This Is How To Perform Local SEO

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Introduction

Welcome to the first free do it yourself guide published by GAC Marketing: “ This Is How To Perform SEO in 2020”.Here is how this is helpful to a new user! By the time you have finished reading this guide you will have a much more clear understanding and definition of what Local Search Engine Optimization is (Local SEO) and how it can help your business ( big or small) get more leads, inquiries, customers, and revenue 🤑 🤑.

This guide was researched and written by Michael Currie of GAC Marketing. Michael  has 3+ years of experience in Web Design, Web Development, and Search Engine Optimization.

 

Best Practices

 

Before jumping into any SEO project, you should be aware of the different SEO practices and how they function. White Hat (GOOD), Grey Hat (MODERATE  RISK), Black Hat (HIGH RISK).

 

  • White Hat SEO: This practice of SEO is the one which should be used at all times. White Hat essentially means that you are playing by all the rules and following the guidelines set out by Google. You want to be putting out the highest quality level of content as possible (videos, articles, blogs, vlogs, and infographics) and this will want to make other websites and businesses share your information. More shares from similar websites will translate into more backlinks and a higher domain authority. 

 

  • Grey Hat SEO: This practice involves a set of techniques which are not fully represented in Google’s Guidelines and there is some risk involved. It can work and help improve your rankings or it can completely wipe out all of your traffic, so it is very important to be familiar with the techniques being used.

 

  • Black Hat SEO: This practice incorporates techniques which are not part of Google’s guidelines and will get your website penalized.

 

Now that you are more aware of the Search Engine Optimization practices, let’s get into Local SEO and how it can benefit your business and Google Ranking.

What Is Local SEO?

Local Search Engine Optimization is a sub-type of Search Engine Optimization where a business is looking to get ranked on a search engine results page such as Google or Google Maps in a specific location such as a neighbourhood or part of a town or city. Being highly ranked locally is very desired because whenever someone searches a phrase or term related to your business or industry  in a nearby area, the first thing they will see is your business in the Google Snack Pack (3 Pack)  and/ or  at top of the organic results page. 

 

Check out the 3  quick examples below:

Example 1: A local searech for the phrase “Langley tattoo shop”.

langley tattoo shops

Underneath the Google Map you will see 3 different results for Langley Tattoo Shop in the Google Snack Pack, these websites are the most viewed, have the most positive customer reviews, a very complete (or perfect)  Google My Business profile and lots of different citations which help with domain authority. The tattoo shops seen above in the 3 pack will accumulate many more views compared to the other organic listings. 

According to PosiRank and their 2018 article, the first, second, and third positions in the 3 pack receive 24.48%, 13.81%, and 9.5% of clicks which is a combined total of 47.79% for the first page.

Example 2: Mobile user stats from Google

Google conducted a research study back in 2014 , and it used around 5,000 different mobile phone users and the results were very interesting as a large majority of users used a mobile device to conduct a local search + half of the users visiting the searched business within one day.

  • 4 out of 5 individuals use a search engine to conduct a local search.

  • 88% of local searches are done on mobile devices.

  • 50% of mobile users visit a business they searched for within one day.
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Example 3: Worldwide mobile usage statistics

With the percentage of mobile users being so high ( 52.2% of all website traffic in 2018) it is very apparent that all businesses should be try to take advantage of Local SEO to help improve the amount of foot and online traffic to their stores. The better your SEO situation is, the more it will help your bottom line.

How Is Local SEO Different From Traditional SEO

With Search Engine Optimization an individual or business may be looking to rank for  very specific keywords or pieces of content  on the top of the search engine results page. If you were to search for a general term such as “Electric Car” from any physical location on Google, you would find that Top Gear and Edmunds are ranking in the top positions.  With Local SEO it is a little different, if you searched for the same term and used your location you would see all the places in your region that deal with or sell electric cars.  Take a look below.

electric car 1
electric car 2

In the image on the left you are seeing the two top websites ranking for the term electric car. These results typically follow the paid advertisements and the top trending stories.

