Updated: Sep 13
When you have a business website that you want to promote in a specific area or location, you need to add local SEO to your site.
Be prepared to do all of the regular SEO, then add in local SEO for your business website.
Because you are focused on bringing people to your location or you want to do business in your city, state or geographical area, local SEO will help customers find and contact your business on the web, in person, or by phone.
Your customers and clients
are looking for your answers to issues your products and services can solve.
they do their research on your website because you provide detailed information and resources on your site.
they can contact you directly or visit your location because you supplied that information on your website.
Your website content should contain all your content marketing information along with where you can be found or contacted. Be thorough and give detailed information. Your web content must be the best. Better than your competitors.
Google My Business (GMB) and Local Search Engine Results Page (SERP)
The single most important and best thing you need to do for your local business listing is to open an account at Google My Business (GMB). After Google verifies your business and identifies its authenticity and location, people will be able to find your business on Google’s local maps. Make sure you fill in as much information as you can right down to the list of products and services. With all the information filled in correctly, people will understand what you have to offer and where they can find you.
When you open a Google My Business account, you have access to and will be listing in Google Maps. Opening a GMB account makes your business eligible for Google Map, illustrated above. You will get a “pin” on the map for your location. If you filled out everything that was asked for, your listing should also show up in searches for “near me” when you are at your business location.
Note the listing for Wendy Danko at WenKo LLC at the top of this page. There is a pin on the map at the location and a listing within the grey grid. Included in the listing is a link to an article posted on Google My Business and reviews if you have them.
Make a note about how you filled in the information for future citations.
You want to make sure that the name, address, and phone number (NAP) are the same on all other citations used from here forward.
With the citation information in hand, go to your website and make sure it matches exactly. If you spell out the city name, make sure you’re spelling it out every time.
3331 41st Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55406
is different than
3331 41st Avenue South
Mpls., Minnesota 55406
Google and other search engines get confused when things don’t match exactly. Google will be searching directories for your listings, and if they match precisely, Google can find them. Google then makes the connection helping boost your ranking on their search engine.
After you have figured out how you want your citation to read, you want to take that information to local directories and add your listing. Adding your listing does several things:
Google can find it. You will get a backlink to your website from the list. Google likes backlinks from reputable sites. People will not be confused by different spellings.
There are many listing directories, choose the ones that are specific for your type of business and some that cover general listings.
Some of the directories are (there are hundreds):
Side note: many of these directories will try to sell you their premium package. This means you will need to put up with sales calls for a while. Don’t give up, the backlink to your site is worth the hassle. The calls and emails will eventually go away. Hang in there for the free listing.
Put your citations to use in other places on the internet as well. Make sure they match your original citation on GMB. Other areas for citation usage could include:
Q and A sites
This process can be long and tedious. Do a few a day, but keep a list, so you don’t double your efforts. Linking to different a few sources a day will help keep the frustration level lower.
Some services will do this for you, but then you lose control of which sites your listing is on. You don’t want your business listed on an unsavory site. The unpleasant sites will hurt your reputation and your rankings, so be careful.
Get Reviews and Protect Your Reputation.
Reputation is also significant. If you have a good or bad reputation, Google and other search engines will notice. Make sure you protect your reputation by answering all comments and reviews, good or bad. Some people you can’t please and will leave derogatory comments. Try to respond in a positive tone, with apologies, mention how you will improve, and thank them for their feedback. Stay on the positive side, and Google, along with other search engines, will look at your business as authoritative. It could help your ranking too.
Voice Search and Local SEO
Voice search is here to stay. People are using voice search in many different forms these days. Many devices and appliances are connected to the “Internet of Things.”
When working on your keyword research, look for clues as to what people in your area use to find your products and services in voice search. Your searchers will be asking questions that might include “near me” or “where-is” or “how do I get to.” Use the terms that work in your type of business in your area. Your keyword research will help you decipher what to use.
The regular SEO process needs to be paid attention to before you work on local SEO
Local SEO is about being found in your geographic area, city, town, neighborhood.
Open a Google My Business account and fill it out thoroughly.
Citation building is essential, and they should match everywhere they are used.
Research reputable local directories and add your listing.
Get reviews, but protect your reputation by answering all comments, good or bad.
Don’t forget to use the local language in your content.
Setting Your Website Up For Success!
About the Author
Wendy Danko is an SEO Consultant and Web Designer at WenKo LLC. A design background has its perks, especially regarding SEO and website design. Wendy is determined to help all her clients understand and improve their SEO and website design. As a result, her clients have uncovered new leads to grow their client base with website improvements.