Every business needs clients, customers, users, whatever people call them in your niche. For local companies landing new customers means showing up when people in your town search. More importantly, it means showing up in the map results. Sometimes those map listings that Google local inserts into its search results have three entries, sometimes it’s only one. Getting into those positions takes effort.
The work to get into Google maps for tough keywords with high competition is time-consuming. Here at Local SEO Company, we love the job, it’s what we do. However, we also don’t hide the steps needed to make these ranks happen. So let’s talk local!
The steps are pretty easy to understand. First, standardize your primary business information. The primary local ranking factor is NAP. Name, Address, Phone Number, or NAP as we refer to in this industry. These are the most critical factors to get right every time. Once you have a way of writing it that you are happy with, create or modify your Google My Business listing using this version. To get ranked above other local companies Google has to see this information on all of the listing sites like Yelp and YellowPages. There are 48 important, and over 200 secondary listing sites. Having a listing on these is called a local citation. The more local citations you have that match, the higher you can rank. For search engines to tell that the citation is yours, it has to match perfectly.
Building local citations on all the listing sites is a good start, but before search engines can match them to your business, you have to have your address on your website. Adding an address to your site isn’t as simple as typing it up, you must use schema.org markup, which means using the right code to tell them that it’s your address. Here is an example:
Creating the citations and making sure everything is uniform and matches is the type of work we do. All the tedious stuff. However, right now we’re explaining everything you can do yourself. So let’s keep going.
After Google My Business, the code on your website for your NAP, and all the citations are in place it’s time to put effort into your site’s content. Now we need to create a lot more content related to your local area, with many hours of keyword research. This research will identify keywords with “buying intent” and their related search terms. You can win any old keyword if you want, but why? You need words that show people are going to buy. A good example from our industry is SEO, nobody searching for the keyword “SEO” is showing buying intent. Searching for “SEO Company” is showing intent to hire an SEO firm. The difference can be subtle but significant.
With NAP all set and content created we start the link building campaign. This campaign begins with competitive research, who are your competitors and who links to them? We use a mixture of Google and SEO PowerSuite’s SEO Spyglass tool. Simple searches for your keywords will return Google results, companies in the top 10 are your competitors. You might think Bob who lives next to you is your competitor, but if he isn’t in the results, then he isn’t the kind of competitor we are talking about. Using these results, we add the competitors to your profile in Spyglass. This addition to your file lets us run an intersecting link report. Reading this report, you will find the obvious links, the ones every competitor has. Usually, these are resource pages or link directories for your specific niche. You can go pick those up quickly. Next, you have to dig in and look through every link your competitors have that aren’t on the intersecting report. Some of those sites can be convinced to link to you as well. Like I said earlier, this is time-consuming and why most people hire a company like ours. However, if your up for the work, give it a shot, the worst case here is that you get tired of it and end up hiring someone anyways. They get a head start with whatever you already got done. The best case for you is that you find out you enjoy this and can do the work. That’s how I started in this industry. If you’re not sure yet and you want to talk to an expert, reach out and book a meeting with us. We’ll be happy to walk you through it all.