How to do Local Business SEO in 2020

This is a detailed SEO strategy showing how to do local SEO for any local business. At the end of the post, you will be confident to rank your local business in Google, Bing, Apple Maps, and other local search engines.

This is the detailed Local SEO Checklist of 2020. You will learn

  • How to find local keywords
  • How to add Local Listing
  • How to optimize your local profiles
  • How to bring traffic from local listings.

Before we start let’s understand!

How to Do Local SEO?

The process is very simple and anyone can do it by applying best practices. I am going to show you a step by step process. Let’s begin.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is all about increasing organic traffic of location-based keywords. It is the process of creating local brand presence by finding local keywords, business listing, adding reviews and more.

Local SEO is must for the business-like

  1. Companies having multiple locations
  2. Hospitals
  3. Clothing store
  4. Grocery store
  5. Plumbers
  6. Electrician
  7. Marketing and IT Service company
  8. Beauty Spa & Saloon
  9. School / Colleges
  10. Hotels / Restaurants
  11. Travel Agent
  12. Teachers, Coaching Classes

In short, In today’s digital age, every local business requires a brand presence on the map.

Why is Local SEO Important?

Local searches have increased rapidly in the last 4 years. Study shows that 46% of keyword searches have local intent.

Keywords search for – Near Me, Best, address, phone number, reviews have increased.

IF you are a good brand and still not available on local listing chances are that your customer ends on your competitor business.

That is why it’s very important now in 2020 to create your own local listing and stay top of the searches.

How Does Local SEO Work?

Local SEO works similarly as general SEO does. The search process is the same, just the search intent and results are different. Google uses different ranking factors, let’s look at what works for local SEO. If you still don’t about what includes in SEO check our Learn SEO Fast guide.

  • Your Physical Location is counted while searching
  • Availability on Google My Business listing
  • Keywords used in Google My Business profile
  • Keywords in online reviews
  • Reviews Content
  • Ratings and “check-ins” at that location

So once you understand what’s working for local SEO it’s time to find top local keywords for your business.

Understand the Local Results

Let’s search the keyword “ dental clinic in Adajan surat “ we get the below results

Local Organic Results

The local Search Results page is divided into 3 parts

Map Listing: Showing all the popular map listings related to that search term.

Local Business Listing: Local companies that rank high compared to other listings.

Organic Ranking: It starts appearing once the local business listing finishes.

Now you see that a local business listing is almost a conversion point, where your customers can read your reviews, they can ask for direction and even they can call your business.

Now Let’s Start optimizing for local SEO

Local Keyword Research

Either you are creating an SEO strategy for a local business or internal business keyword selection plays a major role, I can say your 50% success depends on the right keyword targeting.

Here is the method I follow while searching location-based keywords Take Example of  VJSEOMarketing – Our Company [ Keywords might be ]

  • Local SEO Expert in Surat
  • SEO Company near me
  • VJ SEO Marketing phone number
  • VJSEOMarketing address
  • VJ SEO marketing company reviews

There are lots of variations possible based on your business.
Start with Google Suggestion

Just search for a keyword in google and it will start showing suggestions. Note Down the keywords.

Local Keyword suggestion

Use the Keyword Research tool

There are many tools available that show keywords. Just use this tool to find your business related keywords. You can try tools like

  • Use Ubersuggest
  • Keyword planner
  • SEMrush
  • Ahref

Google My Business Listing

When it comes to local ranking, GMB plays a major role. Google uses listings in google my business listing is a top-ranking signal. So that’s why it’s very important that you create your listing on google.

How to create a Local listing in Google?

There are two options. Either your business is already available on Google or you need to create new. If the listing is already showing and you don’t have rights then just claim that business. Or Else register a new one.

To start visit https://business.google.com/create and search for your business name. To set up you need to follow the below steps.

Step 1: Enter Your Business Name

Search for your company name, If you didn’t find any listing just Start by adding your business name. 

Always use your Company name only, do not add any keywords in the name. As it’s against the Google guidelines.

Step 2. Enter Your Address

If you are running a local clothing shop, Hospital or Restaurant it’s easy to add the physical location. Just add the correct address and it’s done. 

Make sure the address is accurate as Google will send a postcard with verification code after that you can verify.

