Do it right, and your target market will be able to find you and flock to you, as you get more phone calls, foot traffic, leads and sales!
So listen up and be prepared to roll up your sleeves because what you’re about to learn is all you’ll ever need to crush your business goals the long term successful way!
SEO Is Make or Break For Your Local Business
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is not just for online businesses.
Local businesses just like yours can benefit 100% from utilizing an SEO strategy.
Queries like massage, cpa, pizza, website design, and more all populate local businesses for that local Google searcher.
Maps and the top 10 organic search results are the places on Google you can populate to for free and receive over 70% of clicks for local queries!
More than 2 out of every 3 Googler of local searches will click to learn more about local businesses and the business pays zero dollars for that reach.
This is the fast and long-term success track for local business.
Meanwhile, your competitors are also busy ramping up their local SEO, showing up for dozens of key phrases and searches made by their target audience.
By not doing your local SEO strategy right, you’re literally losing hundreds and thousands of dollars each day. The money that should be in your pocket, ends up being funneled straight to your competitors in the business!
Use SEO incorrectly, and it hurts your local business.
If you don’t make a shift and choose not to use it at all, you might as well just close down your business. Search is the now and search is the future for local businesses.
First, let’s go with the fundamentals:
What is meant by local SEO, anyway?
Local SEO is the practice of promoting your services, products, and essentially, your business locally. You focus on local customers who are searching for a particular service within their area.
Say, you own a retail shop in Reno, NV. When you do local SEO for your business, you make sure that your business website targets location-specific keywords.
In other words, you don’t want to be showing up on searches for a retail shop in Colorado or New York or Georgia, etc.
You don’t need to anyway, because your business is based in Reno, NV and is offering services and products only for customers in town.
With a more specific and concentrated SEO strategy, you boost your chances of being found by the right people who actually need your business.
If you’re not doing local SEO correctly and effectively, you’re losing 80% of potential customers.
So it’s high time that you get into local business SEO to increase foot traffic, maximize your sales, and bring home the $$$!
How Can You Do Local SEO?
To do local SEO effectively you must start with a consistent foundation. You then take that foundation and build from there on your Google Map listing and on/off page signals to increase your website rankings.
Here are the Local SEO steps
1. Define NAP 2. Place NAP on Google and Optimize GMB 3. Get Nap on Website in Schema 4. Get Nap on Citations 5. Dominate Reviews 6. Intentional Blogging and Backlinks 7. Win in Local SEO!
All you need to do is learn the smart hustle. Once you start tackling these steps, you’ll be number one on Google maps. With targeted buying phrases, you’ll also end up number one for the Google organic searches.
The foundation of foundations begins with what sets you apart from global websites, your local physical address.
Define Your NAP - The Foundation of Every Local Ranking Factor
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number.
Many local businesses aren’t aware of NAP, so their local SEO crumbles and puts them in a huge ugly mess.
The goal is for you to secure all the windows, and seal up the leaks. Nail that down before you build backlinks, work on your citations, connect your website to the back door of Google, etc.
A consistent NAP is essential for successful local SEO. And it’s one heck of a powerful tool that turns your profits from trickling in, to an insane river flow of gains to your business… Consistently!
But first things first:
What is NAP?
NAP = (Business) Name, Address, Phone Number
And this time, you’re making your business known to Google by giving it your NAP.
The quickest way to get on any Google user’s bad side is by giving them a wrong number, an inaccurate address, sending them on a wild goose hunt to try and locate your business. That’s super uncool.
And it’ll hurt your business big time.
Inconsistencies on all 102 places you are cited online leave people confused, switching over to your competition, and that’s money flying over to the next guy instead of yours!
N is for (Business) Name
A is for Your Address
P is for Your Phone Number
As you go through this next step, jot down how Google finds and displays this information, you won’t have Google’s auto fixing when you do the other local SEO hacks later,
How to Get Your Business on Google - The First 2 Fast Wins for Ranking on Google
There are three places to get your business on Google, two of them are free and in order to get on those Google slots, you have to focus on Local SEO. The third place is with Google paid ads and paid Google verified.
Most of the clicks go to the local SEO sections, the free ones, of Google page one which is the organic ranking of your website and your Google My Business map listing.
The Google my business listing (GMB) is fast and easy to set up and we will do that first, then I will show you how to get your website to number one on the Google rankings for all of your local search queries.
How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
The first step to populating in the local map section of Google is to create a free Google My Business listing. Then you can optimize this free way to page one and take over one of the three places on Google’s page one of local search results.
Every local business should NEVER skip this one because it’s literally the missing piece that businesses who fail tend to overlook and disregard as a part of their local business SEO.
And really, there’s NO excuse to not do it.
It’s free and it helps you supercharge your presence on page one of Google.
It will walk you through the steps and you fill in the information as you have outlined it with your NAP.
Business Name is step 1.
Then Address, if you deliver or serve customers physically at their address, check the box I deliver goods and services to my customers and enter a radius you are willing to travel to your customers.
Next you will choose a category for your business, the primary industry that your business is in. The most simple way to choose this category is to type a few letters of your primary service and GMB will show you category results that match those letters.
