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Local SEO: The Best Tips for Local Businesses

What is local SEO?

Local SEO aims to ensure that websites achieve a good ranking in search results for locally relevant queries. When search queries are location-specific or related to something in the immediate vicinity, search engines should display businesses located in the geographical proximity of the user on the search results page. Local search engine optimization is therefore relevant for local businesses with a fixed physical location, such as restaurants, medical practices, hair salons, which maintain face-to-face customer contact, or trades businesses offering regionally limited services.

Local SEO: Basics and Ranking Factors

Local searches are often made on the go by tourists or potential customers with purchase intent using smartphones. The sought-after information usually revolves around directions or opening hours of businesses. 

Mobile search queries such as “stationery store/restaurant near me” often lead to visits to businesses away from major shopping areas or the discovery of a new favorite spot in the city due to spontaneous needs. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to achieve a good ranking in local search results. To do this, there are several factors to consider to improve the website’s position in the rankings. Generally, proximity to the searched business is relevant. The more regional the search query is, the higher the positioning in local rankings.

Google Local Pack

On the Google search results page, located between the ads and organic listings, is the Google Local Pack. There, the three most relevant businesses from the region are listed, along with their location on Google Maps and additional information such as phone number, address, opening hours, or reviews.

A screenshot from the Google search engine

Local SEO: Google Business Profile

A Google Business Profile is indispensable for companies looking to improve their position in local Google rankings. It’s crucial to ensure data completeness when setting up the profile. However, maintaining the accuracy of business data over time is also essential. Nothing is more frustrating than a potential customer encountering outdated contact information or an obsolete address. Ensuring the control and updating of business information is also necessary to stand out positively in the Local Pack. Another reason why a local business should definitely invest in a Google My Business profile is customer reviews and ratings. Although they don’t directly impact rankings, they serve as positive trust elements that build trust and significantly influence potential customers’ decisions. Moreover, Google reviews provide the advantage of receiving feedback and responding to it.

Local SEO Backlink

Another crucial factor in increasing local visibility is high-quality backlinks from local websites. This refers to links from the websites of other locally based businesses to your own business website. By externally mentioning local companies, Google is signaled about the relevance of the linked business in the region. When building local backlinks, it’s important to ensure they come from reputable websites with relevant thematic content. Quality backlinks from businesses with a regional focus, such as the local press, are an effective way to improve rankings in search results for local users through “networking”.

Local SEO Landing Pages

Local landing pages are a crucial component of Local SEO strategies. These specially designed pages on your website are meant to target potential customers in specific geographical regions. Local landing pages offer an effective way to provide relevant information for different locations of the business. By presenting relevant content on these pages, the likelihood of users visiting the website and becoming customers is increased.

In conclusion, local SEO optimization is an ongoing process that helps increase the online visibility and presence of your business in your immediate vicinity and target potential customers in your region. With the right optimization, you can increase your visibility and successfully compete in your local area.

Local SEO Checkliste

With the following Local SEO checklist, you can ensure that your local online presence is optimized to successfully target customers in your region for local search queries.

Google My Business (GMB):

  • Create or update your GMB listing.
  • Ensure your name, address, and phone number are correct.
  • Encourage customers to leave reviews and ratings.

Keyword Research:

  • Research local keywords relevant to your industry and region.
  • Strategically integrate these keywords into your website content and local landing pages.
  • Create high-quality, locally focused content such as blog posts and articles.

Website Optimization:

  • Use clear, concise meta tags containing local keywords.
  • Create local landing pages with relevant content.

Local Backlinks:

  • Build local backlinks from relevant websites and directories.
  • Monitor your backlink quality and remove harmful backlinks.

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