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Contents

SEO Marketing – It’s a Necessity, Not Just an Option

Whoever started labeling Google’s algorithms after animals’ names, I am pretty sure about one thing:

The brainy head behind this mess knew the online world is going to turn into a zoo in upcoming years.

Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird, and a lot more (you never know a Panther might be in the making at Google’s head office right now!) will be masters of this zoo and brands will have a dogfight to become the king of the online world.

And it’s happening!

Brands are fighting for ranking on the top of SERPs because it’s not just an option anymore.

Why?

Because:

All the cherries go to the top-ranking sites.

Top 3 search rankings get 36% CTR, and 75% of searchers stick to only the first page of search results.

What does it mean?

SEO marketing is essential for your business.

 

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Because it gives you:

  • Search visibility
  • Brand awareness
  • Brand credibility
  • More leads
  • Higher ROI

And:

IMPROVES CONVERSION RATE!

Yes, you heard it right.

Going with the right SEO marketing tactics can help you get all this.

And this is not only essential for big global brands.

Local brands also need local SEO services to change their bottom-line.

 

Why Local Brands Need Local SEO Services?

If you didn’t know before, it is the right time for you to know that local SEO is a thing and your local business needs it.

Not sure why?

Here is your answer:

 

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Let’s suppose that you are a…

Local bakery.

Next door barbershop.

Home maintenance providers.

Car insurance company.

I am sure you don’t expect someone to come from the Middle East to get a haircut from your hair salon situated in Dallas, or say Chicago.

Obviously, you want your local targeted customers to know about your business, visit your website or local shop, and convert into your customers.

That’s why you need local SEO services because there is a twist in the story.

Google’s algorithms for local SEO work on entirely different grounds than global websites’ SEO.

So you have to come up with a localized SEO marketing approach.

Thanks to Google’s Possum update, you seriously have to focus on your local SEO more than ever before if you want to win the game of local searches.

This is difficult, we all know that, but not impossible.

Here are some tips and tricks you can incorporate in your local SEO marketing that will make a HUGE difference in your conversion rate.

 

Local SEO Services that Really Work

 

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1)    Update Your Business Listings

Forget about backlinks and all other ranking factors.

First:

Google needs to know that your local business exists in the online world to rank you.

That’s where business listings help you – to get registered, found, and acknowledged by Google.

In case you don’t know,

“Business listings are just like online portfolios of businesses containing important information related to your business to mark your company’s online presence.”

You might be thinking that why do you need to do that when you have a website.

Well, to understand, you have to step back and think about the offline marketing days.

You had your physical business office, right?

But you still used to get listed on Yellow Pages – those heavy business directories – remember?

Why? Because that was a marketing tactic.

That yesterday’s Yellow Pages are today’s online business listings.

Yellow Pages were optional; local business listings are not.

They are an essential part of local SEO services.

Because listing helps to:

  • Build a strong reputation.
  • Establish credibility and authority.
  • Make your business more searchable.
  • Improve rankings.
  • Generate more revenue.

Bottom line?

Going for business listings is important for your local SEO.

Here’s an example.

I searched for a coffee brand in New York with the exact brand name “Plowshares Coffee Roasters.”

It was listed on Google My Business listings, so it appeared in the search result like this:

 

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But what to add while listing?

Is adding your name, phone number, and address enough?

The answer is no.

Try to add as much ‘accurate’ and ‘relevant’ information as you can.

Told you, it is like your portfolio, and you don’t give anyone your portfolio without the necessary information.

So it is always better to add:

  • Business name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Tagline
  • Logo
  • Website URL
  • Categories
  • Service description
  • Social profiles
  • Images
  • Certifications

It will not only enhance your authenticity but will also give the searcher detailed information about your business.

But you just can’t open a listing site and start typing information about your business.

Here are some important tips to remember:

 

  • Always Add Information Carefully

Google has a full guideline you need to follow for listing to get the best results.

 

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Based on these guidelines, we can clearly say that your information should be:

  • Accurate
  • Consistent
  • Precise
  • To-the-point

So always add information carefully because that will make a HUGE impact.

 

  • What Your Content Shouldn’t Have

Now we have talked about what you should add.

Next, it turns to talk about what shouldn’t go into your content.

Yes, Google has a guideline for this as well.

