SEO for Local Search: Think Like a Customer

Marc Avila

Optimizing your website for local search can be a tricky business. Some tactics that have traditionally been used to boost SEO for local search are now punished by the Google algorithm. Trying to incorporate all sorts of local terms to attract attention just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Instead, you need to think like a local customer: Ask yourself what your customers may be searching for to get to your site, and target those terms.

The importance of SEO optimization for local search and how to make it work for you:

Your Business Needs a Local Search Listing. Small Business Trends: “A December 2014 report compiled by data analytics company Oxera, on behalf of Google, concludes that just 37 percent of small businesses have a local listing on any search engine. Those numbers mean that the four in five people who search the Web to find a business’s operating hours, phone number, or other vital data, aren’t getting that information on a majority of local small businesses.”

The Missing Link Building Tip for Local SEO. Search Engine Land: “If you’re trying to build local relevance, sometimes those low authority local sites can carry a ton of relevance. We love those crappy little church websites, or those local organization sites. A traditional link builder would avoid them like the plague, but they’re exactly the type of site that we local search optimization folks seek out. Sure, they’re low authority. They’re probably kinda ugly and maybe even a bit difficult to navigate. BUT, because they’re laser-focused on the local area, a link to your site is incredibly powerful in proving your local relevance. Even better, since most enterprise sites employ traditional link building tactics, they’re going to ignore these small local sites…so SMBs can absolutely dominate the search engine results pages in their cities by grabbing a few of these links.”

4 Great Tools for Making the Most of Local SEO for Your Business. Entrepreneur: “Think SEO, think Moz. It’s no wonder that one of the best tools for local SEO comes from Moz’s stable. This tool makes the process of updating listings completely hassle free. Just share your location information and Moz Local will push this data to reputed online directories and top-tier data aggregators in the business. Your business’s local listing is a mission critical element of your local SEO strategy and you can’t afford to go wrong with it. Moz Local is a handy tool that helps you take charge of your business listings.”

How to Optimize Local SEO When You Have Multiple Physical Locations. Forbes: “Make sure all of your locations refer back to the same root domain. The alternative, setting up a separate website for each of your individual locations, is going to hinder your ability to build significant domain authority. Though it might seem like having more domains would increase your overall web presence, it’s actually going to split your domain authority in pieces and reduce your chances of ever getting seen; instead of one highly authoritative site, you’ll have multiple low-authority sites.”

How to Combine Social Media with Local SEO for Brand Building. “Now, you have people visiting your site because you brought them there with local SEO. Invite them to follow you on social media. In fact, you can even use your social media site to invite them to your business website! Twitter and Facebook have a wonderful way to attract people through the use of hashtags, so take advantage of that. But all the while, keep your local audience in mind. Build a following on social media but get them there with local SEO. Both work together to help you build your brand.

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