How to Do Local SEO – Complete A-Z Tutorial

Fact forty six percent of all Google searches are local. Yet fifty six percent of local retailers haven’t even claimed their Google my business listing. If you’re not gaining visibility and customers from local search, then you and I, we are going to solve that problem right now with the jam packed local store.

So I’ve got quite a complete tutorial for you on how to do local SEO. So even if you’re just starting out, this video should simplify the process for you quite nicely and help you gain visibility in local search. Let’s dove right in. So first, what is local? It’s the process of optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. For example, if I type in Best Mexican restaurant Tranel, you’ll see that the top of the search results are dominated by a box of local listings on Google Maps, which is called a snack pack. And below that are your typical organic search results. It’s super important that you can gain position in the snack pack because they generate thirty three percent of clicks on the search results page. But it’s equally important to rank in the organic search results since they attract 40 percent of clicks. So bottom line, it pays to maintain those spots, which is where Local SEO comes in. Now Google has an estimated eighty seven percent market share in the US, which means that most people are using Google to search for local businesses. So in this tutorial, we’ll be focusing on local SEO in Google only.

Now let’s get on the same page and draw out an example scenario. Let’s say that I’m opening up a new coffee shop in downtown Toronto for cool, hardworking people like CEOs and entrepreneurs will be open. Twenty four seven because our target audience tends to work around the clock. And of course there will be fiber Internet because there’s nothing more frustrating than slow public Wi-Fi to differentiate ourselves from other coffee shops and build some nice recurring revenue. We’ll be offering virtual office services for a set monthly fee, which includes bottomless coffee, your own private cubicle and incoming mail service. I’m invested in this concept. I’ve dropped a lot of coin, but no one knows about my business because they’re finding other coffee shops like this in Google search. All right. So we’re going to start with step zero. And it’s something all local businesses need to do. And that’s to ensure your website is optimized for mobile. According to Bright local study. Sixty one percent of mobile users are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile site. You can use Google’s mobile friendly test just entering your domain or your URL. And shortly after, Google will tell you whether your page is mobile friendly or if it’s not on to step one. And that’s the claim. And optimize your Google my business listing. This is arguably the most important part of local SEO and it’s actually quite easy to do. Just go to Google dot com business sign into your Google account and the first thing you’ll need to do is enter in your net, which stands for name, address and phone number. If you have a business with multiple locations or you purchase the franchise, then you can start typing in the business name and you’ll see a list of businesses that are already registered in Google’s database. My coffee shop is called High Speed Coffee, so that’s all right. And click next, it’s important to know that your business name is not meant for keyword stuffing, so I wouldn’t write something like Coffee Shop downtown Toronto. Twenty four seven high speed coffee. It’s not going to help you rank, so don’t bother. Next, enter in our address. Now, since we’re a coffee shop, we’ll obviously have a physical location. But if you’re an independent service provider like a photographer or a work from home consultant, then your typical client meetings might happen in their office or in a coffee shop like high speed coffee. If that’s the case, then you can enter in your home address. Selecta. I deliver goods and services to my customers, then choose to hide your address since it’s not a store. Now, when your business shows up in Google search, it’ll just show the city and province state where you work from.

Since that doesn’t apply to our business, let’s move on to the next step, which is the pin, the marker on the map. Google’s pretty good with this, but you’ll want to examine the map and make sure it’s in the exact position where store is located. Just drag and drop it and click next. When you’re done, as Google recommends, don’t add multiple categories to list all of your products and services. Instead, you should focus on this statement. My business is up rather than my business has done so. In the case of high speed coffee, our business is a coffee shop, even though it has a virtual office space to start typing in a description and select the most appropriate one from the dropdown. Let’s go to the next step, which is to enter in your phone number and website, which is pretty straightforward. This step is optional, but I recommend including both. Now we’ll need to finish off the process and verify the website which can be done by phone or mail. You just need to follow the instructions from Google. In your mind, business listings should be active in no time. Before you continue, you should add a few more optimizations to your listing. You can click on the info menu. The sidebar, then you can click on the Pentagon to edit different parts of your listing so you could add more relevant categories, for example. Other things you should do is to set your hours of operation at specific URLs to important pages and a description of your business and photos of your actual location. Now that we have the foundation set up for local ASIO, let’s move on to step two, which do some keyword research. There’s some obvious terms you’d want to rank for, like a coffee shop near me. High speed coffee. What time does high speed coffee open or close and high speed coffee phone number? With these kinds of local search queries, Google pulls the information from the Google my business listing. For example, if I type in what time does Starbucks close Google pull up the Starbucks 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 you’ll see a quick answer box like this, which is pulled directly from Google my business. So rather than going deeper into the snack pack or Google Maps listings, we’ll be talking about Cuba research for the organic search results.

