Local SEO: The Complete Guide to Getting Your Business Listed

9 out of 10 consumers will choose a company that appears on the first page of local results:

92 des consommateurs choisiront une entreprise sur la première page des résultats de recherche locale

This figure shows the opportunity you can seize if you manage to appear on the first page of Google when its users perform local searches. 

This is why it is very important to take care of your positioning on search engines when you have a local business / establishment.

SEO Local Le Guide Complet Pour Referencer Votre Entreprise Blog

And even if you are already well positioned, the principle remains the same: The ranking is dynamic. A competitor who uses the right strategies can quickly outrank you.

So what to do? We will have to look at Local SEO.

Like natural referencing, Local SEO mainly aims at optimizing the visibility of an establishment in local searches.

To that end, I’ve created this guide that will give you an in-depth understanding of this part of SEO. I’ll cover issues such as: 

  • What is Local SEO and why is it important?
  • Who is Local SEO for?
  • What is the local package?
  • What are the different strategies to optimize local SEO? 

Finally, we will see some good practices to adopt to take full advantage of the benefits that this pillar of SEO offers.

Chapter 1: What is Local SEO and who benefits from it?

It’s hard to master something you don’t know, isn’t it? That’s why in this chapter, we’re going to cover the basics of local SEO.

It is about understanding what it is and its importance for a local business.

1.1 What is Local SEO?

Most businesses today are hosted on the Internet. Whether it’s a website or a blog, businesses are all trying to get their name out to the general public, which is what SEO is all about. 

By definition, SEO consists in optimizing a website in order to increase traffic and brand awareness in search engine results. 

1-SEO-local-schema-local-SEO-1

Local SEO is one of the most important parts of SEO that focuses on optimizing a business to improve its performance in local search. 

When well executed, it allows to put the site in front and sometimes in the local pack when the words of the search are relevant. 

The local search takes into account all the searches that contain terms like :

  • Restaurant near me ; 
  • Lawyers near me ;
  • Plumber near me ;
  • Gardener in [name of city] ;
  • Glazier in [name of city] ;
  • Etc.
2-retaurant-pres-de-moi-local-SEO

This practice has several tasks that distinguish it from the other pillars of SEO which are : 

  • Optimizing a company’s Google My Business profile; 
  • The creation of citations; 
  • Managing reviews.

Nevertheless, other efforts for local SEO are focused on content, on-page optimizations and link building with localized intent.

In addition, it should be noted that local SEO works like natural SEO in general.

When someone performs a search, Google crawls its index to provide the best results for that person’s query.

But this time, Google uses a different set of ranking factors to rank local search results.

These include: 

  • The location from which the person is searching;
  • The presence of the Google My Business listing; 
  • The keywords used in the Google My Business listing; 
  • Business quotes;
  • Online reviews;
  • Keywords used in online reviews;
  • Actions on social media; 
  • Etc.

So, who is the local search for? 

1.2 Who benefits from local referencing and why?

Since this is a location-based search requiring a physical address, not everyone on the web will benefit. 

Here is a short list of the types of businesses that will be able to fully exploit the power of Local SEO.

1.2.1. The restaurants

Restaurants are probably the businesses that benefit the most from SEO. 

The first reflex when looking for a nearby restaurant today is the Internet. Especially with all the information you can get directly from your phone, it becomes even more intoxicating. 

Many leave comments and the location of the restaurant is automatically indicated. The best part is that there is also a ranking of the restaurants with the best service and the best dishes. 

serp-restaurant-paris-17-local-SEO

If you want to make your own opinion, they expose as much as they are full of images of their respective services.

1.2.2. Lawyers and law firms

Local SEO for lawyers is a real gold mine. 

When you do local SEO for a law firm, the biggest benefit to them is that Google gives them a boost. 

Indeed, Google displays a call button directly in the local search results on cell phones.

serp-dui-lawyers-in-athens-ga-local-SEO

Source : BipperMedia

Since after an accident or something else anyone would go straight to their phone to find a lawyer, this is a huge advantage.

SEO allows to take advantage of these elements to increase the chances of the firms by allowing them to occupy a good positioning. 

1.2.3. Physicians and medical practices

The patients are people who are not necessarily in great shape. They would not try to find a doctor from miles away when they have the opportunity to find one close to home. 

This allows them to make regular visits to check on their health.

To find a doctor, most would go online and type in something like “doctor near me”. 

serp-docteur-pres-de-moi-local-SEO

The advantage when you have a practice listed in the area, is that Google displays your name and a directional link to your location.

1.2.4. Plumbers

Plumbing failures are problems that can become very annoying over time. 

Why bother running to the stores when there is the Internet and it’s super easy to find a professional next door? 

The majority opt for a direct search on Google:

serp-plombier-pres-de-moi-local-SEO

In addition, we can directly read the reviews of other customers and contact the plumber in the second in case of emergency.

These are the four types of professionals who will benefit most from local searches. Obviously, the list is much longer, but let’s stop there for now.

However, there are other types of people who will not benefit from local SEO.

For example: 

  • Stores that only have an online location; 
  • Companies that don’t want to share their local information; 
  • Local authors; 
  • Private online sellers who want to keep their information private; 
  • Etc.  

These types of people are probably not going to benefit 100% from local searches. Nonetheless, internet service companies with no address can use local SEO.  

An example of this would be an online retailer optimizing pages and subsections for different delivery areas.  Another example is creating blog posts that cover local topics and events that are relevant to local areas.   

However, there is still one question that has not yet been answered: 

1.3. Local SEO: A question of size?

Local SEO is generally considered ideal for small businesses or those that cover a specific area. 

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that local SEO is only relevant for small businesses. 

It also has implications for large multinationals and companies with multiple locations in different countries. 

seo local par rapport a la taille de l entreprise local SEO

Large companies need to consider international, national and local SEO. 

These three approaches require a different set of tactics and location.  

It takes time to do it right, but it’s worth it because the results will speak for themselves.

Let’s move on to the different reasons why you should consider Local SEO.

Chapter 2: The 11 undeniable reasons why Local SEO is so important 

The question of why local SEO is critical is similar to the question of why SEO in general is critical.  

You’ll want customers to find you when they want to shop instead of spending a lot of money chasing them with ads.

That’s why you need to create a solid local SEO marketing strategy to stay top of mind with customers at all times.

Here are some reasons why you should opt for this type of SEO:

2.1. Local consumers use the Internet to find information about businesses

Nowadays, people depend on the internet to find information on most products and services. 

They use traditional search or, as is increasingly the case, local search to find local businesses. 

les consommateurs locaux local SEO

In addition, 71% of people believe they look for the location of a business to confirm its existence before visiting it for the first time.

If your business is not found in local search results, you will miss out on new customers. 

Implementing various local SEO strategies for your business can help you appear in the local results that your future customers will see!

2.2. Local research is highly targeted 

The main reason people search locally is to find a local business. The second most common reason is to find a product, service or business. 

Many local searchers are looking for a specific company name. But at the same time, many of those doing a search do not have a specific company in mind when they begin their search.

51-des-utilisateurs-de-smartphone-ont-decouvert-une-nouvelle-entreprise-4

By learning how to do local SEO, you will know how to better position your business to promote what you have to offer to local customers when they search for your type of business. 

It’s not enough to target customers who live in your vicinity. Local SEO goes further and allows you to focus your visibility on searches done on the go. 

It will not be an understatement to mention that the advent of smartphones and mobile applications has reduced the gap between the physical and virtual markets. 

Search engines work with extremely precise search algorithms that filter search results accurately and only the most relevant and location-specific results are displayed for customers.

Know that there is no better time to make contact with a potential client than when they really need you.

2.3. The cell phone is becoming more and more important

Every year, the percentage of online searches done on mobile devices increases significantly.

statisques recherches en ligne sur mobile local SEO

And as you can imagine, the majority of cell phone searches are done on the go. 

In addition, wearable devices such as the Apple Watch have made it easier for Internet users to search on the go. This, with most of the time even more immediate needs.

As a result, proximity searches have become popular and local searches are based on hyper-specific locations, rather than on a regional or neighborhood basis. 

Google has estimated that searches for “….near me now” have increased drastically in recent years:

courbe recherches pres de moi maintenant local SEO

Indeed, portable devices allow to manage information much more geographically relevant, especially when traveling.

It should also be remembered that there are more and more smartphones today that use voice search

For their search, they don’t bother typing anymore. Just ask on the phone for example “find a doctor near me” and you have relevant results.

Know that by opting for Local SEO, you are choosing to satisfy the largest share of the global market: Mobile users

utilisateurs-satisfaits-local-SEO

Local SEO covers both desktop and mobile internet access, which means you never miss a potential customer.

2.4. Internet users tend to search online for better options

In the age of the Internet, people can search for any information they want while staying at home. 

If they need to buy something in their neighborhood, they’d rather do a pre-search to find the best options available in their area or city than go straight out and look. 

4 utilisateurs sur 5 utilisent un moteur de recherch pour trouver des informations locales 2

It’s good to have your business ranked in the top search results, it can help you get more local customers. This is another reason why local SEO is important.

2.5. Not all local businesses have claimed their Google My Business listing

Only 44% of businesses have declared their listing in Google My Business : 

56 des entreprises nont pas reclame leurs listes Google my business

Google My Business is a free listing that Google makes available to almost every business. By listing your business on Google My Business, you increase your chances of appearing prominently in local search results on Google. 

At the Bing level, the proportion of companies that have not claimed their records is quite high: 

82-des-entreprises-nont-pas-reclame-leurs-listes-dans-bing

It should be noted that many local businesses have yet to understand the importance of online marketing. It allows you to get a head start before your competitors notice and the competition intensifies. 

2.6. Local SEO helps optimize your brand image

The main reason to use local SEO is that it targets people in the area where your business is located. 

Platforms like Google My Business allow you to provide several pieces of information about your business profile.

You can mention for example all the services you provide with their price. You can also put pictures to enrich your information. 

Not to mention that recent updates about your company are also displayed on the mobile: 

Google-My-business-sur-mobile

This gives your business more authenticity and helps you reach more customers and establish your brand.

