Best Local SEO Agency – Affordable Services
What is Local SEO?
In the changing digital era, Local SEO has become more important for all physical business entities. It’s time to get noticed by online organic presence without investing a single penny.
The complete process of optimizing your online presence to attract more business from local relevant online searches. I have come up with a lot of quality stuff for you. Which is a blend of my experience and exposure for you?
Google Facts about Local SEO
According to a Media post,
- About 46% of all Google searches are local searches
- Nearly 56% of local retailers haven’t even claimed yet
- More than 52% of “near me” searches result in a local shop visit
- Between 25% to 35% are conversions into a lead
- As a traffic source, Local search crosses social media by nearly 300%
If you are not getting search visibility and customers from local search, then don’t worry. We are going to solve this problem right now with jam-packed Local SEO Services by SEO STRIKES. Click here
Local SEO General Ranking Factors 2020
Local Pack / Finder Ranking Factors:
1- Google My Business Signals: 21%
- Keyword in business title
2- Link Signals: 18%
- Inbound anchor text
- Linking domain authority
- Linking domain quantity
3- Review Signals: 15%
- Review quantity
- Review velocity
- Review diversity
4- On-Page Signals: 22%
- Presence of NAP
- Keywords in titles
- Domain authority
5- Citation Signals: 10%
- IYP/aggregator NAP consistency
- Citation volume
6- Behavioral Signals: 6%
- Click-through rate
- Mobile clicks to call
7- Personalization: 2%
8- Social Signals: 6%
- Google engagement
- Facebook engagement
- Twitter engagement
Some Local SEO definitions we need to know before any further activity:
Generally, it is known as Google My Business Listing. Your primary listing or business information at Google that is editable in the GMB dashboard and most important, publicly accessible at THREE locations,
- Google Search (The Knowledge Panel)
- Google Maps
- Local Finder
GMB Landing Page
The page that a GMB listing links to is a GMB landing page. Usually the homepage or a location page.
When we do a local search, Google picks the top 3 best results in a pack. As a result, the regular local 3-pack appears on the top page.
To the left of each result, a local 3-Pack appears as A, B, and C. we can see no review stars, counts, or ratings appear for this type. This special pack type is returned for branded terms, we say as “Starbucks” and, inexplicably, for storage and petrol or gas station terms.
When people search for eating or drinking, this result of local 3-pack appears for dining, hospitality, and entertainment terms. These results have a photo, no phone number, and no links to the website. It is to attract viewers by the photo to pick the suitable choice. Google is calculating its viewer’s choice.
When you click on “More Places” at the bottom of a local pack, you will have a list in front of you. It is a complete list of local search results.
Some local business entities do advertise on Google. Google gives them a priority for clicks. It appears as “Local Services” which is a paid lead generation program by Google. You can see its appearance at the top of local search results. Google knows the location setting and shows the paid-listed results first.
The Local SEO Survey 2019 is structured into five primary sections here:
- Thematic Ranking Signals
- Specific Ranking Factors in Finder and Local Organic Results/Local Pack
- Foundational vs Competitive Ranking Factors
- Factors Focusing on More and Factors Focusing on Less in the Past Years
- Negative Ranking Factors for Local Business
Now, let’s move on to understand the Local SEO process
Local SEO Process- Complete Guide
Now, we need to know the Local SEO Process by classification of organic searches. It tells the stats about local SEO.
Snack pack and below that are the typical organic search
- snack pack gets 33% of the search results page
- In organic search, it attracts 40% of search clicks
The bottom line is, it pays to rank on both spots which is where Local SEO comes in.
Google has an estimated 88% market share in the US, which means that most people are using Google to search for local businesses.
Interestingly, 65% of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business with a mobile site
For example, we have a coffee shop named “Times Coffee Shop”
Now let’s start Local SEO from step zero.
Mobile-Friendly Test by Google? Yes, it is important to check before any further action.
Is your page mobile-friendly?