First, we need to brainstorm your sales, which stands for service in locations as a coffee shop and want to rank for queries like these coffee shops in Toronto. Twenty four, seven coffee shops in Toronto. Twenty four hour coffee shops in Toronto, virtual office in Toronto. And we want to rank four synonymous variations like CAFE in Toronto. A photographer, on the other hand, might want to rent for a photographer in Toronto or photographer in a nearby city. Here are a few ways you can generate solid keyword ideas. First, use Google’s autocomplete. Just type in the main pour you want to rank for it. You’ll see a few good suggestions here, like the late Financial District and Toronto, Canada, which may likely come from tourists or travelers. If you’re in the services industry, then you can look at local classified sites like Craigslist. So I can search in the services category and use a keyword like photographer. And you’ll see some cool ideas here, like experienced freelance engagements shoot and more. But in my opinion, the absolute best place is to find the keywords that your competitors are already ranking for. And the reason why this is so effective is because this is basically telling you which keywords that you can also rank for. You can use a tool like H.F. site, explore and enter the domain of one of your search competitors. Next, go to the Organic Keywords report and this report will show you all of the search queries that the domain is ranking for. You’ll see that their ranking for a lot of random queries so you can use the exclude box and type in the brand name, which will give you a nice list of relevant keywords to Target in. Just from a quick scan of this list, there are a couple of keywords that I would have never thought of, like coffee places near me and coffee shop near Eaton Center, which is a large mall in downtown Toronto. You should have a solid list of keyword ideas now, so it’s time to move on to some on. So if you’re familiar with SEO, then you’ll find that a lot of the typical on page SEO best practices apply here. For example, it can be advantageous to include your keyword in your H1 tag as your target, keyword in the title tag. Set the URL slug to your keyword and use short your URLs. But there are a few other things you should specifically do for local SEO. Now these optimizations will vary depending on if you have a single location versus multiple locations, so I’ll cover both. The first thing you’ll want to do is optimize your home page. In general, most single location businesses should optimize their home page around their primary location.

So as a Toronto based coffee shop, I would probably target keywords like Coffee Shop Toronto rather than just coffee shop. Here’s why. If you look at the organic keywords report for that Toronto coffee shop we were looking at before, you’ll see that nearly all of their keyword rankings revolve around their home page. And you can see that they rank in the snack pack for that keyword phrase. But if I do a search just 30 miles away from downtown Toronto, you’ll see completely different results for the same keyword phrase. So here are a few on page optimization tips for your home page. First show net information, which again is name, address and phone number on the home page. In fact, you can add this to the footer of your entire website. If you operate from a single location, as you can see in this example here, and it’s absolutely critical that your name, address and phone number match exactly or as close as possible to what you’ve submitted to Google my business. You can also add testimonials or reviews of your business here and you schema markup, which we’re going to attack right now. Schema markup is code that you add to your website to improve the way search engines read and represent your page. In the search engine results, you can use Google structured data markup helper to eliminate a whole mess of complicated coding. Just select a data type. So in this case, we choose local businesses. Then entering the URL of the page, you want to markup and click the start tagging button next. Just click on the elements that you want to test. So if I click on the logo here, I can send it to the name. Then I’ll scroll down to the bottom of the page and add a few more markup elements. So here you can see that they have two phone numbers. So you’d want to choose the one that submitted in there. My business listing in. The last thing I’ll add is the address you would need to select all of the different parts of the address and choose the correct field. Also, you’ll 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 foot or two. Once you’re done, you can click on this button and a piece of code will come up, which you can add to your website. Now, if you’re a business that has 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 car rentals where they might have hundreds or even thousands of locations instead of the home page, you’d want to optimize local landing pages by including key elements like the locations, net operating hours and sprinkle and related keywords targeted at that location.