2.7. Positive reviews make most consumers more likely to use a company

A strong advisory profile is a major factor in the success of many local businesses. 

Increase your company’s online reputation by asking your trusted customers to leave positive reviews of your company online. 

This way, you will probably attract hundreds of new customers.

2.8. Local SEO can help businesses expand

Your website is the virtual office of your company. By using local SEO, you make it easy for your users to interact with your business. 

You can ask users to give feedback on your services or products. People prefer to consult other customers’ opinions before buying anything. 

You can also create a comments/suggestions section where your customers can give you ideas that can help improve your business.

2.9. Staying ahead of the competition

Competition is omnipresent and you only have to name one product or service to find a hundred competitors marketing it. It is impossible for companies to enjoy a 100% market monopoly for long. 

To position your brand, controlling the market share in your neighborhood is the first step to surviving the competition. 

Customers choose companies that are easily visible on search engines. 

Competitors can outsmart you in terms of brand, industry, or by converting factors that are a weakness for your business and that are imposed by the macro-environment. 

But at the local or more specific level, you have the opportunity to differentiate yourself.

Know that a company must be constantly on the lookout for opportunities by refining the market analysis and synthesizing the results on a periodic basis.

2.10. Local search has a very high conversion rate

Users who search for more localized terms or content are more likely to convert on average. Since the person is often in the area of the business they’re searching for, they’re more likely to contact your business, and that’s the case:

This allows for a fairly decent purchase rate on local searches:

On the other hand, Esageit shows that a conversion rate of 50% is achieved through marketing on local directories:

This means that by accurately listing your business on as many quality online directory sites as possible, you will turn every other lead into an actual customer.

2.11. Google supports local businesses

Local SEO is very important to Google in order to meet customer demands. It goes without saying that customers turn to Google for almost all of their searches: 

Google makes every effort to ensure that users get realistic and reliable results. 

Local search fits perfectly into this framework since the information comes from physical establishments that actually exist and that users can even evaluate. 

Currently, nearly half of all Google searches have a local setting: 

And 29% of all Google SERPs contain a local pack in the results:

This shows how geolocation is a very important concept for the search engine. 

2.12. Local research is conducive to startups and SMEs

Large companies that have already established their brand have control over a huge customer base. They can afford to spend a significant portion of their marketing budget on promotion and sales collateral. 

But start-ups and small businesses have not yet been able to position themselves in the target market. They are literally handicapped by a limited budget. 

With local search, the opportunity is given to small businesses to appear in the first results of SERPs without even having a website: The Local Pack.

And only companies that properly implement the best local SEO strategies can be assured of ranking high in Google searches.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the different reasons why you should opt for local SEO.

Now let’s answer a key question: 

Chapter 3: How does local search work?

If you know how search engines work, you already know how local search is generally handled. Local search and organic search are not very different.

Only that the elements that the algorithms take into account to select, classify and present the results are different.

If you have no idea how search engines work, I invite you to take a look at my guide on SEO :

Once you have the basics, the rest is much easier to understand.

3.1. Presentation of local results: The Local Pack?

The Local Pack, also called “The Local Pack”, is a set of 3 local business results with a map of their locations from Google Maps.

For example, when you search for “agence seo paris”, Google has a local pack at the top of the organic results: 

At the top of this local pack, Google puts the ads: 

Below the local pack, Google puts the organic results.

The Local Pack is the boxed area that appears on the first page of results when an online local search is performed via the Google search engine. 

The Pack box displays the top three lists of local businesses most relevant to the search.

Some time ago, these local packs were called the “7-pack” because they featured 7 of the most popular businesses in the area. 

To keep up with the increase in mobile usage, Google has reduced its 7-Pack to just three results, and also changed the way the algorithm ranks local results. Now, when you search for local businesses, whether on your computer or phone, you get the 3-Pack.

According to a Moz study, 33% of clicks go to local pack results, and 40% to organic results.

So what does this mean for you? 

As a small business, you need to have good visibility in local searches as often and as clearly as possible. The way to do this is to appear in the local pack. 

If you are ranked in the “holy trinity” of Google, your business will reap the benefits.

The local pack will result in increased traffic to websites with better SEO performance. 

As Digital Coast Marketing states: 

“It’s not uncommon for a small business listed on a few local listings without much traffic to beat out the big chains that have a site in that area: that’s how strong the effect of your presence on a listing site can be. That’s because Google wants to give searchers a good experience by focusing on results that are truly local, and it uses these sites as a good way to determine that.”

In addition to the local package, it is also very beneficial to rank for local organic results, and local SEO can be a big help. 

Now let’s look at the criteria that search engines use to rank institutions.

3.2. The main ranking factors of local search

SEO is a strategy to increase the chances of a blog or a website to be known. 

Since search engines rank results in order of importance, it is useful to know the criteria they use. 

In that case, let me ask you a question: How does Google choose its results for local search?

Most likely, you have automatically thought about geolocation.

Indeed, to provide their local results, search engines take into account the geographical location. But is it the only criterion? No, let’s talk about it.

Google has three main local SEO ranking factors that every local business should consider.

These are: 

  • Proximity; 
  • Prominence; 
  • Relevance.

3.2.1. Local ranking factor 1: Proximity

Local searches are conducted with local intent and it’s only natural that proximity is a key ranking factor. 

Proximity depends primarily on the distance between the physical location of a facility and the location of a Google user when performing a search. 

The question Google is trying to answer here is: 

“Is the company close enough to the researcher to be considered a good answer to this question?”

Here, company citations are very important as they refer to any place where your company information appears together online.

Know here that great importance is given to these four elements: 

  • Name; 
  • Address, city, region, postal code; 
  • Telephone number.

Inconsistent citations will confuse Google’s assessment of your situation. This may cause it to not present your establishment to users for fear of presenting them with poor results. 

But location alone is not enough to decide which institution to put in first position. 

If, for example, you want a restaurant that offers Sushi and Google shows you a general restaurant that does not necessarily offer Sushi, you will not be happy.

This is why Google also considers :

3.2.2. Local ranking factor 2: Relevance

Even if your company boasts a visible and credible web presence, it must be properly targeted. 

Google’s ultimate goal is to provide users with the most relevant search results based on their intent. 

Here, Gooagle wonders: 

“Is this institution selling or doing what the researcher is looking for?”

If, for example, the user wants to eat sushi, Google should be able to show him or her establishments that sell exactly that dish:

The key to being more relevant is optimizing your content with local keywords. This consists of adding local keywords to : 

  • Your website; 
  • Your blog posts ;
  • Your GMB list; 
  • Your social media profiles ; 
  • Etc.

We will come back to this later. For now, there is still one important criterion that Google takes into account:

3.2.3. Local grading factor 3: Prominence

Here, Google will try to determine the most popular and reputable businesses in their area. 

Since Google’s goal is to satisfy its users, it takes into account the online reputation of establishments. This is where you have to prove to Google that you deserve to be chosen.

For example, if I want sushi, I would like Google to show me the best restaurants in this field. This would give me a certain guarantee of satisfaction when I go to these restaurants.

This awareness is measured by the references perceived online through : 

  • Ratings and evaluations; 
  • Social signals; 
  • Backlinks;
  • User engagement; 
  • Overall domain and website authority; 
  • etc.

A solid netlinking strategy combined with consistently receiving good reviews and ratings, can help you stand out from the competition and have a strong presence in local search.

These are the 3 most important ranking factors for Local SEO, but let’s not stop there.

Indeed, there are several sub-criteria that come into play that are worth knowing. Instead of letting you go through Google’s 200+ ranking factors looking for those specific to Local SEO, I’ll give you this list of the ones I’ve unearthed.

I take care to classify them into the three main factors mentioned above.

3.3. The 21 ranking factors of Local SEO

The first publication on this subject was made in 2008 by David Mihm : 

He presented the “Local Search Ranking Factors” survey on local search engines around the world. This publication has been a real lever in solving the issues that were arising in the field of local search. 

Moz counts over 137 ranking factors that have a significant impact on local SEO.

But here we will deal with the 21 most important factors, which include other minor factors. This will allow you to have weapons powerful enough to stand out from the crowd already on the market.

3.3.1. Ranking factors related to Relevance 

In order for search engines like Google to consider your business relevant enough to be offered, you need to make sure that you are targeting keywords or topics that potential customers are looking for.

Local citation signals

Whether you’re optimizing your listing on Google My Business, Bing Places or Yahoo Local, there are several key elements you need to pay attention to.

Citations are data such as your company’s name, address and telephone number (NAP) mentioned on the web. 

It is important to always structure this information well. In the event that this data is incorrect, this would create a real problem, especially for the company. 

The simple consequence is that even if it was visible, potential customers will have a hard time reaching them. 

Imagine for a moment that instead of “Plomberie Pierre” the name of your company was “Plomberie St Pierre”. This would be an attack on the company’s identity, but there are more serious consequences. 

When Google notices such inconsistencies in the data, it directly downgrades your business very low in the results list.

2. Appropriate category associations

This is probably one of the most important factors on the list as you will have to categorize your business as appropriate. 

It will actually be a matter of choosing categories when creating your Google My Business page.

The concept is actually very simple. 

If you are a plumber and you would like to appear in the results of a search like “plumber in Paris”, classify your company in the plumber category. 

If you don’t, and you choose the dentist category, you will never appear in the results as you would have hoped.

Your listing will be registered on many other local business directories. Even if they are not necessarily structured like on GMB, make sure to choose categories that have the most in common with your business. 

3. Product/service keyword in the company description

It is essential to remember to add your most important keys in your descriptions in order to reinforce the relevance of your business to the queries.

So, if you include a term in your company’s product or service description that describes your main service, it is bound to be a plus. 

For example if you are a plumbing company, the term “plumber in Paris” should not be missing in your description.

With better relevance, you are likely to rank higher in the results. 

4. Amount of citations from locally relevant areas

When you mention your company’s NAPs i.e. name, address, contacts on a site in your area, it is a very relevant quote locally. 

It somehow reinforces Google’s confidence in your loyalty to your location. 

