Local search engine optimization has always had an important impact on any business. It holds even more importance for small local businesses and brick and mortar stores as more than 90% of the consumers use local search to find out more about a business. Without Local SEO your business will virtually be irrelevant. Since these customers use local search to find any service they require, it has become a necessity for any business to optimize for it. So, how do you optimize for local SEO? Here are some tips and tricks from our search engine optimization team that can help you enhance your business and optimize it to gain more local traffic. Local seo is important for local business such as florist, photographer, restaurants and real estate agents etc. 

what is local sEO?

Local SEO is a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy that helps your business be more visible in local search results on Google. Any business that has a physical location or serves a geographic area can benefit from local SEO. Do a Local SEO Audit with bright local. 

When you are running a business such as our SEO Miami, Toronto, New York, Malaysia, and Singapore search engine optimization company, whether that is a brick and mortar store or an online store, you target people in a specific geographical area. Thus, it is crucial that you make sure your local business gains their attention. To gain recognition, you use local SEO. It promotes your page and the products to the local consumer base. There are many ways that search engines check and analyze the local SEO. Some main areas to focus on are the content of the page, the social media, links and citations.

 

local seo map sample

Snack pack vs organic results

local snack pack and organic results

Google Snack Pack is a boxed area that appears on the first results page when a local online search is made through Google’s search engine. The Snack Pack box displays the top 3 local business listings most relevant to the search enquiry. (Source)

All about the Local Snack pack  

The map pack is the first 3 suggestions and maps you see for local businesses in your area. For e.g when you search for a flower shop the map pack will show the top 3 flower shops in your area, along with their address, phone number and timings.  

The map pack is an extremely important factor when you want to rank for local SEO because it appears on top, above the organic results. The local pack has its own rules and algorithms which need to be followed to score a chance. There are some similarities between the algorithms though. Some ranking factors like a strong backlink profile still hold importance when ranking in the map pack but the main factors to focus on are the NAP (name address and phone number).

One crucial thing to note is that the map pack only displays the top 3 businesses in the local packs. That means there is even more competition and a slimmer chance of getting there than in the regular organic search. 

When trying to rank for the local packs, many advise that your primary keyword should contain the city or state as well as the store. For e.g, if you are a flower shop in Toronto, you will need to include both in your keyword phrase.  Although that is the best route to go for, it isn’t always accurate. Some map packs are not location specific and appear regardless. In certain cases, Google assumes that you need more local results for your queries and guides you with local businesses. Thus, Rank by focus guides you with specific keywords as well as other ranking factors to make sure your business thrives.

How to analyze local Pack rankings 

Before you begin working on and improving your local map pack ranking you need to figure out where you stand. You do that by figuring out your current ranking and building on from there. There are many tools available like MOZ local and localviking

They can help you find your ranking from Semrush to MOZ local and many more so you can choose your preference. Rank by focus uses these tools to find your current ranking and then proposes a plan based on the results. They develop a strategy that can efficiently improve the ranking on Map Packs in the quickest time. There is no point shooting In the dark hoping something works out. Finding out where you currently rank gives you an idea of how far you will need to Go and accomplish which is extremely important especially for a small business.

One thing to keep in mind is that the ranking can vary drastically from location to location. Some areas may have higher competition and thus despite all efforts, your ranking could be far behind. On the other hand, some areas might have virtually no competition at all and you might be able to land on the Map packs with little to no effort.  The change is so vast and that the Map Pack rankings can be completely different even as little as a mile away.  If you only measure your rankings in a vast city, you will be getting a small chunk of what the actual rankings look like. In some cases, the rankings might change order depending on where you are and sometimes you may get a completely different set of businesses, even a block away.

Therefore you cannot simply research your local Pack rankings in one particular area like Toronto. You have to measure them separately in the local area and even different streets.  Doing so will give you the most accurate representation of where your ranking stands. For a small business, you will be required to search your business in different areas to find favourable results. that way you can find where your business has a stronger chance of getting in the Map packs There are more specific tools like MOZ local that are made especially for this purpose but it can be a tedious task because you have to get into the nitty-gritty. That is why Rank by focus makes the job easier for you by streamlining the process and taking you directly to the results.

All of the features and services that Local Viking offers can be divided into three main categories: posting, managing, and tracking services. 

While you’ll get unique and advanced features in each category, the main feature that sets Local Viking apart from the competition, and our favorite, is the GeoGrid rank tracker. Thanks to the tracker, which includes geospatial data, you can get really granular ranking info showed in a precise grid size over your location.