In the second image, the search term “electric cars near me” was used and it displays the local Google 3 Pack shows different car charging stations and the top ranking dealerships in the area which sell electric cars ( Westwood Honda and CarGurus Canada Vancouver).

In traditional SEO, one of the main off page ranking factors is to gain high authority backlinks  from relevant and trustworthy websites in your niche or industry.  In Local SEO, a business builds something similar to backlinks and those are called citations. By building a strong citation profile businesses can hold a stronger position in the Google listings and Map. Below are 10 different Canadian directories you can get started with for your business and they vary in domain rating.

Canadian Citation List

 

Directory Name Link Domain Rating
Yelp https://www.yelp.ca/vancouver 66
411 https://411.ca/ 54
Better Business Bureau* https://www.bbb.org/ca/categories 93
Canada One https://www.canadaone.com/business/index.html 61
Local Sites http://www.localsites.ca/ 39
Canadian Planet https://www.canadianplanet.net/ 43
CAN Links https://canlinks.net/ 33
N49 https://www.n49.com/ 72
Yellow Pages https://www.yellowpages.ca/ 89
Bell Business Directory https://businessdirectory.bell.ca/ 82

 

Note: Businesses marked with an *require payment for a listing.

NAP Syndication

Firstly, what does NAP stand for? NAP is a short form for name, address, and phone number. These are some of the most important pieces of information when creating a new citation for your business, and it is really important that the formatting stays consistent across all citations. My advice would be to write your details down once in your laptop or phone and save it there for future reference and stick with it. Check out the example below.

 

Name: Joe’s Pizza  Address: #105-300th Street Phone: (xxx)-xxx-xxx |Keep consistent (GOOD)

 

Name: Joe’s Pizzeria Address: 300th Street #105 Phone:xxx-xxx-xxx |Not consistent (BAD)

 

By staying consistent with your NAP information it indicates to Google that all the different citations are related to your business and website which in turn helps with your local ranking.

Is There A Fast Way To Get Citations For My Website?

Typically if you want fast and easy results in SEO, you would be more than likely involved with Grey Hat or Black Hat SEO and those are situations you want to avoid. But with Local SEO and citation building it is a little different, there are companies out there that can create citations for you for a one time or monthly fee. This is not breaking any guideline rules because they are just registering your business to different directories and speeding up the process. So if you have some extra money and would like to get ahead here are a few websites which can help with this.

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Bright Local

Local SEO Threshold

When an individual uses Google they are searching for something specific whether it be a restaurant, a  retail store, or a car wash and this shows search intent. The intent here would be to get food, go shopping, or clean your car and this would display the  businesses near your location in maps.

For a little more context, I searched car wash and then looked at the Google Map and this is what I saw, all of the Google My Business verified car wash stations in my area. Here Google is limiting the number of businesses on the map and shows me the ones in my local area. The assumption here is that I want to clean my car somewhere nearby and not drive all the way to Vancouver to do so.

car wash

How Does My Business Start Doing Local SEO?

 I am going to assume if you are looking to promote your business on Google, you already have a Gmail account and Google My Business profile. If not, that is okay. Take a look at this article to see how to set up both of them.

 Getting Reviews – Receiving reviews on your Google My Business Profile can be very valuable in boosting your local seo ranking. If your business is already providing above and beyond customer service, this should not be an issue. Simply reach out to any past or current customer and ask them to leave feedback on your Google My Business profile. If they are willing, you can get them to leave reviews on other sites such as Facebook , Yelp, and Yellow Pages.

 Start producing high quality content –  Producing any type of well written or filmed content on high domain authority websites such as Linkedin, Youtube, or Facebook your website will not only help your customers with commonly asked questions but it will also help to increase your domain ranking. This does require some time and effort, but will definitely pay off in the long run.

 Research– If you are also looking to go more in depth to compete with other local businesses you can research some keywords and view the content they are producing. This will give you a good idea on the topics, format, and length of the content.

Closing This Out

 

  • What points of this SEO Guide did you find the most interesting and helpful?
  • Will you be using any of these tips to help your business?

Now, I would like to hear from you either in the comments section, by clicking  here, or on any of my social media platforms ( Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin).

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