What is Local SEO?
You’re probably already familiar with SEO, so we won’t bore you with too many details. As you know, SEO is short for search engine optimization, and it’s the process of helping websites rank higher on Google and the other search engines.
But what about local SEO? Is there a difference?
The short answer is a resounding yes! While a general SEO strategy makes your website more visible on a national or global scale, the goal of local SEO is to ensure your site appears prominently in local search results. The gold standard of local SEO is appearing in the coveted Google 3-Pack, which gets 44% of all website clicks for local searches.
Given the differences between SEO and local SEO, the strategies for success are also unique. Local SEO requires a multi-pronged approach that includes having local information on your site, building backlinks, creating location pages, generating positive reviews, and having consistent name, address, and phone number placements.
What Makes Connective Local SEO Strategies So Effective?
We’ve been at this a long time, and over the years, our talented team has developed a comprehensive local SEO framework that is guaranteed to improve your rankings – fast.
There’s no question that research is a critical component of success, and where other agencies skimp on this service, we double down. Our research process involves internal and external research, where we get to know your business and your competitors’ businesses to identify opportunities.
We go beyond mere keyword research and do a deep dive into the minds of your target market. We want to know what words they type into Google and why? What problem are they trying to solve? What do they hope to accomplish with their search? How do we ensure that your website is the one they click on when they’re looking for the product or service that you offer?
Once we have a clear idea of what keywords and strategies will move the needle, we get to work.
Google Business Profile
Formerly referred to as GMB or Google My Business, your Google Business Profile is a key ranking factor for local SEO. By building out and optimizing your GBP, you’ll climb the ranks for local search results while also putting your best foot forward.
People trying to find local businesses around them are paying attention to your Google Business Profile, so you can bet we are always taking advantage of this low-hanging fruit.
Google uses more than 200 ranking factors to determine whether your website claims the top spot or plummets to the depths of the nether pages. Through years of testing and reverse engineering, we have the keys to the kingdom. The work we do to boost your site’s speed, ensure mobile responsiveness, and optimize the user experience will do wonders for your positioning.
As the saying goes, “content is king,” and we have the royal court of content marketers on our team. Creating bespoke content not only helps your local SEO, but it also works to build authority, connect with your customers, and provide them with value in advance.
It’s not unusual for our clients to become local celebrities due to the content we help them create (or create for them).
Ultimately, Google is interested in ranking sites that are useful and aligned with what people are searching for. One of the ways that Google knows your site is the real deal is by how many other websites link back to yours. After all, if your site wasn’t amazing, other businesses wouldn’t bother linking to it, right?
Tracking and Reporting
We operate under a model of full transparency, which means tracking and reporting our results. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though. As a data-driven company, we never make guesses about how well our local SEO services are performing. With a full suite of data and analytical tools, we can test, iterate, optimize, and keep improving while also giving you access to the same tools, so you will know just as much as we do how much your website’s rankings are improving. To infinity and beyond!
If you want to reach people in your service area, on-page optimization is non-negotiable. We ensure every page of your site, from your home page to your contact page, is optimized for geo-specific keywords. We also tackle other essential elements like meta descriptions, header tags, page titles, product and service pages, content, images, internal links, and code structure.
An often overlooked on-page optimization tactic is creating a series of location pages that include your primary location as well as surrounding cities, regions, and even neighborhoods. By having multiple location pages, you can get more exposure (and customers) in nearby areas.
Our SEO Process
When it comes to SEO, we are experts, and we don’t use that term lightly. As a self-motivated team, we are driven to keep learning. We figure out what works and keep learning and improving to help our clients achieve (and exceed) their business and revenue objectives.
While each of our clients gets a custom marketing strategy built specifically for them, we always follow a proven 7-phase plan to reach local market dominance.
Phase 1: Onboarding
We’re all ears as you tell us about your brand, your goals, and your competitors. During your initial consultation, we encourage you to tell us as much about your business as possible. The more information you provide, the better foundation we’ll have to begin building a winning local SEO strategy. You’ll be provided with a Discovery Questionnaire to share details about your business, and the more thoroughly you fill this out, the better.
From Phase 1, you’ll see firsthand how organized and methodical our team is. You’ll have a dedicated project manager who will create a series of tools that you’ll have access to, including asset storage, project tracking spreadsheets, a Gantt chart (for time management), and a project journal to measure our progress.
Phase 2: Research
Starting with the details you provided during Onboarding, we’ll get to work on research. This phase includes three critical processes:
- Learning about your target market
- Analyzing your competitors
- Identifying gaps and opportunities on your site that we can fix and leverage to get higher rankings
By the end of the research phase, we’ll have a detailed plan of action that is optimized for your specific geographic region and industry. From customer demographics and search intent to site structure and usability, you’ll be armed with a detailed roadmap that will take you from Point A to the apex of Google.
Phase 3: Technical SEO Fixes and Monitoring
Even a minor technical issue can kill your local SEO rankings, and it’s our job to take a proactive approach to identifying and fixing them before any permanent damage can be done. If your site does have errors (most do!), Google may be reluctant to put your site at the top for fear of compromising the searcher’s experience.
