Local SEO: The Complete Guide to Local Rankings

Local SEO Guide
Local SEO Guide

Find out in this article what it is and how to do local SEO to attract more customers and visibility to your business!

The search for Mobile is a global trend and Google revealed that  86% of smartphone users do shopping search using the device.

Google also reinforced the importance of mobile in organic search, punishing sites that do not adapt to responsive web design.

Among the many changes caused by new trends, one of them stands out: the importance of local SEO.

This strategy allows small and midsize businesses to be found in a simple Google search based on the local search algorithm.

For you to understand more about this universe, we will work on the following points:

Good reading!

What is local SEO?

The SEO, Search Engine Optimization, is the page optimization of the site and the domain as a whole to achieve organic positioning in search engines.

The strategy has been used for years by companies of different segments and sizes to improve page rankings on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others and increase site traffic and sales.

What then would be local SEO?

Local SEO is a strategy that targets other optimization alternatives to allow the user to find a solution near their location and thus have easier access to the service or product they are searching for.

For example, if you search for “Japanese restaurant” on your smartphone, Google understands that you are looking for a result near you that you can contact immediately and have the issue resolved, and you can get there quickly. .

To do so, it displays the results of the nearest Japanese food restaurants according to their location at the time of the search.

Local SEO also works when the user performs a “Japanese restaurant in freedom” search and will display the most relevant search results, even if the location is currently different.

This way, we can understand local SEO as an attempt by search engines to deliver more accurate and relevant results to the user.

But how can strategy interfere with a company’s Digital Marketing plan ?

What are the benefits of local SEO?

The initial goal of local SEO is to be advantageous and practical for users, however, many companies can benefit from the solution.

Especially SMEs that find in this alternative a possibility to compete directly with larger companies.

They need to do so if they perform local optimization correctly and take Google algorithm updates into account.

Benefits of local search for smaller businesses include:

Attract a new audience

Local SEO allows you to attract potential customers who are close to the business but not yet aware of it, such as tourists.

By researching and finding the close, well-rated business with all the accessible information, the first impression is already positive.

Increase in sales

With more people finding the business by searching on their smartphones, so do the opportunities for sales growth.

Customer loyalty

Good service and quality in the service or product offered are essential to building customer loyalty through a local search.

Loyal customers make spontaneous advertising, so prioritize the quality of service and encourage positive reviews.

Most relevant online presence

Being between organic and local search results is critical to increasing user confidence in the business and adding value to the business image.

Local SEO offers several advantages for businesses in different areas and since Google’s “Pigeon” update, this kind of specification has gained more weight and allowed local businesses to stand out in search results.

In order for the company to be prominent among the results, however, it is critical that it follows a number of good practices related to local SEO, using relevant keywords and other solutions so that search engines understand what real relevance of the site to that search.

How to leverage this Digital Marketing strategy?

Like any Digital Marketing strategy, it is necessary to properly work with local SEO so that it delivers the expected results.

Professionals working in the area for some years point out that the search trends are that they become more local, directly impacting companies that have this concern – and also those that have not yet developed specific strategies.

Some tactics are almost unanimous among the experts, and we separate those that have shown the best results.

Citation of local NET

The acronym NET references the three essential information about the business: name, address and telephone.

This is the first information that should appear to the user who performs the search because he will have the option to contact or go to the location if desired.

According to an Inside survey, 41% of companies that have inconsistent NEP data have trouble ranking pages locally.

NET should appear on all pages of the site, in case the user is browsing, and also as a direct result in the search engines.

In the first case, it is usual for this contact data to be in the fixed footer, in the second case the information can be added from Google My Business.

This data should not be added in image format as this will prevent the searcher from identifying it, it must also contain the area code in order to relate it to a location.

Positive local ratings

One of the first elements that are observed when doing research for hiring a service or product is the evaluation of other consumers .

It is critical to leave this option enabled so that users can rate and comment on the business.

If the ratings are bad, use this feedback to investigate what needs to be improved and invite loyal customers to do the reviews.

Disabling the trial box will give the impression that the company has something to hide and prevents the business from benefiting from the experience of other consumers who enjoyed the experience.

In addition to the rating option that appears directly in searches as part of Google My Business information, a number of searches result in review sites or guides such as TripAdvisor, Guide of the Week, and local guides.

To appear in the results for these searches it is essential to optimize the listings in these local directories and keep the information correct, as it is common to have incorrect and outdated data in these directories.

Google My Business

As we have already understood, Google My Business is essential to a local SEO strategy, so if you don’t have your business listed yet, get started now !

Once you sign up for the Google service, a number of features can be leveraged to optimize your site’s placement and make it more relevant to search engines and especially the user.

Some of the configuration care that can be highlighted include:

  • add a business description of more than 400 words, preferably with relevant links and terms;
  • include the business in the appropriate categories;
  • upload a variety of good quality photos, including a high-resolution profile photo;
  • add business hours;
  • fill in the basic information correctly: name, address and phone number;
  • enable the ratings and comments option for customers.

With correctly filled Google My Business information, the chances of getting good local search results are growing considerably and providing the information in a more interesting and intuitive way for the user.

Responsive site

When talking about local SEO the responsive website is the foundation of the whole strategy.

With mobile searches increasing exponentially and Google updating its algorithm to value this aspect, it is imperative that the user can access the site from any device.

Remember that a truly responsive site is otherwise organized on mobile to provide the most relevant information to the user without impairing navigability and intuitiveness in the process.

Company data must remain accessible and images must be configured to meet this demand.

Local SEO on Pages

Local SEO requires some efforts similar to  traditional SEO On-Page when it comes to page optimization.

The most recurring tactics may already be known, but it is important to reinforce that if the goal is to be found locally, it is interesting to make local references to the content being produced.

You can cite the city or region in relevant aspects of the page, such as: page title, URL, image alt title, etc.

Local Content Marketing

Finally, relevance in a city or region is built on this subject.

Not through facts of the city, but content can be created presenting the main tourist attractions of the region, talk about the tour options, indicate typical regional events, among others.

In addition to content created for your own blog , backlinks and social networks remain relevant to this type of SEO.

According to a Moz survey , local backlinks influence positioning by 18.3%, while social networks influence 5.8%.

This shows that even locally, worrying about traditional strategies is critical.

To assist in the development of a publication that is more focused on Google’s local business requirements, it is possible to use plugins such as Yoast SEO and local Yoast SEO, among other tools that assist in the process.

When to invest in local SEO?

Following this series of tips and benefits about local SEO, the reader may wonder whether or not the strategy would be relevant to the company in which they work.

A good way to reflect on this is to think about how many customers close to the business have been positively impacted.

If this is not an audience that has been gaining attention in the Digital Marketing strategy, it may be time to rethink online performance.

Stagnant sales may also indicate that the company is not adequately exploiting its potential with potential customers who are close to the business but do not yet know it.

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