Local organic search engine optimization for a businesses that has a brick and mortar location is far more competitive, time-consuming & multifaceted than optimizing a website for an online only business. For example, in order for a business to rank favorably in local organic results, the website must first be SEO optimized for organic search. There are then additional actions required to activate local search optimization. *Difference between Organic vs Local Organic SEO.
Ranking signals for Google’s “local” pack search results are based on a large variety of ranking signals including the proximity of the searcher. You’ll see these results with a Google Map. The results below the local pack are not impacted by proximity as much but because they are still part of page one Google results, therefore they still play a very important role.
Below is just a sample of steps which can help improve search rankings for any kind of brick & mortar business who wishes to attract local customers or clients. These are fairly standard steps that would likely hold even if there were a Google algorithm update after the publication of this page. However, none of the steps are a quick SEO fix. Forget the “set it & forget it” thinking! Once your website is published; optimizing your business to be competitive in local organic or organic search results is an ongoing task.
To improve local Google Maps search results, increase local search visibility, and appear higher in local SERP’s, a business must:
#1. Establish & maintain through maintenance, a highly optimized website that search engines can crawl easily. (Remember: Mobile First Indexing) Don’t forget structured data for local business!
#2. Ensure Google My Business is fully optimized, updated frequently with fresh posts & contains the correct business category.
#3. Setup unique landing page for each of your physical locations.
#4. Determine your brand and ensure content info, (NAP), aligns exactly with how it appears on Google My Business & attempt to remove duplicate or incorrect information.
#5. Establish backlinks to your site through high value citations from local directories, other businesses, the media & industry related websites.
#6. Develop in-depth keyword friendly content with searchers intent in mind; Google loves fresh content that is engaging.
#7. Ask for Google reviews; build authority as fierce competitor in your industry.
#8. Frequently check website performance to ensure it’s fast, engaging, and converting into calls & new customers. Behavioral signals matter!
#9. Stay on top of Google Algorithm Updates & Local SEO Ranking Factors.
#10. Social signals are still important; ensure social sites are connected to your website, and are used in a way that encourage engagement.
Each of the above requires a significant amount of time & attention to detail. The task of optimizing a business website for local search results goes further – beyond this list. I have yet to meet a business owner who has the time and dedication to do all of these things effectively, and efficiently on their own.
Local SEO is not for Every Business
Not every business wishes to rank high in local search results. For example, I am a consultant who works mostly from a home office. I do not wish to over-publish my address or fully optimize my website site for local SEO. There are other models that involve a website only business plan. A businesses without a physical location can’t have a Google My Business Page; an integral part of local SEO.
If you fit the model of a business who requires ranking high in local search engine results will require a digital team that is knowledgeable and well connected. Audits, competitive analysis, keyword research and other performance checks & SEO Services may be recommended.
Small – Medium Business Local SEO
Successful working with businesses of all types; The Leaning Tree Digital offers extensive experience working with Law Firm Local SEO. It’s very rewarding to be a big part of successful businesses & Law Firms. Learn more about Leaning Tree Digital’s SEO consulting and SEO business services.