An Up-To-Date Guide On Local SEO In 2019

Local SEO is the optimisation of your website so it can be found in search engine results. SEO changes all the time so it’s very important that you are up to date on best practices. Local competition is heating up and by using these strategies you can ensure that your business can be found by customers.

If you are a local business, then you need to focus on the ‘local pack’ (also called ‘3-pack’) if you want to get more traffic to your website. This is basically a listing of three businesses that appear just below the map in the search results on Google when you search with local intent.

For example, if you type ‘dentist Melbourne’ then you will get this:

Also, when customers search for a business on Google, they see a box with information on the right, and that is called the ‘’Google Knowledge Panel’’. If you want to build a local presence, the search engine needs to know everything about your business. You can do this by providing an accurate name, address, phone number, and URL in Google My Business. With the consistent information, you are showing the search engine that it can trust you and that will have a positive effect on your rankings.

For example, almost 20% of small businesses don’t use SEO in their efforts and 17% of enterprise businesses don’t have a full-time SEO staff, but it is really important for them to include SEO in their tactics. SEO is an important part of your marketing strategy, and the local SEO

In case you have a new business, you’ll need to make social media profiles on the platforms like Facebook, Yahoo, Yelp, Bing Places for Business and Google My Business. Profiles on these websites will have a massive impact on your local search ranking.
Let’s do some stats!

78% of local mobile searches end with an offline purchase, and 72% of consumers who performed a local search have visited the store within five miles. With that said, we can make a conclusion that the #1 factor and the most valuable consideration seems to be ‘’Which businesses are closest to the searcher?” Traditional local search ranking factors like website content, review or backlinks are not important as they were before.

You are probably wondering why is Google giving such an advantage to the proximity factor rather than traditional local searching factors? You guessed it right, it’s to sell more ads!

How does this affect the local SEO strategies?

Well, it is far more competitive now than it was before. The reach for your business in the local results is much smaller than it used to be and that means that you need to step up your local organic and optimisation efforts. You must also make sure that your business is on the Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc. then optimize your profiles and enhance them with as much information as possible.

This is not the end; you have to drive reviews on those sites rather than focus just on Google. If someone is not satisfied with the local results on Google, for example, they will definitely search the Yelp’s 10 best XYZ list, and you have to be on that list! So, the conclusion is – the more reviews you have on these sites the better you will rank in their search results. Nowadays, businesses are concentrated more on conversion and revenue, rather than rankings and traffic like it was in past years.

If you want to measure the success of your content SEO strategy, you first need to set up your goals. Do you want more traffic? Higher rankings? What is the purpose of your content SEO strategy?

Most of the people will say that they want to rank higher in Google, but is that the real goal or is it the more traffic from Google to their website? They probably want to sell more products or to have more return visitors. Different goals require different metrics to evaluate.

When you have determined your goals, you need to come up with a strategy that suits those goals. If you want to rank your articles higher, you will have to improve and update them.

If done correctly, the on-site optimisation can account as much as 18% of what Google weights in its algorithm when determining which local results to show to the searcher.

But how do you measure those goals?

When you have established your goals and created the strategy, you will now be able to measure it. First, you need to know what it was like before implementing a new strategy, and you need to know how it’s performing afterward.

Let’s take some goals and see how we can measure them!

Higher rankings

Take a look at your articles. See which is ranking the best and which articles need the SEO boost. You can rewrite the old ones and write some new ones. After some time check the rankings again and if your articles appear in a higher position than before, you just started your content SEO strategy successfully! Use Google Search Console to keep track of your rankings.

More traffic

If you want to get more traffic on your website, your main focus should be on the number of unique visitors you get weekly or monthly. If the organic traffic that comes to your website using search engines increases, that means you’re doing it right. To keep track of the visitors on your site, use Google Analytics.

More sales

This may be the ultimate goal of your content SEO strategy. It is not so easy to measure the direct impact of the content SEO strategy on the sales, and it will need some time to have an effect on your sales. Google Analytics is giving you a lot of options on how to attribute the value of sales to certain pages.

So, how you will measure the success of your content SEO strategy mostly depends on the goal of the specific strategy. It is really important what do you want to achieve. Determine your goals, find the metrics you need and define a test period where you can see if your content strategy was a success.

Many local businesses overlook link building, and approximately 35% of marketers don’t have a local link-building strategy in place. For businesses who practise link building, content development, direct asks, and sponsorships are their best tactics.

A large number of businesses neglect review management strategy which involves monitoring and responding to reviews, fighting spam and analysing people’s sentiment towards your business. With that said, every business needs review management in their customer service programs.

Various size businesses haven’t made the mobile-first leap, and that means they will be left behind. About 55% of marketers have confidence in the mobile-first status for their sites, but other 45% don’t have it. It is a fact that most companies are using paid Google advertisement, like Google Ads, Service Ads or some other form or PPC. In the technology era, a big number of companies don’t use in-store tech like beacons, sensors, QR codes etc.

E-mail marketing is highly rated, as having the highest return on investment, but around half of the marketers are either not implementing this strategy. Half of the local businesses are implementing word-of-mouth and loyalty programs, and not depending only on Google, while the other half is risking by relying only on Google.

CONCLUSION

Google dominates in the local search marketing activity and doesn’t have a significant competitor in local marketing. That is the reason why the ‘’local search’’ has become synonymous with “Google search.”

While you can set and forget some SEO activities, others, such as publishing content and building reviews, need to be done on an ongoing basis if you are looking for long-term local success.

There isn’t a single trick to getting better rankings but it’s generally a combination of a lot of these SEO strategies that will boost your local company’s search engine rankings.