One question I get asked a lot is “how is local SEO different from regular SEO?” And my answer is always the same.
Search engine optimization is a broad umbrella of activities you can perform to help your website rank in organic search. Underneath this umbrella, you’ll find content creation (blogging), link building, local SEO, technical audits, and more.
Think of local SEO as a specialized part of the SEO umbrella. Its goal is similar: to rank highly in local searches for what your company provides. But its very specific to ranking in Google’s Map Pack for keywords that pertain to your business.
Local SEO & COVID-19
Local SEO (search engine optimization) has become more important than ever as local businesses attempt to get new business during the COVID-19 pandemic. As more potential customers in your area turn to local search during the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have a presence in local search engine results.
Most importantly, you should aim to be at the top of the search so that you’re not overlooked.
Google understands the importance of its role in helping small businesses succeed (after all, most of the world uses Google to search for most things – especially local goods and services). As such, they launched a series of features to help businesses update their information. This list was pulled directly from Google my Business Help.
- Your adjusted hours of operation, for instance if you close early
- Add “More hours” that describe other business operations such as delivery, takeout, and drive-through
- Select an attribute to show you offer online services such as classes, appointments, or estimates
- Delays on specific business services
- Extra services you are providing for the community
- If your business is “Temporarily closed”
Tips for Building a Local SEO Strategy
Now that you understand a little bit more about local SEO and what it is, I’m going to break down some tips for building an effective local SEO strategy.
Tip 1: Claim Your Google My Business & Bing Places for Business Listings
If you have not claimed your Google My Business listings yet, that is the first place you need to start.
Claiming and verifying your business in Google My Business is the first step to take to ensure you’re showing in the Google Map Pack. Claiming and verifying is easy to do. The below image is the Google Map Pack for the search “pizza place Bonita Springs.” (PS: Grandpa’s Pizza is the best NY style pizza you will find in SWFL.)
Once you claim your Google My Business listing, move on to claim your Bing Places for Business listing. You may be wondering “why Bing?” Bing is important because there are several voice searches that use the Bing network to pull results from. Also, you are able to sync your Google and Bing profiles, so it makes it easier in the long run to manage both.
Tip 2: Plan to Keep your Information Updated
Think of your Google My Business as a new social network to manage. It is not as intense as Facebook or Instagram, but you have the ability to post content to it to show you’re active. Google usually favors listings that post regularly.
Also, make sure you update your hours. Your business hours might be “set it and forget it,” but also ensure you’re updating your holiday hours as well.
Tip 3: Ensure your Name, Address, and Phone Number are Consistent
Any SEO expert you talk to will bring up your “NAP” when discussing local SEO. NAP refers to your name, address, and phone number.
You will want to make sure that this information is consistent across your Google My Business listing, your website, your Bing Places for Business listing, and other online directories.
Tip 4: Ask for Reviews!
Reviews, reviews, reviews. The importance of reviews in your local SEO strategy is mission critical. Reviews on your listings help to establish you as a credible resource for whatever goods or services you are providing.
Also, don’t be discouraged by a negative review here and there. Negative reviews and opinions are a natural part of the business process, and the most important thing you can do is reply to his/her concerns and supply some contact information should they want to contact you with further complaints.
Hire a Florida Local SEO Company
Atilus is an internet marketing agency that has been in business since 2005. We understand local SEO and all that it entails, making us the perfect fit to do a great job with your local SEO efforts.
We offer marketing services in the form of SEO packages, and we also offer:
- Website design
- Google Ads (PPC)
- Reputation management
- Social media
- SEO campaigns
- Email marketing
I hope you found this article helpful! Feel free to give us a call at (239) 362-1271 to learn more about our local SEO services.