Understanding Local SEO

understanding local SEO

To understand local SEO, we first must understand the different types of local business models.

These are defined by Google as:

  1. Single location, brick and mortar,
  2. Multi-location, brick and mortar, 
  3. Multi-practice,
  4. Service area, single, 
  5. Service area, multiple, 
  6. Home-based business. 

The type of business you have will depend on the local SEO strategy that you employ. 

Below, I’ve broken some common business-types into these business models so we can understand where your business might fit. 

Single, brick and mortarMulti-location, brick and mortarMulti-practiceService area, singleService area, multipleHome-based business
Retail storeRetail chainMedical offices with multiple doctorsPlumberCounty-wide or nationwide brandsInstructor
DentistHealth care corporationLegal firms with multiple partnersGeneral contractorHVACLifestyle coach
RestaurantRestaurant franchiseLocksmithPlumbingDaycare
HotelMotel chainDelivery

Local SEO Best Practices

Once you know which business type applies to you, you can then use this to inform your strategy decisions.

To help increase the visibility of your Google My Business listing as well as improving your website visibility in local searches, I’d recommend that you adhere to the following as best practices:

  • Check that the correct name, address and phone number (NAP) is used on every page, and they are consistent. 
  • The “contact” page should be included in the main navigation and that this contains a complete NAP. 
  • The title tags of the core pages should feature the name of the city where the business is located. 
  • There should be geographic-related content on core-pages relevant to the business. 
  • All reviews and testimonials should be readily discoverable on the site. 
  • For multi-location businesses, a separate page should be used for each location. 
  • If there are multiple websites, consider whether or not it is worth consolidating them. 
  • For service area businesses, there should be a unique page with relevant content for each city they serve.

By sticking to the above, and monitoring how local SERPs change, you should see your local visibility and local enquires start to increase. 

Increase your Reach with Ads

To further your local presence, you can also use local PPC ads. This is also a good way to research the competition from other businesses in your local area. 

In doing so, you should look out for what businesses are placing ads, whether they in your geographic area, and if there are adverts for similar queries in other geographic areas.