Suggestion:  Always use the accurate and same address on the website, All local listing. I advise that you make a spreadsheet and just do copy paste for all the future citation building.

Step 3. Pin Your Exact Location

Here the option will show you with a marker to link the exact location. 

Step 4: Select Relevant Categories

Once you start typing a related service or product, Google starts showing you some suggestions. Just select the best category that best describes your company.

If you don’t know the category just search your competitor keywords and check the listing. Just add the same primary category that your competitor is using. 

Step 5. Enter Your Phone Number and Website

Once you add the detailed information it’s time to add the phone number and website. Always consistent with the contact details.

Step 6. Verify Your Listing

Once you complete all the details it’s time to verify the listing. Once you finish it will provide you two options to verify either you will get an option to verify from the phone number or Google will send a postcard.

Step 7: Additional Google My Business Optimization

Once you verify your listing don’t stop there. There are lots of other factors available that you need to fix to get a higher ranking. Some of the additional optimization include.

  • Adding relevant categories
  • Add Your shop, Premises photos
  • Add opening and closing hours
  • List your services
  • Write a detailed introduction about your company
  • Add another contact number
  • Weekly or daily update new products, offers, events.

Optimizing all the above details will bring more visibility.

Local Citations (NAP)

Local citations or NAP plays a major role in showing relevance. According to Moz It also acts as a Local ranking signal. 

What is NAP?: NAP means – Name, Address, Phone Number

There are lots of websites available that provide local business listings. It’s very important that you keep a consistent name, address and phone number on all the websites.

Local Citations Audit: 

Do the audit of your business with tools or by doing manual searches. Identify the website that has the wrong NAP and fix it with accurate details.

Build New Citations

Identify niche-related local business listing websites and create new listings. This will not only improve your website domain authority, but it also increases your local ranking.

ON-Page SEO

Here it also applies the general on-page SEO rules. If you don’t know what include in on-page SEO, Just check our detailed On-page SEO checklist. You need to focus on

  • Adding keyword in URL
  • Adding keyword in Title
  • Adding the targeted keyword in the description
  • Keywords in H1, H2, H3
  • Page speed, Mobile-friendliness

If your business is focusing purely on local cities, then your site architecture plays a major role. I suggest you create your URL structure like

Example 1 –  Yourbusiness.com/location/service-or-product/

Here we are only targeting specific countries only

Example 2 –  Yourbusiness.com/service/india/gujarat/surat

Here we are only targeting specific cities.

Also, optimize the content and add relevant local keywords.

Link Building

When you are focusing on link building campaigns for a local business, it’s very easy to acquire new links, reasons are

  • You are local and have some brand presence.
  • There are lots of scopes to explore locally

So how can you do a local link building? Here are a few ways.

  1. Create an Event guidepost that covers all events in your city. This will be mostly shared by the local peoples and you will get maximum links.
  2. Invite a local influencer to your store or place and give an interview.
  3. Create a social event at your place and invite the media.
  4. Discuss the best places in your city.
  5. Do Guest posts on local websites.

Reviews Ratings & Maintenance in Local SEO

SEO is an ongoing practice and most of the time owners and marketers quit putting regular efforts. They think that once we get the ranking it remains forever. That is the biggest mistake that we should avoid and keep focusing on.

Reviews and Ratings

Keep the habit of taking reviews from your customers. Either you can provide customers with extra discounts. The best practice is to provide the best service and experience that they share in the review.

Additionally, reviews will help you to increase more customers. It also improves your business credibility, trust, and conversions.

Understanding Review Guidelines

There are several guidelines provided by google regarding reviews. Here are a few major that I would like to highlight.

  • Do not post the same place review with multiple accounts.
  • Do not repeat the same content everywhere
  • Don’t write out of topic review for the place.
  • Avoid spam review

Responding to Reviews & Questions

Always respond back to reviews left by the consumer, whether it was positive or negative. This will give a strong signal to Google that you care for your customers and gives you higher visibility.

Keep Updating Post Regularly

Use the post feature to share regular updates.

Conclusion – Local SEO Campaign

Local SEO is a must-have for a small to large organization. It not only brings additional traffic but a medium to generate direct leads.

So do, Not avoid it and keep improving your business Local SEO.