Let me show you how enterprise car rental does it and pay attention to you or else to as we go through this process. If you want to rent a car in the US, then you’ll start at their location directory where you need to select a state where you want to rent a car. Next, you’ll need to pick a city within that state. Then you’ll be brought down to the branch level. Finally, you’ll see the local map information that’s actually designed to convert visitors into customers scrolling down. You’ll see the operating hours for this specific location. And if we look at the organic traffic for these four pages, you’ll see that they all get a good amount of targeted search traffic on landing pages, which I’m sure is quite profitable. The next step is to build local citations and citations are online mentions of your business. There are two main types of citations. They’re structured and unstructured. Structured citations are mentions that include your nap information and it’s usually presented in a visually structured manner. 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 or on other websites. And building local citations is super important. According to a twenty seventeen study done by MOZE Citation, signals were one of the top local ranking factors, which was true for both Google snack pack results and regular organic search results. And this is likely due to having consistent nap information from all over the Web, which verifies that the data Google has in there, my business listing is accurate. On the other hand, inconsistent app information can confuse or mislead both Google and potential customers. So your job is twofold. First, you need to make sure that your existing citations are correct and consistent. And second, you need to build more relevant citations. So to handle the first part, you need to perform a citation. Or more often than not, some of your citations will be incorrect and or incomplete. And you can run a quick search using Mozes local search tool. Just enter in the name of your business and choose one from the auto select options. From the best results from here, you can see a breakdown of the complete, incomplete, inconsistent and duplicate citations which you can then manually fix. You can also do a manual audit using Google search operators, which I won’t get into now. But you can check out our local blog post the links in the description. After you’ve completed your audit, you’ll want to build more citations now if you’re a new business, I would start with a list of core structured citations. Weisbach Gutsier has a great resource on place to build these structured citations, which I’ll leave a link to in the description. Just choose a country and you’ll see a list of places to agama. You can then branch out to other relevant local directories like your local Chamber of Commerce, other local business associations, and then expand to niche specific websites like TripAdvisor, Home Advisor, Findlaw and more. Another great place is to find citation opportunities is to let your competitors do the work for you. So using your site explorer, look up the homepage URL of one of your competitors, since most citations will lead to the home page. Next, go to the anchor’s report. In here. You can use the search box to look for any of these keywords. These are common anchor text that you’ll find in directories which make them easy citation opportunities. So if I search for a website, then I’m going to click on details and referring domains. Then you’ll see a bunch of places where we can build both structured and unstructured citations. And another hyper effective tactic you can do is to use the link tool in the top section and turn the name of a few of your organic search competitors. So I’ve already entered in a few domains of the top ranking Toronto coffee shops. Then I’ll set the top dropdown to show websites that link to any of these sites and you can enter in your domain in the bottom box, which will exclude links that are already linking to your website. But since we don’t have a real website, I’ll leave the bottom section empty and run the search.

Now, when you’re looking through the results to scan these three columns and look for referring domains that link to at least a couple of your target websites in general, the more sites domain links to, the better the chance of it being a legit place to create your own citation. So Dinny here Nazia would be a solid one that we can add our coffee shop to 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. According to Mars’s twenty seventeen survey link, signals were the most important ranking factor for local organic results for the local snack pack links for the second most important factor, rather than focusing on a full out link building tutorial. I want to leave you with two tried and true tactics that were. The first is to create and promote a useful resource. In this case, a local resource related to your niche will be ideal. I know I say it all the time, but people are more willing to link to helpful articles or sales content like products and services pages. So a couple of ideas will be to create local best of guides or content that would appeal to your target audience. So, for example, we could create content on how to make the best cup of coffee where we can plug our own products. We could also create content targeted at coffee, drinking, soda openers on the best in affordable local places for office space since we offer a virtual office services. The second tactic will be the guest blog, even though guest post normally come with a link back to your site. I want you to look at this as an opportunity to build yourself up as an industry expert. This is particularly important for people in the services industry. People want to hire professionals they can trust and 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 get done right the first time. And you can look for local blogs that accept guest posts by Googling any of these quotes. So looking at the search results for Toronto right for us, you’ll see some very relevant local websites that are seeking writers. You can also do this in content explore to expand your list of potential guest posting prospects, just taking a topic related to your niche. So I’ll type in coffee beans and I’ll also set the search to a title search for more relevant results. Next click on the one article or domain filter. Since we don’t need to contact the same website multiple times. Scrolling down a bit, you’ll see this post on the 12 best coffee beans the bottom from here, you can easily pick yourself as a pro barista that runs a cafe in Toronto and share some actionable or interesting insights on something like roasting beans. The last and final step is to take care of ongoing activities. Even though you’ve set up your Google my business and built 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 which case you would need to update all of your citations. So the first thing you need to do is ensure that you keep your Google my business account active. There are three important regular tasks that you need to take care of. First is to consistently respond to customers and client reviews. So this includes both positive and negative comments. Nexxus to be on the lookout for inaccurate edits to your Google. My business listing. Anyone can click on suggest an edit on your business listing in. Sometimes Google will accept these suggestions without notice to you or the business owner. In fact, 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 at all times. Finally, is to use Google Post to keep your customers informed and engaged. Google Post 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 conversions. You can create a Google Post from within Google, by business, by going on the post menu. Click, write your post and then add an image in up to three hundred words of text. This is a great way to share your promotional offers or teasers for your blog posts. You can also choose a call to action button from a list of preset options. I recommend all local businesses play around with this feature and stay active with Google Plus. It doesn’t take any more time than a tweet, and there’s 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 and watching some of the video suggestions in the cards, which will dig deeper into some of the topics that we’ve talked about, like link building for blogs and omeprazole techniques.

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