You could also get relevant quotes on: 

  • Local information sites; 
  • Local trade association sites; 
  • Local blogs that publish content about your industry; 
  • Events in your community.
  • Etc.
5. Number of citations from industry-relevant fields

Just as it is very helpful to have your NAP posted on a local authority site, being included on industry relevant sites can also improve your authority and rankings. 

When we talk about industry-relevant sites, we mean sites with authority that are related to the industry. 

This is an example of Alexia for law firms:

In addition to checking these resources, you can search for other resources that relate to your industry category and create a list of authoritative websites that appear most frequently for your terms. 

Then, just check them to see if there is a possibility to list your company in a directory type feature, or if there are other opportunities to earn a citation.

6. NAP on website corresponding to NAP on GMB

To verify your business information, Google can look at the website page you access from your Google My Business listing. 

If everything is correct then you have nothing to worry about. If it happens that the information collected by Google on the site and your GMB profile do not match, this will create a problem. 

Google will no longer know which information to follow regarding your business. 

7. The relevance of the content published on your website

Optimizing your web pages for your keywords will increase your relevance and your chances of being favored by the local Goolge algorithm. 

Indeed, Google is putting more and more emphasis on the relevance of content, especially through the determination of search intent.

This means that it’s not necessarily the length or quality of your content that matters. In fact, all that matters is whether your content is relevant to a user’s search. 

Web pages with high relevance to a particular keyword or topic will be rewarded with increased website performance in the SERPs. 

In addition to your citations, publishing relevant content about your business as it relates to your location is still one of the best ways to build relevance for your business. 

To go further, you need to think about optimizing : 

  • Your title tags: A title tag is a great way to incorporate the target keyword of your page;
  • Your meta descriptions: Your meta description allows you to expand on your title tag and add more context to what your page is about. Again, be sure to include your target keyword; 
  • Your body tags (H1, H2, etc.): In your content, you can create headlines to draw users in and encourage them to read on. This is another great way to increase your relevance. Search engines detect these tags and give more importance to what they contain.
8. Outbound links

An outbound link is an external link from your website to another website. These links allow users to navigate to external websites for additional information on a related topic. 

Outbound links will help Google’s local algorithm identify your chosen niche. So be sure to focus on integrating relevant links into your content.

The same goes for backlinks which are links created by other websites to yours.

If you have a restaurant and the majority of websites that backlink to your website are plumbers, it’s cause for concern.

3.3.2. Ranking factors related to prominence

Businesses with a stronger online presence seem more credible and trustworthy to Google’s local algorithm. 

It is important to know that search engines extract data from the entire web. 

Therefore, search engines will find this data and give you a prominence score if you are present on the web. 

Here are some important elements that are evaluated to determine your brand awareness.

9. Quantity and quality of reviews on Google My Business

Would you trust a company that has 500 or 5 reviews on GMB? 

Just like users, search engines have the ability to analyze the type of reviews, the number of reviews a company has and how it interacts with those reviews. 

I bet you’ll choose the first option. That’s because users are looking for things to trust in a brand before they make a purchase or click. 

All of these factors can increase brand awareness online. It has been observed that the reviews you get on your GMB account influence SEO more than the reviews you might get elsewhere. 

To see how many reviews you have, just click on the review link on the GMB page. You will get something like this:

You need to get reviews, but you never get hundreds of them in a short period of time. Positive reviews of your company should grow at a reasonable rate. 

The more they evolve one by one, the better for your business. This implies that customers have had time to analyze and compare your services to those of your competitors. 

However, you can create an internal procedure to collect customer reviews before or after your services.  

10. Quantity and quality of evaluations on other platforms 

We are going to make a feedback to the previous point and remind how useful and important it is to get users’ opinions. 

This time, we must add that there are many platforms where it would be useful to collect reviews. Especially since Google also takes into account the number of reviews that your company has obtained on other companies. 

In short, the search engine evaluates your reputation on the entire web. So, if you have collected very good reviews on Tripadvisor, you will have an extra point for your performance in the SERPs. 

If you’re wondering where to find useful platforms for collecting reviews, it would be instructive to look at the profiles of your direct competitors. 

You will be able to see the platforms they use, or if applicable, those that are highlighted. 

You would need to research the evaluation sites that seem to be most active in your area. 

The idea is to make your business known everywhere your potential customers might leave a review.

11. Quality and authority of directories 

Quality is a very important term in all fields. It would be ideal for you and your company to be able to show it on quality websites. 

From there, you can inherit their visibility and get quality backlinks. 

Be sure to list your business in a number of local business indexes and directories that are actually known and authoritative. 

12. Amount of structured citations

Since we’re back to citations, it’s important to remember that this is information about your company’s identity that is listed in a local online business directory. 

They must not only be of good quality, but also in large quantities. 

Any business owner will want to have a certain number of citations to be competitive. Therefore, you will need to have as many citations as possible to survive the competition.

However, you should be careful to focus on directories with high authority and that are relevant to your industry. 

Companies with a less competitive environment do not necessarily need to have too many citations. They can become dominant with just a few citations.

13. Domain authority of the website

Domain authority is a measure used to evaluate the authority of a website in search results relative to other websites. 

There are many ways to check the “strength” of a website. For example, Moz offers an extension called MozBar that makes it easy to see the domain authority of any website. 

Your company’s website should have as strong a domain authority as possible. This comes from having excellent content, gaining backlinks and mentions on the web over time. 

The job is to improve it as much as possible in order to increase the traffic and the notoriety of the company. This has a direct impact on your company’s performance in the local results.

14. Google My Business listing verified by the owner

The first step in local SEO is to create your GMB profile. After its creation, Google will send you a verification PIN code that would prove that you are the owner.

It is not wise to let someone else act as an intermediary for your business. 

It is best to seek the help of an SEO for the verification steps, however, this must be done with your own Google account. It is up to you to have direct control of your page and no one else.

15. Quality and authority of incoming links to the domain 

Organic signals are very important in local SEO. So it is necessary to get good quality links on sites that have authority. 

To help you better understand your site and know the number and quality of links it currently has, you can use tools such as Ahrefs or Moz Open Site Explorer :

The main sources of quality links for a local business are: 

  • Local business indexes;
  • Local business association websites;
  • Local newspapers; 
  • The best blogs in your niche; 
  • Etc.

Regardless of the method, you need to make sure that you have outstanding quality links because that is what will make your website and business known in the local results.

16. Local landing page authority

Similar to the concept of domain authority, this SEO factor refers to the authority of the specific web page you are accessing from your citations. 

For many companies, this will simply be the home page of the website, but for companies with multiple sites, other pages on the site may have been designated as landing pages. 

Open Site Explorer uses page authority to predict how well a specific page will rank. 

Because of the influence of organic factors on local rankings, the higher authority your landing page has, the more likely you are to become dominant in local search results.

3.3.3. Ranking factors related to proximity 

You’ve probably already heard that proximity to the researcher is the number one ranking factor. 

That hasn’t changed, and here are a few things search engines may consider when trying to determine your proximity.

17. Proximity to the physical location of the search point 

Google searches have come a long way today. You no longer need to report your location when you do a local search. 

When Google senses something local in your query, it automatically detects your location and then outputs results specific to your region. 

For example, a user located in Santa Barbara, California can simply search for “plumber” to get a set of local results containing businesses near them:

This shows Google’s interest in businesses that have a geographic location in a specific area. If you are close enough to the searcher’s location, you are more likely to appear in their results. 

If your business is not within the searcher’s radius, it may not appear on their map. In other words, the closer a searcher is to you, the more likely you are to appear as a result of their search.

18. Proximity of the address to the centroid

In the past, the closer a business was to downtown, the more it appeared on Google Search. 

However, we now know that this has changed and that the center of the city is determined by the location of similar businesses in your industry or centroid.

According to Referencement-local :

“The centroid is defined by Google, not as the center of a given city, but rather as the geographic area where the most businesses operating in the same industry are located.”

As surprising as it may seem, being close to your competitors can be advantageous.

Isenselogic states: 

“If you read their (Google’s) patents, they actually discuss the center of industries … as defining the center of research. So if all the lawyers are on the corner of Main and State, that generally defines the center of research, rather than the center of the city…it’s not even the center of the city that matters. What matters is that you’re close to where other people in your practice area are.”

For example, the first three results for Restaurant 75017 Paris are shown in the small circle below:

However, you have no control over this parameter, even though it puts companies that do not fall within its radius at a slight disadvantage. 

You can capitalize on the other criteria that search engines take into account.

19. Physical address in the search city

The physical address is one of the most important points in local SEO. When you list your address, you are placed in priority for any search that is done in your area and that is related to your services. 

The physical address is one of the most important points in local SEO. When you list your address, you are placed in priority for any search that is done in your area and that is related to your services. 

These companies struggle with this factor, but there are solutions. 

It is recommended that these companies create city landing pages. They allow them to highlight their business relationships with these other cities.

In short, it is up to business owners to achieve local rankings for searches related to their city of location, and organic rankings for any other regions they deem important.

20. Local code on the company form

When filling in company data in directories, it is considered good practice to put the local telephone code with the main telephone number. 

The number code must match the code used for the region or country: 

In addition to the address, the code is a signal that confirms the geographical location of your company. 

21.Geographical terms in the content and title tags of the site

Your company’s Google My Business listing must contain a link to a page on your website. 

Mentioning the city or your address in your content sends a strong signal to search engines. 

These geographic terms notify search engine spiders and visitors of the geographic location of your business.

For most local businesses, the landing page will be the homepage of the company’s website. 

However, for other multi-site companies, specific pages are developed as landing pages on the websites.

Remember to include your location keyword in the title tag which is a very important element on all websites. 

You do not have to include your city/state in every title tag of your website. 

You can limit yourself to important pages like : 

  • The home page ; 
  • The contact page; 
  • Service description pages; 
  • The biography pages. 

This way, you will avoid penalties due to keyword stuffing.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the different factors that can influence your establishment’s ranking in the local results.

It is true that these factors already constitute clues concerning the different steps to take to optimize the local referencing of an establishment. 