Key Features We Loved:

  • The ability to schedule GMB posts, both one-off and recurring;
  • The review, monitoring, and alerting feature;
  • The ability to lock changes made to GMB listings or revert changes thanks to the ART feature (Automated Reversion Technology), which prevents you from getting malicious GMB edits from those sneaky competitors;

We're Excited To Meet You

Rank by focus is an experienced and passionate team of professionals that live and breathe web design and search engine optimization (SEO). All our services are offered in-house and are integrated to exceed your business requirements.  We service to clients all around the world, focused in TorontoMiamiNew YorkMalaysia and Singapore.
 

How Do We Start Ranking On Google Maps?

Step 1 : Start with google my business

This is already a well-known point in SEO, but optimizing for Google my business is one sure-fire way to attract a local audience to your page and find your business online. Google will likely promote content that is verified, so a Google my business listing essentially helps you meet the standard to get promoted. Setting Up Google My Business allows your page to end up on the google maps and potentially in the pack results to get better recognition.

To get google my business listing, you will first need a Google my business page, this will allow Google to verify your page and the details within. Secondly, you will have to build a reputation for your brand, you can do this by using google posts, and encourage your customers to leave honest reviews. You should also then reply to the reviews to further increase your reach.

Step 2 : Make your website mobile-friendly 

The mobile-friendliness of your website can also have an impact on the local SEO. You may wonder why? That is because most of the people that are conducting a local search are doing so on their mobile devices. More than 90% of the local searches are performed on some sort of smartphone to check for address, contact info, directions etc. thus, you must make your website mobile-friendly so your potential customers can access it without any inconveniences. It can thus greatly improve your local SEO as well. With a mobile-friendly website, your page will reach a wider audience in the local search results and they can easily get access to all information about your business.

google mobile friendly test

Step 3 : conduct local keyword research 

 

Keyword research for local SEO is a relatively easy process, you will have to conduct extensive research to find the correct ones and make sure they uplift your brand. However, you will not have to constantly come up with new keywords to rank for. All you have to do is select a few of the best keywords for your business that you want to rank for and then you are set. You might still have to change a couple of keywords every now and then but usually, they remain fairly consistent. So rank by focus search engine optimization company can help you select a shortlist for keywords that you can focus on improving your local ranking.  they make the keyword research process less stressful with a complete guide and help implement those keywords as well.

Here’s a cool tool to help with that.

Just enter your services and locations, then hit “Generate keywords.” It will kick back a list like this:

Using Google Autocomplete

Next up—use Google Autocomplete to generate more search suggestions.

This is easy. Just enter your primary keyword into Google and take note of the suggested searches.

Let’s do it for “coffee shop sheffield.”

Step 4 : Create Nap citations 

Your NAP ( name, address and phone number) data is of the utmost importance when it comes to local SEO. It is one of the dominant factors when search engines go through your page. However, like backlinks, NAP citations are difficult to build and can have a drastic effect on your search engine optimization strategy.

Step 1 

First things first, you need to know what you are working on. For that, you will need to conduct a NAP audit. Mainly you want to check for consistency in the NAP on all local search engine and all business directories that may contain your data. You also want to match the data back to your Google my business profile to determine if anything is left out. Essentially any place that mentions your local business online should have one NAP data. Preferably the one that matches your Google my business profile.

There are many SEO tools out there that you can use to conduct your NAP audit, some tools include loganix and Whitespark. At times this process can become tedious, trying to figure out all the inconsistencies. Rank by focus has a team of professionals whose main job is to run these NAP audits to make sure that you don’t miss out on any potential customers.

Step 2

Once you have your audit done, you can then go around one by one fixing the incorrect NAPs.  Some websites may contain older NAP data that may not be correct anymore. Thus, you will have to update the information. if you perform frequent checks and audits on your site, you will have less chance of incorrect  NAP data however if it is your first time, you will have a lot to correct. the NAP citations fit into 2 main categories:

  • citations that you can change
  • mentioned citations that someone else changes.

 Citations that you can change yourself is a relatively easy process since you are in charge you can change them without any real hassle. However, it can get quite annoying to manually change each and every citation yourself. Rank by focus solves this problem for a local business. They have professionals who can manage the NAP citations quickly and efficiently.

For citations that can’t be changed by yourself, the process becomes a bit longer. This data is mentioned on some other forum or business directories thus you will need to write a formal email asking them to update the data.

We suggest using bright local for this task

Consistent NAP ( Name address phone number) 

One way that your business may suffer is if your customers can’t reach it. This will not only reduce the customer but also affect the local SEO negatively. So, you have to make sure that your NAP or name address and phone number are correct and consistent on all platforms. One tip is to double-check the number and make sure it matches the area code you are operating in.

The name address and phone number should also be a clickable HTML link inserted into the website’s page. That makes it easily obtainable by any consumer. The HTML also allows for the search engine crawls to crawl the HTML and index it. If you insert an image with the NAP it won’t be crawled and indexed. The ideal place to insert your NAP is where it can be viewed easily by the audience, so they don’t have to search for it. Some common options are in the header or footer of the page itself.

