10 Steps for How to Improve Local Search Optimization for Your Business

Mar 27, 2015

How well are you optimizing your website for local search?  “Local search” refers to the search results based on your business’s geographic location. For example, in our marketing & communications industry, we appear on the search results of “communications agency” based on my geographic location as I search Google in Incognito mode (in Delafield, Wisconsin) and on the business’s location (Delafield, Wisconsin). You use local search all the time as you search for “nail salons,” “Italian restuarants,” “auto shops” and more – Google isn’t showing you auto shops from Oregon; it’s showing you results based on your location.

10 Steps for How to Improve Local Search Optimization for Your Business

Here’s us in Delafield, Wisconsin.

When you’re a brick-and-mortar location, local search optimization plays a vital role in bringing customers through your doors. When you begin optimizing for local search, you’ll notice an increase in online traffic to your website…and maybe even foot traffic through your door. Learn how to improve local search optimization for your business in a series of 10 steps. You can complete these steps all at once, over time, or both. In fact, I suggest doing both – do the simple steps now, and continue to refine them as time goes on. It’s the best way to ensure your improved local search optimization stays improved. 

How to Improve Local Search Optimization for Your Business

1. Update your Contact Page

Do you have a “Contact Us” or “About Us” page on your website? If not, get one. Even if you do, update the page with as much information as you can. For example, include:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Email address
  • Hours of operation
  • Store description
  • Parking information
  • Google map (embedded)

2. Do you have multiple locations?

If the answer is “yes,” follow step 1 for all of your locations.

3. Include Location on Homepage

Let’s assume you only have one geographic location. Add the business’s city and state to the page title and URL of the homepage. Now, let’s assume you have multiple geographic locations. Add the business’s city and state to the page title and URL of the dedicated location pages (see step 2).

4. NAP

Add the name, address and phone in the header and footer of all pages of your company’s website. Add it as text, not an image, so that search engines can read it.

5. Update Social Media

Include your geographic location in all profiles. If you have multiple locations, create separate social pages for each location.

6. Blog Locally

Blog about topics that are relevant to your location. Remember to include your location in the page title and URL in the local blog posts you write.

7. Get on Google+ Local

Set up your business on Google+. (Click the link if you’re looking for help on how to get started.) Link to your homepage. If you have multiple locations, link to each location page (the ones you set up in step 2).

8. Get Reviewed

Get reviews from your customers. Yelp, Trip Advisor and Google are all strong review sites. Tip: Try to get at least 5 reviews on Google. Once you have 5, Google will put a star rating next to your listing in search results.

9. Earn Local Links

Start making relationships with businesses in your area. Participate in local events and community organizations. The more you do, the more inbound local links you’ll have. Read more about quality inbound links here.

10. Build Citations

The more places your business – with correct name, address, phone number information – is listed, the more links and citations you’ll have. You can manually add your business to as many directories as you can think of, or you can have a company (like us!) do it. Consistency is key, so make sure the information is correct across the board. Download eBook SEO: A Starter's Guide