We have the knowledge and expertise to perform all of the fixes that affect your rankings, including URL paths, internal links, page speed, code, and other core web vitals that signal to Google that you have a site that deserves to be at the top.
Phase 4: Reporting and Analysis
With the right tools, it is possible to know what strategies are working, how your site is performing in search, and what you can do to improve. To supplement our data-driven approach, we’ve invested thousands of dollars in premium software that provides us with advanced insights and hidden opportunities to unlock even higher levels of rankings.
Using these tools, we can mine for additional opportunities that won’t be anywhere near your competitors’ radar. Our most valuable tools include Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Surfer SEO, and others (our competitors are reading this, so we have to keep a couple of things behind the curtain).
Phase 5: Monthly Content Creation
One of the most long-standing rules of content creation is that consistency is key. In fact, that rule can be applied to almost anything, but it’s especially relevant for content and boosting local SEO rankings.
We create a custom content calendar for each of our clients that may include blogging, content pages on your website, social media, press releases, video, podcasts, email campaigns, and user-generated content. Depending on your in-house resources and bandwidth, we can either support your content creation efforts or do the heavy lifting for you.
Many companies, especially small businesses, get overwhelmed by the task of content creation. We make it simple, and we’ll also track the results so you know what’s working and where to pivot.
Phase 6: Monthly Link Building
A consistent link building strategy is just as important as consistent content. The success of link building continues to build, and before long, a small pebble of snow will result in an avalanche of new traffic.
To create a solid backlink profile, we utilize both proven and cutting-edge white hat link building tactics, including guest posts, HARO, link extensions, skyscraper link building, and resource pages, to name a few. As the process continues, Google gets a wealth of signals from all of the sites linking back to you that you are the authority in your local market. The more quality backlinks you have, the higher you can climb.
Phase 7: Improve and Iterate
Fast results are common here at Connective, but we don’t rest on our laurels. Instead, we are constantly striving to improve our clients’ rankings. You’re number one for five keywords? Let’s double it!
By having a fanatical approach to data, we get real-time insights about how your site is performing in the local SEO landscape, and we move quickly to take advantage of new opportunities.
As a results-driven digital marketing agency, we know firsthand that rankings and traffic don’t automatically boost revenue. As we go, we’ll share the wins and discuss recommendations to maximize ROI.
What is Local SEO, and how does it differ from traditional SEO?
Local SEO optimizes a business’s online presence to attract more customers from relevant local searches. Unlike traditional SEO, which targets a broader, often global audience, local SEO is about increasing visibility in specific geographic areas, making it crucial for businesses with physical locations or those serving specific local markets.
How does Local SEO benefit small and local businesses?
Local SEO is essential for small and local businesses as it helps them compete with larger companies by targeting customers in their immediate area. It increases their visibility in local search results, making it easier for nearby customers to find and choose their services over non-local competitors.
Can Local SEO strategies help in ranking higher on Google Maps and local search results?
Effective Local SEO strategies can significantly improve a business’s ranking on Google Maps and local search results. This includes optimizing Google Business Profiles, ensuring NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) consistency across the web, gathering positive reviews, and creating locally relevant content.
What role do online reviews play in Local SEO?
Online reviews are a critical factor in Local SEO. Positive reviews not only enhance a business’s credibility and attract more customers but also contribute to higher rankings in local search results. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews is a key strategy in Local SEO.
How important is a Google Business Profile for Local SEO?
A Google Business Profile is vital for Local SEO as it directly influences a business’s visibility in local search results and Google Maps. A well-optimized profile with accurate information, regular updates, and customer reviews can significantly boost local search performance.
What are the key elements of a successful Local SEO strategy?
A successful Local SEO strategy includes:
- Optimizing for local keywords.
- Ensuring NAP consistency.
- Managing and responding to online reviews.
- Optimizing Google Business Profile.
- Building local backlinks.
- Creating locally relevant content.
Can local SEO help target specific neighborhoods or regions within a city?
Yes, Local SEO can be tailored to target specific neighborhoods or regions within a city. This involves creating location-specific pages on your website, using local keywords, and ensuring your business appears in local directories for those specific areas.
How often should a business update its Local SEO strategy?
A business should regularly review and update its Local SEO strategy to reflect changes in search engine algorithms, local market trends, and the evolving needs of its target audience. Regular updates ensure continued effectiveness and high rankings in local search results.
What are common challenges in Local SEO, and how can they be addressed?
Common challenges in Local SEO include maintaining NAP consistency across various platforms, managing online reviews, and staying updated with Google’s algorithm changes. These can be addressed by regular monitoring, engaging with customers online, and adapting strategies to align with current best practices.
When will we see results from a Local SEO strategy?
While we can often get quick wins for our clients, local SEO is a longer-term strategy that continues to build over time. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but most of our clients begin to see significant improvement within 90 days and substantial movement within approximately 180 days.