However, we are not going to “do things by halves” and I reveal you all the practices for a complete local SEO.

Chapter 4: How to optimize a site for local SEO?

Local SEO is not much different from natural SEO. The most important things are still the same:

  • Keyword research,
  • Content creation; 
  • The creation of backlinks; 
  • On-page SEO; 

Only that these elements are ultimately repurposed for a specific region. Obviously, there are also other tasks that are specific to Local SEO such as local citations and claiming business listings on : 

  • Google My Business; 
  • Bing Places;
  • Apple Maps.

You have to keep in mind that all these elements are very important and if only one is not studied properly, your website will not stand up against the competition. 

To make it easier for you to read this guide, I’m going to break down the different Local SEO practices into chapters.

Let’s start with one of them, which remains paramount, regardless of the type of SEO campaign:

Chapter 5: Audit Your Local Results Rankings

One of the first steps in any local SEO campaign is to determine where you stand.

Specifically, you should see where you stand in the local pack and also track rankings over time.

The problem here is that with local SEO, the Map Pack results can be completely different from mile to mile.

Therefore, if you only track your local rankings from one location, you are only seeing a small sample of your actual rankings.

That’s why you need to get very accurate information about your local rankings. This way, you can see your ranking in your entire city or region.

To do this, you will use paid tools such as :

These two tools allow you to know your rankings for each geographical position: 

Source : LocalFalcon

To use these tools, you must therefore have a Google My Business profile already configured since the data comes from the tool of the American giant.

Then, you need to enter the information related to your business, the area you want to cover and the size of the grid that gives you an excellent idea of the position of your business in the whole area.

The tool allows you to have your ranking for each geographical position as in the image above.

If you are wondering if it is possible to use the tool in France, the answer is yes: 

With these tools, you get an interactive map that shows you where you rank in many different places in the city.

You may have better rankings in some places and worse rankings in other places.

Note that this is not necessarily a problem since if a competitor is ranked higher than you, Google will consider them to be the best choice for their users.

That said, you should use the tool to find places where you “should” be ranking well, but are not.

If there are competitors in positions that you would like to have, you should go and take a look at their listing.

This will give you an idea of what you need to do to rank well.

Apart from your ranking in the local pack, you should not forget your positioning in the organic results.

It’s important to understand that most local searches have incredibly strong commercial intent. In other words, users want a few more things to take action on.

In most cases, a comparison is the best type of content to satisfy that intent. As is the case for this example:

You can see that most of the pages present in the previous SERP are comparisons of the best restaurants in Paris.

In addition to ranking in the local pack, it makes sense to rank in the local SERPs as well.

And unlike the Local Pack results, local results are basically the same for all Google SERPs.

That’s why to optimize your site for local organic ranking, you’ll use traditional SEO practices:

  • Creating authoritative content;
  • Optimize the technical side of your web pages;
  • Use your keyword in your title tag, in your URL….
  • Etc.

You can consult my article on SEO for an exhaustive list of the different practices to be conducted. 

If you would like to know where you stand at this level, you can perform a full SEO audit of your website.

By doing this audit, you will be able to detect any other technical problems that are penalizing your optimization efforts.

Once you know exactly where you stand, you probably have some ideas about what to do next.

Let’s continue with the most appropriate action:

Chapter 6: Conduct Keyword Research for Local SEO

Keywords are the foundation of SEO, especially since they are what the search engine uses to determine search intent and suggest results.

Local keyword research is not really different from natural referencing: It is just specific.

In fact, local searches generally take the following forms:

  • …. near me; 
  • What time does it close… ?
  • How long will it take to walk to ….?
  • …. phone number ;
  • Etc. 

For my agency, there will be queries such as: 

SEO agency near me ; 
Twaino; 
What time does Twaino close; 
How long will it take to walk to the Twaino agency ; 
The number of the Twaino agency ;
Etc.

Google pulls this information from Google My Business listings

But what about the more “traditional” keywords? How do you know what they are and what you should optimize your site for?

You will not limit your efforts to your Google My Business account, you will also have to intervene on your website.

The local referencing wants to have as much as possible in the publications of the site, references to the targeted region. These contents help a lot in local referencing through their performance on the web.

Here are a few tips to adopt to help you out:

6.1. Brainstorm your “Service in Location

Keyword research for local SEO is not an exact science. For most businesses, the main keywords to target will be fairly obvious.

Si par exemple vous êtes un restaurant à Paris, demandez-vous comment les gens pourront accéder à vos services sur Google.

For example, Google users will search for : 

  • Restaurant in Paris ; 
  • Italian restaurant in Paris ; 
  • Pizza in Paris ;
  • Etc.

The format remains the same: Keyword + location. This is Service in Locations (SiL).

All you have to do is make a list of all the services you offer and the locations you serve. Then you’ll merge them together to create a bunch of potential keywords.

At this point, you can also play around with the plural or different variations of the words to get a bigger list.

For example, you can add “Restaurants in Paris” and “Restaurant Paris” to your list, instead of just “Restaurant in Paris”.

On the other hand, avoid trial-and-error selection of keywords specific to local searches.

To make the best choices, you can use tools like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to get metrics on your different keywords: 

You also have other ideas for keywords: 

These tools make it easy for you to get the keywords and questions that people often ask that are locally focused.

If you choose your keywords so carefully, you may well be surprised by the volume of searches you get.

To go further, check out these two guides:

That said, we must nevertheless pay attention to Google’s global search which is becoming more and more natural.

Indeed, Google has become smart enough to display some results even if there are no specific keywords.

As you’ve already noticed, Google doesn’t just show local results for keywords that contain a specific city or state.

If Google thinks your search requires a local result set, it will show you that, even if the keyword is not local.

For example, when I search for “garden”, Google gives me this local pack:

It’s important to keep this in mind when conducting keyword research for your local business. 

You will probably optimize your content with the keywords “service + city”. But be aware that most of the time, the generic keyword “service” without locations gets a higher search volume than the “service + city” version.

&

The idea here is not to try to stuff your descriptions and content with keywords. By doing so, you risk being penalized by Google’s algorithms.

6.3. Google Autocomplete

Google Autocomplete is a very good tool to generate more keyword suggestions.

Just enter your main keyword in Google and take note of the suggested searches.

Let’s do it for “Restaurant Paris”:

When I push my research with the suggestion “Restaurants paris 8”, I have this result: 

You will notice that I did not have the idea to use the expression “Restaurant Paris 8” which is much more precise than the initial “Restaurant Paris”.

Note that these suggestions come from the millions of queries that users keep making. If Google offers them, it’s because it believes they come up all the time and are therefore popular. It’s up to you to know how to use them.

Now, I have other ideas for keywords such as :

  • Restaurant paris 8 cheap ; 
  • Restaurant 8eme paris ; 
  • Etc.

Here, write down everything that you think is relevant. You can then repeat this process for other locations or keyword variations you have.

6.4. Spy on the keywords on which your competitors are positioned

Pages that rank high in Google also rank for other relevant keywords.

Ahrefs found that pages in the top 3 on the first page of Google also rank for 1,000 other relevant keywords.

I will take the website of the restaurant that ranks first on the keyword “Restaurant paris”: 

When I look at the organic keyword report, I can see that they rank for other related terms:

By examining these keywords for your competitors, you will discover other related and relevant searches.

Do this for similar businesses in other larger regions to discover keywords that may also be relevant in your area, and that your local competitors may have missed.

If you are in Versailles, don’t just use “Restaurant Versailles”, but also “Restaurant Yveline”, with Yveline the department in which Versailles is located.

  

Source : Wikipédia 

To know the keywords on which your competitors are positioned, you should use keyword research tools.

Once you have your list of relevant keywords, you need to use them. 

Here is the first action to take if you haven’t already thought of it:

Chapter 7: Claim your Google My Business, Bing Places and Apple Maps 

Claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing is probably the most important part of local SEO. 

However, you should know that listings on Bing Places and Apple Maps are just as important. It is not too difficult to set them up, just follow the instructions provided by each of the search engines.

7.1. Google My Business

As Google itself says: 

“Google My Business is a free, easy-to-use tool that allows businesses and organizations to manage their online presence on Google, including search and maps.”

According to Moz, GMB is the most important local ranking factor for both local results: 

I’ve published a comprehensive guide to Google My Business that you can use to claim your business listing.

Now let’s see how you can claim your profile with other search engines.

7.2. Steps to claim your listing on Bing Places

Bing only has a small market share of 7.81%, which means it is clearly less important than Google. But given that there is still a portion of Internet users who use it, it makes sense to claim your profile.

Plus, it costs you absolutely nothing and only takes a few minutes to set up your profile. It’s essentially the Bing equivalent of Google My Business.

Be aware that it is important to complete your Google My Business profile first.

Step 1: Make sure you haven’t been listed!

First, you need to check if your company has not already been listed on Bing Places.

To do this, go to Bing Maps and start typing your business name in the search bar.

If you are already listed, your company should appear in the search suggestions.

As you can see SEO Camp is already registered. If this is the case for your company, click on the link “Is this your business? 

You will then be redirected to a partially pre-populated page where you can claim/add your company.

In case you don’t find your business, you will have to start from the beginning. 

Step 2: Import your data from Google My Business

If you have already checked your GMB profile, you can import it into BingPlaces.

Go to the home page Bingplaces

You will then click on “New User”: 

Here, the choice is obvious “Import from Google My Business”. You will then reach this interface: 

Then, you will be redirected to your Google account to finalize the import.

If you are already verified on GMB, do so as it will save you time and avoid possible errors.

If you do not have a Google My Business profile, go to the next step:

Step 3: Create a Bingplaces listing manually

Instead of importing the GMB data, you will click on “Claim your company or add it manually” : 

Next, you will need to select the type of business you have:

Here are your choices for the type of business:

  1. Small or medium-sized company (1 to 10 sites);
  2. Chain business (more than 10 locations);
  3. Online business (no physical locations): Online businesses are not actually eligible for Bing Places listings; 
  4. I manage business listings on behalf of my client.

For the purposes of this guide, I consider you to be a small business with 1-10 locations.

