All The Ways a Local SEO Consultant Can Help You
If your business’ online presences is suffering, you’re going to want to read this. See how a “local SEO CONSULTANT” can help you.
Gamification might be a huge tech trend right now, but no one wants to play hide and seek with your brand.
When they’re looking to procure the products or services you offer, they should know exactly where to find you. If you’re not appearing near the top of local results for search engine inquiries, it’s time to tweak your web presence.
Local SEO is the process of organically optimizing your website to be as visible as possible when someone in your nearby area searches for something you provide.
For instance, if you’re a London-based shoe repairman, you don’t want your site buried on page 7 of the results when someone types “shoe repairman London” in the search box. You want to appear high up on the first page.
But, how do you get there? SEO consulting is an ideal place to start.
A local SEO consulting specialist can help make sure your site content and collateral are best positioned to attract the community-based attention your company needs to thrive.
Today, we’re exploring a few reasons why local SEO is an important undertaking and how your London business can benefit from these services.
Ready to dig in? Let’s get started.
What is Local SEO?
More than half of the searches on Google are performed with local intent in mind. That means people aren’t just looking for “the best cheesecake.” Rather, they’re looking for “the best cheesecake in Notting Hill.”
Why? The vastness of the internet means that today, searches must be locational to be relevant.
Consultant SEO services aren’t only about helping your brand rank high on generic informational searches. You also want to be the regional standout when it comes to your local offering.
Sure, it might be nice to know that one small-town diner in a Boston suburb received an award for its desserts, but that information doesn’t do you any good when you’re more than 3,000 miles away. You want that cheesecake now, and don’t need to sift through the billion pages on the web to find the best one near you.
A local SEO strategy is designed to help your content appeal to the people who are most interested in it, preferably at the exact time they’re thinking of it. It might sound like magic, but it’s possible with the right team of experts on your side.
Key Factors of Local SEO
Before we delve into the SEO specialist job description and what you can expect when you partner with one, let’s review the basics of what makes a great local SEO presence.
Understanding Local SERPs
If you search for a business within Google Maps, you don’t even need to state your location, as it’s already tracking it. This means you can simply say or type “tire shop near me” and you’ll see a list of the ones in the closest proximity. This is known as the local search engine results pages or SERPs.
In reality, you won’t see all of the options. Rather, you’ll view what’s known as the “local pack” or “three-pack.” This is the short list of businesses that appear below the map in response to your inquiry. In addition to their name, you’ll also get a quick view of their business hours, telephone number, feedback rankings and usually an accompanying photo.
Put simply, these are the places that are closest to you, with the most robust web presence. You can click on “More Places” to see the more comprehensive listing.
There might be a fantastic tire shop one block away, but if it’s stuck in the Stone Ages with absolutely zero web footprint, you may never know about it unless you happen to drive by.
On the other hand, companies that want to earn your business know that your initial interest might originate online. To this end, they seek to make their website as dynamic as possible to boost their chances of ranking in the three-pack. An SEO specialist understands this and can help you get there. The first step? Creating and completing your business listing.
Creating a Google My Business Profile
When Google pulls companies for its local SERP three-pack, it does so by analyzing their information on Google My Business, or GMB.
As the name implies, this is the business profile you will create on Google. It’s directly linked to both the three-pack, as well as information displayed on Google Maps. As such, it’s important to get the information correct and update it if anything changes.
Move to a new location and wonder why your brick-and-mortar traffic isn’t up to speed? It could be that people are still pulling your listing up online and heading to the wrong spot.
The same goes for your web presence. If you’ve changed your URL, redirected your blogs or added a new social media platform without translating the changes on GMB, you could miss out on a ton of opportunities for virtual connection.
You can include the following information, to begin:
- Links to allow users to make appointments or reservations
- Services you offer
- Opening/closing times
- Business description
- Industry category
Then, users themselves can add their own information detailing their experience with your business. They can do so by participating in Question and Answer forums, leaving reviews and adding subjective attributes.
Analyzing Business Citations
Apart from your GMB listing, your website and company information could also appear in other places on the web. This name drop doesn’t have to be long-winded. In fact, most times it just appears via what’s known in the industry as a NAPW. This stands for your company name, address, phone number and website.
You might find this data in another online business directory, for example. Google My Business is the top one you want to appear in, but if you leave it at that, you could lose out to competitors who are taking the time include their basic NAPW in other listings.
