A Guide to Local SEO in 2021. Ever since Google launched its Pigeon update in 2014, Local SEO has become more important than ever. This is especially true for small businesses operating on a small scale with a limited budget and capital.
On the other hand, National SEO and local SEO are two different things.
National SEO focuses more on improving the ranking of keywords on an international scale. In contrast, local SEO is more about improving the rankings of regional-based keywords.
Since local SEO is more relevant to your regional customers, it can help you in getting more sales, leads, and conversions. Apart from this, local SEO can also help you to compete with big brands and companies in your niche. Besides, 35% of all search traffic is locally targeted. This means you can’t afford to ignore local SEO, especially in 2021.
But what is local SEO and why is it so important? To know more, keep reading this blog post till the end.
What is Local SEO?
SEO or search engine optimization is the practice of increase a website’s ranking on Google. While national SEO can help you to increase the rankings of international keywords, local SEO focuses more on region-specific keywords.
Let’s say you have a website development company in New York. In this case, instead of targeting keywords like “website development company in the USA”, you can go with keywords like;
- Website development company in NYC.
- Web development company New York.
- Best web designing company in NYC and so on.
By targeting such keywords, you can increase your chances of getting a better ranking on Google. Such keywords are easy to rank and they are also highly conversational.
Why is local SEO important?
Increase website traffic
The very first benefit of local SEO is that it can help you increase the traffic of your website. Today, 46% of all the searches are local. As a result, by targeting more local keywords, you can increase your website traffic.
Easy to rank
Local SEO keywords are easy to rank as compared to national keywords. The competition on such keywords is very low as most brands try to rank national keywords.
Of course, national keywords do have tons of monthly search volume, but they are very competitive. So, if you are a new business or a brand looking for quick rankings, then go with local SEO keywords.
You already know that most customers research online before they buy or purchase any product. And with more than 30% of the search traffic going to the first page of SERP, it’s clear that local SEO can help you attract more customers.
With the help of local SEO, you can make sure that your website appears in front of customers who are searching for your products in your region.
Complete with big brands
The next benefit of local SEO is that it can help you compete with big brands in your niche and industry. Big brands and companies have a good marketing budget. So, they target international keywords with high search volume and good competition.
On the other hand, the competition on local SEO keywords is very low. So, if you target such keywords, then you’ll be able to rank your website with little SEO effort.
13 local SEO tips
Now you might have understood what is local SEO and why is it important for your online business. So, it’s time to take you through some tips that will take your local SEO campaign to the next level.
1. Have a Google My Business Account
First in this list of Local SEO tips is to set up a Google My Business Account. Google My Business is similar to any other local listing website like Yellow Pages and Hot Frog.
Another benefit of having a Google My Business account is that it’s an important local SEO ranking factor. In fact, according to a study done by Moz, Google My Business listing is the number 1 ranking factor for local SEO. So, if you are serious about local SEO, you must create your Google My Business account.
Setting up a GMB account isn’t a technical process. Google gives you all the support you need to make sure your profile is 100% complete with genuine and correct information about your business.
2. Take advantage of local directories
The next top-rated local SEO tip is submitting your business listing on several other directories. Apart from the Google My Business listing, there are several other websites where you can list your business.
While listing your business on other local directories, you need to make sure that you give correct and genuine info about your business.
Here are the top 5 local directories on which you can list your business;
- Bing Places
- Hot Frog
- Yellow Pages
- Four Square
Apart from these international directories, you can also look for local directories in your region. Remember, listing your business on these directories will further boost your local SEO efforts.
3. Optimize your NAP
While local business listing matters, your NAP (Name, address, and phone number) is also important. You should always maintain a consistent NAP for all your local listings. This will help you win the trust of Google.
We have come across several local listings in which the NAP of several businesses is inconsistent. Avoid this otherwise, you will create a feeling of distrust in the eyes of Google as well as for your customers.
When Google finds something fishy about your listing, it may stop displaying your GMB listing as well. So, you need to play your cards wisely when it comes to managing NAP.
Apart from this, you must also keep watch over your NAP information. Suppose, you moved your business from one location to another. In this case, you need to change your NAP information on all your local listings.
4. Target local keywords
You need to hunt and target those keywords near you and make content around them. In our opinion, you should look for long-tail SEO keywords for your business.
Here is a great example of such keywords for online coaching classes in Toronto.
- Best online coaching classes in Toronto.
- Top online coaching classes in Toronto.
- Toronto’s best online classes.
These are the perfect examples of long-tail local SEO keywords. They are easy to rank and also highly conversational.
Such keywords can bring you a lot of business opportunities.
5. Optimize your site with local keywords
This is one of the most important local SEO tips for 2021.
