SEO is the most weird set of skills I have ever seen. You either want to try new things or you push the same shit you were doing in 2005.
The funny thing is it doesn’t matter which one of those groups you fit into, we all have no idea what the google algorithm wants because they are vague as shit with their info.
Its implementation by democracy.
With limited space for listings on Page One, ranking can be tough, especially for businesses in saturated niches. However, with the right strategies and consistent effort, local businesses can still achieve strong visibility and attract customers.
This step-by-step guide will unlock a treasure trove of creative strategies to propel your local SEO efforts to new heights.
Get ready to delve deeper into the possibilities and watch your online presence soar!
1. Use Buyer Personas to Discover Related Searches
When individuals search for local businesses, neighborhood and community websites often dominate page one results. This presents a unique opportunity for marketers to get creative with their local SEO strategies.
Consider this example: A carpet cleaning company targeting suburban moms. Understanding their buyer persona is key: these women are juggling motherhood, work, and a busy household. They likely struggle with time constraints and crave convenience in their lives.
Using this persona, we can create a list of related search queries they might use:
- Restaurants and entertainment options for families
- Home decor inspiration and resources
- Meal services or grocery delivery solutions
- Pet care services and information
These related searches offer valuable insights for the carpet cleaning company.
This ultimately helps them connect with potential customers at the right time and place, solidifying their position as a trusted local business.
2. Perform “Related Searches” on a Mobile Device
Local and mobile are inseparable, like two peas in a pod. When exploring the world of Local SEO, ditch the desktop and embrace your phone or tablet. It’s time to put those devices to work!
Here’s my #1 local SEO tip: focus on your damn Google Business Profile page. That section at the top of a local search with the map and the list of places?
That’s your golden ticket. That thing is magic once it’s humming – and you only need a few more, more specific reviews than your competitors to dominate and some free optimizations. And it’s 100x faster than traditional local organic search to rank, but also free.
It comes down to:
- Citations – which are obtained by claiming every site you can like Yellow Pages, Yelp, and many more (look at where Moz submits to with local for a list) with the EXACT same phone number, address, and business name. It has to be the same on those three or it won’t work. It doesn’t matter if anyone sees you there, more citations = better Google Business profile ranking.
- The specificity of your services offered both in your profile and discussed on your website – if you’re a painter, and one of your services is spraying some specific coatings on big commercial building’s roofs, you need to mention that in both places to rank for those and similar searches.
- The completeness of your Google Business Profile (have 20+ photos, all information, questions, links, service list, post content regularly, etc.)
- The number of reviews, but more importantly, the keywords used in those reviews. If you have mentions of specific services and cities on your website, plus your Google business profile, PLUS mentioned in positive reviews…you will rank.
- Onsite, make sure specific services and areas/smaller cities/neighborhoods even have dedicated pages. They don’t have to be linked from the header, but they must be linked from somewhere on the homepage to really have a chance at ranking. Make sure your most important money page that you want to rank the most has many contextual internal links to show its importance.
- More specific services = easier to rank for, as you may well be the only website optimized for those services. So make pages for them, or at least add a copy about them to existing pages. Even if only 9 people end up there per month from search, and 1 converts as it’s very high intent, what’s 12 customers a year worth to you? For a lot of businesses, it’s a lot. And if you can figure out 10 of those keywords…120 new clients from a few pages, done one time, for free is a ton per year.
- The best way to get backlinks – and LOCAL contextual backlinks are the very best, not national sites with higher domain authority like some people say – is to get local media or business chamber coverage. If you can do some charity or educational work and get a backlink from the local news site, great, and you’ll build some goodwill. Find anyone local with a website who is publishing updates on their projects, and see if you can do something with them. If they’re authentically mentioning you in a local context, it’s worth 100x some random website overseas linking to your blog post, even if that website has much higher technical authority.
- The biggest thing in local: Unlike in national high-value areas, where everyone is at least trying, lots of your competition have a Wix site with 22 words on it and zero backlinks. You’re only as weak as your competition is strong, both on your website and in your Google Business profile. I’ve enjoyed setting some spreadsheet benchmarks for some aspects – and sometimes it’s funny. The next best competitor for a service area and set of services has a half-filled Google business profile, two non-authority non-local links, and 2 pages with extremely thin content and a stock photo. Building and ranking an optimized page is a breeze in comparison to traditional national SEO projects.