If you run another type of business, select the appropriate option and Bing will guide you through the process.

Bing offers you a list of countries where it is available:

  • United States; 
  • Australia ; 
  • Austria; 
  • Brazil ; 
  • Canada ;
  • China;
  • Germany ; 
  • India; Italy
  • Italy; 
  • Mexico ; 
  • Spain;
  • Switzerland; 
  • United Kingdom.

For the moment, Bing is not available in France and you can indicate your e-mail to be alerted when it will be the case.

Importing Google My Business profiles should solve this problem.

If you are in one of the countries accepted by Bing Places, enter the name and location of your business:

Bing will then search for your business. But as we have already checked, it should not find it.

Then, please choose the “Create a business” option.

Step 4: Enter your basic information

When you click on “Create a company”, you will have an interface where you can connect with your email: 

You must now enter your company name, your address, your website, etc. 

If you have imported your data via Google My Business, it should already be done for you.

You must ensure that the information is consistent with the other entries.

Step 5: Choose an industry and category

Choose the category(ies) in which your company falls. Click on “Browse” to display the modal window, then search for the appropriate business category. 

Bing’s list is not as comprehensive as Google’s. But unlike Google, you can choose multiple categories (up to 10) and then select a “primary” category later in the process.

It will then display the categories and sub-categories in a more logical way.

Just because you can select 10 doesn’t mean you should.

Just pick the ones that are really appropriate for your business. This is usually one or two categories.

Then you can choose a main category from the categories you selected.

Finally, add a short description of your company, making sure to use your keywords.

After the description, you have the choice to let Bing display the address or not: 

Go to the next step: 

Step 6: Add email and links to your website, Twitter, Facebook, Yelp and TripAdvisor

Bing displays links from social profiles in its Knowledge Graph when people search for your business.

Here is an example:

So, if you have them, add them:

Otherwise, you can always add them later.

Step 7: Add photos

You can add up to 100 images on your BingPlaces listing and some images can exceed 10 Mb.

Bing has some rules in place that are pretty important to know before you start uploading your images: 

That’s it for BingPlaces, let’s move on to the next search engine:

7.3. Steps to claim your listing on Apple Maps

Typically, we use Google Maps and leave out other listing platforms. But you’re missing out on good opportunities if you don’t claim your listings on other platforms such as Apple Maps.

It is important to note that in the US, the Apple iPhone has a 32.9% share and in France 21.1%:

These numbers show that tens of millions of people use Apple’s IPhone. Yet iOS users always use Apple Maps, since it is the default mapping application on the iPhone.

In addition, Apple Maps is integrated into Siri and Spotlight searches. This means that it is Apple Maps that opens when you ask Siri for directions.

Note that Siri is the most used voice assistant:

Siri is actively used on over half a billion devices, that’s a lot of people!

If you are doing local SEO, you need to claim and optimize your SEO on Apple Maps.

To do this, simply go to Mapsconnect and follow the instructions as with the others: 

Then follow this guide to optimizing your SEO or watch this video: 

Until then, you have already categorized your company and built your basic quotes. 

After that, you’ll need to continue building citations to further enhance your company’s visibility and authority.

Chapter 8: Audit and create local citations (NAP)

Advendia says: 

“In Local SEO, a citation refers to the mention of a local establishment in an online directory. It comes in the form of a listing that presents key information about a business such as its business name, address and phone number.”

Thus, citations are online mentions of your business, which typically display your company’s name, address and phone number. 

They are commonly referred to as NAPs

  • Name ;
  • Address ;
  • Phone.

There are two main types of citations: 

  • Structured; 
  • And unstructured.

Here is an example of a structured quote:

In principle, structured citations are those where the NAP information is presented in a visually structured manner. 

The difference with unstructured citations:

Unstructured citations are mentions of your company that do not contain all of your company’s information. They are usually found on : 

  • Author profiles;
  • Blog posts; 
  • Newspaper websites;
  • Etc.

8.1. Why are NAP citations important?

There are several reasons why it is important for NAP citations to be accurate and consistent. Here are a few:

8.1.1. Citation signals are one of the main factors in local ranking 

According to a Moz study, citations rank 5th with a weighting of about 10% when considering local ranking factors: 

This is true for both Google’s “local pack” results and for regular organic search results. In the latter case, the weighting is 8.41% with the fifth position out of a total of 8.

This is most likely due to the fact that consistent information in NAPs on the web serves to confirm the data that Google has in its files (GMB) for a particular business.

On the other hand, inconsistent information in NAPs only serves to confuse and mislead Google as well as potential customers.

This leads to a bad user experience, which Google tries to avoid as much as possible.

8.1.2. Citations serve as validation and show that you are part of a community

Citations serve as validation, which is probably the number one reason why Google’s algorithm takes them into account.

Anyone can create a website and say they are an expert in a particular niche, but a citation can prove to search engines that the company is actually something real.

Citations also show that you are part of a community, which will greatly improve your ranking in local search engines.

In this sense, you are confirming to Google that you are real. So it’s not just another validation, but also a way to get your name out to your community, which Google appreciates.

8.1.3. Google is not the only place where people search for businesses

Users search for businesses on various platforms outside of Google namely: 

  • Social networks: Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter…
  • Directories; 
  • Etc. 

Having an accurate NAP on these sites will allow potential customers to find your business, which translates into more customers and revenue.

In summary, make sure that your existing citations are correct and consistent for better local SEO.

The more Google can see that your business is consistent online, the better.

Contact information is always changing. So citations are a great way to prove that you are a solid business and if users like that, so does Google.

Now let’s come to the case where you want to move your business.

You will need to do what is called “Citation Cleaning”.

This means updating all of your information to match your new location. There are also those cases where even without having to do anything, some companies have their data incorrect.

So, to make sure you have your data correct, you have to go and do a search on your company name yourself.

That way, you check each of your company’s listings to see if the data is true. If not, you will just have to modify them, which brings us to one of the most important practices:

8.2. Conduct a corporate citation audit

As an SEO Consultant, I have found that most companies have existing citations. That said, they are not always consistent or complete. 

While some will have an old address, others will have an incorrect phone number. Here are some ways to find inconsistent, incomplete and redundant NAP citations:

8.2.1. Check my record with Moz Local, Semrush, Ahrefs…

If you are in the United States, Canada or the United Kingdom, Moz Local is a great way to quickly check your record: 

Moz will check the major data aggregators in your country and discover any incomplete, inconsistent and duplicate listings.

On the other hand, its direct competitor Semrush is available in France and you can determine and manage your different citations:

Here is a video on how you can use this tool: 

You will have a list like this one that shows you all the directories in which you are present or not and where your data are correct or not:

Source : Semrush

Apart from the tools that can save you a lot of time, you can do your audit manually.

8.2.2. Manual audit of NAP citations

The only way to correct this data is to perform a manual audit and cleaning of the citations.

The basic procedure is to search for these citations in Google using advanced search operators.

Here are a few you can use:

To find incomplete NAP citations:
  • “Company name” + “partial address” – “correct phone number”: This operation allows you to find citations with your company name and address without taking into account the phone number ;
  • “Company name” + “correct phone number” – “partial address”: This one forces Google to consider the name and the number without taking into account the address of the company;
  • “Correct phone number” + “partial address” – “company name”: Like the previous operators, this one does not take into account the company name.

For my example, I will take the information from the Royal Indien, a Parisian restaurant:

I apply the third search operator, which gives me this result:

The sixth result of the SERP, allows me to have this form:

There is the number and the address, but not the name of Royal Indien. It is obviously an incomplete file and should be completed.

To find incorrect quotes from NAP
  • “Company name” + “partial address” + “old/incorrect phone number”
  • “Company name” + “correct phone number” + “old/incorrect partial address
  • “Correct phone number” + “correct partial address” + “old company name”

Here’s an article from Moz that goes into a lot of depth about the manual citation checking process.

8.3. Create more citations for your company

Now that you have found and corrected the existing quotes, it is time to build more.

8.3.1. Find more directories and local directories 

I recommend you start with some basic structured citations that are outside of GMB, BingPlaces, Apple Maps and social networks: 

After these platforms, you can then move on to geographically relevant citations, such as:

  • Local business associations and directories (e.g., local networking events) ;
  • Community centers

There are also industry-specific citations, such as TripAdvisor (for restaurants, hotels, etc.).

Basically, you just need to search for all the online publications related to your industry. Here are some ways to find them:

By using the Google search operators which are definitely useful when you use search engines regularly.

If you’re in digital marketing, follow this advice from Ryan Stewart :

“Every SEO should have a master list of search operators that they can use for link prospecting. A good search operator contains two things: The root operator (i.e. “suggest site”) and Search modifier/keyword (e.g. Miami). For local link building, we want the modifier to contain local keywords. Be specific – instead of just using your city (e.g. Miami), dig into neighborhoods, counties, cities, etc.”

Here is an example with “paris intitle:directory” :

See this guide for more relevant search operators. You can also use a citation search tool such as Whitespark.

Whitespark is a freemium tool, some of whose functions can be used in free mode.

But be aware that most results will not be qualitative if you are not a paying member. 

You can still find decent opportunities, even with a free account.

Know that Whitespark’s local citation search tool allows you to find opportunities based on your location and key phrase.

Simply enter your location and a few keywords related to your business (e.g. plumber) and the tool will pull up its results.

Then it’s a matter of creating referrals on all relevant sites. You can also easily outsource this task to a VA.

As a last resort, you can use the anchor report in the backlink analysis tools. Look for link anchors like :

  • “Visit the website”
  • “Website”
  • “Visit the website”
  • “Click here
  • “See the website
  • [free URLs]

These generic anchors usually come from directories.

8.3.2. Rules to follow for your local citation campaign

While you’ll be looking to get as many citations as possible, there are some rules that must be followed if you want your efforts to be productive. 

In 2018, Brightlocal conducted a study that gave them interesting data on how SEO experts interact with local citations.

