Local SEO

Local SEO

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is all about optimizing your online presence to attract more local customers. It’s a branch of SEO that focuses on ranking higher in local search results.

What is local search optimization?

Local Search Engine Optimization is basically like giving your business a neon sign in the online world, but instead of flashing lights, it makes you show up higher in searches for local businesses.

So, whenever someone in your area is craving pizza or needs a haircut, they’re more likely to find you if you’ve got good local SEO.

SEO vs. Local SEO

Traditional SEO and local SEO are two sides of the same coin, both aiming to get your business noticed online, but with different target audiences and approaches. Here’s a breakdown of their key differences:

Target Audience:

  • Traditional SEO: Focuses on a national or even global audience. This is ideal for businesses that sell products or services online and ship anywhere, or those with a large regional reach.
  • Local SEO: Zooms in on a local audience, targeting people in your city, town, or surrounding area. This is perfect for brick-and-mortar stores, service providers with a local service area, or businesses that depend on attracting foot traffic.

Search Results:

  • Traditional SEO: Aims for high ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords. You’ll find these websites listed on the main search results page on Google or other search engines.
  • Local SEO: Targets local map listings and local search results. These often appear at the top of the search results page, above the organic listings, and include businesses on Google Maps and other local directories.


  • Traditional SEO: Relies on website optimization techniques like keyword research, on-page optimization, and link building to improve website authority and ranking for relevant search terms.
  • Local SEO: Uses a combination of some traditional SEO tactics along with local-specific strategies like optimizing your Google My Business profile, managing online listings (citations) on local directories, and encouraging positive customer reviews.

Here’s an analogy: Imagine you have a bakery. Traditional SEO would be like putting up a big, beautiful billboard on the highway to attract people from all over the state. Local SEO, on the other hand, would be like putting a colorful sign right outside your bakery to let people in the neighborhood know you’re there.

Local SEO: How Does It Work?

This is particularly important for businesses with a physical location or that serve a specific geographic area.

Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

Understanding Local Search Intent: When someone searches for something online, search engines try to determine if their search has local intent. For instance, if you search for “pizza,” that’s a general search and won’t trigger local SEO. But a search for “best pizza near me” clearly has local intent, and that’s where local SEO comes in.

Local SEO ranking factors:

  • Google My Business Profile: This is a free profile that allows you to manage your business listing on Google Search and Maps. It’s crucial to have a complete and optimized profile, including your business name, address, phone number, website, hours of operation, categories, and high-quality photos.
  • NAP Consistency: NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. It’s essential to ensure your NAP information is consistent across the web, including your website, social media profiles, and local directories. Inconsistent NAP citations can confuse search engines and make it difficult for them to understand your business location.
  • Local Keywords: Identifying and targeting relevant keywords that people in your area use to search for businesses like yours is key. You can use keyword research tools to find these keywords and then incorporate them into your website content, Google My Business profile, and online listings.
  • Positive Reviews: Encourage customers to leave positive reviews on Google My Business and other platforms. Good reviews can significantly boost your local SEO ranking as they signal to search engines that you are a trusted and reputable business.
  • Backlinks: Building backlinks from high-quality local websites can also improve your local SEO. Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your website. When these links come from local websites, they can help to signal to search engines that your business is relevant to a particular geographic area.
  • Proximity to Searcher’s Location: Search engines will prioritize businesses that are located closer to the searcher’s location. This is why it’s important to ensure your NAP information is accurate and that your Google My Business profile is categorized correctly.
  • Behavioral Signals: Search engines also look at behavioral signals, such as how often people click on your business listing in the map pack, how long they stay on your website after clicking from a local search, and whether they call you directly from the search results page. These signals can help search engines understand how relevant your business is to searchers.
  • Mobile-Friendliness: With more and more people searching for local businesses on their mobile devices, it’s important to have a mobile-friendly website. This means that your website should be easy to navigate and read on a small screen.
  • Social Media Engagement: Having a strong social media presence can also help to improve your local SEO. When you engage with your followers on social media, you can help to build brand awareness and trust, which can ultimately lead to more customers finding your business online.
  • Citation Signals: Citation signals are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) online, even if there’s no link to your website. These citations can come from local directories, business review websites, and even social media profiles. The more consistent and accurate your citations are, the better.