Our approach to local SEO takes a deep dive into buyer personas and related searches, ensuring we’re targeting the right audience with the right message.
While many clients fixate on rankings and page one placements, we understand that SEO’s true value lies in attracting new visitors and driving real business growth.
In this case, securing referral traffic from a high-authority local website like nwi.com delivers results just as valuable as coveted top-ranking positions.
This partnership exemplifies how effective local SEO strategies can bring in qualified leads and amplify a brand’s reach within its target market.
3. Search Operators and Advanced Search
Searching for guest blogging opportunities just got easier! The familiar “search operators” of the past have evolved into a powerful mobile tool called Advanced Search. This feature helps you discover relevant blogs accepting guest posts by utilizing specific filters and operators.
To find blogs in your area, simply search for the exact word or phrase “Local SEO Tips” AND “Google My Business Page” (including the quotation marks). This targeted query will pinpoint blogs accepting guest writers focused on the Google My Business Page topic.
This is the outcome:
For sites with low domain authority or lacking a professional design, due diligence is crucial. Consider a nofollow link if the site boasts potential for referral traffic despite its shortcomings.
4. Location Pages for Local Nicknames
As marketers, we often get caught up in the numbers, focusing solely on data-driven decisions. However, when it comes to local SEO, this data-centric approach can lead us to overlook the obvious, especially regarding local search terms.
Local search delivers not just high traffic but also incredibly high conversion rates. Unlike high-volume keywords, local searches often indicate specific intent and a higher likelihood of purchase. This is particularly true when users search for their neighborhood by its nickname, demonstrating a strong local connection and a greater chance of conversion.
Therefore, as marketers, we must avoid solely relying on data and embrace a more holistic understanding of local search behavior. Identifying and incorporating the local nicknames that residents use can significantly enhance our client’s local SEO success, driving not only more traffic but also higher conversion rates.
5. Don’t Forget Social News & Events
Social community pages boast highly engaged audiences, and crafting content that resonates with these communities can drive targeted ideal customers directly to your client’s website.
Local MeetUp groups represent another valuable opportunity for businesses seeking targeted audience engagement and SEO benefits.
Leveraging Buyer Persona insights, businesses can identify key MeetUp groups relevant to their target demographic and establish their website as a sponsor.
This strategic move not only offers valuable SEO juice through link building, but also unlocks the exciting potential for high-quality referral traffic, driving qualified leads and boosting organic visibility.
Don’t just optimize for search engines, create a website that engages potential leads. A dedicated resources section tailored to your buyer persona is a powerful tool.
For a residential carpet cleaning business, this could include resources on home care topics like lawn maintenance and organizing services.
Use buyer persona insights and relevant search queries to identify resource topics. Measure each category’s potential by keyword search volume to prioritize content.
Implementing these six recommendations beyond the standard Local SEO checklist, you’re building value beyond just rankings.
Increased website traffic and conversions from referring websites are clear indicators of SEO success, regardless of ranking position.
Don’t settle for a basic Local SEO checklist. Leads are valuable, and investing extra time and effort yields significant rewards. A robust resource section can become your secret weapon in attracting and converting leads.
Strictly Avoid Keyword Stuffing
There is no need to be stuffing keywords or making duplicate local SEO pages lol. Just make good content and list the clients on GMB. Stay on top of the rankings.
For the record we track our clients metrics by their analytics, waterfall, and Search console. We don’t get paid unless they get more viewers to their site. If I drop 10,000 local viewers on your page you’re going to get some sales or subscriptions. We do fairly well financially.
It will rank you momentarily but the client will be pissed when their site goes from average position of 7 for 1,000 KWs down to position 35 for less than 100 KW’s.
Remember SEO is a marathon, not a sprint.
For the past 10 years people have been looking for new ways to cheat the SEO time frame. Stuffing Kw’s, AI, duplicate pages, and PBNs are all examples of this. Any agency that recommends these approaches typically forces their client into a 1 year long contract where the client leaves.
We only charge monthly and have had local SEO clients for over 5 years.