Before going to have Local SEO, just check your mobile-friendly test by Google. If it’s passed then move ahead. If not, then make it possible to go forward.
Claim and Optimize your Google My Business Listing
- Go to google.com/busines
- Sign in to your google my business account
- Enter your NAP which stands for your Business Name, address, and Phone Numbers
Write the Name of Your Business
Important Point -1
Do you have a business with multiple locations? Or have you bought a franchise? Then, just type in the business name. You will see a list of businesses that are already registered in the Google database. Write your business name and click next.
Important Point -2
Avoid keyword stuffing by using your business name. So, don’t write something like “coffee shop in downtown-Times Coffee Shop”
It won’t help you rank, so don’t bother.
Next, we will Enter our Address
Now, since we are a coffee shop, we will have a physical location but if you are an independent service provider like a craftsman, photographer or technician, or work-from-home consultant then wait a minute!
It means your typical client meetings in their office or a coffee shop like high-speed coffee. If that’s the case, then you can enter your home address, select the “I deliver goods and services to my customers, then choose to hide your home address since it’s not a store or a shop.
Now, your business shows up in Google search, it’ll show the city and the province/state where you work from. Since that is not applied to our coffee shop so, move next
Pin the Marker on the Map
Google is pretty good with this, but you will want to examine the map and make sure it’s in the exact position where your office, store, or shop is located.
Just drag and drop it and click next when you are done.
As Google recommends that don’t add multiple categories to list all of your products and services instead you should focus on this statement that
My Business is a ………… Rather than My Business has a…
So, in this case of Times coffee, our business is a coffee shop, even though it has a virtual office space. Write a description and select the best one from the drop-down option.
Let’s go to the next
Enter your Website Complete Address and Phone Number
This step is to enter your phone number and website, which is pretty straightforward. This step is optional, but I would recommend including both.
Now, we need to finish off the process and verify the website, which can be done by phone or mail. Just follow Google’s instructions. Now, you’re about to create your “My Business Listing ” nicely. Your account will be active within a short time.
Here are some more important things for local optimization:
Important Local Optimization Things
You can click on the info menu in the sidebar, then you can click on the pin icon to edit different parts of your listing. So, if you want, you can add more categories relevant to your business, for example.
Another thing is to set your hours of operation, add specific URLs to important pages and add a description of your business and photos of your actual Location. Now, we have the foundation set up for Local SEO.
Let’s move onto the second step, which is decent Keywords research
Keywords Research for Local SEO
There are some other terms you’d love to rank for like,
- “Coffee shop near me”
- “Times coffee”
- “What time Times coffee open”
- “Times coffee phone number”
With these kinds of local search queries, Google pulls the information by Google My Business Listing. It also applies to local listings when searches contain the word time, where, phone number, location, distance, near me, etc.
If I type in Google “what time does metro close”, google will pull up in my vicinity and show the hours of operations for all locations on the map.
And if I specify a location or use a single location business, then we will see a quick answer box like this:
So, rather than going deeper into the “Snack Pack”, or Google Map Listings, We will be talking about keywords research for organic results.
SIL stands for “Service in Locations” in local SEO terms. As a coffee shop owner, I’d love to rank for queries like these:
- “Coffee shops in Toronto”
- “24/7 coffee shops in Toronto”
- “24 hours of coffee shops in Toronto”
- “Virtual office in Toronto”
And we’d want to rank for synonyms variations like:
- “Café in Toronto”
- “24/7 Café in Toronto”
- “24 hours Café in Toronto”
- “Virtual office in Toronto”
In general, a plumber might like to rank for:
- “Plumber in California”
- “Plumber in (a nearby city)”
Here are a few ways you can generate solid keywords ideas for your Business:
The first is to use Google autocomplete, I would love to take help from Google. Just type in the main query you want to rank for, and you will see a few good suggestions.