 

  • Don’t be misleading by providing false, inaccurate, and deceptive information.
  • Don’t create low-quality content with low readability, spelling mistakes, fallacy, and gimmicky tricks.
  • Don’t mention your promotions, sales, or any other promotional content.
  • Never place any link in your content.
  • Don’t display any obscene, vulgar, harassing, terrorizing, or any other inappropriate notion in your content.

 

It means that you should refrain from adding any content that goes against the parameter of quality, correct, and fair content.

 

  • Choose the Right Listing Site

There are many directories, indexes, apps for the business listing.

But not every platform is worth your time.

Choose the platform carefully that has the potential to yield the best results for you.

Initially, it is better to go for the major platforms, like Google My Business, Yelp, Bing Places, Yahoo, etc.

 

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  • Monitor Your Profile and Update Changes

Change your profile as your business changes.

 

  • If you have changed location, update the new address.
  • If you have remodeled your workplace, upload new pictures.
  • If you have changed your opening-closing timings, make sure you mention them.

 

The reason is simple:

Business listing is not only for better rankings. It is also a source of providing great user experience.

So if you provide value to your customers, you can get a chance to beat big businesses and achieve a prominent place on listings.

It will help you catch a few more eyes for your business.

 

2)    Create Localized Content

Content is still unapologetically the king. And its value is increasing for Google with each passing day.

So the kind of content you are creating for your SEO marketing matters a lot.

After Google has launched the RankBrain algorithm, it has become a lot smarter in learning and understanding your content to provide searchers better and most relevant search results.

 

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In case you don’t know, here is a definition by Bloomberg:

“RankBrain uses artificial intelligence to embed vast amounts of written language into mathematical entities — called vectors — that the computer can understand. If RankBrain sees a word or phrase it isn’t familiar with, the machine can make a guess as to what words or phrases might have a similar meaning and filter the result accordingly, making it more effective at handling never-before-seen search queries.”

It simply implies that if you are a local tourist company in Las Angeles, you can’t expect to rank in local searches if your website talks about the beauty of Maldives.

You should create content with a local approach.

Here is an example.

This is a website of home maintenance services providers in Toronto that appeared in the search result as I used the keyword “Toronto home maintenance services.”

 

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You can see that they have used a localized approach throughout the content.

How?

  • By specifically addressing the local audience
  • By keeping the content niche-specific
  • By mentioning the specific name of the city more than a few times

That’s what you should also be doing if you want to rank higher and enhance your conversion rate.

 

3)    Choose Your Keywords Smartly

Choosing the right keywords is one of the essential parts of local SEO services.

People use keywords to search for you, and Google uses those keywords to determine whether you should appear in search results or not.

In short, keywords are like signboards that users use to reach your site.

If you do not use the signboard, your potential customers will land on someone else’s website.

And you don’t want this to happen.

That’s why you need to know how your local users are searching for you.

So here are some tricks that can help you out:

 

  • Ask Google

What can be better than asking Google to know what keywords your prospects are using to find you?

Nothing, right?

Obviously, no one can know this better than Google.

And it is super easy because Google is all the time ready to tell you keywords and search phrases.

For example, type in your main keyword and scroll down.

 

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Bang!

In the middle of the page, Google gives you search phrases people use related to your keyword.

Amazing, no?

But wait, the best is yet to come.

Scroll down the page a bit more, and you will end up finding the jackpot.

 

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That gives you a clear idea of what kind of long-tail keywords and phrases users are using that you should use in your content for better rankings.

 

  • Spy on Your Competitors

Honestly, we all love knowing the secret success recipe of our competitors.

And what if I say it is possible?

We might not be able to find the secret recipe of Coca-Cola.

But we can surely find out what keywords your competitors are using to rank higher.

Go to Ahrefs Site Explorer, and put in your competitor’s URL.

After that, click on ‘Organic Keywords’ and you will find the keywords your competitor is ranking for.

For example, I explored the URL of this site ranking high for “Houston car insurance” keyword.

 

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And I got everything.

  • Keywords
  • Volume
  • Keyword density
  • Position

Like… everything!

The best thing about this is that you can easily find out which keywords are really working.

In other words, you don’t have to go through any trial and can use proven keywords that can drive the real results.

 

4)   Do Local Link Building

Backlinks are still one of the most significant SEO factors.

Google uses them as votes to determine the authority and credibility of a site.

More backlinks you get from high authority sites, higher are your chances to rank high on SERPs.

No wonder that many SEO experts consider the external link as an important SEO factor.

 

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That’s why link building has long been part of SEO marketing and continues to remain as an essential practice.