The findings will help you know how you’re going to manage your citations. So, here are some things based on this study to consider:

The importance of citations decreases over the years 

When asked if citations have become more or less important than they were 12 months ago, most SEO experts felt that they are less important: 

The most relevant speech I think on this issue is from Ben Fisher, a local SEO expert and Google My Business Gold Product Expert award holder. He states:

“The fact that your business is more prominent and stable online, is important. When a search engine can see that you have more mentions than your competitors, it makes sense that it could affect how the algorithm views you as an entity. Ultimately, getting citations is a necessary evil. They’re not as important as they were a few years ago, but the same is true in the 90s. If you can get a link or mention on a relevant website that would interest your customers, then go for it. The worst that can happen is that you gain traffic.”

Conclusion: Although citations are important and give a boost to your local SEO, you should not spend all your time and budget on them. They are becoming less and less powerful with all the opportunities available today such as ratings and reviews.

Invest only in the directories that are worthwhile so you can move on to other important tasks. 

2.Accuracy and consistency are the key words for citations

Most SEO experts believe that citation accuracy is very important for local search rankings: 

The same study shows that 68% of consumers admitted that they would stop using a local business if they found incorrect information in online directories. 

Here are the different elements to pay attention to in order of importance: 

Conclusion: It’s like I’ve been saying for the previous chapters. You need to make sure your citations are accurate and consistent across all directories where your business appears.

3. Quality remains more important than quantity 

The answer is obvious when you want to know if the quality of citations is better than their quantity: 

As Bernadette Coleman, known as The Queen of Local SEO, puts it: 

“Remember, quality is always better than quantity. For businesses trying to cultivate a strong local presence online, building a collection of quality citations is essential. Authoritative citations can improve a company’s visibility and help it stand out from its competitors in search results.”

Conclusion: Focus your efforts on high authority directories that are really relevant to your business.

4. Relevance is the most important factor in choosing a directory

Not all directories are alike and to evaluate them, you need to use criteria. Here are the most important ones according to the experts: 

As you can see, the top three factors to consider when choosing directories are: 

  • Industry relevance; 
  • Relevance to location; 
  • Domain authority.

When asked what type of structured citations are most authoritative, the experts estimated: 

Always directories with high relevance to the niche. Note that Structured Citations are business listings that have a clearly defined presentation of a company’s name, address and contact information. As we have already seen ?

The result remains the same when citations are unstructured: 

As Bernadette Coleman points out: 

“We view each citation site as an opportunity with goals that go far beyond helping businesses rank in Google’s local results. In most cases, we choose directories that have been created to provide a good customer experience, which can also send potential buyers to deserving sellers.”

Conclusion: Once you have compiled the list of directories you have found, you should try to rank them according to criteria to ensure the quality of your company’s local citations. In this process, relevance to your industry remains the most important criteria.

This not only improves your relevance in the eyes of Google, but also allows you to get qualified traffic with a boosted conversion rate.

5. While building new quotes, correct old ones 

Between building new citations or correcting old ones with errors, most experts do both: 

Colan Nielsen reveals its tactics on this subject:

“Our approach to citation management is to make sure there are no glaring issues of consistency between NAPs. Then we make sure that most of the first 30 to 50 local citations are covered and then we can look at some niche citations. After that, we don’t spend too much time thinking about it, other than making sure the directories that come up for a brand search are accurate and optimized.”

Conclusion: It is important to create new citations for your company. But it is equally important to correct the existing one that contains inconsistencies. When you want to launch a campaign, you should aim for both of these tasks.

These are 5 important rules that you can keep in mind when trying to build quotes for your business. These different elements will ensure that you only get the highest quality quotes.

After and even during the management of your citations, you should think about the :

Chapter 9: Manage your customer and prospect reviews

SEO is a time-consuming business and if you want to get great results, you can’t afford to miss any opportunities. 

It should be noted that online reviews play an important role in the modern customer journey.

Statistics show that 71% of consumers consult reviews before making a purchase decision:

Earning reviews is a necessary part of any modern marketing strategy. But where do you start if you want to take control and make the most of the voice of the consumer?

9.1. Stay active on Google My Business

Having eyes on everything that happens on Google My Business is like :

  • Respond to customer/client reviews;
  • Look for incorrect changes;
  • Use Google Posts to keep your customers informed.

Responding to customer reviews is important in the sense that it shows that you value their needs. 

Note that you should do the same thing for any other review site for your business. Then, you should check very often the modifications made on your file, since anyone could change them at will.

All he would have to do is click on the “suggest a change” button.

Unfortunately, Google does not inform owners of new changes made before adapting them. 

So, it would be better to have your own eyes on it. 

Going back to Google posts, you should know that this is a small Google My Business blog. 

All new changes are displayed on your form and the Knowledge Graph.

This is an example:


Source : Ahrefs

This kind of notification not only attracts attention, but also encourages conversation. 

There is even research that Moz has done that has shown a relationship between pack ranking and Google post activity. 

All that’s left is to launch yourself with an image or a text of 300 words maximum. It’s just enough to attract attention and arouse curiosity. 

You can also include buttons in your posts: 

  • Learn more; 
  • Sign up; 
  • Get the offer ; 
  • Etc.

All local businesses should sign up for Google post to be more active since it doesn’t take much effort.

9.2 Stay active on industry-specific review sites

Since 97% of customers say they are influenced by customer reviews, you need to earn as many reviews in as many places as possible, as long as your products and customer service meet customer expectations.

Note that irritated or disgruntled customers are the most likely to give feedback, and they can seriously damage your brand’s reputation.

Indeed, almost all consumers want to share their bad experience with other consumers. 

At the same time, you will need to have more than 40 positive reviews before you can mitigate the damage caused by a single :

It is therefore important to make an effort to encourage reviews from a more representative sample of your customer base.

Industry-specific review sites are sites designed for or typically used in specific industries, such as Yelp for restaurants and TripAdvisor for hotels.

You can and should also find industry-specific review sites by doing Google searches:

  • [your industry] reviews/ratings
  • [your competitor name] reviews/ratings

It is important to focus on choosing which review sites to send customers to.

If you feel it’s important to send customers to a wide range of review sites to avoid low numbers or unrepresentative ratings on certain sites, the best way to do this is to mix up your review links. 

You will send different links to your different customers, rather than overloading customers with too many options.

9.3. How much advice do you need?

As with links and citations for local SEO, quality is more important than quantity. 

So it’s not just about getting more reviews than your competitors. 

You will be in a better position than a competitor if you have 10 positive reviews of more than 100 words and he has 20 mixed reviews of one line.

Your goal should be to get as many honest reviews of your business as possible. 

However, for a more specific purpose, you need to see how many reviews your competitors currently have. 

To do this, you can check out their Google My Business page and their profiles on major third-party review sites, not to mention keeping track of how many new reviews they receive each month.

Reviews left on Google My Business are more valuable than those left on other websites. 

You should therefore try to encourage users to leave reviews on your Google My Business page, without however totally excluding the possibility of receiving reviews elsewhere. 

Nevertheless, it should be kept in mind that some types of businesses such as restaurants, hotels, hairdressers… are naturally more often evaluated than others. 

In this case, you should try to find out the acceptable average for your niche.

To get a ballpark figure for the number of reviews to aim for on Google My Business, add up the number of reviews from businesses ranked on the first page of local business listings for your target keywords and divide that number by the number of businesses listed on the first page. 

The speed at which you get reviews is also important, as spikes and spikes in new reviews signal to Google that there has been an attempt to manipulate their ranking. 

Source : Theconversation

The result could be, at best, that these reviews are ignored and, at worst, that your ranking drops.

Therefore, you should avoid treating the acquisition of reviews as a one-time task, or as an activity that needs to be dedicated to every month.

Or contacting all your customers at once by sending them a mass email asking for reviews.

Instead, build the process of getting reviews into your business and always be on the lookout for any review opportunities that come up.

This approach also makes your review requests more personal and timely, which increases the chances that people will respond positively.

9.4. How do you collect your customers’ opinions?

To collect reviews from your customers, you can integrate your Google My Business review link into your email marketing campaigns. For example, you can simply use your email signature to ask your customers to leave reviews.

In this case, it’s important to write personal emails asking for reviews. The context of the personal email should make it clear that the email is not mass produced.

This shows that you value them, and they will return the favor by leaving reviews.

Also, it’s helpful to segment your audience and ask for reviews from people who are most likely to be long-term customers. This is one of the best ways to get reviews.

That’s why you may want to instruct customer-facing staff to ask customers for feedback, especially when customers seem satisfied.

Sometimes you will have to deal with customers who don’t know how to leave feedback. In this case, you can create a ready-made document to teach customers how to leave reviews.

However, don’t pay anyone to post reviews while posing as customers.

Customers should always post their own reviews directly on third-party platforms. Also, don’t set up a review booth at your workplace to ask for reviews.

A single IP address shared across multiple reviews on a given platform can result in those reviews being flagged and removed.

Speaking of reviews and building trust with your audience, you need to think:

Chapter 10: Use social networks in your local SEO strategies

Social networks constitute a vast world of exchange and communication. Statistics confirm that in 2020, there will be more than 3 billion users on social networks. 

You should also know that 55% of consumers look for their products on social networks. Every company should have its image on social networks and work on building its community. 

It is true that at first it does not seem obvious, especially when you have 0 subscribers on the meter. 

But here are some reasons why social networking is a business strategy that could tip the scales in your favor.

10.1. Why is social media important for business marketing?

10.1.1. Promote your brand

Here is the first or most obvious reason. 

No matter what your company sells, a product or a service, if it is not known, it will never register a customer. It is therefore obvious that you must make yourself known to the majority and grow your circle as you go along. 

For this kind of task, social networks are a very effective alternative. The best thing about these communication channels is that most of them are free. 

So there is no risk in subscribing and creating a profile for your business. At best, it will help you get a lot of potential customers.

The next step is purely strategic. You need to define your objectives in order to create an optimal strategy. 

Whether it is to get new customers at all, or on a more local field, you will have to specify your strategy to determine the networks that would suit you best.

10.1.2. Communicate your expertise and authority in your niche

The market is so saturated today that for a customer to follow you and adopt your brand, you have to answer several questions that come to him. His first reflex will be to run to your website and your pages on social networks. 