Once you have a list of local SEO keywords in your bucket, you need to start optimizing your site with them. For this, you need to focus on optimizing them from an on-page SEO point of view.
Before making your website live, make sure that your home page and service are optimized with your local SEO keywords.
Later on, you can focus on optimizing the following aspects of your site;
- Title and meta tags.
- Image alt tags
- Website content.
- Header and footer.
- Website body and so on.
Let your keywords flow naturally and don’t over-optimize your website by stuffing it with them.
6. Create local content
Let us be honest with you. There is no secret formula for taking your local SEO campaign to the next level. However, with the help of local content, you can improve your chances of getting ranked for a locally based keyword.
Today, most of the content you’ll see on the internet revolves around non-local SEO keywords. While such content can be useful for big brands and companies, it might not be beneficial for small businesses like yours.
That’s why you need to take this opportunity and start creating more local-based content.
While there are different types of local content you can opt for. We recommend going for blog posts. In fact, we have personally seen a boost in our organic traffic by creating blog posts on locally targeted keywords.
If you run a cake shop in Montreal, you can create blog posts on the following topics;
- Top 10 cake shops in Montreal.
- Top 30 cake shops in Montreal.
- List of best bakeries in Montreal and so on.
Anything that revolves around New Jersey and bakeries will give you amazing results.
7. Focus on mobile optimization
The next tip in this list mobile optimization.
Making your website mobile-friendly is not only important for local SEO but international SEO as well. Google already knows that mobile phones and internet users are growing day after day. That’s why to give the best user experience, Google started favoring mobile-friendly websites.
Apart from this, 30% of all the searches from mobile are locally intended. This means a lot of customers may find your business by doing a local search. In such a scenario, you must have a mobile-friendly website.
8. Take advantage of voice search
Besides mobile optimization, you should also focus on optimizing your site and content for voice search. According to Search Engine Watch, voice searches are 300% more locally intended as compared to text-based searches.
Apart from this, 3.25 billion people currently use voice-activated search globally. So, we can safely say that voice search is growing day after day. Still, many brands and businesses have not yet optimized their site for it.
This can be a great opportunity for you to outrank your competition and win the game.
9. Build more links
Now here comes the most important ranking factor for local as well as international SEO. Search engines like Google take backlinks as one of the most important factors for determining the ranking of a website or content.
In fact, link-building will always remain the top-ranking factor on Google. However, not all links created will have an equal SEO value.
Some link-building techniques like images, forums, and directory submission aren’t useful in 2021. Today, contextual links from high DA PA websites matter the most.
Here are some tips to help you make high-quality backlinks;
- Guest posting on high authority websites in your niche.
- Building relationships with other bloggers in your niche.
- Article submission.
- Editorial links.
10. Manage your reviews
Another important local SEO tip for 2021 is to manage your reviews on your Google My Business account.
When it comes to reviews, try getting positive ones as much as you can. They’ll help you improve your trust and building credibility in the eyes of Google as well as other users.
On the other hand, you should avoid getting negative reviews on your GMB account. Negative reviews can de-rank your GMB rankings and may also create a feeling of mistrust in the minds of users.
You can tackle your negative reviews carefully by optimizing your customer service as much as possible. Or, you can also try to manage negative reviews by responding to them with the intent to solve the user’s query.
By managing negative reviews, you can also increase your chances to retain your unsatisfied customers.
11. Check for your competition
This is the universal local SEO tip. You should always keep an eye on your competitors’ websites and check what they are doing in terms of local SEO. This will help you identify their strengths and weaknesses.
You can also check which keywords are they targeting in their local SEO strategy.
Another thing you can also do is check their NAP, citations, and local listings by using local SEO tools like Moz Local and Bright Local.
12. Integrate local and international SEO
Of course, local SEO is important for small businesses, but you should also keep in mind that international SEO will take you to the palace you deserve. International SEO can help you to bring in more traffic on your website, better conversion, sales, and eventually profits.
You can also integrate your local SEO and international SEO efforts to get maximum results.
13. Manage your citations
If you have new term citations then let us explain them to you.
Local citations are nothing but key information about your business such as its name, address, phone number, and email. This information helps online users discover your local business. In fact, they also have a positive impact on your local SEO rankings.
More citations = better ranking on Google My Business listings.
That’s why you should keep on creating more and more citations for your local business.
As consumers are moving online, SEO has become more important than ever. Now that you learned 13 local SEO tips, it’s time to implement these strategies one-by-one.
Having said that, you need to implement these techniques regularly to get the best results. Apart from this, you must keep updating yourself. Only in this way, will you be aware of all the changes happening in the domain of local SEO.
You can easily do that by following BluCactus blog daily.