Google will only allow verified local businesses to control a GMB listing. They do this in two ways, the most common is by mailing you a postcard with a verification code on it that you will enter to fully verify your Google my business account.
Add in your hours, add in a business description, fill out your listing, you can do all of this before you are fully verified. The verification process allows you to have more management of your listing, ex. Respond to reviews.
That number might be daunting but it’s super easy!
Here’s how to find your additional categories.
GMB Additional Categories - Rank for More Google Search Queries
There is an upgrade to your GMB listing that takes 2 minutes but no businesses are utilizing it.
Let’s get you ahead!
For example, you sell insurance, specify the kind of insurance you sell. There are tons of categories for you to choose and you want to add in the ones that are 100% relevant to the goods and services your business offers.
A completed category listing will look like this.
The goal is for you to populate your niche and include as many keywords as possible, depending on the kind of stuff you do, the products or services you offer.
Have More Than One Physical Location?
Go through this Google My Business process 2, 3, 10 times and create a Google my business listing for each physical location you are wanting to rank.
To get more reviews fast, you need to make leaving you a review super easy for your customers. You do this by creating a custom link that automatically pops a leave a Google review for your business on Google.
If your customers have to dig around Google to leave you a review, you will get less reviews.
How Do You Send a Direct Link to Get More Google Reviews?
[If your doing local SEO for clients or want to learn tricks to getting reviews for your business on autopilot, this free training is a must!]
You can check your SSL and HTTPS settings with a free SSL SEO Checker tool.
Most of the time all you need to do is tell your good hosting company to issue you a free SSL, change your default web address to include https, and install a free SSL WordPress plugin that will fix everything on every page of your website for you.
Simply go to your Thrive Settings in the analytics and scripts section and paste this code in the header scripts section.
Then you check your work using this Google tester just to be 100% sure you did it right.
If you are not currently on Thrive themes, you will need to consult your theme company or website platform to know how to input header script, you place this code in the same place you install scripts like Google analytics.
Your schema markup is a behind-the-scenes thing that you won’t see at all but Google will and puts you ahead of the other guys in the local SEO game.
Local SEO Contact Page Upgrade
Telling Google you are a local business with schema markup is the first way on your website, let’s get them another free and fast local SEO hack.
Embed a Google Map on your contact page!
You can put it on your homepage too, but the idea here is Google loves great user experience. If you wanted to contact a business, know where a business was located do you want to have to copy an address, put it in Google or just see at a glance where they are, their hours and phone number?
At a glance!
Give it to your website visitors, confirm to Google another way that you are a local business and embed a Google map on your contact page.
Easy to do!
Pull your business up on Google maps and click the share button.
Then click embed map and copy the html and paste it in on your contact page.
Two Places to Get Your Website Connected to Google
For Google to populate your website to searchers on Google. You have to ensure Google knows about you first.
You have to connect your website to the back door of Google and give them an easy and direct access to the content on your site.
The first one is to get Google Analytics on your website so you can know how your website traffic, pages, and posts are performing.
One more easy and fast win for your local SEO though, off page signals for Google to see.
What are Your Top 7 Local Citations Site List?
The goal of this Local SEO guide is to give you quick wins and set you up for long term success in your SEO.
Citations are a rabbit hole of time and overwhelm. But they have to be done, the importance varies in the industry, a recent deep dive by MOZ into local SEO’s say it is an over 10% local pack and organic ranking factor.
A citation is simply a backlink to your website and a mention of your Business Name, Address, and phone number on the internet.
The differientator in local SEO is address, included in a citation, and backlinks, especially from high authority websites, at this time always help rankings.
You get both from most citations, “mentions of your business” on the web and a backlink.
We are going to create a list of 7 for you to do first, and then later in the SEO strategy section add this citation work to your monthly marketing time to crush your SEO.
They offer a paid upgrade but you do not need it, all you need to do here is input your business name and zip code. This tool will run a quick check on your business, checking places like Facebook, Yelp, InfoGroup, City Search, and more.
Simply choose a few of these locations to knock out today and get some more quick wins for your rankings.
I use kwfinder for this task. It will cost you about $49 to use this tool but will make the work crazy efficient. There are many ways to find these google keywords that are free, it is a little slower going with free tools.
This video is a full course on how to find these keywords and using keyword research in your marketing.
Start a Silo - Get to 9 for Each Money Keyword FAST!
Next up, get a silo going. It’s a powerful way to dominate local searches… And fast!
How do you do this?
Write and publish 3-6 pages for the products or services you offer first, you likely already have these on your website.
One of these page examples from the keyword video above would be...
Lightweight Hiking Shoes
You want to create around 9 “sub pages, blogposts” of these main make money pages and link up to them within the content of those pages.
Without action, all of these things you have learned won’t work for ya.
So go forth and do the work, roll your sleeves, get on your computer, and make yourself proud. Apply these local SEO strategies you’ve just learned and hope to see you on the first page, and heck, maybe on #1 soon!
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Miles is a full time internet marketer who sells information products and a niche membership program with his wife, Melanie. Together they have created a lifestyle business that allows them true location independence and this blog where you get to see behind the scenes and see how they have built their online business from scratch.