Local SEO services are a life-saving tool for businesses looking to stay competitive in their own respective areas of operation. They put your services front-and-center for your closest leads and position you as a top recommendation by the most trusted search engines in the world.
It’s the great equalizer for modern enterprise, which is why we’re confident in saying that these services are for everyone: if you aren’t taking advantage of local search, you’re falling behind.
If you are interested in generating new leads among people who live and work close to where you do business, we’ve prepared a quick and descriptive guide to understanding what local SEO services would look like when starting out. By the end of the article, you should have a better idea of what it’d look like to hire an agency that specializes in local SEO.
1. NAP Data Standardization
When it comes to serving people nearby, the three golden points of information you’ll need to provide are your business’ name, address and phone number (or NAP). These three things are essential for acquiring new customers online, which is why it’s a key local SEO service.
While you might think it’s as simple as making sure that your Google My Business account is updated, the trick to NAP data deployment is a bit more complicated. There are many different places your NAP data could appear: your website, your My Business account, online business directories (including social media pages), and even on review websites like Yelp and FourSquare.
It’s a big help in terms of ranking in local search queries and then converting those searches into customers. Your NAP data should be standardized and up-to-date all across the internet, which is easier said than done—especially when you find yourself rebranding or changing those details as time goes on.
2. Local Market Knowledge
When working with local search, it’s vital that you make use of what you know about the people in the areas you serve. Their habits, preferences and manner of speaking will all be a big help in designing paid search campaigns and meta descriptions that earn clicks.
This is because people prefer businesses that are relatable. It’s easier to trust a product or service that understands you, or at least appears to—after all, you wouldn’t want to spend on something that was made for a completely different kind of customer.
This information comes in handy when deciding on keywords, writing copy and designing landing pages (or other, later stages of your lead acquisition plan). We’d go as far as to say that you can’t run an effective marketing strategy at all without insight into your customers.
When hiring an SEO agency, it pays to invest in a team that either has its roots in the same area as you, or has a proven talent for market and customer research. The better they can understand your business and your customers, the better they’ll be at communicating through your website, ads and search listings.
3. Local Search Optimization
Most of the heavy lifting in local SEO services comes from the optimization efforts you make to build a site that search engines will serve to users nearby. There’s so much we could write about on-page SEO and content strategy, so take a peek through our blog to brush up on any terms that look unfamiliar to you.
Any good SEO agency will have a strong grasp on the technical side of search engine optimization. However, the ones that’ll make a true impact on your local search performance will understand how to localize your pages’ meta elements to rank for nearby queries and attract click-throughs.
If you’re aiming to rank high on local search, you need to make sure your meta descriptions, title tags, URLs and slugs all allude to your target areas of operation. Consider the following title tag and meta description for a fictional car repair shop:
Title Tag: Auto Pros – Ajman’s Best Car Repair Service
Meta Description: Auto Pros provides expert car repair services in Ajman, Dubai. Trusted by hundreds of customers for body repairs, tire repairs, oil changes, tune-ups and other automotive services.
Since it makes little sense to have a preferred car repair shop far away from where you drive, the use of Ajman makes sense in the copy and helps Auto Pros reach customers near their location.
Local SEO services get even trickier when you operate in multiple locations. Whether your brand runs different sites per location or manages location-specific web pages, there are many different lines of strategy you could adopt to manage each area’s search performance.
The complexity of these cases is a great reason to invest in a team with experience in handling clients that work across multiple branches or offices.
4. Integrated Sales Strategy
Are your sales teams equipped to handle calls from local customers? What about handling calls across localities?
Since marketing is only the first step towards making a sale, it’s important for your marketing efforts to align with your sales process. The content you create and tactics you deploy when taking on local SEO services should be communicated to your employees and sales teams to make sure that your customers’ experiences with your business stay consistent.
The hard work you or your agency of choice puts into fine-tuning your local search may be wasted if the other sides of your business fail to meet your customers’ expectations. If you promise a relatable, local touch in your marketing, then make sure you can follow through.
5. SEO Analytics and Reporting
Whether you tap an agency for local SEO services or manage your local search performance on your own, it’s important to have a plan to monitor, measure and then improve upon your work.
There are myriad tools you could use to track the analytics behind your website and SEO performance—we recommend studying them carefully, or at least working with your agency of choice to come up with a regular schedule for viewing reports.
Pay attention to your pages’ performance, where your site traffic is coming from, as well as your performance vis-a-vis your chosen keywords.
Analytics tracking is also a foundational step for improving your site (or sites) through experimentation.
Local SEO services are a valuable part of any good marketing strategy. For businesses that are ready to take the leap and attract more customers living nearby, it’s well worth the investment in an SEO agency with the skill and expertise to help you reach the next stage of growth.
Contact us today to learn more about the local SEO services offered by our experts here at Igloo.