Obviously, local search engine optimization (local SEO) is pretty critical for any small or medium-sized business. When you don’t have the built-in brand recognition or even the very, very big pocketbooks the bigger guys have, getting some local visibility online is the next best thing.
But SEO isn’t a one-size-fits-all (or even most) solution. Not every type of local business should use the same approach to optimize for local search. That’d be way too easy!
Businesses that are most successful with local SEO have a few things in common.
Businesses that benefit most from local SEO all share a few noteworthy characteristics. So that’s a good place to start.
When you think about your approach to local SEO, think about the consumer. What are consumers searching, along with “near me” and location-based search terms, to find businesses in their geographic area? Why are they conducting these searches instead of asking friends for personal recommendations? Why don’t they already have a business in mind that could cater to their needs? A few common factors come to mind.
- The product or service is niche, or special. Consumers aren’t likely to know many people who could offer recommendations.
- The consumer wants an alternative to the big brand options, because they may not trust a larger, less personalized service provider to handle whatever they’re after.
- The need is urgent. There’s no time to spend hours researching potential options online, and the consumer needs a certain product or service right away.
- The only option is to go somewhere local. This could be because they intend to use the service frequently and need local convenience or because the consumer doesn’t want to have to travel to satisfy their need.
Does your business fit any of these situations? We can think of a few types of local businesses that definitely cater to the common themes above.
See if yours made the list of local SEO superstars.
According to Search Engine Land, there are 6 types of local business that can really stand out with successful local SEO.
- Medical Service Providers
- Legal Services Providers and Law Offices
- Bars and Restaurants
- Pet Services
- Real Estate Services
If you’re scratching your head thinking, “My business should be listed there too,” you may actually be onto something. While the 6 types of businesses listed above have the opportunity to get found pretty easily if they use local SEO tactics correctly, that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Check out the basics of local SEO below to make sure you’re also set up for success.
Key Factors Affecting Your Local SEO
Building up your street cred with local SEO takes time. Even if you do everything right, it can take months or longer before Google and other major search engines trust you as a reliable source for its local searchers. That’s exactly why you need to get to work on your SEO now, if you want to get in the game later.
- Get listed on Google My Business. In a recent blog post, we called this the top place to be listed online in 2017. Here’s why. (Spoiler alert: It’s free!)
- Get every other online listing you can. Most importantly, make sure your company’s name, location details and contact information are absolutely identical from site to site, including your own website. And we mean i-den-ti-cal.
- Gather reviews. Hopefully some of your most loyal fans have already left you reviews on popular sites online. If not, find ways to request these so you can build up some social proof. Need more help? We discussed this in a recent blog.
- Pay attention to keywords on your website, and adjust them to include “City, State” in all the right places (places like your body copy, URLs, title tags and image attributes). We call this “on-page SEO.” Basically, including this local information alongside the keywords you want to rank for will help search engines identify you as a good local option for its searchers.