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What is Local SEO: A Quick Guide

Local SEO is what is going to get you noticed online. We're covering the 9 basics of Local SEO, covering everything from the basics to the tricks that put you ahead. Most agencies make it sound way harder than it needs to be. Let's cut through the BS and make Local SEO simple. Here's exactly how to boost your spot in local searches.

First, you need to understand the importance of Local SEO

The top 3 links get 70% of Google business. These are for searches related to keywords in your business. If you do Roofing. You want to be coming up first for keywords such as:

  1. "Roofers near me"

  2. "Roofing in Miami (or wherever you operate)"

  3. Leaky roof repair in {area you operate}

  4. Leaking roof repair near me

You get the idea. These are how new customers will find you. Anyone can rank if someone searches for your exact business name. The goal is for people in the area you operate to Find your Business when they are Looking for that Service

Pay attention to that formula

The area you operate + finding your business + looking for that service = A new paying customer.

This is how Local SEO prints money for local businesses.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO helps your business show up for nearby searchers. It’s about choosing local keywords, polishing your Google Business Profile, and keeping your NAP info consistent. Perfect for drawing in local traffic and boosting visibility. Check out our guide to Local SEO for more.

Why Local SEO Matters

Forget overwhelming stats. Just know this: a huge chunk of people searching locally on their phones visit a shop the same day. That’s the magic of Local SEO. It puts your business in front of local eyes, ready to visit. Discover the power of local search with our case studies.

Local search intent

46% of ALL GOOGLE SEARCHES are essentially looking for a Local Service. You just need to capture a tiny portion of that to be rolling in inbound leads

How Local SEO Works

Local SEO is Google search with a local hat on. Google sifts through its index to find the best nearby results based on unique local signals like your search location, Google Business Profile, and online reviews. Dive into the mechanics behind Local SEO with our ranking factors guide.


Chapter 2:

Google's Map Pack

Google's Map Pack, sometimes called "The Local Pack," is a powerful feature showcasing the top 3 local businesses on a map, directly in search results. For a deep dive into optimizing your presence here, our Local SEO Cheat Sheet is packed with actionable tips.

How Google's Map Pack works

This feature has its own set of rules and algorithms, separate from Google's standard search. While some factors overlap with traditional SEO, like backlinks, others such as NAP citations are unique to ranking in the Map Pack.

Googles Map Pack

It's essential for local visibility, appearing at the top of search results for queries like “Barber Boston,” with a map pinpointing business locations.

Why It Matters

Google's Map Pack doesn't just appear for explicit local searches. It pops up whenever Google senses a local intent, meaning broad terms like "gardener" can trigger local results too. This highlights the importance of targeting both specific "service + city" and broad service keywords to capture more search traffic. Ready to monitor and boost your Map Pack rankings? Check out our insights on tracking local SEO rankings.

Google local SEO

Your business needs to rock up on this map. One of the best ways for people to discover local businesses. Removals, HVAC, Roofing. You name it. Let's introspect a bit. How many times have you found a business on this map and then gone to purchase something from them?


Chapter 3:

Local SEO Keyword Research

Getting Started with Keywords

Local SEO keyword research is pretty straightforward. Unlike blogs where you're always on the lookout for new topics, local businesses often need just a solid list of targeted keywords. These are the terms locals punch into search engines when they're on the hunt for services like yours. It's about hitting the nail on the head from the get-go.

Yelp and Google Suggest:

Yelp and Google Suggest can be your best friends here. Type in a service or product, and watch the suggestions roll in.

Yelp for local businesses

These aren't just random guesses; they're based on real searches by people in your area. Yelp's knack for suggesting related terms can also broaden your keyword horizon.

Voice Searches:

Now, let's talk voice searches. With 20% of mobile Google searches being voice queries, it's clear there's a shift towards more conversational, natural-language searches. People aren't just typing "HVAC repair"; they're asking, "Where can I find HVAC repair near me that’s open now?"

Google voice search for SEO

This trend towards longer, more specific searches is something you can't afford to ignore.

The Google Keyword Planner Tool

Finally, the Google Keyword Planner is a goldmine for local keyword research. It offers insights into search volumes by location, helping you refine your keyword list with precision. Plus, the "Start With a Website" feature is perfect for uncovering new keywords based on your competitors' sites.

Google SEO suggestions

By integrating these strategies, you can ensure your local business isn't just visible online—it's exactly what your neighbours are finding when they need you most.


Chapter 4:

Local SEO Ranking Factors

SEO ranking factors are essentially what makes the website come up first on Google. There are a whole bunch of intricate details Google looks for. We need to make sure we fit this criteria thoroughly and go above and beyond to outdo competitors.

There is one secret we focus on at HVAC SEO that allows us to consistently outrank competitors. I am about to reveal the secret that has generated our clients hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Focus on creating pages that fulfil the search. Exactly like this page. People either want to buy something, information or even both. Google knows what this is based on where people navigate and convert. They make this the first page.

We are not hacking a search console. We are creating pages that fulfill the need of searchers. This not only ranks first - it means we will convert more customers.

Here are some ways you can achieve this:

The Inner Workings of Local SEO

Let's peel back the layers on what makes local SEO tick on Google. I'll touch on the top-ranking factors for local search and throw in some optimization tips for good measure.

SEO Ranking Factors

Google Business Profile Takes the Lead

A study by Moz revealed that your Google Business Profile (GBP) is the MVP for Map Pack rankings, even more so than your website.

While your site's content and backlinks are still players, a top-notch GBP is critical for clinching that #1 spot in the Map Pack. Hence, we're zooming into GBP optimization in Chapter 5.

The Power of NAPs

NAP citations, or listings of your business's Name, Address, and Phone number, are vital. They're like Google's way of verifying your biz is legit.

The more consistent NAP citations you have across reputable sites, the better Google feels about your info, nudging your rankings up.

Local SEO Ranking Factors

Online Reviews Weigh In

Moz also found that review signals, including those on your GBP and third-party sites like Yelp, significantly impact rankings. Both the quantity and quality of reviews matter. Responding to reviews, good or bad, can bolster your local SEO efforts, underscoring the value of customer trust.

Traditional SEO ranking factors

Despite the local twist, standard SEO rules haven't left the building. Google itself says your position in web results influences your local rankings. So, keep on crafting great content, optimizing your pages, and gathering backlinks. It's essential, especially in competitive fields like legal and dental, for a strong local SEO game.

How to rank a local business

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