My Business builds your local visibility since local consumers are the bulk of its users.
From chiropractor listings to moving companies, businesses on Google My Business appear in search before other brands do. Ensure that your use of Google My Business is successful by first claiming your business listing. Claiming your business is helpful because doing so provides proof of your business ownership and location. You are missing out on the perks of Google local SEO and Google Maps if you haven’t considered the following:
- A leading search engine: Google Maps is part of the most highly used search engine in the world. Instead of you searching for potential customers, working with Google can put those customers right in front of you.
- No costs or surprise fees: Claiming your brand as an officially recognized entity on Google is free. You can then continue to customize your Google Business Profile while generating positive reviews from local customers.
4. Researching Location Keywords
If you can’t properly evaluate every crevice of your business market, then you won’t extract the depth of knowledge needed for high rankings among search results. Having an address is one thing, but seeing how people speak about their location gives you relevant insight. Keywords are the phrases used by people—not businesses. A keyword makes businesses more aware of how their local consumer is using the search engines.
The consumer’s words, which go beyond an address or road name, must be converted into effective keywords once you’ve confirmed any uses.
Google Versus a Keyword Tool: How Should I Choose?
Let us guide your keyword research by equipping you with software that automates your results. Search engines are now more competitive than we are. They hold the data your consumer needs while using artificial intelligence to manage it. Establishing a usable perspective of your online market requires us to confirm your final keywords, but we think that you’ll find our software an ideal substitute.
5. Targeting a Specific Audience: Location Matters
A business that markets its brand to every prospective customer it meets will fail to maximize on its messaging. Your prospective consumer is not only specific to a location, but they’re also specific to the exact solution you offer. Targeting, as used in professional marketing, focuses all of your work on those who you can confirm will sign up or buy. Having an accurate understanding of your audience can perfect your local SEO by enabling you to see that SEO through the eyes of the people who will use it.
The Final Word: Launching the SEO You Need
Overwhelming is how we define any strategy that achieves proper SEO, but that doesn’t mean you should feel overwhelmed. It’s true that SEO can be a long-term investment. With the help of location, addresses and maps, however, there are ways to quickly get your brand to rank. Your local SEO isn’t just about you. Allow us to help you define who your competitors are and why they’re a threat to your progress.
There’s a simple way to boost the SEO performance behind your local name, and scheduling a consultation now is a start. Request a free demo of our marketing platform so that we can show you how we can improve your local SEO.