As a business owner, you’re probably aware of the importance of SEO: It’s the foundational way to generate organic leads and traffic for your business. You may also have heard the term “local SEO” and wondered what distinguishes it.
Put simply, local SEO is the type of SEO that targets a specific geographic area. Local service businesses and those with physical storefronts use it to increase their visibility in local markets by optimizing their online presence.
And local SEO is vital to these companies’ success: according to Forbes, “46% of all Google searchers are looking for local information,” and a surprising 88% of those searchers visit local businesses they find within 24 hours. Local SEO ensures that you can easily and efficiently connect with your target market.
Ready To Get Started? We Optimize Your Local SEO in This 8 Step Process:
- Set Up and Audit. To begin, we’ll perform an SEO audit, which is the process of gathering information about your business and website. During the audit, we’ll ensure we have all required information and develop a general strategy for implementing your local SEO.
- Google My Business. Google My Business (GMB) is an important SEO tool that establishes your company’s presence on Google Search and Google Maps. GMB allows you to organize essential information about your business, like its address, phone number, and hours, into a profile that customers can easily interact with when searching Google. With it, you can respond to Google reviews and control which media appears when your business is Googled. GMB is the cornerstone of your local SEO. We’ll create and optimize your GMB account and set a strategy for GMB going forward.
- Home Page Optimization. Apart from presenting your business professionally and engaging visiting customers, your website’s homepage is vital to your local SEO. When Google’s crawler software inspects websites to rank them on Google search, a homepage is the first and most important content it sees. And your homepage acts as a hub for your website that helps Google access and rank your other pages. During this step, we’ll install Google Analytics, connect your homepage with GMB, and optimize your homepage to rank on Google and attract organic traffic.
- Citations. Like how a citation in a research paper provides a link to other relevant information, citations in SEO are mentions of your business or website in other places online. You’ve probably found the link to a company’s website on Facebook, for example, or seen a website link on Google Maps. Business listing sites like Yelp or Angie’s List also use citations. To set up your citations, we’ll finalize your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP), which is the main way Google links to your website from elsewhere. Then we’ll start to create citations on major domains like the ones mentioned above.
- Keyword Research. Keyword research is the process of understanding how potential customers are searching for your products or content, and it’s necessary to streamline your local SEO. Specifically, we’ll help you better understand which keywords you should be targeting and develop a strategy to populate those keywords on your website’s most important pages.
- Competitive Analysis. In order to better understand how your website is positioned among your competitors, we’ll perform a competitive analysis of your general SEO strategy. It’s important to find the reasons certain competitors are out-ranking your website and implement a plan to regain top placements. During this step, we’ll also install tools like Google Search Console that allow us to find and correct any parts of your website that Google is penalizing when ranking you.
- Sitemaps. A sitemap is a kind of blueprint that tells Google how to crawl your website. Your sitemap instructs Google’s crawler to prioritize the information on your website that you think is most important, and provides it with additional data about this information. A sitemap can help Google gather data from media content on your site, for instance, or ensure that it doesn’t overlook certain pages. During this step, we’ll install and configure sitemap software, ensure that Google recognizes your sitemap, and fix any problems that might interfere with your sitemap’s functions.
- Schema. A website’s schema is a form of metadata that helps search engines better understand data on your webpage. A schema will create an enhanced description of certain data, called a “rich snippet,” that provides Google with context to interpret information on your pages — it can tell Google that when your website mentions “Walnut Street,” for instance, you’re indicating your location and not selling nuts or trees. For our purposes, a schema will ensure that Google’s crawler understands your company name, address, phone number, hours of operation, and testimonials, so that they will readily appear when customers Google your business. We’ll configure a schema for your website and confirm that it properly displays this data on Google search.
Optimizing local SEO is a complex process, and it’s one that’s crucial to a company’s presence and visibility. Have questions about local SEO, or how CorridorNine can help? Get in touch today and let’s see if our process makes sense for your business.