Search Results are broken into many different segment types, one being geographic location of the searcher. This means that when a person is searching for a service or product Google looks at the location of the search and offers up more local results before non-local or national results. For example, if Kevin searches for “sporting goods” while in London Ontario he will get results like Dick’s Sporting Life Goods, Pete’s Sports & Repairs, National Sports, or London’s Source for Sports.
When it comes to eCommerce sites, local search is something to remember – especially if you also have brick and mortar stores.
Local SEO is needed. But what is the difference between SEO and Local SEO? You use the same optimization techniques you would any other time, the difference lays in the content, the strategy if you will.
Local SEO Strategy
Local SEO strategies target compensation keywords and location names, reviews, and local listings. To build your Local SEO you must remember that SEO is multidimensional and is contently changing. You must also remember that Local SEO, like any SEO strategy, is a long term investment that builds over time, there really are no quick fixes with a fast ROI.
The first thing to do is to make sure that there is a foundation for each location. Many location business (especially in eCommerce) do not have their own local business website. But it is not necessary to have a whole seperate site for each location. Dedicated pages per location or microsites work just as well. Whichever web path you pick, it is important to ensure it is mobile optimized.
After you have created a dedicated webpage for each location, you need to claim and make review site listings and a directory listed for each. Consistent listings on platforms like Yellow pages, Google Business, Bing Places, Facebook, Yelp, Yahoo local listings are a powerful way to gain local visitors and boost local ranking. The more optimized a listing is for a location, the more reliable the information is perceived to be and the better the impact on overall ranking.
With optimized platforms and reviews starting to come in, it is vital to keep your eye on them. Reviews do not just help (or hinder if negative) your SEO but also your customer relation and brand reputation.
Tip: Respond to all reviews. Positives with a “thank you, we are happy you…”. Negative “sorry you… if you contact our customer service we would be happy to help….”. Doing this is not just for the people who reviewed but also for the people reading them, showing them that you care and want to make your customers happy.
Now it is time to optimize your foundation with on-page SEO. Each page should be optimized for content (page title, meta descriptions, embedded google map) and local keyword, like “Sporting Goods in London” and “[brand] in London”. After which further optimization can be done such as backlinks.
To further optimize the foundation, schema should be added to each page. By adding your business name, address and phone number you can make it easier for search engines to determine if your site is relevant for local searches.
Local SEO Ranking Factors
Once you have built out your local pages and have optimized them, it is good to know what value each element has when it comes to Local SEO ranking factors. Knowing this helps you prioritize the ongoing work of refinement and improvements for your locations.
Moz has a great image (above) that shows you just how much influence each element type has on the rankings. As you can see, the two largest are on-page elements and links, meaning that these two should always be under refinement and building.
Local SEO is a critical thing for any company who services a geographic area. Be it a plumber or retailer, you need to have a local page, with local data that has local links and reviews.
Learn more about how to optimize your site for local SEO
This article was first published by the author on LinkedIn.
By Bethny Card
As a Digital Marketing Specialist, Bethny is a strong SEO resource for Thinkwrap and our clients. She holds an advanced diploma in Advertising, and brings with her over five years’ experience working in the digital marketing field across Canada and abroad. Her dedication to her career and thirst for knowledge contribute to her role helping customers achieve omnichannel growth maximum ROI.