And yes, social networks again! 

He expects these different channels to inform him about your brand’s expertise and authenticity. You should therefore be able to build robust and information-rich profiles. 

Information that will be updated on a regular basis. This will reinforce the authority of your brand and make a good first impression. 

It is very useful and in your advantage to be able to establish means that prove the expertise of your company. 

For example, it will involve building articles related to your knowledge in the sector. In this way, you build trust with your potential customers.

10.1.3. Show the authenticity of your brand

Social networks are full of so many fakes that Internet users are tired of them. It is true that you have to publish content frequently on the networks, but the most important thing is that it must represent you. 

Articles with ready-made sentences, copied from the net, are not very successful. You should be reminded that a brand represents a personality and also a belief. Your brand is your voice. 

Whether it’s casual, formal, funny or friendly, it should shine through in your content. 

Internet users want the real thing, the authentic thing. Be true to who you are and show them what your brand stands for.

10.1.4. Provide support to your audience

Social networks have succeeded in improving the customer/seller relationship in a remarkable way. 

Indeed, before social networks, the only way to reach a company remotely is to contact the customer service. This barrier has not existed for a long time. 

Many refer to social networks to get information about their problems. 

This represents an opportunity to build your reputation as a caring and responsive brand. 

The procedure is as follows:

  • Create a system for tracking customer comments, questions and complaints on social media;
  • Respond to questions and concerns as quickly as possible;
  • Be positive and helpful; 
  • Listen to criticism and make customers feel heard;
  • Know when to resolve public conversations into private messages.

These actions complement well the management of reviews and ratings on your Google My Business account.

10.1.5. Improve your natural referencing

 Google and Bing have attested that a company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts affect its SEO. 

In fact, the more people talk about your company, the better you are ranked. It’s as simple as that. 

When a customer searches for a company, it also appears in the results the social profiles of the latter. These, allow to increase the number of clicks, because they occupy an important place in the SERPs. 

10.1.6. Off-line sales

Customers usually make their purchases after doing online research. 

If your business is talked about a lot on social networks, you can rank high in local search results. 

This will imply the fact that you record more offline sales in your store. 

10.1.5. Track trends in content creation for your audience

It is true that on social networks, trends and features are constantly evolving. It is a world that is not always easy to follow, especially for some business owners. 

However, who says you have to follow everything to the letter? The most important thing is to be able to learn at your own pace by finding new ways to share with your community. 

Indulge in the simplest and most affordable activities. For example, you could post a series of Instagram stories to offer clients, a behind-the-scenes tour of your offices. 

Another time, you can continue by holding a quick Q&A session via Facebook Live. video streaming.  

Source : Usine-digitale

With time, you will get used to it and will be able to better understand the preferences of your subscribers.

In general, we are more tempted to create text content than video content.

But you should know that video content is much more followed and just as easy to make.

All you need is good lighting, a smartphone and a tripod.

It should also be noted that it is important to always test before going online. This allows you to make sure that your internet connection is fast enough to avoid interruptions and delays.

10.1.6. Grow your business at a lower cost

Marketing is an area that is both very essential, but also requires a bit of money.

As a result, not all companies can afford huge campaigns. But there is an alternative with social networks.

Indeed, with a simple dollar your company could get a great value. And that’s through ads on networks like Facebook and Instagram.

However, you should make sure that you have very specific goals for your advertising campaign. This way, you don’t waste money on unnecessary ads.

So, how do you take advantage of all these benefits?

10.2. How to leverage social efforts for local SEO?

Local SEO with social network marketing is a pretty tough exercise even though it is also very important. It allows you to improve your ranking in the list of search results and therefore increase traffic to your social pages.

Before starting the exercise, make sure to take a moment and think about your objectives. Then, analyze the platform that would allow you to achieve them according to the type of business you run.

The question always arises, which of the social media is most suitable for local businesses to reach potential customers.

You can consider which networks have the highest priority with content creation that best fits your business objectives

10.2.1. Manage your presence on Facebook

Facebook is now the platform with the largest number of users. 

Also, it solicits its users much more than other networks. So it would be Also, it solicits its users much more than other networks. So, it would be wise to hang on to Facebook right now, since it offers great opportunities for local businesses.

These are opportunities that marketers know how to use to their advantage.

For example, they can take advantage of Facebook’s New Local Insght feature.

It helps marketers learn more about the people near their store.

For example, if you own a merchandise store and you recently ran a “Christmas discount season” ad campaign on Facebook, you can see the percentage of people who saw that ad near your store. That’s just impressive!

Also, with the new changes to Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm, marketers need to get users to engage with photo/video content.

Therefore, they should be more timely, relevant, trustworthy and original. This way, they manage to win the favor and comments of the internet users.

Marketers can take advantage of Facebook by announcing their events and special promotions.

People love to find “good deals” and local discounts are one of the favorite search phrases for customers.

You can take advantage of this by sharing your coupons on Facebook.

10.2.2. Manage your presence on Twitter

The agreement between Google and Twitter to show real-time tweets in Google search results has increased the importance of a strong and active presence on Twitter.

The number of followers, audience engagement and word-of-mouth marketing play an important role in building your brand on twitter. 

Embedded tweets, capitalizing on hashtags relevant to your niche, targeting the most trending hashtags can help you engage and connect with your target audience. 

Twitter is a great place for local businesses to hold contests to promote their products and services.

10.2.3. Manage your presence on Linkedln

LinkedIn is a platform unlike any other. However, it is just as important especially for businesses.

It is the largest online professional platform in the world and also a great networking platform for local B2B organizations.

Users visit it most often to check the credibility of the company.

There is very little complicity and exchange on this platform, but users visit LinkedIn to assess the validity and authenticity of companies.

Therefore, if your company doesn’t have a LinkedIn profile, it would be time to create one to prove your authenticity. It will also get your brand in front of more people from a more professional background.

10.3 Developing relevant local content

To get better results, your social media presence should be complemented with highly relevant local content. You need to start building local content that is relevant to your community and could be very useful to them.

The results displayed in search engines and social media are indeed influenced by the content that gets the most :

  • Likes; 
  • Shares; 
  • Retweets.

The most important thing becomes the positive engagement rate you get.

However, you have to be realistic. You can’t achieve great results with just a few successful publications.

You have to keep in mind that the most successful publications are those that are original and interesting.

If many people like your content, it will be shared on the web, which will allow you to have more backlinks to your website.

10.4. Customize your social strategy based on your business

There are several categories of local businesses:

  • Restaurants ; 
  • Hotels; 
  • Doctors; 
  • Real estate professionals; 
  • etc. 

Each of these categories of local businesses must focus on their social media marketing strategy in a way that is customized to the type of business.

For example, for the retail category such as restaurants, twitter will be more effective in attracting foot traffic to their stores with tweets about : 

  • Special discounts; 
  • Offers; 
  • Product updates; 
  • and more. 

Marketers can tweet weekly about their store’s “top picks”, offer exclusive deals or inform their fans/subscribers about what’s new in their stores.

Also, when organizing events, invitations can be tweeted about activities or prizes that could be won.

For the business category such as real estate professionals, Facebook or YouTube might be better options.

With these two networks, it is very easy to create and publish visual content. They allow you to promote a new product/service in the most appreciated way.

Twitter can be a secondary option to support the above activities on YouTube and Facebook.

In summary, this is what social networks can do for you.

Now let’s look at the strategies you can develop through your website to optimize your local SEO.

Chapter 11: Create quality backlinks to optimize your local SEO

The Moz study confirmed what we know about SEO: Links are very important. They are the most important factor for local organic results.

Even though they are ranked second for the local pack, they are no less important.

You have probably already created a set of links to your website while building local citations. Especially since the majority of directories and directories allow you to have backlinks.

In addition to these links, here are some methods to build backlinks to your website.

11.1. Create and promote a useful local resource

You should remember that the best way to gain someone’s trust is to help them very often. So the more you help, the more likely you are to get potential customers.

Local resource pages serve as a sort of guide that provides links to the best local businesses – like restaurants and plumbers.

It turns out that the best tactic for requesting a backlink is to link to their business first.

Once you’ve invested in building a resource page, it’s your turn to ask for a favor in return.

The crux of this technique is to contact the company you referred to and ask them to mention you on their site as well.

11.2 Keep an eye on local influencers

Influencer marketing has really taken off as a key driver of brand visibility and consumer trust. 

This practice produces a return on investment 11 times greater than traditional advertising, such as banner ads.

This gives you a golden opportunity to partner with a local influencer in your niche. Approach them with a professional offer for content creation.

You can even make a content exchange deal – you write a blog for their site, and they return the favor by offering backlinks to your website.

11.3 Guest Blogging

Guest Blogging is a technique that allows you to publish or write blog content on another website in order to get more notoriety from backlinks. 

It is very effective for creating quality links, but not only. 

Think especially of all the traffic it can bring for your business.

Nowadays, you have to bet for quality if you want to last long in the market. You will also have to write on blogs that can send qualified traffic to your site.

We will choose for local companies:

  •  Local blogs and publications;
  •  Industry-specific blogs.

Contrary to what it might seem, searching for a blog is just as easy as typing a search in Google.

  • [place] entitled: “write for us”;
  • [place] intitle: “write for me”;
  • [place] “write for us”;
  • [location] “guest article” ; 
  • [location] “guest author” ;
  • Etc.

Here is for example what the search could give for a business located in Paris:

The search will be done in the same way when you are looking for publications related to your niche. All you have to do is replace the location with a keyword. 

For example, put ”plumbing” instead of ”paris”. 

To go further, I invite you to check out my full article on guest posting. As a bonus, you have a list of over 144 blogs that accept guest posts.

11.4. Creating authoritative content with the bidding technique

Let’s assume that you are a plumber in Paris and your main target is naturally the inhabitants of Paris. 

You would have to think of something that would add value to them and would be likely to make them follow you. For example, you can publish DIY guides that make it easy for your audience to cope with small plumbing related problems.