Step 5 : Create Location-based content on your website 

Having unique plagiarism free content for all your landing pages is extremely important when it comes to local SEO. you need to have specially curated content for each which will serve the local search rankings. While it is important to market your products and services locally, you can create landing pages for the location that you are not physically present in as well.

As long as you offer your products and services in that area, you can advertise your local business in the area. Not only will this get your business name in the local search engine ranking but it will also give you a chance to rank in multiple searches.  one note you still need to remember is that doing so will not land you on the Map pack. you still need to be physically located in those areas to get a spot there, however, you can still find local customers even while being further away through the content. 

In photo :

Here we have a website creating a location based content, to target the location rankings. 

Don’t undermine the organic results.

As a local business everyone wants to get the coveted spot on the Map pack. In the process, they often overlook the extremely important organic local search results.  Many times the business in the Map packs has really strong commercial value so it can be tough to break into them. Therefore the organic results are a great option as well. Getting in the top 10 results for organic results is much easier to break into for small businesses and there is less competition than the 3 coveted spots in the local pack.  The best part about the local search results for search engine optimization is that the results are the same for all Google search engine result pages so it is much easier to optimize for it.

What Else Can You Do To Improve Your Local SEO Rankings?

Find new citation opportunities 

We have already detained how important the NAP citations are for a local business, but there aren’t a lot of places you’ve heard of to cite your business. Some pretty well-known sites are Yelp, Foursquare,  Angie’s list etc but perhaps the best way to find citation opportunities is through local sites. local pages are able to give you a real boost in the rankings in search engines.

Since your citations are going to be more local and focused on a specific area, you are bound to have higher conversions as well. Now the main question arises, where can you find these local sites for NAP citations?  While there are many SEO tools available on the market, the “link intersect” feature by Ahrefs is especially great for a local business. Our SEO Miami, Toronto, New York, Malaysia, and Singapore search engine optimization company can also help you with this. 

Reverse engineer competitor NAPS 

Similar to search engine optimization,  you can also use your competitor’s NAP data to your advantage. All you have to do is use your SEO tools for the NAP audit and conduct an audit on the competitor site. This will give you all the pages your competitor site is mentioned in. You can then work from there and try to get mentioned in the same pages.

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Gain authentic inbound links 

Another way to build up your local SEO and increase local search ranking is through inbound links. They increase the authority of your page and tell google that your website is credible. Whether you are a brick and mortar store or an online website, building a strong backlink profile is necessary.  There are many ways that you can build up a strong backlink profile for your business. Some more prominent ones include:

  • Guest Posting
    This is a great way to reach a new audience and attract them back to your page. You can be an expert on a matter and provide information to the readers. You can get your business name and phone number out there and also refer back to your business and therefore gain authentic links and some traffic. Sometimes they may even promote the content on their social media pages which can redirect even more traffic.

     

  • Local PR 
    Different SEO tools and tactics can surely work to get in local traffic to your page but what works even better is the local press.  Local Newspapers and sites are always on the hunt for content and you can fulfill that need with your products and services.  For a local site, you can even add your Google my business page to the content to really increase your business presence.

     

  • Sponsorship and paid partnerships
    The best trick is to find an influencer in your respective industry and partner with them to promote your business on social media. They are important ranking factors on the google result pages. You can also sponsor their content in return for a promotion of their page, which can lead to massive growth in today’s social media-driven world.
  • Scholarships
    One tip that is largely unknown is that.edu links are great for domain authority. To gain some of these.edu links you can offer a scholarship in your area. Remember to keep this scholarship in your field. Then schools and other educational websites will link back to your page and you gain some authoritative links. The authoritative links can be non-follow ones from social media pages or follow ones from their websites, both of which can help your SEO.

Curate content for the locals 

Google search algorithms and ranking tools have gotten a lot smarter, and they take many factors into account to determine the local search rankings of pages. This allows website owners to create content that isn’t just search engine friendly. By writing on genre topics there is a higher chance to attract a wider audience. However, when it comes to improving the local SEO you also have to focus on topics specifically for the locals.

To gain the local trust you have to become the authority in the matter. This can be done by covering the local events, news or even educational content. You have to think outside the box to attract an audience through the content and once you have gained their trust, they will automatically be interested in your products and services.

An example would be if you sell coats in Canada or New York, you can create the best places to visit in the Canadian winter. This way the reader will gain some insight through your website, and they will be more likely in purchasing the products and services.

In the end, there are many additional ways along with these SEO tips that you can use to improve your website in the local searches. Improving your internal linking, optimizing URL, meta description and optimizing the directories are just to name a few. Together these with Google my business account can help greatly boost your local search engine optimization and promote your business in your geographical area.