Steve DiMatteoAuthor: Steve DiMatteo
Updated on 04/03/2023

As a local business or franchise, it takes more than just a little bit of marketing here and there in order to reach your target audience. You require a special set of search engine optimization tactics to help improve your online presence locally. Welcome to local SEO.

What Is Local SEO?

Local search engine optimization is a set of strategies implemented for businesses that serve customers or other companies in a set region, all designed to help them gain better visibility online and get more leads.

“The team at Sixth City was so wonderful to work with! They helped our bar and restaurant set and surpass SEO goals and develop a better marketing plan for our business. They’re incredibly responsive and helped us understand the importance of SEO for our business.” – Tristen Phipps, Eclipse Company Store

What Services Are Included in Local SEO Campaigns?

Here are just a few strategies that are normally implemented for businesses that invest in local SEO:

  • Google Business Profile optimization
  • Local link building
  • Landing page creation
  • Local citation management
  • Google Maps monitoring
  • Review marketing
  • Schema implementation
  • Page speed testing
  • Design for conversion
  • Mobile optimization
  • Internal linking
  • Metadata analysis

Tactics for Optimizing Your Local SEO

As a local business, there are multiple ways you can leverage SEO to work in your favor. Try the following tactics to grow your business exposure locally:

  • Claim your Google Business Profile and add photos, gain reviews, add services, post updates, and more. Google values complete profiles, which can ultimately help your rankings when competition is high.
  • Create location-focused landing pages on your website that include keywords relevant to your business. For example, if you are a horse and carriage business in NYC, you’ll want to optimize for terms like “NYC horse carriage” and a like term to a key location page on your site.
  • Try to build local links back to your website. Examples of links to look for include other local businesses you work with, sponsorship opportunities, partners, local directories, your local Chamber of Commerce, and more. So, for example, if you are a Chicago business looking to improve your website rankings, it may be important to look for links in proximity to the Chicago area.

Diving Further Into Local SEO With Some Frequently Asked Questions

We are often asked various questions during our free strategy sessions, and to help you understand local marketing and our process better, here are a few answers.

Who Can Use Local SEO?

Local SEO can be used by any company that has a physical location in a specific area. Unfortunately, companies that are purely online cannot utilize local SEO properly.  Google can be strict about this, penalizing businesses that create fake or borrowed addresses to achieve better rankings in a particular city.

How does local SEO differ from regular website SEO?

“Regular SEO” covers national or global traffic, which means you are targeting users anywhere in the world with your content. This is great if you can sell your product or service globally, but not so helpful for companies that only serve certain cities, such as dentists, HVAC companies, etc. Local SEO was developed to start attracting local customers, and when implemented properly, it will help your business rank higher in more relevant, locally-focused search results.

Are Google Business Profiles Important?

A Google Business Profile is extremely important because it helps gain exposure for your company locally. Let’s use the same example as above. If someone searches “Boca Raton floral shop,” you would want your business to show up in Google. With a properly claimed and optimized Google Business Profile – especially one where customers are leaving reviews – you will give yourself the opportunity to rank in the vaunted Google Local Pack, which is an essential aspect of driving quality local organic traffic to your site.

local pack example

What Kinds of Local Businesses Should Use Google Business Profiles?

The good news is that any and all local businesses can take advantage of having a Google Business Profile. However, you need to qualify for a profile in order to make this happen. All your business needs to qualify for a Google Business Profile is an actual physical address and the authority to represent the location you are listing. Here are some examples of niches that qualify:

Other types of businesses that may not have a physical location, but still serve local customers, can still utlize local SEO via a service-area busines listing on Google Maps, such as:

What Is the Local Pack on Google?

Marketing your business using the Google Local Map Pack can significantly help your business improve traffic, as it increases the visibility you receive on the Google platform. The Local Pack is a function of Google Maps that is built around local companies that Google thinks will match your search query, in addition to taking the proximity of the searcher’s location into account.

Moz recently conducted a case study on the Google Local Pack and found the following results:

  • 44% of people clicked on the Local Pack
  • 29% clicked on organic results
  • 19% clicked on paid results

This study defines how being featured in the Local Pack can dramatically increase traffic to your site, likely more than PPC and typical organic searches results can. If you can increase your local company’s presence in the Local Pack, it can result in more leads and revenue for your business over time.

How Will Local SEO Help My Business?

The goal of local SEO marketing is to assist you in getting clicks from people making searches such as “plumbers near me” or “local plumber,” for example. Through us making changes to your website’s keywords, content, your local citations, and more, we help you rank better for those queries, leading to more business.

How Do You Track Results From Your Efforts?

We use different sets of tools, such as Google Analytics and keyword-tracking software, to set up goals for conversions on your website, phone calls, keyword position changes, and more. However, we emphasize the leads you acquire that turn into customers or purchases on your site to match ROI data from the work we do.

How Is SEO Different from PPC?

Search engine optimization is the natural, free way to obtain visitors to your website who will likely become customers, while pay-per-click is a paid form of online advertising that allows you to pay for your top position on search engines and placement on social media sites based on how many clicks you receive on your ads. PPC also allows you to pay for unique targeting that SEO can only gain through the value of the work.

You Won’t Find a Local SEO Team Quite Like Ours

Sixth City Marketing is not your average digital marketing agency. We are a close-knit team of marketing professionals who have a passion for helping businesses grow through digital marketing. Every strategy we make is completely custom – there are no cookie-cutter packages here. And our entire team is in-house, providing you the utmost quality.

Headquartered in Cleveland, with offices in Nashville, Columbus, Indianapolis, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, we are able to serve you no matter your location, even if you’re on the beaches of San Diego or weathering the snow in Buffalo!

“Sixth City Marketing has provided consulting, SEO and many other services to National Church Residences. The team has excellent advice and is very easy to work with.” – Karen Twinem, National Church Residences

Services We Offer Beyond Local SEO

At Sixth City Marketing, we are equipped to assist you in your pursuit of a well-rounded digital marketing campaign. From SEO to PPC and everything in-between, we have everything you need to keep your content optimized and ads running smoothly. Check out the range of services we offer below:

Most importantly, we have experience serving a wide variety of industries, especially from a local perspective. This includes dental practices, senior living communities, construction companies, schools with a local focus, legal firms, regional banks, home service companies, roofers, landscapers, and many more. Learn more about the different types of SEO on our blog!

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