Local SEO has really changed. If you are seeing the changes in your rankings chances are you are here to find out why. Ranking a site used to be so much easier, but now with the changes, there is good news and not really bad but rather new news for SEOs. The good news is all SEO including local SEO must be of quality. This is good because we the readers get great benefit from this, and Google understands this which is why they focus on quality (content, quality referring domains and backlinks). The new news is that us SEOs will have to invest more time, money or both into quality content, and outreach.
Building the Foundation for Local SEO
Just like a building needs a strong foundation, Local SEO is first started by doing the groundwork. The first thing to do is make sure your website is responsive, user friendly, and has been optimized. If you want to optimize your WordPress website properly, the Yoast tutorial is a great way to optimize your WordPress site. The premium version offers more focus keywords and other goodies, but if you want to simply use the basic version and make educated decisions when optimizing the back end, you can.
Step 2: Link Building
Once you’ve laid the foundation it’s time for link building. This can first be done by creating listings on the top 10 business listing sites. There are more, and those can easily be pulled up and looked over through Bright Local, (a great tool, and we get credited for it) and here they are for your previewing:
Top 10 Online Local Business Directories/Listings for Local SEO
- Better Business Bureau
- Merchant Circle
- Angie’s List
If you want more, simply go to this awesome marketing site that is filled with plethora of information to access each of these links.
Don’t Forget the Schema Code
Schema code since it first came out in 2011 has become a staple in doing local SEO. Schema code is one of the factors that influences rankings. If you want to do Schema coding for your WordPress website, the best way to do it is either to use a plugin like All in one Schema or the other options which you can find in this list of plugins.
There are various types of markup to use and these can involve the type and business descriptions. The list is enormous and it will simply be easier to go directly to the Schema.org website to learn more about Schema. You can also go to the plugin list and read all the information there about each plugin available. There are articles about embedding Schema coding into the theme, but our developers don’t recommend altering the theme. Using a plugin is the safest and simplest way to add schema code for now. If the coding appears in a strange place, have your developer move it to the footer section of your website. You can also use review Schema for appropriate areas related to sections where a review would be helpful.
Content writing and submission of it is huge in SEO right now, and this factors right into local SEO too. We have ranked a great number of clients on pg 1 within the top 3 through good content and backlinking to local articles we created and posted. Quality content is essential in getting good referring domains and receiving quality backlinks. Just like regional or national SEO, if your keyword/phrase has a large number of monthly searches, how do you think it will rank? Of course, through content marketing! Google is very focused on quality right now. Beginning with your onsite SEO and moving off-site. So get started on your content marketing using local keywords in a natural way! If you have no time or If you would like for us to do this for you, please contact us at 949-681-6181.
Now let’s look at our Local SEO Checklist and conclusion put together by my friend Chris Newell.
Local Search Engine Optimization Services Checklist
The following is a checklist of quick tweaks to make your online presence more accessible to search engines:
- Content: include your relevant keyword and location in each page’s content
- Google map: make sure that your landing page content has a Google map embedded
- Image: include an image of you and your team if you can, including your location and keyword for the image’s ALT tags
- Logo: include your business name and location within your logo file and image ALT tags
- Meta description tag: include the business name, location, and a relevant keyword when describing your business
- Page URL: include a location and the relevant keyword (do this for each landing page)
- Title tag: add your location and a relevant keyword (e.g., “Irvine dermatologist”)
Local SEO doesn’t have to be overwhelming just because there are thousands of tools and tricks out there. The principles of what is required to dominate local searches have stayed pretty consistent over the years. All that is needed is to lay the foundation, optimize your website, and build links steadily. You don’t have to do it all or figure everything out right away. Businesses that have the most local SEO success make it an ongoing process that they tweak and refine over time..
If you are having difficulty on doing your local SEO and need the help of a professional, we are here for you. Contact Move Up Marketing Group today! 949-681-6181