Have you heard of Local SEO or even done it for your company? If not, then it’s high time you did! You can use it to generate free traffic and increase the findability of prospects for your company in your own region. In this article we would like to show you what local SEO is and what measures there are. In addition, as an SEO expert, we will show you what is most important for small businesses.
What exactly is local SEO?
With Local SEO, a website can be optimized in such a way that it ranks in Google’s local search results. You will see these types of search results if you search for for a hairdresser, lawyer or dentist with a search query such as “hairdresser + location” (example: hairdresser Dortmund). Google gradually introduced this type of search results back in 2007. That makes sense because as a seeker you are always looking for certain things in your own environment. If you are currently in New York and are looking for a baker, then you do not want to see a baker from Munich in the search results. The company’s address is always decisive for a good ranking; it should be close to the Google user (the searcher). The more people are in the vicinity of the company, the more website visitors can be reached with Local SEO. So it’s a big advantage for local SEO to have a business in a city and not somewhere in the country where few people live. The Google My Business entry is also very important in the context of Local SEO; these entries are always displayed prominently in a special box.
Definition of terms for local SEO: Local stands for regional or local. SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. Very important: Google is always decisive for us with local SEO, as well as with general search engine optimization. Why? Because over 90% of all search queries in America have been entered via Google in recent years. This is a great advantage in English-speaking countries because we can concentrate on one search engine.
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Local SEO: Which measures are involved?
We will now list all the noteworthy measures of Local Seo, each with a short explanation:
- Google My Business entry: Google My Business entry is helpful to be found more easily in Google Maps, Google Street View and in the Google search results. Fill this out 100% and maintain the entry.
- Company data : By company data we mean the address and contact details of your company. It is important that the spelling of these is identical everywhere. This should be the case on your website, in Google My Business entry and in other business directory entries.
- Reviews: You can collect reviews for your Google My Business listing. Active recommendation marketing also helps to achieve better rankings.
- Links from local websites: It is very helpful if your company is listed in your city or town’s business directory. In addition, there are often regional newspapers that offer a business directory.
- Onpage optimization: Optimize a page on your own website for a local keyword such as “Hairdresser Dortmund”. The most important are the following 10 points:
- Page title (insert keyword in front)
- Meta description (insert keyword in 1st sentence)
- h1 heading (insert keyword in front)
- Image filename (1 image)
- alt attribute (1 image)
- title attribute (1 image)
- In sub-headings (insert keyword in roughly every third heading)
- light keyword density = max. 2% (depending on text length)
- Keyword in the URL for subpages
- Insert the address (preferably with the same place as in the keyword, if it fits)
- Business directory entries: Entries in well-known and reputable business directories are also particularly good for the local ranking. You shouldn’t do without that. We recommend every company to register with the major providers once.
- Structured data: With code from schema.org, contact details and opening times can be marked in the code. If this becomes too complicated for you, we recommend that you hire an expert to do it. The data can then be read more easily by the search engines.
- Content: When optimizing a page for a local keyword, it is of course helpful if there is good content for it. By this we mean text (at least 300 words per page), videos, downloads and good pictures.
- Landing pages for several branches: If your company has several branches and only one website, we recommend creating a subpage for each branch, with the respective address and contact details. Then you can optimize a page for each location and also create a Google My Business entry for each location and link the appropriate page.
- Social media : The active use of social media can also have positive effects on the rankings.
Tip: There is not only Google My Business entry, but also Bing Places. Of course, you don’t get as many website visitors via Bing Places as you do via Google, but it can still be worthwhile because many companies do not have an entry there.
Expert tip: what is most important?
So that you can move forward faster and not lose focus, I would like to mention the most important ranking factors. The following 4 factors work best, as has been shown time and again in the implementation of projects:
- Google My Business listing with reviews
- Company location
- Correct onpage optimization
- Links from other websites
Google My Business entry should always be 100% filled out and maintained, i.e. always up to date. The right category and the amount of reviews are particularly important for visibility. The location of the company, i.e. the address, is also very important. Of course, this cannot be optimized in most cases. It is always an advantage to be around as many people as possible, then more people will usually be looking for you. Of course, it’s a little different in every industry. A pharmacy is sought more often than a company that produces foils. When optimizing individual pages on a company website, the right onpage optimization is crucial. Tweaking the above factors will be the quickest way to make progress. The content is also important here. Links from other websites are also very important. I recommend making 20 to 30 entries at the beginning. You can then check once a year or every 6 months whether there are new opportunities in the form of portals in your region or for your industry.
Local Seo can be a lot of fun and offer a high level of added value for companies, but patience is also important. Rankings usually develop over many weeks and months. In the rarest of cases, you will already achieve a page 1 ranking after 2 weeks that regularly brings you many inquiries. The big advantage is that once you’ve achieved a top ranking, it can bring you regular customers, sales and inquiries for free without much work. And the whole thing usually works very long-term!