By optimizing these factors, you can increase your chances of appearing in the coveted local map pack (also known as the three-pack) that shows up on Google searches with local intent. This map pack displays the top three local businesses most relevant to the search query.

Why Local SEO Is Vital for Your Business

In today’s digital world, where people are constantly searching online to find what they need, having a strong online presence is essential for any business, especially local businesses. This is where local SEO comes in.

Local SEO, or Local Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of optimizing your online presence to increase your visibility in local search results. When people in your area search for businesses like yours, you want your business to be one of the first they see.

Here’s why local SEO is vital for your business:

  • Increased Visibility: Local SEO helps you get noticed by new customers in your local area. By optimizing your website and online listings for local searches, you’ll increase your chances of showing up on the first page of search results for relevant keywords.
  • Targeted Traffic: Local SEO attracts a highly targeted audience – people who are already interested in what you offer and are actively searching for businesses in their area. This means you’re more likely to convert website visitors into paying customers.
  • More Leads and Sales: Local SEO can lead to more calls, website visits, and ultimately, more sales. Studies show that a high percentage of consumers who search for local businesses online end up visiting those businesses in person.
  • Builds Trust: A strong local SEO presence shows that you’re a legitimate and reputable business. Positive online reviews and a well-maintained Google My Business listing can help build trust with potential customers.
  • Local Customer Engagement: Local SEO allows you to connect with potential customers on a local level. You can create content that is relevant to your community and participate in online conversations to establish yourself as a local expert.

If you’re a local business owner and you’re not already investing in local SEO, now is the time to start.

Local Search Engine Optimization Services

Local SEO services are designed to boost your business’s visibility in local search results. This means you’ll show up higher when people in your area search for relevant products or services.

Here’s a quick rundown of what local SEO services can do for you:

  • Increase local website traffic: By implementing strategies like keyword research and optimization, local SEO helps your business rank higher in local search results, attracting more qualified leads.
  • Improve brand awareness: Local SEO gets your business name out in front of local customers searching for what you offer.
  • Generate more leads and sales: Increased visibility translates to more leads and conversions for your business.


Localized link building is the strategy of acquiring backlinks from websites that are relevant to your local area. This can significantly boost your local SEO and get your business in front of more potential customers searching nearby.

Here are some steps you can take to execute a localized link-building strategy:

1. Research Local Opportunities:

  • Identify Relevant Websites: Brainstorm websites frequented by your target audience in your local area. These could be local news sites, community blogs, chambers of commerce websites, or directories related to your niche. Look for websites that rank well for local keywords.
  • Competitor Analysis: See which websites link to your competitors. This can unearth valuable link-building opportunities you might have missed. Tools like Ahrefs or Semrush can help with this process [but remember these are paid services].

2. Build Relationships:

  • Connect with Local Webmasters: Reach out to the owners or editors of the websites you identified. Introduce yourself and your business, and explore potential collaborations.
  • Offer Guest Blogging Opportunities: Create high-quality content relevant to the website’s audience and niche. This establishes you as a thought leader and can earn you a backlink.

3. Create Link-worthy Local Content:

  • Develop Blog Posts with Local Focus: Craft blog posts that cater to your local community’s interests. This could be content about local events, listicles of things to do in your area, or guides that address common questions locals have.
  • Optimize for Local Keywords: Integrate relevant local keywords throughout your content to improve organic traffic and local search ranking.

4. Leverage Existing Online Presence:

  • Claim Unlinked Mentions: Search for online mentions of your business name that don’t include a link back to your website. Politely contact the website owner and request a link addition.
  • Get Listed in Local Directories: Ensure your business has consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) citations across local directories and websites.

5. Encourage Online Reviews:

  • Request Customer Reviews: Ask satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, and Facebook. Positive reviews not only build trust but can also function as backlinks.

Local link building is a gradual process. Focus on quality over quantity, and prioritize building genuine relationships within your local community. This will result in long-term SEO benefits and increased local visibility.

Local SEO consultant

Work with experienced local SEO consultant

There are two ways to find an experienced local SEO consultant:

  1. Freelance Marketplaces: Freelance marketplaces like Fiverr and Toptal have a pool of SEO professionals you can browse through. They often have client reviews and ratings to help you assess their experience. Be sure to focus on those who specialize in local SEO since it has some unique aspects compared to general SEO.
  2. SEO Agencies: SEO agencies offer local SEO services with the backing of a team. This can be a good option if you need a more comprehensive SEO strategy or have a larger budget. Look for agencies with a proven track record in local SEO and experience in your industry.

