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Nearly one-third of all mobile searches are related to location.

Don’t just take my word for it, the above quote comes directly from Think With Google.

As search engines get better at personalizing search results, businesses need to be better at inferring and interpreting search behavior. This means providing information on your website that lets people know where your business is and what areas you serve.

Welcome to the content marketing side of local SEO.

Things you should know.

Local SEO is the process of putting your business in front of people who are looking for a product category or service in a given geographical area.

It involves filling out your Google My Business (GMB) profile, posting regular updates via your GMB, communicating clearly what your business does via your website and the cities, suburbs and regions that you service.

Not all physical businesses need a website. But if your business serves a geographical area (e.g., cafe, restaurant, accountant), local SEO should be on your radar so that your Google My Business profile shows up to people who want to engage with a local solution.

Not all businesses must have a website but having a website opens up many opportunities for paid, social and organic discovery.

Some businesses run entirely on social media channels (paid/organic) while some businesses run very well with just a simple Google My Business website.

Some businesses such as cafes and restaurants may not see immediate benefits of investing in a website until they require online ordering and delivery.

The risk of relying on only SEO, or only social media, or only Google My Business is that your business is reliant on how that channel changes.

By having a website that you can control, you have the flexibility to leverage any marketing channel to meet your business goals.

Online-only stores do not quality for a Google My Business profile. This means that ecommerce sites lose out on the Google map pack.

Here are a few things you can do to improve the local relevance of your ecommerce site:

  • Use hreflang to your advantage.
  • Implement international subfolders.
  • Append one or more locations in page titles.
  • Create location landing pages for product categories.
  • Serve dynamic localized content on product category pages to where the user is based.
  • Provide localized customer education on how to solve certain questions.

Furthermore, your ecommerce site should have its product feeds integrated with Google Merchant Center. This is because Google has allowed ecommerce sites to list their products on Google Shopping free of charge due to the COVID-19 and its impact on retailers (source).

Technical SEO can play a role in local discoverability. If search engines cannot crawl, render and understand the purpose of the pages on your website, you make it difficult for search engines such as Google and Bing rank you for local search keywords.

>> Click here to learn more about technical SEO.

Citations are an evolution of the phone book. They often come from directory-style websites and they provide linked or unlinked mentions of your business.

If your website is brand new, citations are an effective way to let Google know of your existence.

Citations from directories should not be considered as link-building.

If you have a website, yes, backlinks can influence your site’s discoverability in Google Search for localized searches.

If you don’t have a website, backlinks won’t help your GMB rank higher in the map pack.

Backlinks is one of the biggest money-makers for providers of SEO. When done poorly, links can hurt your business for an extended period of time. I highly recommend that you check out my learning hub on link-building by clicking here.

Let’s get started.

  • Every small business website should have these 4+ pages
  • Complete the Questions & Answers section in your GMB or risk having competitors and random people doing it for you
  • Common Google My Business ranking tactics that are based on lies and misinformation
  • How to find out where your GMB ranks
  • Location pages: mistakes you should avoid making (with examples)
  • How to create useful location pages that rank

Don’t have time to cut through the noise?

Follow my exact processes to achieve customer acquisition potential for yourself.

Content marketing

Learn how to capture and engage your audience.

Technical SEO

Learn how to identify and remove issues that make it difficult for Google to rank your pages.

E-A-T

Learn how to show up in YMYL SERPs.

Local SEO

Learn how to dominate local search intent without resorting to spammy tactics.

Link building

Learn how to earn links from noteworthy sources with minimal risk.