Google Autocomplete Suggestions
Use Google autocomplete source for more keyword ideas. Use it wisely according to your niche. For example, “Open 24 hours” can be good to understand what autocomplete suggests in addition to my query.
Interestingly, it is shown to the tourists and travelers only and the Google is fast enough to differentiate the user. So, think about the hidden aspect that usually we don’t.
For Local Service Providers
If you are in the service industry, then you can look at the Local Classified Sites like Craigslist. So, by searching their service category, use a seed keyword like “plumber”, and you will see some wonderful ideas here like “ experienced plumber”, “cheap plumber”, “best plumber”, and more.
Looking for the best Local SEO Keywords Research, and within an affordable budget? Read More…
But, my recommendations are to get your competitors’ ranking keywords. And, why this is so effective is because this is telling you which keywords you can easily rank for?
Quite simple to know the ranking secrets.
You can use a tool like Ahref site explorer for the best keywords research especially when we are talking about competitors’ keywords research. On the other hand, Moz has good stats for local keyword ideas, but I do recommend the first one.
You should have a solid list of keyword ideas now, so it’s time to move on to some on-page SEO.
On-page SEO for Local Business Website
If you are familiar with on-page SEO, then it will help you a lot. The typical on-page SEO best practices apply here. Most of the sites have high on-page SEO scores to rank at the top results.
For example, it can be advantageous to include your keywords in your H1 tag. Similarly, add your target keyword in the title tag, set the URL slug, and use short URLs. It is the best SEO practice.
But there are a few other things you should specifically do for local SEO. Now, these steps will vary depending on if you have a single location or have multiple locations. So, I‘ll cover both. You better choose the most suitable one.
Your homepage is your front face. So, the first thing you’ll do is optimize your homepage.
Local SEO Homepage Optimization
Your primary business location is your main office or your head office. In general, most single location entities optimize their homepage around their main (primary) location. My primary office is in Toronto based, so I would do it according to me. I would probably target keywords like:
“Coffee shop Toronto” rather than just “coffee shop”. It does matter.
Do you know why?
If you look at the organic keywords report for “Toronto coffee shop” in different SEO tools, you will find all ranking keywords revolve around the homepage.
Similarly, you can see that they rank in the “Snack Pack” for that keyword phrase. But, if I search just 30 miles away from downtown Toronto, you will see completely different results from the same keyword phrase we use.
So, here are few on-page optimization tips for your homepage.
Local SEO Homepage Optimization Tips:
First, show NAP information, which again is Name, Address, and Phone Number on the Home Page we added.
Use your website footer and add this. But, always do it if you operate from a single location as you can see in this example here. And, your name, address, and your phone number must match exactly. If it is not, try to be as close as possible to what you’ve submitted to Google My Business.
It is up to you to add your business testimonials or reviews and use Schema Markup for optimization.
Local SEO Schema Markup
Google loves some special arrangements to present your content in front of viewers. To make it more important, highlighted, and focused, Schema Markup is a code added to the websites. It improves the way search engines read and represent your page in the search engine results.
Take help from Google, use Google structured data markup helper. It will help you eliminate a whole mess of complicated HTML or CSS coding. Just select a data type.
So, in this case, we’d choose a local business. Next is to enter the URL of the page you want to mark up and just click the “start tagging” button.
Next, simply click on the elements that you want to tag. So, if you click on the logo there, you can set it to the name. Then, you will scroll down to the footer page. Add a few more markup elements. It’s a simple task.
So, there you can see that they have two phone numbers, so you’d want to choose the one that’s submitted in their “My Business Listing”.
And the last thing you will add is the address. Choose the correct field by selecting all the different parts of the business address. Do it carefully. Also, you will see that they include their address here but left their postal code out, so in this case, if I were this business, I would include that in the footer too.
Once you are done, you can click on the button “Create HTML” and a piece of code will come up which you add to your website.