Here are some additional tips for finding a good local SEO consultant:

  • Get quotes from multiple consultants or agencies. This will help you compare prices and services.
  • Ask about their experience. How long have they been doing local SEO? What kind of results have they achieved for other clients?
  • Make sure they understand your business and target audience. A good consultant will take the time to learn about your business before making any recommendations.
  • Be clear about your budget and goals. This will help the consultant tailor their services to your needs.

Is Doing a Local SEO Worth It?

Absolutely, local SEO is worth it for most brick-and-mortar businesses and service providers with a local target audience. Here’s why:

  • Increased Visibility: Local SEO increases your online visibility in local searches. When people in your area search for businesses like yours, you’re more likely to show up in the results, especially on Google Maps which is a prime spot for local searches.
  • Target Qualified Leads: Local SEO attracts people who are already interested in what you offer and are looking for businesses near them. This means you’re more likely to convert those leads into customers.
  • Boost Conversions: Studies show that people who find businesses through local searches are more likely to convert than those who find them through general searches. This is because they’re already looking to make a purchase and you’re conveniently located.
  • Outrank Competitors: Local SEO can help you outrank your competitors in local search results. This can give you a significant advantage in attracting new customers.
  • Build Customer Relationships: Positive online reviews and a strong local presence can help you build trust and credibility with potential customers.
  • Cost-Effective: Compared to some other marketing strategies, local SEO can be quite cost-effective. There are many free and low-cost ways to improve your local SEO, and the return on investment can be significant.

Local SEO Examples

Here are some examples of local SEO optimization in action:

Optimizing a Website for Local Search:

  • Plumber in Los Angeles: A plumber in Los Angeles might target the keyword “plumber Los Angeles” throughout their website. This includes their title tag, headers, meta description, and body content.
  • Location Page: A restaurant chain can create location pages for each of its branches. These pages should include the branch address, phone number, and specific details about that location.

Building Local Citations:

  • Consistent NAP: A bakery ensures their Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) is consistent across all online directories and listings. This improves data accuracy and helps search engines understand their location.
  • Positive Reviews: A clothing store encourages customers to leave positive reviews on Google My Business and other local directories. Positive reviews can significantly boost their local search ranking.

Content Marketing for Local SEO:

  • Blog About Local Events: A hair salon creates blog posts about upcoming local events where they might have a booth or offer discounts. This establishes them as a local business and attracts potential customers.
  • Local Guides: A bike shop creates a local guide with the best cycling routes in their area. This content attracts local cyclists to their website and establishes them as a community expert.

How to Do Local SEO for Multiple Locations

Local SEO for multiple locations requires a well-structured strategy considering both on-page and off-page optimization. Here’s a breakdown of key areas to focus on:

Website Structure:

  • Individual Location Pages: Create separate web pages for each business location. Include details specific to that location, such as address, phone number, and operating hours.
  • On-Page Optimization: Optimize each location page with relevant keywords targeting that specific area. Use location-specific variations of your main keywords throughout the page content.
  • NAP Consistency: Ensure your Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) information remains consistent across your website and all online listings.

Google Business Profile:

  • Individual Listings: Create and claim individual Google Business Profiles for each location.
  • Complete Information: Fill out each profile completely with accurate and up-to-date business information, including high-quality photos, descriptions of services offered, and customer reviews.
  • Regular Updates: Regularly update your Google Business Profiles with any changes in business hours, offerings, or promotions.

Off-Page Optimization:

  • Local Listings: Claim and maintain accurate listings on local directories, industry-specific platforms, and online review sites like Yelp and Bing Places.
  • Link Building: Build backlinks to your individual location pages from relevant local websites, chambers of commerce, and community organizations.
  • Content Marketing: Create local content that caters to each location’s audience. This could include blog posts about local events, neighborhood guides, or community initiatives.

Additional Tips:

  • Manage Online Reviews: Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google My Business and other platforms. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, in a professional and timely manner.
  • Track and Analyze: Monitor your local SEO performance using analytics tools to track keyword rankings, website traffic, and customer engagement.

By implementing these strategies, you can strengthen your local SEO presence for each of your business locations, increasing visibility and attracting more local customers.