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How to create a killer local SEO strategy for your business

Tiffany Simkins

The term SEO often fills people with fear. You know it’s essential for marketing your business, but actually implementing search engine optimization best practices can feel overwhelming. 

The key is to think locally. Local SEO strategies have a great return on investment for businesses, and the processes for implementing them are more straightforward than you think. 

In this post, we’ll look at how you can create a killer local SEO strategy for your business using Google My Business and local website landing pages. 

Google My Business

As social media platforms go, Google My Business is often overlooked. But don’t be fooled – Google My Business is a powerful tool, especially when it comes to local SEO. 

Think of your Google My Business profile as your new homepage on a Google search result page  – because that’s how Google (you know, the ones who decide on your search rankings) will see it.

So, how do you optimize your Google My Business profile? The first thing to do is ensure you a) have a profile and b) that your profile is completed in full, with the most critical elements being your NAP (name, address, phone). 

Your completed profile will help your organization appear for both branded searches (searches for your business name) and some non-branded searches (any search that isn’t for your business name and the one which offers the biggest opportunity for growth).

You’ll want to ensure any references to your NAP throughout the web – also known as citations – are consistent. Citation building helps Google cross-reference data on the internet with your Google My Business listing.

There are three main types of citations: 

  • Key sites –  directories and social media platforms, like Facebook, Yelp, Yellow Pages and FourSquare
  • Core search engines – search engine companies like Google, Bing & Apple
  • Primary data aggregators – big data providers like Factual (part of Foursquare), Data Axle (previously Infogroup) and Acxiom

Citations are a great place to start, but they’re just the first step in your local SEO journey.  You’ll then need to move onto social signals (engagement on Google, Facebook, Twitter), content development, and personalization and differentiation from your competitors to maximize your local SEO performance.

One thing not to overlook is your Yelp profile. It might seem like a less critical platform, but this crowd-sourced review site packs a powerful punch when it comes to local SEO. The data on your Yelp profile doesn’t just sit on the site; it’s shared with Apple Maps & Siri, Alexa voice-controlled search, Yelp-powered desktop searches on Bing and Yahoo, vehicle in-dash and more. The data from your Yelp profile is also used by Google My Business, as well as home services businesses, restaurants, and the hospitality sector.

Local website landing pages

OK, so you’ve got your citations looking sharp. Way to go! What’s next?

The next step to building your local SEO profile is to create local landing pages for each of the markets you operate in. These pages are hyper-targeted to each location, including references to the location throughout the page, in the URL, body copy, H1 and more. 

A well-constructed local landing page will help you rank more highly for local search results. This means you can have your local landing page and your Google My Business profile rank highly for the same local search query.

This strategy is incredibly powerful for network, multi-location and franchise businesses and can also help companies that want to grow outside of their traditional business areas.

How to get started

OK, so you’re convinced local SEO is the way to go for your business. But how do you ensure you’ve got the right tools and skills in place to get the job done? Our team of search experts can help you create a killer local SEO strategy tailored to your industry and market, to help drive more quality organic traffic to your site. Get in touch with Creative Guild today to find out more.