What is local SEO?
Local SEO consists of a series of actions that different businesses can carry out in order to achieve more visibility on the internet, and, therefore, get more customers and more sales.
These actions are intended to increase the online visibility of the business based on its location, thus reaching more people within the same area.
The difference between local SEO and plain SEO is that SEO can work with any type of website, it does not necessarily have to be a business website. In addition, it is focused on achieving greater visibility in general, without taking into account the location where the users for whom the content is intended are located.
Of course, both options are complementary, since you can work on the general SEO of your website and the local SEO, more specifically, without any problem.
So, in summary, local SEO is used to reach more people within a specific geographical location.
How does local positioning work?
In order for you to better understand what local SEO is, I am going to explain how Google treats searches made by users to find a business near you.
Imagine that you want to find a veterinarian to take your pet for a check-up. What would you Google?
Is it necessary to have a website to work on local positioning?
Well, although it is highly recommended, your business doesn’t need to have a website to work on local positioning.
If you have a business, I strongly recommend that you have a website and that you work on local SEO on it, but that does not mean that you cannot increase your visibility without it. This does not happen with SEO alone and it is an advantage that must be taken advantage of.
How can local SEO work without having a website?
Well, as you saw a few lines ago, when you search for a business on Google, a very large section appears with three businesses along with their location on Google Maps and a link to show more businesses.
These results take information from Google My Business, the huge directory of companies from around the world that Google offers for free, both for businesses and users.
And, of course, your business can also appear in Google My Business, thus having the possibility that your listing appears when someone in your area searches for a business like yours.
Here I tell you how you can create your file for free and the advantages that it entails. If you don’t have it yet, you’re already taking the time to create it!
- Fill in as much information as possible about your business (description, hours, telephone, website, etc).
- Get 5-star reviews and ratings from your customers. Google highly values the good ratings and opinions received, and try to get your customers to write reviews (if they are at least 200 characters, the better).
- Upload images of your business to your file and upload new ones periodically, so you will keep it updated and Google likes that.
- Write publications with news about your business (new products, new offers, etc.), since it will also add some points for having your file updated.
How to work local SEO on my website
As in any SEO strategy, the first step is to optimize the web or the web pages that you want to position based on the keywords and the geographical area.
Continuing with the example from before, imagine that you have a veterinary clinic in Barcelona.
The first thing you should do is find what keywords are used by people who are looking for a veterinarian in your town. You can use any of the available tools for this task. If you don’t know any, you can take a look at this article.
Most likely, you will find keywords such as “veterinary Barcelona”, “veterinary clinic Barcelona”, etc.
Once you have found the ones that interest you the most, use them to create the content of your page.
Normally, the keywords that have the most monthly searches are usually put in the title of the page (H1), and in the title tag, since they are the two places with the most weight when it comes to telling Google what the page is about…
That is, if you put the main keyword as the title, Google will understand that you want to position your page for it and the chances of it being positioned on the first page will increase.
Since what you want to do is position it locally, the name of your town cannot be missing from the title.
In the case of the example, the title for a page of a veterinary clinic that you want to position in Barcelona would be something like “Veterinary clinic in Barcelona”.
In addition, the content of the page must also contain the keyword or variations of it, so you must enter them in the subtitles of the page (H2, H3…), in the explanatory texts of your services, in your images…
To the images that you are going to upload, name them the main keyword and its variants, also put them as alternative text, since they are the two tags that Google reads from an image and thus you will be reinforcing the SEO on-page of the page.
As a guide and help to check if you are optimizing your on-page SEO correctly, you can install the Yoast SEO or Rank Math plugin.
Put the Address, Phone Number, and phone number of your business
Another factor to take into account when working on local positioning is to show this data about your business:
This data is known as NAP, which stands for Name, Address, and Phone.
You must put this data in all the media where you have a presence: your website, your Google My Business file, your social networks, the directories where you register, etc.
And even more important is that you write them the same on each of the websites where you enter them.
And when I say the same, I mean using the same words, the same commas, the same periods, and the same capitalization. EVERYTHING is the same written.
In this way, you are giving Google the same information on each of the websites that talk about your business, leaving no doubt about the name, address, and telephone number of your business, and will add points when it comes to appearing in the search results against the competition.
If you did not do so and on each website you wrote the same address differently, Google could think that there are inconsistencies in it.
As for your website, you can put this data in a place that is visible from any page, such as in the footer, as well as on the contact or about us page.
Get Links to Improve Local SEO
In the same way as with global SEO, getting links from other media to your website is an effective way to position your pages in the search engine. This is what is known as link building.
In the case of local positioning, it is ideal that the text with which your page is linked (anchor text) includes the keyword plus the name of your town, to enhance positioning in the geographical location where you are.
Continuing with the example, you would be interested in getting links with the text “veterinary clinic in Barcelona”, “veterinary in Barcelona”, etc.
You have to combine this type of anchor text with the name of your business and other more generic texts (such as “this website”, “click here”, “on this link”, etc.) so as not to fall into a penalty for always repeating the same anchor.
Register your business in directories
Apart from having and working on your website and your Google My Business listing, another step to work on local SEO is to register in business directories.
Yellow Pages, Yelp, QDQ, Ciao, TripAdvisor, etc.
Many people are searching in these directories and it can be a good opportunity for them to find you through them.
And not only because people search them directly, but they are also likely to show up as a result of a Google search.
Ready to work on local positioning?
With all these indications, you can get down to work and start your local SEO strategy.
This type of SEO is usually more effective than general SEO since it is easier to end up positioning in a specific geographical area than in the whole country.
I have been implementing it since the beginning of this website, and the results have been very noticeable, from what I can say firsthand that it works very well if you work with it well.
The result will depend on whether the competition is also working on local positioning or not. As usual, the more competition, the more complicated it will be.