Local SEO guide for businesses (restaurants, doctors, lawyers, ecommerce, franchises, and more)
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You run an offline business and you want people to find it on Google for the obvious reasons: more sales & customers. LOCAL SEO can make it happen and I’m going to help you with that.
We you run a Google search like “coffee shop near me” or “best coffee shop in downtown new york”, you are running location-based searches.
Now, if you run a small business that caters to a small region, you need to optimize your business’s digital presence, be it your GMB profile, website, social media profiles and content on the basis of such local search queries. This is what we call Local SEO.
If you do it right, you will rank high for local search queries and in turn get more customers at your doorstep.
Ok now you must have got a fair idea of what LOCAL SEO is and how it differs from regular SEO. Let’s see how you can increase your business’s visibility on the internet with some easy and effective LOCAL SEO practices for restaurants, lawyers, franchises, ecommerce stores, hospitals, and hotels.
Let’s start with Google My Business.
Google My Business: LOCAL SEO is incomplete without claiming and verifying your Google My Business listing. Its free and can get you incredible exposure. If you optimize it correctly, you can even get into local three-pack, the top 3 local business listings.
Start with adding multiple categories in your GMB listing. If you are into food business then besides having “Restaurant” as your primary category you can further add ten more categories like, “Food and Drinks”, “Fast Food”, “Dining Place” etc.
Write a detailed description of your business.
Your audience would also like to see pictures of your business.
It is also suggested by many SEO experts to insert keywords in the business name.
Now Let’s move on to Optimizing your Citation.
Citations: Any place where your business name, address and phone number collectively known as NAP are mentioned are called citations. Must have for restaurants, lawyers, franchises, ecommerce stores, hospitals, garages, and hotels
Think of your Business Facebook page, yelp account or GMB profile. Make sure your existing citations are correct and consistent. At the same time, it is also important to build more relevant citations. Get yourself registered on top online business directories. Also look for any online publications related to your industry such as TripAdvisor for restaurants and hotels.
Ok now let’s see how you can localize your website.
Website: ‘Localizing’ your website means including your city, county or region’s name naturally throughout your site as well as in your content.
Besides adding your NAP information in Contact us page, mention it at the bottom of the home page too. You can also embed a Google map. If you have more than one location then create separate pages for different locations.
Localizing website also means creating content specific to your local audience. You can create content around events, festivals or incidents particular to your area with which people can connect.
Carefully place your keywords and location in your content be it blog posts, articles, social media posts or guest posts. Pay close attention to titles. It is one of the most significant pieces of metadata to optimize. Very critical for restaurants, lawyers, franchises, ecommerce stores, hospitals, and hotels
Also, websites with more backlinks tend to earn higher rankings. Therefore identify trusted local sites related to your industry and try to get backlinks from them.
And lastly your website should be mobile responsive or mobile friendly.
Now, let’s see how you can optimize reviews.
Reviews: Positive reviews are must, for your business to flourish. High-quality, positive reviews from your customers are not only critical for your reputation but they also help your rankings.
You can optimize your reviews by adding keywords in them. Of course, you cannot write reviews yourself but you can always tweak your clients’ reviews to incorporate some keywords, location and product or service you provided. Send them a direct link and request them to leave a review on Google, Yelp or any other site you are registered with.
It’s also important to respond to the reviews, positive and negative both. You can insert some keywords in your replies too. Cleverly. In a subtle way.
Ok guys these were some simple yet easy-to-overlook local SEO practices which can improve your rankings dramatically. That’s all Local SEO is.
Got any question, ideas or suggestions? Comment section is all yours. Email us at [email protected] to discuss your SEO goals with us and get a unique SEO plan for your business