You can also look at content such as:

  • The best of… local: You can create a guide to the best establishments: restaurants, bars, hotels or anything else in the city.
  • Local calendars: Here, you need to create a calendar that includes all the important or significant events in the city in the coming months. If these events are directly related to your business, even better.

When the contents are finally created, it will be necessary to continue with their promotions.

Check out my article on the bidding technique to get an idea of how to create authority articles and promote them.

Be aware that this type of content is called link bait since it attracts high quality backlinks by itself: 

It should be noted that the technique is to determine the content that performs best in search engines and propose a content that is 10 times better. 

You will actually have to create better content than the ones presented in the SERPs and you can expect to perform better than your competitors.

You will maintain a competitive analysis file: 

You will fill it out as you go along to determine your competitors’ weaknesses and the opportunities you can seize.

During this analysis, you will use tools such as Ahrefs or Moz to determine which websites are linking to your competitors.

11.5. Develop your network and visit your prospects

Earning high quality backlinks comes down to relationships. The more relationships you have, the more high quality backlinks you will get.

Therefore, get out and actually talk to people in person. Meeting someone in person is the fastest, most effective way to start a relationship and get you on the path to acquiring backlinks.

Even though almost everything we do is online these days, it’s worth doing.

Here are some examples of places you can visit to see people you can talk to:

  • Suppliers;
  • Manufacturers ;
  • Associations ;
  • Chamber of Commerce / Rotary clubs;
  • Local meetings;
  • Networking Events;
  • Conferences and trade shows;

11.6 Search for mentions of your company online

Your business may have already been mentioned several times by other businesses or publications. However, you may not benefit from these mentions, as many site owners do not backlink to your site.

Tools such as Google Alerts can help you track mentions of your brand on the various social channels that exist today:

By using such tools, you can follow all the discussions around your brand.

Simply contact the businesses/owners who have mentioned your brand and ask them to add a link. 

And that’s it! Another local backlink to increase your local SEO visibility.

11.7 Stealing links from your competitors 

The main way to gain backlinks is to offer value to customers and constantly strive to gain authority in the niche. Actions that gradually pave the way for high quality backlinks.

There is another way to do this: It is to analyze the links of your competitors and see how you can use these links to strengthen the authority of your own site.

The key is to find high quality, high authority links that your competitors have. Then, it will be a matter of trying to get the same for your website.

There are many tools that can help you generate a complete list of links to your competitors’ sites. Check out my complete guide to backlink building to learn about them.

11.8. Create a useful tool to attract local traffic

When it comes to creating a useful tool, the key is to remember that you are doing it for local link building, so it needs to provide local information.

It doesn’t have to be a very technical tool, but you can shape it into something that brings value to your local audience.

Developing such a tool may even allow you to get some links from Wikipedia.

The only drawback is that for companies that don’t have programmers will have to spend a small fortune to have a tool.

11.9. Provide free testimonials to other companies

Every business must, at some point, deal with other organizations and business entities. Restaurants usually have to deal with suppliers, real estate agencies, etc.

You can leverage these relationships by reaching out to organizations you’ve worked with in the past and offering them a testimonial in exchange for a link back to your site.

With nearly 70% of online customers looking for social proof before making a purchase, positive testimonials can do wonders for a business. 

These testimonials can be posted on their site or on a separate page of your website. And all they will have to do is link to your page. 

This is an effective strategy for building relationships and rapport, and gaining backlinks from relevant local organizations.

This guide alone can not contain all the techniques to exploit to create links. However, you can consult my complete guide on netlinking.

Chapter 12: The importance of content in your local SEO efforts

If you are the owner of a small local fast food restaurant and a website that goes with it, it is unlikely that you can compete with the giants of the same industry when an Internet user somewhere in the world types in “best fast food” in their search bar. 

It is not necessary to indicate the page on which your site will be displayed, the main thing is that it will not be on the first page. However, let’s suppose that the Internet user is now in the same city as you and does the search “best fast food in the city” or “best fast food in Paris”. 

You have a much better chance of ranking well for such a search. You might even appear in the local pack

There was a time when the google pack was a 7 pack. And it was much easier to get listed locally. A NAP at the bottom of the page, a few useful links and it was done. 

Then we switched to the 3-pack and the trouble started. 

So what can you do to optimize your local referencing, appear on the first page of search engines and stay there. The answer is quite simple: Produce quality content. 

12.1. Why you should focus on creating local content

There are facts that serve as evidence that creating local content can get you more exposure. 

Search Geek Solutions saw a 300% increase in organic visibility for Bloomfield Dental Designs by developing local content. 

Source : Search Geek Solutions

And they’re not the only ones. The team at seoreseller.com has increased traffic by nearly 300% by creating personalized local content.

Source : Seoreseller

Content is a very effective way to rank well for local and less competitive keywords. And unless your local business has achieved international superstar status, you should keep reading.

You need to become a real original, unique, and above all local content machine.

Your local content must be relevant and useful. Every piece of content must have a reason to be on your website.

Not creating content for your sites is risky. It’s a bit like expecting and hoping for guests at a party they weren’t invited to.

Having already discussed several times how you need to create content that engages your audience, I won’t go over those points again.

However, here is a list of content types that work well with Local SEO.

12.2. The 7 Types of content that will help you in your local SEO

12.2.1. A web page dedicated to your city

The reason for creating a web page that locates the city where you are located is quite simple. You need to be identified by search engines as a specific city. 

It may cost you a few sleepless nights, but it’s a necessary evil to be competitive on local keywords. If your business is located in multiple cities, you have two options. 

The first is to create a separate web page for each location. This is exactly what Eskimoz, an SEO Agency, has done: 

&

The other possibility, and the most complicated, is to create a website entirely dedicated to your location. 

If you are a small local business, creating separate websites for each location will be a huge task that could be detrimental to you. Keep it simple, with one web page per location.

Alternatively, if creating multiple city-specific location pages seems like a daunting task, start with the region or country of your locations.

For example, we have Amazon.fr for France: 

And Amazon.com for the English site:

These two domain names are different, which makes at least two different websites for the American giant.

Before creating these location pages related to a region or country, you must first inspire buyer personas to understand your audience. 

12.2.2. The “Best of…” or “best of….” 

The “best of” allows you to give your readers the results of in-depth research and an expert perspective on a topic. 

If you still have in mind the past examples, you may have noticed the “best …” guides are frequent in the SERPs.

&

Apart from these types of content, there are:

12.2.3. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQs are almost unavoidable when doing local SEO. According to BrightLocal, 58% of consumers have used voice search to find local business information in the past 12 months. 

Voice search is a question:

Then create and optimize your FAQ pages!

12.2.4. Special offers and discounts

In this highly digital age, everyone is fond of coupons.  Special offers and discounts are a goldmine for local business owners.

Hotels are very well known for giving their guests what they want by customizing special offers for locals. 

For example, the Sorbone Hotel, which has special offers: 

It’s not just hotels that do this and should do it, other types of businesses too are encouraged to offer discounts and special events accompanied by quality content.

Make your customers feel pampered. By offering a location-specific discount, you attract your local audience. You make them feel special.

Above all, remember that no discount is too small to be well positioned locally. 

12.2.5. Organize local events

Always with the intention of being well referenced locally, organizing local events is an excellent pretext to add content to your website. 

If you organize a local event without announcing it on your website, you lose some of your SEO power.

With the power of social networks, it is unfortunately quite common to see event announcements by companies that are not listed on their site. 

You can also take advantage of your local events to add quality content to your website.

12.2.6. Partnering with local people

If event planning is not your thing, you may want to consider partnering with a local event.

Some of the best backlinks the law firm of Anijdar & Levine received came from local sponsorships. 

If you don’t have the budget to sponsor local events, then talk about those local events. Or, consider offering local experiences like Airbnb:

12.2.7. Having an active Blog 

An active blog will help you improve your ranking and compete properly on local keywords. 

If you are a local business looking to make an impact, you can address issues related to : 

  • To product announcements; 
  • Laws if you are in a sector with strict regulations;
  • The best plans;
  • Interviews and testimonials;
  • New location announcements; 
  • and more.

The benefits of blogging are many: 

It is essential to take advantage of this when you have a website.

From here, you have enough leads to start creating local content. 

Content is crucial if you want people to find your local business online and visit you. 

Search engines will help you if you do your part of the job correctly. 

Chapter 13: Best Practices for Complete Local SEO

To finish this guide, let’s look at two best practices that can help you in your local SEO efforts.

13.1. Have a mobile friendly website 

You need to make sure your website is optimized for mobile visitors. 

In fact, statistics show that 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site.

Not to mention that nearly 9/10 people using a mobile device to conduct a local search will call the company within 24 hours:

This is a very important pillar that you should not leave out. 

If you want to have local visibility, adapt your website to mobile!

If you don’t know if your website is mobile friendly, you can use Google’s test tool to check this:

13.2 Integrating a Google Map to your “About” page

This is a great way to let Google know that you are located in a specific area.

To do this, simply find your business in Google Maps : 

Then you click on Share : 

Then, click on Integrate a map : 

You copy the HTML code that you will integrate on your page: 

My article on the embed code generator can greatly help you.

Apart from these two practices, you need to resort to traditional SEO practices that may not have been mentioned in this article.

Conclusion: Local SEO – An opportunity for local businesses

The world is becoming more and more digitalized with the evolution of technology. Today, not having a presence on the web is almost synonymous with non-existence.

This rule applies to businesses, even if they are local, especially since consumers consult search engines before making any purchase.

In a few words: You must have an online presence for the survival and development of your business.

But having an online presence for your local business is not enough. Indeed, there will always be direct and indirect competitors who share the same target audience as you.

That is why it will take a significant effort to have visibility. These different efforts on the web are grouped under the concept of local SEO.

In this guide, we had the opportunity to see in detail what Local SEO is and why you should opt for this practice. 

In addition, you now know how local search works, which gives you a clear idea of how your potential customers will find your business.

Finally, we have dissected the different practices that can allow you to effectively optimize your local visibility.

Finally, it is important to track the performance of your efforts using the same tools you used to conduct your Local SEO audit.

If this guide has helped you get more visibility and customers, please leave me a review on my Google My Business profile.

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