Now, if you’re in multiple locations, then you’re exempt from the rule of optimizing your homepage around your primary location. And, by multiple locations, I’m not referring to a couple of brick and mortar shops 10 miles from each other, but bigger companies like hotels, or auto rentals where they might have many locations.
Instead of the home page, You would want to optimize local landing pages as well. By including the key elements like NAP, operating hours, and sprinkle in related keywords targeted at that location, optimize the landing page.
You may see how “auto rental” does it and pay attention to the URLs too as we go through this process. If you want to rent a 4×4 jeep in Canada, then you’ll start at their location directory where you need to select a state where you want to rent a 4×4 jeep.
Next, you’ll need to pick a city within that state. Then you’ll be brought down to the branch level.
Finally, you will see the local NAP information designed to convert visitors into potential customers.
Just scroll down, for this specific location, you’ll find the operating hours. And, if we look at the organic traffic for these four specific pages, that is good for them to earn well. Now, think that they all get a good amount of organic traffic on landing pages, yes, landing pages. Which I’m sure is quite profitable.
The Next Step is to build a Local Citation.
Local Citation Building
What is Local Citation?
The local citations, in simple words, are online mentions of your local business. It is your local appearance in local business directories.
There are two main types of citations:
- Structured Citation
- Unstructured Citation
Structured citations are mentions that include your NAP information and it’s usually presented in a visually-structured manner. I recommend this.
So this would include places like business directories and social profiles.
Unstructured citations are mentions of your business that don’t follow a structure. So, this might be in blog posts, preferred vendors pages on other websites. And, building local citations is highly important for you.
In A recent study by MOZ, citation signals were one of the top local ranking factors. It works at the same time for both results, i.e. Google’s “Snack Pack” results, and regular organic search results.
This likely due to having consistent NAP information from all over the web. It verifies the accuracy of data Google has in their My Business Listing.
On the other hand, the inconsistent NAP information can confuse or mislead both Google and potential customers.
So, your job is to make sure that your existing citations are correct and consistent. So, you need to build more relevant citations. The accuracy does matter.
To handle the first part, you need to perform a solid citation audit. More often than not, some of your citations will be incorrect and/or incomplete. And, you can run a quick search using MOZ local search tool. That is the best way I use it.
MOZ Local Search Tool
Go into the MOZ Local SEO. Just enter the name of your business, and choose one from the auto-select option from the best results. From there, you can see a breakdown of the complete, incomplete, inconsistent, and duplicate citations, which you can then manually be fixed.
Similarly, You can also use Google Search Operators which I won’t get into now. But, you can check out my other local SEO blog posts on this topic. Read SEO Local Audit.
After you have completed your audit, you’ll want to build more citations. Now, if you are a new business, I would start with a list of core structured citations.
Just choose a country, and you will see a list of places to add your mark. You can then branch out other relevant local directories like your local chamber of commerce. Similarly, find other local business associations and then expand to niche-specific websites.
Try TripAdvisor, HomeAdvisor, Findlaw, and more but relevant to your niche.
Another great place to find citation opportunities is to let your competitors do the work for you.
For more help, We will use Ahrefs site explorer. It’s the best method to be used. Do you know what? Yes, your competitors. Look up the home page URL of one of your competitors since most citations will lead to the homepage. Next, go to the anchor report, in there, you can use the search box for any of these keywords.
Common Citation Anchors
Common citation anchors are the common anchor text that you find in the local business directories. Which makes them easy citation opportunities. So, if I search for “website,” then I am going to click on “details” and “referring domains” then you’ll see a bunch of places where you can build both structured and unstructured citations.
Another hyper-effective tactic you can do is to use the “Link Intersect” tool.
In the top section, enter the name of a few of your organic search competitors. And, you can enter the domain bottom box which will exclude links that are already linking to your website, and run the search.
Now, when you’re looking through the results, just scan the given three specific columns and look for referring domains that link to at least a couple of your target websites.
In general, the more sites a domain links to, the better the chances of it being a legit place to create your citations.