These citations can be both structured or unstructured. The former describes an instance where your NAPW appears as part of an organized list of companies. Filling out a form to get your business on Yelp is an example of a structured citation.
Unstructured citations include all of the necessary NAPW information but are less organized in manner. For instance, your local news station might run an online piece about your new restaurant and include a short slideshow of images with your basic information spread across the slides.
It might be time-intensive, but upping your online citations is critical to ensuring you get the attention your company craves. Moreover, it’s vital to keep them current and updated to avoid penalties and maximize exposure.
What a Local SEO Specialist Will Do?
Once you partner with an organic SEO consultant, they’ll go to work to naturally improve your site’s visibility, checking to make sure it’s as visible as possible, specifically within the local sphere.
They’ll meet with you to understand your business values, visualize your short-term and long-term goals and talk to key stakeholders about any pain points or outstanding issues. Then, they’ll go to work creating a custom SEO plan designed specifically around your needs and next steps.
Here are a few steps you can expect to see when you begin a partnership with an SEO consultant service.
Localize Your Website Content
Take a look at your current website. If someone just clicked on it and started exploring, how long would it take them to understand where you’re based? You want the answer to be clear.
An SEO consultant can help make sure your location is naturally and seamlessly woven into your content. From your subpages to your blog posts, you should include your city name, county or region wherever it’s appropriate.
Do you have multiple locations? A specialist can help you craft separate web pages for each, to ensure against any misunderstanding and drive traffic to those specific areas.
While you could wax poetic about where you’re based, another way to localize your content is to simply get involved in your local scene! A consultant can help you identify upcoming networking or community events that are within your wheelhouse. As you attend these programs and later write about them, your name will slowly become synonymous with the nearby efforts you support.
Build Your Citations
You likely don’t have the time to join every relevant online business directory out there. Thankfully, you don’t need to and doing so can actually harm your reputation in the long run, as it can be viewed as spam.
Yet, you will need to be on as many applicable listings and directories as possible. From community boards to industry-specific niche sites and anywhere else it makes sense, it’s helpful to include a brief NAPW to link your name with such content.
That’s where an SEO specialist comes in. They’ll add your NAPW to listings and make sure all of the information is accurate.
They’ll also comb other places where this information is available, including unstructured formats, and request to update them wherever possible.
Claim and Complete Your GMB Listing
This will be one of the first steps accomplished, and for good reason. One recent study showed that 56% of local retailers had not claimed their GMB listing. This reveals that while the step isn’t hard to take, it’s often overlooked by busy business managers with more time-sensitive matters to attend to.
Your SEO specialist can claim your listing, make sure it’s as thorough as possible and monitor it for any feedback that may require follow-up.
Build Your Backlink Strategy
You want organic, natural backlinks that occur because your content is informative and shareable. Better yet? You want some of those links to originate from local websites that can drive nearby traffic your way.
From news organizations to community-based bloggers, there are myriad places to seek an online mention. A local SEO expert can help you initiate these partnerships and create the kind of web presence they can’t help but notice.
Monitor Your Feedback and Reviews
One aforementioned component of a local business listing is that web visitors can add their own anecdotes about your business and leave their personalized feedback. Think of Yelp, TripAdvisor and more.
An SEO specialist will monitor these reviews and help your company respond in a timely manner to both positive and negative ones. This is important, as research reveals that 88% of people trust online reviews from strangers as much as those provided firsthand by friends and family members.
Addressing any concerns or issues helps reveal your company’s willingness to respond to customer needs and provide a quality offering. This is especially critical in local SEO efforts, as word-of-mouth is still a powerful marketing tool and a single one-star review could knock you down in the ranks.
Connect with Local SEO Consulting Support
In this lightning-fast era of on-the-go web searches and mobile inquiries, it’s more important than ever before to get your name out there. However, blanket tactics with a generic slant won’t get you very far.
Alternatively, if you can catch the eye of a local user who’s looking to connect with a business like yours and then deliver the information they need, you’re one step further to growing a solid reputation, earning their trust, and building nearby buzz.
The good news? You don’t have to go it alone.
A local, London-based SEO consulting expert can help take the stress out of the process. They’ll optimize your web content to improve visibility, make sure all your business mentions are accurate, and position your company as a community mainstay.
When you’re ready to talk more about how these SEO strategies can transform your business, we’d love to talk. Contact us for more information and we’ll turn the spotlight on over your brand.