The SEO's Local Search For Small Business
Before you begin marketing a client, brand, or business, be sure you have all of the following information:
Location Data Checklist
Google My Business Eligibility Guidelines
Local Website Checklist
- Guarantee/Policy/Disclaimer pages
- Pages use local business schema markup (schema.org/LocalBusiness)
- Include accurate hours, maps, and written driving directions
- Every location of a multi-location business
- Every key service and product offered
- Every public-facing practitioner or expert (if applicable)
- Compressed photos with alt tags
- Videos with transcripts
Optimizing Local Reputation
To develop and maintain a positive reputation, you need:
- An active review acquisition program
- Continuous review monitoring and a fast response strategy
- Review spam detection and reporting
- An in-store strategy to catch and resolve complaints 1:1,
before they turn into reviews
- A resolution plan to turn negative reviews into positives
- Sentiment analysis to identify and combat emerging issues
- Customer-centric policies
- Robust staff hiring and training practices
- Strict adherence to platform and review guidelines
- To cultivate and maintain good PR
Optimizing Local Reputation
- GMB ineligibility, guideline violations, suspensions, and duplicates
- Reports of new Google bugs or algorithm updates
- Filters like Possum
- Technical website errors and penalties
- Review count, rating, and recency vs. competitors
- GMB categorization problems and missing fields
- Organic signals vs. competitors (PA/DA, on-page SEO, links,
- Content quality, publication rate, and expertise
- Presence of competitive GMB spam
- Structured citation consistency, accuracy, and spread
Understand your geographic markets
- Your location is your physical address. It serves a specific local market based on geographic location.
- Your market is made up of the physical locations of your customers when they search for your brand and its offerings. Google shapes results based on the location of the customer in your market and the perceived intent of
their search. Your position and the positions of your true market competitors change based on searcher and keyword.
- Geo-located keywords are keywords tracked from a specific location, i.e. vegan pizza searched from the University District in Seattle, WA. Depending on the competitiveness of your market, you may have different competitors for each geo-located keyword search.
- Geo-modified keywords are keywords with location modifiers included in the phrase, i.e. vegan pizza Seattle. Your competitors for each geo-modified keyword can also vary from search to search in competitive markets.
Finding your local competition
Every geographic market you serve is subject to different competitors. To dominate your markets, you should analyze and track the unique competitive landscape for each one.
- Who: Determine your main geographic competitors for each market. Complete a manual competitive audit or use software like Moz Local, Market Analytics.
- Where: Verify that you’re targeting the right keywords using hyperlocal keyword research, including local keyword volume. Then, identify where you rank amid competitors for each keyword target in each market.
- Why: Analyze why each market competitor outranking you is winning a SERP based on an audit of their total presence. Understand why competitors may be dominating a certain market and which of their tactics are most effective.
Get Expert Help & Training
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