But when you are going for link building for a local site, you need to come up with a local mindset.

Getting links from influential global sites with global traffic isn’t a wise decision.

Because:

  • Google will not consider these votes for local rankings
  • Your brand awareness and credibility will not improve
  • You will not get targeted traffic
  • You will not build relationships with the local industry-specific influencers

In short, you will not get a benefit that we expect from our link building efforts.

So for local SEO services, you should leverage links from the niche-specific, high-quality, local sites.

Here are some quick tips to get super-effective, high-quality backlinks:

  1. Create linkable assets on your site
  2. Do groundbreaking research work
  3. Create unique content, hard to find anywhere else
  4. Guest post on high-authority sites
  5. Pitch out to sites linking to your competitors
  6. Become an influencer in your industry

These efforts will move the needle for you.

You will start getting links from the local high authority sites and see a drastic positive change in local searches rankings.

 

5)    Create Your ‘Contact Us’ Page Wisely

That’s so unfortunate that people give little or no attention to when creating their Contact Us pages.

Contact Us page is not only for displaying a larger than life ‘Get a Quote’ form.

And it is also not for throwing a few numbers, email addresses, and an incomplete address.

Make things as much easier for search engines as much you can.

It will help a lot once people start searching for your location.

Here are some tips to make things easier for you:

 

  • Add Different Location Pages for Each Location

If your business is located in different places, say your one office is in Chicago while the other one is in San Francisco, add different landing pages for them.

Don’t do what Apple has done.

 

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Well, that’s Apple, and people don’t need to struggle to find its location. Even if they do have to do struggle, they will happily do it.

But your business might not get this courtesy.

The problem is that when search engines crawl your website to index, they might get confused with so many addresses, all shoved on to one page.

So create different landing pages for different locations.

It will help people locate your business easily and visit without hitting any obstacle.

Do I need to tell you that it will increase your conversion?

 

  • Add Your Contact Information Precisely

Google has many options for ranking, so it doesn’t have time to solve puzzles on your site.

It has to give search results within seconds; anything confusing on your site can annoy Google.

Result? Your potential customer might not be able to find the required contact information.

It is always better to decide your address once and for all and use that address everywhere online.

Like, where you are going to use a comma, abbreviations, etc.

Don’t forget to add a site map as well because it really helps a lot in local SEO.

 

6)    Get Google Reviews

Google reviews are powerful than you think.

They can seriously make or break your business.

For example, here is a Starbucks’ customer review left on Yelp.

 

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If you read it, you will find that it’s so detailed and you can find all the plus points, comparison with the other competitor brand, menu, and a lot more.

You can imagine how it will gonna affect the potential customer looking for a cool breakfast place.

To understand a bit more:

Just recall all those times when you wanted to consult a doctor but wasn’t sure which one is the best deal.

What did you do?

You checked online reviews to find the best fit.

If you are nodding right now, you are not alone. Around 91% of consumers see online reviews.

Why? Because:

  • People take online reviews as a personal recommendation.
  • They enhance the trustability factor.
  • They remove confusion and doubts.
  • They make decision-making easier.

So ask your loyal customers to leave good reviews.

Once you start getting good reviews, it will impact your CTR (click-through rate) positively.

And do you know that Google considers high CTR as a huge SEO factor?

Search intent is the new player in the SEO Marketing world, and Google is giving it a lot of significance.

Simply put:

 

“The search intent is the intention of the searcher behind making a certain query.”

 

You might be thinking that what’s the deal behind finding the answer to this question because it’s the searcher’s headache.

But remember that the searcher is Google’s headache because Google wants to give all its searchers the best experience to stay at the top.

So Google is paying close attention to judge whether a search result matches the search intent of the searcher.

How? By measuring the click-through rate.

When your site gets more clicks, Google considers it as a signal that it is matching the search intent.

So it will rank your site higher.

And…? The increase in search visibility will also increase your conversion rate.

The equation goes like:

 

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See? Getting positive Google reviews can have such a big impact on your business.

Go for them.

 

7)   Work on Your Website’s Architecture

The website’s architecture is one of the most overlooked factors in local SEO services.

Website architecture is just like the structure of a building.

The way floor map is planned…

How different rooms are constructed…

The way different sections are connected…

Everything matters in constructing a good building.

Similarly:

A website’s structure is the way the whole website is structured and linked.

The key is to give users, and Google’s crawlers a headache-free experience.

For example, here is how a website architecture works.