With these citation hunting methods, it should be enough to keep you busy for a while. But we can’t stop here because we still need to build quality editorial links.
We are not yet finished without completing the 5th step.
Here, we still need to build quality editorial backlinks. According to Moz’s recent survey, link signals were the most ranking factor for the local organic results. For the local “snack pack” backlinks were the second most important factor.
Rather than focusing on a full-out backlinks building process, I want to leave you with two tried and true tactics that work.
Tactic No. 1
Create and Promote a Useful Resource
It is the first one to implement. In this case, a local resource related to your niche would be ideal. People are more willing to link to helpful articles over sales-based content like product and services pages. So, a couple of ideas would be to create local “best of” guides or content that would appeal to your target audience.
For example, we can create content on how to make the best cup of coffee in an Italian style? We can simply plug our products into it.
Tactic No. 2
Even though the guest posts normally come with a link back to your site. This is particularly important for people in the services industry. People want to hire professionals they can trust and know will do a good job.
And oftentimes, they’re willing to pay a premium to have the peace of mind that the job is going to be done right. And, you can look for local blogs that accept guest posts by googling any of these queries.
So looking for search results for “Toronto” “write for us”, you can see some very relevant local websites that are seeking writers. You can also do this in the content explorer to expand your list of potential guest posting prospects.
Now, we need to open the Ahref tool for further action. Just type a topic related to your niche. So, I will type “coffee beans” and I” ll also set the search to a little search for more relevant research.
Next, click on the “one article per domain” filter. Since we don’t need to contact the same website multiple times. Let’s scroll down a bit, you will see this post on the 12 best coffee beans to buy.
From here you can easily pitch yourself as a pro-barista that runs a café in Toronto. You must share some actionable and interesting insights on something like roasting beans. It is next to sell beans. A beautiful pitch can be more interesting for readers.
Making social profiles is very important. Keep Your GMB link where it is allowed. It is to make authority by creating backlinks for your sites. For more details about profile backlinks just go through my recent blog post about it here. It includes the efficacy and importance of local SEO.
The Last leaving some relevant comments on some relevant high DA blog posts is ranking support. Don’t forget the SEO stats that include the spam score, page rank, and niche relevance. For more details about blog commenting, just read my recent article about it. Click here
Community Awareness Back-linking
The high DA community gives solid no-follow and do-follow backlinks for ranking high in google. Read more about it here.
In the end, the last and final
Be connected and Updated
It is to take care of ongoing activities. Even though you set up Google My Business (GMB) and build a bunch of citations. These are all things that you want to have well-documented. In business, things change.
That might be you moving to a new location, changing your phone number, or even changing your business name. In this case, you would need to update all of your citations. So here are some important things to keep:
- Keep your Google My Business account active
- Consistently respond to customer and client reviews. This includes both positive and negative comments.
- Look out for inaccurate edits to your GMB listing
Anyone can click on “suggest an edit” on your GMB listing and sometimes Google will accept these suggestions without notice to you or the business owner. Scammers have even swapped phone numbers with legit businesses for a quick payday. So, it’s your job to ensure that your listings are up-to-date and correct all the time.
Finally, is to use Google posts to keep your customers informed and engaged. Google posts is a microblogging platform within Google My Business. And, all of these updates are visible in the knowledge panel and accessible with the click of a mouse.
This provides an opportunity to attract more attention to your listing, connect with your audience and ultimately boost conversion. You can create a Google Post from within Google My Business by going on the post’s menu.
Now, just click “write your post” and then add an image. You can write up to 300 words of text.
This is a great way to show your promotional offers or teasers for your blog posts. You can also choose a call-to-action button from a list of preset options to bump click-throughs.
It doesn’t take any more time than a tweet. And there is a ton of potential to garner attention. From Google searches. Now, we’ve covered a lot here, so what I recommend doing right now is putting these techniques into action. Stay connected for more Google My Business updates.