Local SEO has a lot of similarities with traditional SEO, but there are also some intricacies to take into account if you want to rank for local keywords. Fortunately, local markets are often much less competitive than larger international and non-regional keywords.

Claim your Business Listing in Google

The first thing that any local business should do is to claim their business listing in Google. This will allow the to appear in Google Maps and local Google searches. Without a business listing, you’re sacrificing potential visibility among people who are searching for services in your industry.

Claiming your listing only takes a few minutes and can be done here. By sharing more information about your business, you can attract customers who are searching on their PC’s or mobiles in the local area. This is particularly important for B2C companies that rely heavily on word of mouth and walk-in customers.

Include Local Locations in your Content

When you’re optimizing your website and content for keywords, you should ensure that you include local areas. For example; if you own a bakery in Toronto you should make sure that you’re using keywords like “bakery Toronto” and even more accurate locations in your content.

These keywords will help you to rank for region-specific keywords that will drive the most targeted traffic to your website. Ranking for “bakery” isn’t particularly valuable because the vast majority of searchers won’t be in your location. By including your city or town name in your content, you can increase visibility among local searchers.

Build Citations

Some of the easiest links that a local business can obtain are business citations. These are listings in local business directories, industry specific directories, and local resource pages.

They are incredibly easy to find and can help to increase the authority of your website which will help you to rank for more competitive keywords. To find these opportunities, you can search for phrases like:

  • industry + “location” + listing
  • industry location + business listings
  • business directory + “location.”

Of course, replace “industry” and “location” for your own terms i.e. bakery and Toronto or mechanic and Las Vegas.

Conduct an Appropriate Outreach Campaign

After you’ve acquired the easier links, you’ll have a hunger for more powerful links that can have a huge impact on your rankings. The best way to get these type of links is through outreach.

The first step in an outreach campaign is to brainstorm content and outreach ideas. You want to create a mind-blowing piece of content that you can share with other websites in your industry and surrounding industries. They will go ahead and link back to it, increasing your rankings.

Always keep in mind the group of sites that you’re going to reach out to. This will help you to come up with ideas that they respond better to, allowing you to earn more links.

Once you’ve come up with your idea, you can create the content. Make sure that it’s the absolute best piece of content that you can make. Create your graphics or videos, add in interactive elements and make it deep.

Now, it’s time to let the world know it exists. Find 100 websites in your niche and email them to let them know about the content and ask them if they would share it on their website.

Encourage Customers to Leave Online Reviews

Googles local business listings have hundreds of different ranking factors, and one of them is likely to be the quantity and quality of the reviews.

Google wants to give its searchers the best results and the best results will be the ones that give them exactly what they want as quickly as possible.

For example; somebody searching for a bakery in Toronto wants to find the top reviewed bakery, they don’t want to see one that everybody hated.

Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews, bribe them with free services or just ask the nicely once the transaction is complete.