 

 

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Here are some tips that can help you ace-out your site’s structure:

  • Build a simple structure; don’t make things complicated.
  • If you have many pages, make categories.
  • Don’t put links just in the footer and top bar.
  • Do internal linking to give crawlers a route to index pages.
  • Link relevant pages with an exact-match anchor text.
  • Add a site map to make things easier for crawlers.
  • Make URL structure follow the hierarchy.

It will work!

 

8)    Improve Dwell Time

The head of Google in Canada has confirmed that Google is using dwell time as an indicator to rank a site.

Whether you are a global site or a local site, this rule remains the same for all.

It means that local SEO services also need to focus on this SEO factor.

In case you don’t know what dwell time is, here is what Wikipedia has to tell you.

 

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In short, dwell time is the time a user spends on a website, and Google has started using it to rank a site.

Hooking a visitor to the site is one of the most crucial and hard things for any site owner.

The problem is that consumers’ consumption patterns have changed.

They have so many options and short attention span.

If your website does not attract them, they will quit.

It is as simple as that.

Here are some tips to help you improve your dwell time:

 

  • Give Visitors What They Want

If you offer your visitors a good user experience, they don’t have any reason to go anywhere else.

It means to give your users what they want without much hassle.

For example, some websites talk about user’s problems but don’t explicitly tell how they are going to resolve them.

Listen: Visitors already know about their problems.

They need solutions from you, so give them.

Here is an example of WordStream’s website.

 

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You can see that they give out the solution right on the banner.

It definitely entices visitors to scroll down to see how they are going to do that.

What does it mean?

There are increased chances that they will stay on your site and only quit after making some purchases.

 

  • Build Easy Navigation

Your website’s navigation plays a major role in deciding whether your visitors are going to stay on your site or not.

Google, in one of its blogs, has mentioned five common navigation mistakes that you should avoid:

 

  • Mistake 1: Using non-standard navigation location
  • Mistake 2: Using generic labels to name categories
  • Mistake 3: Going with drop-down menus
  • Mistake 4: Saturated navigation bar with too many options
  • Mistake 5: Getting the wrong order placement of essential things

 

It means that if you can avoid these mistakes, you can improve your navigation a lot.

And improving navigation means you are giving visitors a pretty good reason to stay on your site and helping them to find what they want.

Result?

Increased chances of conversion!

 

9)    Use Local Keywords in Title Tags

Title tags and meta descriptions are important on-site SEO factors.

Your on-site SEO marketing efforts are useless without creating optimized title tags.

Google basically uses title tags to understand what your site is about.

So using local keywords in your title tags give you a free-ticket to get registered in Google’s eye as a local website.

For example, I searched for ‘patio furniture Chicago’ keyword, and that’s what I got.

 

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Almost, all search results have used local keywords in their title tags and meta descriptions.

That’s what you should also do.

Don’t miss out on even small details because small things combine to make a huge impact.

But be aware:

  • Don’t make it look like keyword stuffing
  • Make it look natural
  • Focus on providing value, not adding a keyword

Using local keywords in the title tag and meta description increases your chances of appearing in search results and get found by the people.

So don’t skip this important on-site local SEO factor.

 

10)  Mobile Optimization is Important

We all know that mobile search is getting popular.

People are using mobiles than desktops to search, do online shopping, and browse websites.

For example, the US mobile search and spending was around 28.12 Billion in 2019.

And this figure is not going to stop there. It will only increase.

That’s why Google is giving importance to responsive web designs for ranking to provide mobile users with a better experience.

 

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Source: Medium.com

And things are not any different for local sites.

When you find out that 75% of local mobile searches result in a visit to the offline store within the first 24 hours, you can easily guess what you should be doing.

Make your website responsive to make your customers and Google happy for a win-win situation.

 

Conclusion

In today’s stiff online business landscape, increasing your conversion and generating more revenue is way too difficult.

Having a website, excellent services, and motivation is not going to take you anywhere.

You need to push the envelope and do something to stir the scene.

Your website needs to get found on the top of SERPs to get your customer’s attention and increase your conversion.

But things are way too tough on the SEO’s front.

And they become more difficult when you are fighting for local SEO because things work differently here.

You have to work with a different approach to make the biggest difference in your conversion rate.

But the good news is that it is not impossible.

Playing by the rules and sticking to specific local SEO techniques can make a huge difference.

Try them, and let me know if they worked for you?

Let’s see how Local SEO Marketing does magic for you!

 

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